Mount Rainier's Andy Martin and Angie Fortner are expected to run away with individual honors at the Seamount League cross country meets tomorrow at Fort Dent Park in Tukwila.
The team races could be run-aways, too, with the Mount Rainier boys and Lindbergh girls favored after going through the dual-meet season unbeaten. But Lindbergh Coach Ken Storkson is holding out hope his boys can give the Rams a race.
"If we get over our sniffles, I think we'll give Mount Rainier a tough time," he said.
The Rams have had some sniffles and sore muscles of their own, which Storkson figures could be a factor.
"If they're healthy and run well, they're probably a little better than we are," he said.
Mount Rainier Coach Brian Jacobson agrees the key is being up to full strength. Jerry Rice, who along with twin brother Jeff Rice gives the Rams a good 2-3 punch behind Martin, missed last week's race, but will be back for the league meet.
"We feel pretty confident," Jacobson said. "Our primary concern is just keeping everyone healthy and injury-free."
He said he expects Lindbergh and Kennedy to present the toughest challenges. But the Lindbergh girls, who run a tight pack with their top eight, aren't likely to be pushed at all.
"They're going to be very difficult to beat," Jacobson said.
Storkson can't argue.
"We'd have to have terrible things happen for us not to win," the Lindbergh coach said. "We should have six girls in the top 10."
The Mount Rainier girls have lost only to Lindbergh and expect to battle Kennedy for second, although Storkson doesn't anticipate much of a tussle.
"I think Mount Rainier is the clear favorite to be second," he said.
The top five teams and first 25 individuals advance to the AA Sea-King District meet. Only four schools - Lindbergh, Mount Rainier, Kennedy and Hazen - have had complete girls teams this season.
A coaches' meeting tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. will be followed immediately by the junior varsity boys race. The varsity and JV girls run together next, probably around 4:15 p.m. with the varsity boys going off last.
Martin, a senior, and Fortner, a junior, are the clear favorites for individual titles after going through the league unbeaten. Both were second last year behind seniors, although Fortner won the meet as a freshman.
"We're hoping to go first place in both meets," Jacobson said.
Nick Rogers of Mount Si is favored to finish second, but both Rice brothers and Lindbergh's Nathan Gregory figure to be in the picture, too. Hazen's Stephanie Davidson looks to lead the pack behind Fortner, along with Lindbergh's Trisha Peterson and Sarah Schram and Liberty's Danni Vargas.