Lynden senior Brandon Swarthout became one of the few athletes ever to win four individual golds in the Class 2A District 1/2 Championships, but he wasn’t the biggest surprise Friday night at Civic Stadium.
That honor went to Blaine junior Dalton Mouw, who won the 400 meters in a personal record 50.59 seconds with a stunning kick down the stretch.
“This was only my third open 400 this year,” said Mouw, a versatile fellow who may well have discovered his best event. “But I’m used to running them in relays. I felt great coming down the backstretch. I really wasn’t expecting to win and I was stressing out all week.”
Swarthout set a meet record of 10.80 seconds in the 100 meters and a PR by a foot in the triple jump at 46 feet, 5 inches. He also won the long jump (22-10) and 200 meters (22.20).
“I really liked the 100 the few times I ran it last year,” said Swarthout. “I really felt great today.”
Bellingham junior Cade Brown made a winning lunge to take an amazingly close 3200 meters in 9:21.66 by nine-hundreds of a second over Cedarcrest’s Grant Van Valkenberg in a classic race.
“That was definitely the closest distance race ever for me,” Brown said.
Other boys’ champions from Whatcom County’s four schools in the 14-team meet were Bellingham’s Cole Allain in the 110 high hurdles (15.20 after a PR 15.10 in the trials); Sehome teammates Ben Malquist in the discus (169-9) and Nathan Ruffatto in the shot put (55-5¾), both PRs; and Lynden’s Aaron Weidenaar in the high jump (6-4).
LOCAL GIRLS WIN
Sehome junior Mary Carbee doubled in the shot (40-4) and discus (134-3), both PR marks.
“A whole lot of work,“ Carbee said with a wide smile, explaining how she improved so much this season.
Lynden senior Jasmyne Neria, the state runner-up in the 400 last year, put on a dazzling power running show to win in a PR of 58.39.
Bellingham sophomore Annika Reiss displayed an impressive last-lap kick to take the 3200 in a PR of 10:50.59. She also established a PR while finishing second in the 1600 in 4:57.11 in the only running final in the preliminaries Wednesday.
Potential-laden Bellingham sophomore Carmen Souza qualified for state with personal records of 12.72 in a second-place 100 and 45.76 in a third-place 300 hurdles.
OTHERS TO STATE
The top three finishers qualified for state. There also may be others who will qualify by time or mark, which is possible only in district competition.
Other boys who qualified: 100 -- 3. Anthony Baird (Lynden) 11.20; 200 -- Mouw (Blaine) 22.66; 800 -- Tate Hutchins (Lynden) 1:57.2; 3. Bryce Johnson (Sehome) 1:57.39. 110 HH -- 3. Nathan Doering (Lynden) 16.22; 300 H -- 3. Allain (Bellingham) 41.84; 4x100 relay -- 2. Sehome (Melloy Nelson, Matthew Fisher, Connor McGovern, Dylan Roberts) 43.86; 3. Lynden (Gabe French, Ean Price, Justin Oberstadt, Baird) 43.87; 4x400 relay -- 3. Lynden (Price, Hutchins, Weidenaar, Jacob Herringa) 3:28.36.
High jump -- 2. Iyan Manju (Bellingham); Long jump -- 2. Manju (Bellingham) 21-2 and Awan Riak (Lynden) 21-2; Pole vault -- Jesse Selch (Sehome) 13-9; 3. Josiah Lyons (Lynden) 13-9; Shot put -- 2. Malquist (Sehome) 53-11; 3. Tanner Steele (Lynden) 52-91/4; Discus -- Ruffatto (Sehome) 157-10; Javelin -- 2. Nicholas Oesterling 176-9.
Other girls who qualified: 100 -- 2. Carmen Souza (Bellingham) 12.72; 800 -- 3. Abby Johnson (Sehome); 1600 -- 2. Reiss (Bellingham) 4:57.11; 3. Johnson (Sehome) 5:01.40; 300 H -- Souza (Bellingham) 45.76; 4x200 relay -- 3. Lynden (Savonne Sterk, Sierra Smith, Lauri Kingma, Neria); 4x100 relay -- 2. Sehome (Zoe Dietrich, Hannah Moore, Zola Carbone, Eva Airoldi).
Triple jump -- 2. Jaden Stevenson (Bellingham) 33-10½; Shot put -- Maharani Prasad (Blaine) 35-6¼; Javelin -- 2. Josie Deming (Blaine) 116-9, 3. Sierra Birade (Bellingham) 114-8; Pole vault -- 2. Madeline Domico (Bellingham) 11-0; 3. (tie) Chloe Roth (Bellingham), Blakely Bornstein (Sehome), Skylar Walston (Sehome) 10-6.
BOYS’ BIG DAY
“I think I can do better,” said Bellingham’s personable Allain, who ironically recalled being cut from the sixth-grade track team in Florida, not long before he moved to Bellingham. “I just need to get smoother (over the hurdles). Last year I was 10th at state in the 110s, so my goal is second (behind a runner who is about a full second better).”
Sehome weight men Malquist and Ruffatto were thrilled to be taking personal bests to state.
“I’ve been looking for that (discus throw) all season,” said Malquist, who beat his best by more than 10 feet.”
“I was hoping for 56 feet, but I’ll take the 55,” Ruffatto said. “But I think 56 feet is possible for me.”