In just her second year as a varsity runner, Sehome's Emily Pittis is performing well beyond her years.
Pittis won her first Northwest Conference Championships title in a time of 18 minutes, 25 seconds Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Civic Stadium.
She led the Mariners to a dominating win as five runners placed in the top seven. After Pittis, Rebekah Oviatt placed third with an 18:45.49, Zanna Sullivan finished fifth with her 19:11.15 run, Sarah Huffman took sixth with a 19:22.93 and Kate Hannah placed seventh with a time of 19:26.05.
While Pittis is turning in strong times, as she did as a freshman a year ago, Sehome coach Kevin Ryan has witnessed his standout runner develop in other ways in year two.
"Emily has had a strong, healthy focus this year," Ryan wrote in an email. "Her training has gone well, and she entered every race looking to learn something. She is extremely team oriented, and I believe you see that reflected in the attitude and performance of the rest of the squad."
Ryan believes Pittis' effect will pay off later in the season.
"She has developed into a great leader, and we expect to see the benefits of that in the upcoming postseason," he wrote.
BONSEN HANDLING MULTIPLE DUTIES FOR LIONS
The Lynden volleyball team controls its own destiny in the race for a Class 2A Northwest District Tournament berth. Two wins next week, and the Lions will be heading to the postseason again.
Many athletes highlight coach Angie Dallas' squad, but arguably no one has meant as much to the Lions as Brooke Bonsen.
Bonsen has consistently been Lynden's kills leader and has enjoyed match-high performances in her serve receiving. Without a libero, Bonsen has shoulder plenty of defensive work in the back row, as well.
"Brooke Bonsen is a solid all-around player in our program," Dallas wrote in an email. "She leads by example and has a work ethic unmatched by her peers . Positive and powerful - she is our kill leader and anchor or our defense."
With wins against Meridian and Sedro-Woolley Bonsen will have made the playoffs every varsity season, as well.
SOCCER PLAYOFF PICTURE TAKING SHAPE
Heading into the last week of the girls' soccer regular season, postseason seeds and potential matchups are beginning to take place.
There will be one less Northwest Conference team and one less Cascade Conference team this season with the addition of the KingCo league to the Northwest District. KingCo's No. 1 seed eliminates the NWC No. 5 seed versus the CC No. 4 seed play-in game.
Instead, NWC's No. 2 will play KingCo's No. 1 seed, NWC's No. 4 seed will play CC's No. 1 seed, NWC's No. 3 seed will play CC's No. 2 seed and NWC's No. 1 seed will play CC's No. 4 seed in the first round.
Sehome, Squalicum, Burlington-Edison and Bellingham have had the NWC's spots locked up for several weeks now. Currently, Sehome would host Lakewood in a first round matchup, and Squalicum will earn the NWC's No. 2 seed if it wins out and will face either Lake Washington or Sammamish of the KingCo league. Bellingham's big win against the Tigers last week gives the Red Raiders the inside track to a No. 3 seed and right now they would play Granite Falls - the CC's No. 2 seed. Burlington is slated to play Archbishop Murphy in first round action.
SQUALICUM VOLLEYBALL HURT BY NEW KINGCO ADDITION TO PLAYOFFS
If this season were last year, Squalicum would be preparing to celebrate a playoff berth, but due to the addition of the KingCo league to the Northwest District Tournament, the Storm will be sweating it out the final week of the volleyball season.
Anacortes, Burlington-Edison and Sehome have claimed three of the four NWC playoff bids. Lynden and Squalicum will be battling this week for the final spot. The Lions own the tiebreaker after beating the Storm head-to-head back on Sept. 18.
Squalicum would need to beat a dominant Anacortes team in its final match and hope Lynden slips against either Meridian or Sedro-Woolley.
Squalicum is also scheduled to host half of the district volleyball tournament.
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.