Whatcom County turned in an unprecedented day at the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 3, at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.
County runners won three individual titles and the Sehome boys and girls swept the Class 2A team titles.
In the 2A ranks, Sehome's Emily Pittis and Squalicum's Patrick Gibson successfully defended their individual titles.
Pittis, a sophomore, won with a time of 18 minutes, 17.7 seconds, beating out second-place Sanne Holland from Cheney by 161/2 seconds.
"I'm on a real high right now," Pittis said in a phone interview. "It's feels so good. I'm really excited."
Gibson, a senior, claimed the boys' title in 15:13.6 by pulling ahead of Aberdeen's Poli Baltazar in the final 300 meters.
"It feels fantastic," Gibson said in a phone interview. "Last year, there weren't too many expectations that I would win. I just wanted to run a great race. This year, there were more expectations. To win it, I feel like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders."
In between those two repeat victories, Mount Baker's Dillon Quintana won the Class 1A boys' race with a time of 15:50.0, narrowly beating out Blaine's friendly rival Tom Bradley, who finished in 15:50.8. Both boys are seniors.
"It blows me away," Quintana said. "This is pretty crazy."
The Sehome girls had five runners finish in the top 17 individually to score 40 points. Second-place Bellingham also had a good day, placing second with 118 points. The title was the Mariners' sixth in seven years.
The Sehome boys both claimed their third team title in seven years with 81 points, beating out second-place Bellingham's 93 and third-place Squalicum's 103.
"I think this proves that where we're training is the best place in the state," said Squalicum's Dylan Dubuque, who finished 39th. "You've got to be on your game every single day with so many good runners and teams in our area or you won't be No. 1 anymore."