TACOMA - Although no Whatcom County boys' athlete was able to earn a gold medal during the final day of the 2A-3A-4A Washington State Track and Field Championships on Saturday, May 26, that doesn't mean there weren't any strong performances.
A number of track athletes earned second-place finishes, and one of the most exciting races came from Squalicum's Patrick Gibson in the 1,600.
After Gibson wiped out former Bellingham athlete Chris Kwiatkowski's 3,200 time Thursday, May 24 - a record that had stood since 2007 - Gibson put an end to another Bellingham rival school's record Saturday that has stood since 2007.
By crossing the finish line in a time of 4 minutes, 11.29 seconds, Gibson beat former Sehome standout Mason McHenry's record. The only problem was that White River's Marcus Dickson beat the record by a little more.
"I'm really happy," Gibson said. "I got my PR, and I helped us out with points. One of my most satisfying moments was being able to get on the podium with my team a couple years ago."
Outside of Gibson, Squalicum's Kyler Reed earned a fifth-place finish in the 100 meters, and thrower Jarek Jensen followed up on his shot put state title with a sixth-place finish in the discus.
Reed ran a time of 11.19, and surprised himself a little bit.
"I thought that I got sixth place," Reed said. "It's pretty cool to say that I'm one of the top five fastest runners in 2A."
Jensen was also pleased with his day.
"I wasn't really focused on winning, I was more focused on getting my PR today," said Jensen, who added he plans to walk on at Montana State University next year. "I think it's been really eye opening to compete with all these guys."
Squalicum's 4x400 relay team composed of Jason Pfannenstiel, Chris Fredlund, Joey Malloy and Reed placed third, and all the top finishes together helped the Storm earn a third-place team finish - the best of any Whatcom County boys' team.
Sehome was right behind Squalicum, though, as the Mariners earned 41.50 team points - just a few behind Squalicum's 44.
Reed Henderson was one major reason Sehome placed in the top five, as Mariners' coach Kevin Ryan praised him for the 1:53.35 he turned in running the 800 meters.
"I'm so happy about it," Henderson said. "That's what I wanted to shoot for."
Bellingham's Paris Speidel also turned in a strong performance in the 800 with his 1:55.55.
"It's my first year doing track, so this is a big accomplishment," Speidel said.
Sehome's Ian Earle placed fourth in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 39.41. Conner Johnsen got on the podium in the 1,600 with a fine run of 4:20.60, which was good enough time to earn the Mariners' junior an eighth-place finish.
Sam Aubert threw a mark of 121-07 in the discus final, and the Mariners' 4x100 relay team of Earle, Michael Faulkner, Malik Williams and Konstantin Andrushenko earned a second-place finish with a time of 42.94.
"I don't know if it was a great race for us, but we didn't do that bad," Faulkner said."
Lynden team captain Braden Fishbook also had a fine day. After feeling somewhat fortunate to qualify for the 400, the senior ran a 50.53 to earn himself a seventh-place position on the podium.
"I'm one of my toughest critics, so to say I placed seventh, I think I got second to last," Fishbook said. "But I have no regrets, because I ran the best I could."
The Lynden boys' 4x400 relay team of Caleb Newman, Jalani Phelps, Paulin Fleishman and Fishbook finished fourth with a time of 3:24.12.
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