TACOMA - After winning the Class 2A state title in the girls' 4x100 relay, a quartet of Bellingham runners lightheartedly posed and danced for the camera at the finish line.
Think they were relaxed then? You should have seen them during the race.
"We really tried to stay relaxed - that's all that mattered," said Annie Waddell, who handled the leadoff leg and started the Red Raiders on their way to a state meet-record time of 48.12 seconds on Saturday, May 25, at Mount Tahoma High School.
Yakima West Valley finished second in 48.98 seconds.
So how was Waddell, a sophomore and the only newcomer on a defending state championship relay, able to stay so calm and composed before the race?
"I trusted my team, and ... that was going to get us around," she said. "I took a breath before I got in the blocks, and I was ready - ready to do my best."
Her best got the lead, and that's all open 100 champion Alyssa Porter needed for the second leg.
"I just tried to finish what she started," Porter said.
Porter increased the lead before handing off to corner specialist Mary Dyrland.
"I always joke with these girls that I would marry this race if I could," Dyrland said. "I love that corner so much; I would just live on it."
By the time Dyrland turned the corner and got to Chantal Tran, Bellingham had a huge lead.
And there was no way the open 100 runner-up was going to let it slip away.
"I thought someone was going to be there, so I ran really hard," Tran said. "It's also hard when you're ahead and you don't know where everyone is. I thought sure somebody was coming up on me, so I just thought 'You got to go!'"
Reach DAVID RASBACH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2271.