All-Whatcom County female athletes of the year capsules

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 4, 2014 

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

CHLOE GARDNER

School: Nooksack Valley

Year: Senior

Cross country: Gardner finished in 75th at the Class 1A State Girls' Cross Country Championships with a time of 21 minutes, 44.53 seconds. ... Finished in 27th at the tri-district meet with a time of 21:24.3, helping lift the Pioneers to a seventh-place finish.

Wrestling: Gardner capped her three-year career with a state championship in the 145-pound weight class at Mat Classic XXVI. ... Earned pins in all four rounds, including three first-round pins. ... Placed fourth as a sophomore and third as a junior. ... Won tournament titles at regionals, sub-regionals and Northwest Conference championships. ... Was the first state champion for Nooksack Valley coach Chad Parson.

Softball: Gardner was a stud in the middle of Nooksack Valley's lineup, hitting .382 with five home runs, 31 RBI and eight doubles. ... Helped lead the Pioneers to a 15-16 overall record and a Class 1A state tournament. ... Went 7 for 8 with two home runs in the Pioneers' first two games at the tri-district tournament.

KARA BAJEMA

School: Lynden Christian

Year: Sophomore

Volleyball: Bajema, with her length and jumping ability, proved to be one of the most lethal outside hitters in the Northwest Conference, helping lead the Lyncs to a fifth-place finish at the Class 1A state championships. ... Was a first-team All-NWC and All-Whatcom County selection. .... Was also a force up front, blocking shots and providing a difficult obstacle to hit over for opposing outside hitters.

Basketball: Was the All-Whatcom County girls' basketball player of the year after her late heroics that helped lift Lynden Christian to a 1A state title. ... Was a first-team All-Northwest Conference selection and the Class 1A 2014 Hardwood Classic Most Outstanding Player. ... Averaged 13.3 points per game, recording a season-high 30 against Sedro-Woolley. ... Was a solid rebounder and distributor, as well. ... Hit three consecutive 3-pointers against Cashmere in the state semis to spark a come-from-behind win.

MADDI KRUSSOW

School: Squalicum

Year: Senior

Diving: Krussow placed second at the Class 2A state championships with a score of 320.75, 8.95 points shy of winning a title. ... Second straight year she finished on the medal stand after placing eighth as a junior. ... Helped Squalicum to a second-place finish at state and the NWC regular-season title.

Gymnastics: Was a state participant in the all-around. ... Finished in a tie for fifth place at the Washington Open Winter Invitational, besting all other Whatcom County performers in the process. ... Was also a state finalist last season.

Track and field: Proved to be one of the finest prep pole vaulters in the country, posting a season-best mark of 13 feet, 3 inches, which was No. 1 in the state in all classifications and No. 8 in the nation. ... Finished second at the Class 2A state meet with a mark of 12-6, trailing only her teammate Kristen Webber. ... Won the Northwest Conference pole vault title with a mark of 13-0 and the bi-district meet with a height of 13-1.

EMILY PITTIS

School: Sehome

Year: Junior

Cross country: Pittis finished second during the Class 2A state championships with a personal-best run of 18 minutes, 12.64 seconds. ... Helped Sehome to a 2A team title. ... Placed third during the 2A District 1/2 meet with a time of 18:42.20. ... Finished third during the Northwest Conference meet with an 18:28.5. ... First team All-NWC selection.

Track and field: Medaled in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at the 2A state meet, winning the 3,200 for the second consecutive year with a time of 10 minutes, 59.81 seconds, placed second in the 1,600 with a 5:00.76 personal record and took sixth in the 800 with a 2:19.07. ... Won a 3,200 bi-district title (11:20.59). ... ... Helped Mariners win bi-district and league titles and fourth state title in five years with 70.5 team points.

ALYSSA PORTER

School: Bellingham

Year: Senior

Basketball: Porter proved to be one of the better guards in the league, averaging 11.6 points per game in leading the Red Raiders to a 13-12 overall record. ... Got Bellingham to the regional round of the state tournament. ... Scored in double figures 14 times. ... Had a season-high 25 points against Cedarcrest in the bi-district tournament.

Track and field: Won second straight Class 2A state 100-meter championship with a time of 12.28 seconds, finished fourth in 200 (25.34), won a state title as a member of Bellingham's 4x100 relay team (48.59) and placed second as a member of the Red Raiders' 4x200 team (1:42.21). ... Ran personal best 100 meters in 11.87, which ranks third in state in all classifications. ... Won bi-district titles in 100 (12.27) and 200 (24.90) and conference titles in 100 (12.22) and 200 (25.90). ... Helped Red Raiders place third at state with 45 points and win an academic state title. ... Will run for University of Nevada - Reno next season.

EMILY YOST

School: Mount Baker

Year: Junior

Volleyball: Was a solid volleyball standout for coach Mary LeSage, providing a strong setter in the middle of the floor for the outside hitters. ... Had 30 assists against Blaine and 25 against Sedro-Woolley.

Basketball: Yost was a Northwest Conference first-team selection after averaging a league-best 21.1 points per game. ... Suffered a season-ending injury with two games left in the regular season. ... Scored more than 24 points nine times this season, including going off for 39 in the Mountaineers' first game of the season on Dec. 2. ... Had a 23-rebound game against Cascade Christian on Dec. 27.

Softball: Despite only playing in 19 games due to an early-season injury, she hit .484 with 32 RBI, seven doubles, three triples and two home runs. ... Helped lead Mount Baker to the Class 1A state title game. ... Second-team All-Northwest Conference selection by the coaches.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Lexi McElwain, Blaine

Madison Weg, Lynden Christian

Taylor Lunde, Meridian

Mia Hodges, Bellingham

Kendra Thomas, Sehome

Taylor V'Dovec, Blaine

Hannah Carlson, Ferndale

Elisa Kooiman, Lynden

Sally Vlas, Lynden Christian

Courtney Hollander, Lynden Christian

Stephanie Somers, Lynden

Morgan Van Kooten, Lynden Christian

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