Even with Sehome sitting two of its top runners, the Mariners still engineered a dominating performance during the Class 2A District 1 Championship Meet.
All seven of the Mariners’ runners placed 21st or higher, and senior standout Emily Pittis claimed a district title, as Sehome tallied 40 points to earn a team championship during a muddy run Saturday, Nov. 1, at South Whidbey High School in Langley.
“Our goal was to run a nice, smart, conservative race,” Sehome coach Kevin Ryan said in a phone interview, “make sure we qualified but don’t run our state race. Our girls did a good job of that.”
Pittis hung back the majority of her run before taking over the final 500 meters for a 9-second win. She finished in a time of 19 minutes, 11.38 seconds, edging Sedro-Woolley’s Kristen Garcia.
“She ran a really mature race,” said Ryan of Pittis.
Sehome teammate Abby Johnson took fourth (19:58.99), Maya Smith was sixth (20:00.24), Jessa Clark placed 15th (20:34.52), Tatiana Langley was 18th (20:42.93) and Kate Rose finished 21st (21:02.83).
Runner-up to Sehome was Bellingham, which also put together a strong performance.
Bellingham recorded 63 points and had all seven of its runners place within the top 26.
“I was very impressed with how the girls ran, because it’s never easy to make state,” Red Raiders coach Bill McClement said in a phone interview. “They had to deal with the pressures that go into it and stay healthy, so they were able to sort of successfully deal with all the obstacles that are usually there.”
Leading Bellingham was top senior runner Leah Veldhuisen, who placed fifth overall with a 19:59.43.
Behind Veldhuisen was freshman Quincy Gale in ninth (20:17.33), Madeline Prentiss in 14th (20:29.63), Abby Walker took 17th (20:40.48), Julia Latimer placed 22nd (21:08.42), Lizzie Hanks was 25th (21:13.19) and Zoe Thompson was one spot behind in 26th (21:13.90).
“We ran really well,” Veldhuisen said in a phone interview. “We were happy with the team score. It was our goal to get through to state, and the team ran good.”
Beyond both the Bellingham and Sehome teams qualifying for state, Squalicum freshman Grace Oswin and Blaine’s Hillary Kiele snared automatic individual state berths by placing within the race’s top 15.
Oswin took ninth place with her run of 20:23.11, and Kiele, who had three times previously been denied a state berth at districts, finished in 12th place with a time of 20:26.44.
CLASS 2A NORTHWEST DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIPS
At South Whidbey