Varsity Extra

Top high school cross country runners to watch this fall

Boise’s Eve Jensen is the reigning 5A District Three cross country champion and 5A state runner-up.
Boise’s Eve Jensen is the reigning 5A District Three cross country champion and 5A state runner-up. For the Idaho Statesman


McKenna Emerson, Eagle

The top finisher for Eagle’s 2015 state championship team in third place, the junior has a pair of second-place finishes this season at the Camels Back Classic and Roger Curran Invite.

Lexy Halladay, Mountain View

The freshman is two-for-two in races, winning Jimmy Driscoll and Tiger-Grizz. She owns the top time in the state at 18:19.3 and is expected to be a dominant force the next four seasons.

Dania Holmberg, Eagle

She finished fourth at state as a junior last season, but has the top time among Eagle runners this year, including wins at the Camels Back Classic and Roger Curran Invite.

Eve Jensen, Boise

The defending 5A District Three champion and state runner-up as a freshman ranks second in the state this season with her time of 18:22.2 in winning the Caldwell Twilight.

Kari Taylor, Capital

The reigning state champ in the 800 meters owned the top cross country time in the state for much of 2015, but faded in the second half. She has finished third and fourth in events this season.

Gemma LaVergne, Emmett

The freshman has the third-fastest time among 4A runners this season with her time of 19:10.8, including a win at the Weiser Invite on Sept. 8. She went undefeated in races as an eigth grader.


Graf Kirk, Boise

After finishing 16th at state and 13th at district last year, Kirk has come on strong as a senior. His time of 16:13.9 for third place at the Caldwell Twilight ranks sixth in the state this season.

Siyad Matan, Borah

The 2016 state runner-up in the 3,200 meters has the fastest time this season in 15:52.7 to win the Camels Back Classic. Matan, a junior, took fifth at state in 2015 and has strong training partners in Abdi Maqtal and Sean Harren.

Charles Paul, Mountain View

The top returner for the two-time defending state champions took 19th at state last season, but the senior ranks fourth this year (16:09.7) without having yet posted a personal best.

Ries Ruehrwein, Timberline

The junior has consistently improved his times over the course of each season by a minute or more, putting him on track to run times under 16 minutes by the end of 2016. He currently ranks 12th.

Evan Thieme, Rocky Mountain

Finished eighth at state as a junior, and leads Rocky runners with his season-best of 16:22.9, which ranks ninth. Teammate Taylor Phillips took fourth at state in 2015, and usually comes on strong at the end of the season.

Nicholas Russell, Bishop Kelly

The sophomore owns the third fastest time this season among all classifications in 16:09.1. He took third at the 2015 4A state meet.