Lynden senior Brandon Swarthout had good season for saying he “felt just like I was flying” in the long jump.
Swarthout not only won four individual events in the Class 2A District 1 North Sub-District meet, but set a meet record with a stunning full foot improvement in the long jump.
“My previous best was 22-4,” said Swarthout, who leaped 23 feet, 4 inches Friday night at Civic Stadium in the eight team meet, which consisted of the 2A teams from the Northwest Conference. “I did surprise myself. I just had more energy. I tried some different spikes. I was just amazed (when he heard his mark).”
Can he do better?
“Absolutely,” said the affable athlete, who scratched in all three attempts at the long jump in the state meet last year. On Friday, he also won the triple jump (43-3), 100 meters (11.08 seconds) and 200 meters (22.38), encouraging him in his quest for four state medals.
LOCAL DOUBLE WINNERS
Sehome’s Nathan Ruffatto won the boys shot put (54-6) and discus (155-8) and Sehome’s Mary Carbee took the girls shot put (40-0) and discus (131-8). It was a PR (personal record) in the shot for Ruffatto and a PR in both events for Carbee.
The other local girls double winner was Bellingham sophomore Annika Reiss, who won the 3,200 meters in 11:30.28 with a typically fine last-lap kick Friday. Two days earlier, in the 1,600 final, Reiss won in 5:14.34 -- 27 hundreds of a second over Sehome senior Abby Johnson.
Sehome’s 4x100 team of freshman Melloy Nelson, junior Matthew Fisher, senior Connor McGovern and sophomore Dylan Roberts came in with the fourth-best seed time, but pulled a surprise to win in 44.66.
“This was our second time together,” said Nelson. “Coming in first really shocked me, but we all ran well. I did have confidence in our team.”
Lynden came in with the second-best seed time in the 4x400, but Ean Price, Tate Hutchins, Aaron Weidenaar and Jacob Heeringa won in 3:29.37 -- more than a three-second improvement.
Sehome claimed the 4x100 girls race in 51.36 with Zoe Dietrich (the team’s only senior), Hannah Moore, Zola Carbone and Eva Airoldi.
MORE LOCAL WINNERS
In other girls races, Whatcom County runners dominated. Bellingham’s Carmen Souza took the 100 in 13.05 and Sehome’s Airoldi won the 200 in 27.19, both with fine finishes. Lynden’s Jasmyne Neria ran one of her best 800 races to win by a large margin in 58.87 and Sehome freshman Cameron Hodges claimed the 800 in 2:19.93 with an outstanding kick. Bellingham’s Claire Campbell looked smooth while winning the 100 hurdles in 16.50 and teammates Jaden Stevenson won the triple jump (33-11¼) and Chloe Roth took the pole vault (10-6) on fewer misses.
On the boys side, Bellingham had three other winners with Cade Brown in the 3,200 at 9:44.19, Cole Allain in the 110 high hurdles at 15.32 seconds and Nicholas Oesterling in the javelin (163-6). Lynden’s Weidenaar won the high jump (6-2) on fewer misses and Blaine’s Dalton Mouw claimed the 400 in 51.26.
Neria, second at state last year in the 800, is encouraged even though she not been pushed often.
“Ever since I was a freshman, I’ve wanted to get a 57-second time,” said Neria, who has signed with Central Washington for a track scholarship. “Right now I’m second in the state in all divisions but the leader is also in 2A, so I know I’ll be pushed hard now.”
The top eight finishers in the sub-district qualified for the district meet on Friday, May 19, on the same track. The top three in each event at district qualify for state, although a list of automatic qualifying times (at district meets only) could provide more state entrants.
In boys and girls combined, Bellingham won nine events, Sehome eight, Lynden seven and Blaine one.