BATTLE GROUND -- The Skyview boys cross country was just full of surprises on Wednesday.
After a season in which a trio of runners seemed to be battling for league supremacy and league dual meets were decided by razor-thin margins, Kaden Harbertson and the Storm left Lewisville Park with surprisingly easy victories at the Class 4A district meet.
And for the Storm, the biggest surprise may have provided by a freshman on the mend.
Harbertson, a junior, raced to a 12-second victory to win the 5,000-meter race over Camas' Riley Hein in 16 minutes, 24 seconds.
"A couple of these guys (in the field) have beaten this season, so I knew it was going to be a tough race," Harbertson said. "I just decided to push things right from the start and see if maybe I could wear them down."
Harbertson surged to the front from the beginning with Hein in hot pursuit.
"When we got to the hill midway through the race, Riley has closed right on me," Harbertson said. "But when we hit the downhill, that's where I opened things up."
While Harbertson, Hein and Union's Said Guermali were tabbed as pre-race favorites, many were surprised to see who finished third: Skyview freshman Chanse Gilbert, who finished in 16:48.
Gilbert even surprised his coach Chris Erdman, for another reason.
"Chanse has been battling a hip issue," Erdman said. "Even after our workout Monday, he was still feeling it. So it was hard to know how that was going to affect him. But he's such a competitor and he just went out and ran a great race."
Guermali followed in fourth in 16:53, followed closely by Heritage's James Breen (16:55) and Camas' Zach Hein (16:58).
With Harbertson and Gilbert leading the way, Skyview took home the team title, outdistancing Camas 38-54. Union was third with 57 points.
"I'm just so proud of my team," Harbertson said. "We've been coming together as group this season and pushing hard to keep improving. Our goal now is to keep this going at regionals and push on to state."
Skyview, Camas and Union advanced to the Westside Classic regional race in Tacoma on Nov. 2 as teams battle for berths to the state meet in Pasco on Nov. 9.
"That regional race is so competitive that our league has struggled to get one team to state," Erdman said. "But our league this year has been so competitive and the kids have such great respect for one another that it would be great to see more than one team go to state."
4A DISTRICT MEET
At Lewisville Park, 5,000 meters
Teams scores (top three advance to regionals) -- Skyview 38, Camas 54, Union 57, Battle Ground 103, Heritage 118, Evergreen 149.
Top 5 individuals
1, Kaden Harbertson (Sky) 16:24
2, Riley Hein (Cam) 16:36
3, Chanse Gilbert (Sky) 16:48
4, Said Guermali (Un) 16:53
5, James Breen (Her) 16:55
Other individual regional qualifiers
8, Keaton Spiller (Her) 17:05
9, Aaron Frances (BG) 17:06
SKYVIEW -- 1, Harbertson 16:24; 3, Gilbert 16:48; 7, Mason Scheidel 17:04; 10, Ethan Bauer 17:06; 17, Marshall Johnson 17:30.
CAMAS -- 2, R. Hein 16:36; 6, Zach Hein 16:58; 13, Daniel Osterhage 17:24; 15, Nicholas Carter 17:26; 18, Dustin Zimmerly 17:30.
UNION -- 4, Guermali 16:53; 11, Jordan Moore 17:20; 12, Miguel De La Melena 17:21; 14, Brian Keniston 17:25; 16, AJ England 17:27.
BATTLE GROUND -- 9, Frances 17:06; 20, Noel Reyes 17:41; 23, Isaac Brown 17:59; 25, Quinn Nelson 18:05; 26, Kyle Johnson 18:07.
HERITAGE -- 5, Breen 16:55; 8, Spiller 17:05; 30, Evan Yackell 18:29; 36, Vitaliy Svirdan 19:24; 39, Beau Walsh 19:51.
EVERGREEN -- 21, Joey McClanahan 17:43; 29, Cameron McAnally 18:19; 32, Taryn Sciortino 18:33; 33, Tyler McGrath 18:43; 34, Shawn Ferguson 18:48.