DUVALL - The speed of Bellingham's girls' track and field team has never been in question, but the Red Raiders again, in an emphatic way, proved during the Class 2A Bi-District Track and Field Meet finals there just aren't many teams who can keep up them.
Defending 2A 100-meter champion Alyssa Porter swept the 100 and 200 district titles, Mia Hodges won the 400-meter title with a personal record and Bellingham won both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays in arguably the state's most competitive district.
Porter was able to hold off talented Sehome sprinter Sarah Dolese in both her events, and Hodges narrowly edged Lynden's Jasmyne Neria, who's been neck-and-neck with Hodges all season.
"As they've announced a lot, we have a super strong district," Hodges said, "so it's cool to get first place, but everyone is running really strong. That was a really close cut-off with the four (advancing to state), so it was just exciting to get in, at all."
Hodges placed fourth at state in the 800 a year ago, but said she changed to the 400 this spring in an effort to help her on the soccer field. Her time of 58.20 seconds topped her previous best finish of 59.37, and the 58.20 elevates her to No. 2 the state in Class 2A.
The Red Raiders girls' and boys' teams each put together strong performances, but similar to sub-districts, Sehome finished the highest overall among Whatcom County teams.
The Mariners' girls won a district title with a score of 157 points, while the boys settled for second with 106 points, finishing only one point behind Lakewood on Friday, May 23, at Cedarcrest High School in Duvall.
Boys winners were Blaise Black in pole vault (15-03) and Daniel Ziegler in both the 100 (10.98) and the 200 (22.54).
Girls winners included Alia Jones in the discus (106 feet, 5 inches), Sehome's 4x200 relay team of Kendra Thomas, Dolese, Elsa Sandeno and Bridget Henry, Emily Pittis in the 3,200 (11:20.59) and Chanelle Eddy in the shot put (35-09).
"I think we all came in and had the right mindset to perform at our top when it counted," said Eddy, who also was a part of a 1-2-3 Sehome finish in the discus.
The Sehome girls' team won only four events, but it qualified plenty to next week's Class 2A Track and Field State Championships on Thursday-Saturday, May 29-31, at Mount Tahoma High School.
Besides the 3,200 win, Pittis qualified for both the 1,600 with a second-place finish, the 800 with a fourth-place finish and the 4x400 relay. Dolese matched Pittis, qualifying for state in the 100, 200, 4x100 and 4x200 relay.
Sehome boys' 800 runner Trevor Northrop was a favorite to be added to the Mariners' list of winners, but Squalicum mid-distance runner Chais Sugden added yet another chapter to what has been an incredible week for the junior.
Sugden PRed at sub-districts last week, hit another PR on Wednesday during prelims and PRed for a third time in seven days with a 1:56.25 to earn an upset win over Northrop.
It's started to get Sugden thinking he could not only be in contention, but could very well win a state title next week.
"I just didn't really have too many meets this season, so I thought I better go big or go home," Sugden said. "I've never been to state before, but here we go."
Because of a family vacation and subsequent grade struggles, Sugden hadn't competed in many races, but he's certainly peaking at the right time.
"I've never won too many meets or anything," Sugden said. "I knew I have a pretty strong kick, so once (Northrop) started passing me I just stuck to him, and once we came around the last turn I was like, 'I got to go for this,' and I gave it all I had."
Sugden's teammate Joel Jensen also left Cedarcrest High School with a district title.
Jensen won the shot put with a new PR of 51-07, and also advanced to state in the discus with a third-place finish.
"It feels really great," he said. "All my hard work has paid off from freshman year. I've been lifting heavy and been working on my form a lot. It really feels good to pay off."
Other Squalicum district title winners were Allie Kohr in the 100 hurdles (15.25), Celia Larson in the high jump (5-0) and Madi Krussow in the pole vault (13-1).
Bellingham boys' jumper Tristan Hurley had a strong district meet, first qualifying for the state in the long jump with a second-place finish and a distance of 20-07.50 during Wednesday's finals before earning a district title in the triple jump with a personal record of 42-06.75.
Lynden's Shelby Jacob won a district title in the javelin with a throw of 124-7, and Trent Postma and Neria finished second in their respective 400-meter runs. Lions hurdler Bryce Sterk also qualified for state with a fourth-place finish in the 300 hurdles.
Reach Andrew Lang at email@example.com or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.
Team scores: Lakewood 107, Sehome 106, Bellingham 69, Burlington-Edison 67, Sedro-Woolley 52, Lake Washington 43, Squalicum 41, Cedarcrest 39, Archbishop Murphy 37, Lynden 30, Sammamish 28, Granite Falls 21, Sultan 19, Anacortes 3
100: 1. Daniel Ziegler (Sehome) 10.98, 4. Isaiah White (Bellingham) 11.35; 200: 1. Daniel Ziegler (Sehome) 22.54; 400: 2. Trent Postma (Lynden) 51.31, 3. Jamie Sayegh (Bellingham) 51.47; 800: 1. Chais Sugden (Squalicum) 1:55.49, 2. Trevor Northrop (Sehome) 1:56.56; 110 hurdles: 2. Hunter Hanlon (Squalicum) 15.10, 3. Benjamin Doucette (Bellingham) 15.25; 300 hurdles: 4. Bryce Sterk (Lynden) 40.13; 4x100 relay: 2. Bellingham 43.95, 4. Sehome 44.52; 4x400 relay: 2. Bellingham 3:28.09, 3. Lynden 3:28.13, 4. Sehome 3:30.22; Long jump: 2. Tristan Hurley (Bellingham) 20-07.5; Triple jump: 1. Tristan Hurley (Bellingham) 42-06.75, 3. Sam Humphreys (Sehome) 41-11.5; Shot put: 1. Joel Jensen (Squalicum) 51-07, 2. Drew Norvell (Sehome) 50-04, 3. Tyler Haggen (Sehome) 48-01.25, 4. Bryce Sterk (Lynden) 47-06.5; Discus: 2. Drew Norvell (Sehome) 152-06, 3. Joel Jensen (Squalicum) 152-01, 4. Tyler Haggen (Sehome) 142-04; Pole vault: 1. Blaise Black (Sehome) 15-03, 2. Sam Humphreys (Sehome) 15-03.
Team scores: Sehome 157, Bellingham 104, Squalicum 72, Lake Washington 65, Burlington-Edison 57, Archbishop Murphy 46, Cedarcrest 46, Lynden 42, Lakewood 40, Anacortes 21.5, Granite Falls 20, Sammamish 12, Sultan 10.5, Sedro-Woolley 8.
100: 1. Alyssa Porter (Bellingham) 12.27, 2. Sarah Dolese (Sehome) 12.57, 3. Kendra Thomas (Sehome) 12.87; 200: 1. Alyssa Porter (Bellingham) 24.9, 2. Sarah Dolese (Sehome) 25.0; 400: 1. Mia Hodges (Bellingham) 58.2, 2. Jasmyne Neria (Lynden) 58.3. 4. Dana Ringler (Sehome) 59.59; 800: 4. Emily Pittis (Sehome) 2:17.6; 1,600: 2. Emily Pittis (Sehome) 5:03.2; 3,200: 1. Emily Pittis (Sehome) 11:20.59, 4. Katie Bauer (Bellingham) 11:37.19; 100 hurdles: 1. Allie Kohr (Squalicum) 15.25, 2. Annie Waddell (Bellingham) 15.94, 3. Katrina Dank (Sehome) 16.19; 300 hurdles: 2. Katrina Dank (Sehome) 45.99, 4. Sofia Milstead (Lynden) 47.19; 4x100 relay: 1. Bellingham 48.75, 2. Sehome 49.05, 4. Lynden 50.84 4x200 relay: 1. Sehome 1:42.95, 2. Bellingham 1:45.32, 3. Lynden 1:45.5; 4x400 relay: 1. Bellingham 4:03.23, 2. Sehome 4:03.73, 4. Lynden 4:04.74; High jump: 1. Celia Larson (Squalicum) 5-00, 2. Kelsey Segren (Squalicum) 5-00, 3. Bridget Henry (Sehome) 4-10; Long jump: 2. Lauren Kurtz (Squalicum) 16-02.25; Triple jump: 2. Jessa Clark (Sehome) 35-03.75, 4. Meleri Cummins (Sehome) 33-11; Shot put: 1. Chanelle Eddy (Sehome) 35-09; Discus: 1. Alia Jones (Sehome) 106-05, 2. Chanelle Eddy (Sehome) 106-04, 3. Melanie Cahill (Sehome) 105-04; Javelin: 1. Shelby Jacob (Lynden) 124-07; Pole vault: 1. Madi Krussow (Squalicum) 13-01, 2. Kirsten Webber (Squalicum) 13-01, 4. Ellie Kindlund (Bellingham) 10-07.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.