BELLINGHAM - Sehome's track and field team wasn't content with simply sweeping both the boys' and girls' Class 2A Sub-District Meet titles. The Mariners had double winners, broke personal records and set new meet standards.
Sehome girls' runner Emily Pittis earned an 800-meter win and ran away with the 3,200, and sprinter Sarah Dolese won 100-meter and 200-meter titles Friday, May 16, at Civic Stadium.
On the boys' side, pole vaulter Blaise Black cleared a height of 15 feet, 6 inches, tying him with Washington state's best mark this year in all classifications and also giving him a 6 inch PR. Sprinter Daniel Zeigler joined Pitts and Dolese as a double winner, and his 200-meter win in 22.61 was a personal record.
Sehome's girls took first with 220 points, Bellingham was second with 133 and Squalicum took third with 96.5 points. Sehome's boys earned 156.5 points and were followed by Bellingham's 122 and Burlington-Edison's 110.
Ziegler, who entered the race seeded No. 3, gave a huge fist pump as he crossed the finish line first. Before the meet, Zeigler was debating dropping the 200 from his postseason slate in order to devote full attention to the 100, but with his PR on Friday, he said he might just keep the 200.
"It felt real good, because I came in here not seeded to win," Zeigler said. "We've been thinking about scratching the 200 going into districts, but I think after today if I got a PR, I might hold on to that one. If I could place at state in the 200, it would be something great to hold on to."
Black wasn't physically as expressive as Ziegler when he cleared 15-6, but the roar of the crowd proved he'd accomplished something great.
Black and teammate Sam Humphreys, who also had a 6 inch PR by clearing 15-0, hadn't had good weather to vault for some two weeks. They finally got a good day and capitalized.
"I don't know what to say about it," Black said. "I kind of expect to PR all the time. I just always want to be doing good. It just hasn't worked out because of the weather, that's the excuse."
Black's 15-6 also broke a 19-year old 2A Sub-District Tournament record of 15-4 set back in 1995 by a Nooksack Valley pole vaulter.
Trevor Northrop was another Sehome boys' winner. He ran the 800 with a time of 1:56.95, which was another PR.
On the girls' side Pittis won the 800 with a 2:20.08 and the 3,200 with an 11:28.9 and Dolese won the 100 in 12.32 and the 200 with a 25.57. Thrower Chanelle Eddy won the shot put with a 35-4.50 and Bridget Henry took the high jump title with a 5-1
While Sehome put together a complete team performance, several other Whatcom County athletes impressed during their first step toward the Class 2A State Meet.
Squalicum hurdler Allie Kohr set a new meet record with her 15.17 in the 100-meter hurdles. She broke the record of 15.25 that she set a year ago.
Also in the short-track hurdles, Bellingham's Benjamin Doucette earned a confidence-building win in his first big race back from a quad injury.
The sophomore narrowly beat Squalicum's Hunter Hanlon with a 15.31. The sub-district win is even more impressive given he only began hurdling two years ago.
"I think it went pretty well, but I still have room to improve," Doucette said. "Last year at district finals, I ran into a guy and it messed me up. I really want to make it to state this year."
Another would-be first time state track athlete is Lynden's Jasmyne Neria, who has been turning in top sprint times this spring.
Neria held of Sehome's Dana Ringler to win the 400 in a time of 59.76
"I just ran my own race and had fun doing it," Neria said. "I have just been working hard and listening to my coaches and what they have to say. Sometimes it's a pain to do this, but in the end, coming out with the win is fun."
Neria, who'd never run the 400 before this year, said her success has been a bit overwhelming.
"I would never think I could come this far as a freshman," she said.
One of the evening's most thrilling finishes was the girls' 4x400 relay - the final race of the night. The Sehome girls were going for a relay sweep after winning both the 4x100 and 4x200, but Bellingham's final-leg runner caught up with Sehome's last runner in the final 50 meters and earned the Red Raiders a photo-finish-type win.
The top eight athletes in their respective event earned the right to move onto districts, which began Wednesday, May 21, at Cedarcrest High School.
Reach Andrew Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.