All-Region Boys Cross Country: Skyview's Colby Gilbert

Junior’s strong finish at state results in All-Region honor

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter



Colby Gilbert

Season highlights

Placed eighth at the Class 4A state cross country meet with a time of 15:14, the fastest state-meet time in 2011 for a boy from Clark County.

Won the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League district championship race, edging defending district champion Roman Kirkov of Union.

Placed second in his race at the Nike Pre-Nationals in September at Portland Meadows.

More about Colby

Favorite class: Engineering.

Favorite TV shows: ‘Modern Family’, ‘The Daily Show’, ‘The Colbert Report.’

Colby and his family are Minnesota Wild hockey fans. They lived in Minnesota for several years.

Music taste: Colby listens to a variety of music, but often drifts toward rock.

Colby’s parents, Chris and Carolynne, ran for the University of Portland.

Next year and beyond

Colby has his eye on chasing an individual state title in cross country next fall as a high school senior. He also hopes to continue competing in college.

Colby Gilbert arrived relaxed at the cross country state championship meet.

The Skyview junior had won the Class 4A Greater St. Helens district race, then ran just good enough at regionals to extend his season. So by the time he arrived at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, Gilbert was relaxed and ready to have some fun.

He went out fast, hanging just behind the lead pack.

“I felt really good about it. I wasn’t stressed about it,” Gilbert said. “I just knew I was going to have a good time and run really hard.”

He ran fast enough to finish eighth in the Class 4A race, the best finish for a boy from Clark County. Combined with his district title, the strong showing at state earned Gilbert recognition as The Columbian’s All-Region Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.

At regionals, Gilbert said, he was nervous before the race and turned in a subpar performance, placing 16th. With nothing to lose at state, he said he “just wanted to go in and have fun.”

Racing is a sport Gilbert’s family enjoys. His father Chris and mother Carolynne were runners for the University of Portland, so it was only natural Colby would put his speed to work as a runner once he reached high school.

His parents didn’t push him into running, Gilbert said. But having his father help him plan workouts has aided his development.

Individual drive is key to success in running, but it is shared experience that makes success fun, Gilbert said.

“I think it’s just hanging out with the team that makes cross country a lot more fun. It’s a lot more team based (than track),” Gilbert said.

When it comes to racing, Gilbert said he enjoys the different challenges posed by cross country and track.

As satisfying as the finish to this cross country season was for Gilbert, he is looking forward to bigger finishes. Maybe even a state cross country title.

“I want to have a serious shot at it next year,” Gilbert said. “Every year I’ve been moving up, and I’d like to do the same in track season, too.”

Rest of All-Region team

Tucker Boyd, jr., Camas: Class 3A district runner-up; fourth at regional meet.

Sean Eustis, jr., Washougal: Class 2A district champion; placed ninth at state.

Roman Kirkov, sr., Union: Class 4A district runner-up; 5th at regional.

Tanner Sork, sr., Union: Third at Class 4A district meet; 4A GSHL first-team.

Isaac Stinchfield, jr., Washougal: 2A GSHL runner-up; placed 13th at state.

Mark Tedder, jr., Battle Ground: Class 4A GSHL runner of the year.