TACOMA - The Sehome girls' track and field team is slowly making it a tradition of sorts to gather team state titles, and although the Mariners may not have won any state titles on day two - that honor went to Squalicum on Friday - Sehome appears to be in good position to be near or on top of the podium come Saturday evening.
The Mariners qualified a number of girls for the finals in various events such as the 100, 200, 800 and 300 hurdles, as well as the 4x100 relay team.
But as far as gathering first-place medals, the 2A-3A-4A Washington State Track and Field Championships belonged to the Storm on Friday, May 25, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
Both Kirsten Webber and Tori Franzen cleared a height of 11 feet, 9 inches to place one and two, respectively, in the pole vault, and Gina Flint earned a state title in the shot put with a mark of 42-11.25.
Webber earned the win over Franzen due to number of failed attempts, but both were more than happy with their performances.
"It was fun and very nerve racking," Webber said. "I don't think that I've ever had that many eyes on me before. It's really nice, but (Franzen and I) got the same height."
Flint joined Squalicum's Jerek Jensen to complete a Storm sweep of the 2A shot put event.
Despite entering the event as the heavy favorite, Flint said she knew she'd have to make a good throw to win, and she delivered.
"Last year I took second, and coming into the day I knew I'd have to make one of my best throws to win," Flint said. "It feels great."
Flint and Webber were the only girls' state champions, but several others found spots on the podium.
In the shot put, Whatcom County represented well, as Mariners' Maddie Cattle placed fifth with a throw of 36-07.00, and Bodie Medler took eighth place with a throw of 34-07.00.
Squalicum's Madi Krussow finished six in the pole vault to give the Strom three top-six finishers, and Blaine's Olivia Adams earned herself a tie for seventh, as she cleared a mark of 10-00.00.
Taylor V'Dovec gave Blaine another state placer. She earned a new personal record with a jump of 5-02.00, which placed her sixth in her first state meet.
"I think I performed well," V'Dovec said. "It was fun competing with another girl from up north."
That other girl was Bellingham's Olivia Halverson, who gained five points for the Red Raiders, who are quietly putting themselves in state title contention with strong results Friday. Halverson matched V'Dovec's 5-02.00 mark, but earned a fourth-place finish.
"My freshman, sophomore and junior year I came ups just short of qualifying, so it felt good to get on the podium," Halverson said.
Squalicum's Allie Kohr was the only other girl to place Friday, as she turned in a time of 16.14 seconds for a fifth-place finish in the 100 meter hurdles.
The track prelims is where Sehome, Bellingham and Blaine turned in outstanding performances.
Bellingham's Alyssa Porter made a huge statement with her preliminary win in the girls' 100. Her 11.96 second 100 was 1/10th of second shy of 2A state meet record that was set in 1998. She ran faster than Sehome's Sarah Dolese, who placed fourth, and Cherish Morrison, who took third.
"It gives me a lot of confidence to beat Cherish," Porter said. "She is a good competitor, and she's always been my competition."
Bellingham's Chantal Tran also placed sixth in prelims, which gives Whatcom a 50-50 chance to crown a state champion in the 100 come Saturday.
The 200 final will also provide plenty of intrigue, as Morrison, Dolese and Porter finished one, two and three in that order during prelims.
The 400, however, was all Blaine, as Morrison took first and Kiersten Sigfusson claimed second in prelims. Morrison ran a 57.62, and Sigfusson ran a 59.42.
"The 400 went good," Morrison said. "Coach told me to go out and win it, so that's what I did."
In the 800, three girls will represent Whatcom County in the finals. Bellingham's Bekah Jensen placed third in prelims and Red Raiders' Mia Hodges earned a fifth-place finish.
Sehome's Madison Heilmann took fourth with a 2:24.49.
Mariners' Hanna Tarleton put herself in good position to place well in the finals, as she took third in the 300 hurdle prelims with a time of 45.56.
"All season, I've just been hoping (this race) will come together," Tarleton said. "I'm going to try to do exactly what I always do before every race, and hopefully I'll win."
Finally, in the 4x100 relay, Bellingham and Sehome will be able to settle who has the fastest quartet of runners come Saturday, as the Red Raiders took first, and the Mariners placed second in prelims.
Bellingham ran a 48.29, and Sehome ran a 48.57.
"It went really well today," Bellingham's Chantal Tran said. "All our handoffs were good. We have enough incentive already to do well, but I guess (facing Sehome) gives us even more incentive."
Reach ANDREW LANG email@example.com or call ext. 862.