Given the track and field talent existing throughout Whatcom County, this spring is sure to produce some state champions. Following some head-to-head meets Thursday, May 7, the postseason will get underway next weekend.
Here is a look at some of the top athletes who own top-10 times/marks not only in Class 2A, but in the entire state:
Benjamin Doucette, Bellingham
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110 Hurdles (No. 6 in state, 14.34)
After taking nearly a three-week hiatus from the 100-meter hurdles in the middle of the season, Doucette engineered a major breakthrough during a head-to-head meet with Mount Baker and Sedro-Woolley on April 16. He ran the 110 hurdles in 14.62 seconds, beating his old record of 14.95 that he ran for a third-place Class 2A state finish last spring.
Then two days later, April 18 at the Pasco Invitational, the junior pushed his PR to 14.36, a time that ranks sixth best in the state in any classification. He owns the top 2A state time in the event, with a .02 second edge over West Valley-Spokane’s Mac Baxter, making the Red Raiders hurdler a favorite to bring home a state title this spring.
Jakob Chamberlin, Bellingham
Discus (No. 9 in state, 161-2)
Chamberlin was absent from last season’s state meet, but he seems to be dead-set on etching his name on the state roster this spring. He’s performed well in the shot put and javelin, but his best opportunity to place high should in the discus. The Bellingham junior thrower has shown a high level of consistency all season long, but his best throw came during the Northwest Conference Championships on April 24, when he unleashed a personal-best of 161 feet, 2 inches. The mark stands as the ninth best in the state in any classification.
The throw also gave him the top mark in Class 2A and his best javelin throw, a 166-2 thrown early in the season at the Birger Solberg Invite, ranks him sixth among the best javelin throwers in Class 2A. Look for Chamberlin to be a fixture at state.
Lynden 4x400 relay team
Jordan Thompson, Bryce Sterk, Ean Price, Trent Postma
4x400 relay (No. 9 in state, 3:26.04)
The Lions have made a name for themselves at state for being tremendous in the 4x400 relay, and last year was no different when the group finished third in Class 2A with a time of 3 minutes, 26.11 seconds. Postma, Thompson and Sterk return from last year’s team, and they, along with newcomer Ean Price, have surpassed that state time by running a 3:26.04 during the Keith Jewett Invitational last week on May 2. The time stands as the ninth fastest 4x4 relay in the state and the second fastest in Class 2A.
Roberto Aguilera, Ferndale
3,200 meters (No. 10 in state, 9:10.66)
Through hard work and dedication the Golden Eagles junior distance runner has established himself as the county’s top distance man and has seen some unbelievable time drops in both the 1,600 and 3,200. Aguilera barley missed out on a Class 3A state berth last spring, but he’ll surely be at the state meet this year. Five times Aguilera has improved his top season time in 3,200. His latest time drop was a big one, running a 9-minute, 10.66-second 2 mile during the Shoreline Invitational on May 2. The time was the 10th best in the state in any classification. The time stands as the sixth best performance in Class 3A.
Aguilera has been just as impressive in the 1,600. He’s had four season PRs in the event this season, and his best was a 4:18.50 during the Northwest Conference Championships on April 24. The time stands as the eighth best in Class 3A. Aguilera would have to do something truly special to win a state title in either event, but he certainly should a contender for a top-five podium spot.
Drew Norvell, Sehome
Shot put (No. 6 in state, 55-9.75)
Norvell is one massive piece to what is arguably the deepest throwing crew in Class 2A and maybe in the entire state. Norvell left last year’s state meet with a third-place finish in the shot put and a seventh-place finish in discus. This spring he’s got to be thinking state title. Norvell has had season PRs four times in the shot and his latest effort, a put of 55 feet, 9.75 inches, landed him in the No. 6 spot in the state in any classification. It stands as the top mark in Class 2A.
Norvell has also performed well in the discus, although his season best throw of 147-7 isn’t as strong as his PR, which occurred last season. Look for Norvell, who’s heading to Washington State University next fall to play football as a preferred walk-on, to end his Mariners career with a shot put state title.
Olivia Adams, Blaine
Pole vault (No. 9 in state, 11-9)
Adams’ success in the pole vault has been well documented. She’s claimed the Class 1A state title each of the past two seasons, but the task of winning three straight got a lot harder when the Borderites jumped to 2A competition this year. Still, Adams could be in the mix and has already matched her personal record, clearing 11 feet, 9 inches early in the spring season. The height ranks ninth in the state in any classification.
Arguably Adams’ biggest obstacle in her quest to win three straight pole vault titles will be fellow county pole vaulter, Squalicum Kirsten Webber, who has won two Class 2A state titles during her career.
Hannah Rusnak, Lynden Christian
100 hurdles (No. 9 in state, 15:04); Long jump (No. 4 in state, 18-5.25)
With Sehome’s Emily Pittis graduating at the end of this spring, Rusnak becomes the next standout Whatcom County girls’ track and field athlete. It’s been simply amazing what she’s been able to do in less than two seasons. She won a state title in the 100 hurdles and placed second in the long jump and 4x100 relay as a freshman last year. She seems poised this spring to bring home more hardware. She ran a personal best in the 100 hurdles of 15.04 seconds during the LC Invite on April 14. Her time is the ninth best in the state in any classification.
Surprisingly, her very first time competing in the long jump this year spawned her greatest mark of the season, an 18-foot, 5.25-inch jump in a head-to-head meet back on March 19. That jump stands as the fourth best mark in the state in any classification and the best in Class 1A. She owns the fifth best 100 meter time (12.66) in 1A, the top 100 hurdle time (15.04) and is on LC’s 4x100 relay team that owns the best relay time (50.50) in 1A.
Madison Weg, Lynden Christian
High Jump (No. 7 in state, 5-5)
Weg’s volleyball success in well-known and her leaping ability has translated nicely to track and field. She placed eighth in the event at state last season and also contributed in the relays. Weg actually posted her personal best her sophomore season, clearing a height of 5 feet, 6 inches, but she cleared 5-5 back on April 18, giving her the seventh best mark in the state in any classification. The height stands as the third best in Class 1A, and with first and second place leading her by only 1 inch, Weg should contend for a state championship this spring.
Janessa Murphy, Meridian
Long jump (No. 7 in state, 17-11.75)
Murphy has to be one of the best all-round girls’ athletes in Whatcom County, and she’s certainly showing why this spring. She has excelled in the 200, 400, relays and has even given the 300 hurdles a try recently. But her best event is the long jump. She finished third in state last spring with a jump of 17 feet, 7.25 inches. Well, she’s broken that mark and did so by winning the Eason Invitational back on April 18 with a distance of 17-11.75. The mark stands as the seventh best in the state in any classification and second in Class 1A.
Murphy also owns the ninth best 200 meter time (26.48) in Class 1A, third best time in the 400 (59.33) and has top-10 Class 1A times in Meridian’s 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relays. Murphy has a great chance to bring home a state title this spring, adding to the 4x4 title her Trojans won last spring.
Emily Pittis, Sehome
1,600 meters (No. 10 in state, 5:04.52); 3,200 meters (No. 6 in state, 10:51.00)
Pittis has been remarkable her entire career. As a two-time state champion in the 3,200 and state champion in the 1,600, it should be exciting to see what the Sehome standout will do for her final act running for the Mariners. Her latest impressive performance came during a head-to-head meet on April 15 when she ran a personal best time of 10 minutes, 51 seconds in the 3,200. Her time stands as the sixth best in the state in any classification. It’s the best time in Class 2A.
Pittis’ top 1,600 meter time, a 5:04.52 ran on April 18 during the Eason Invitational, ranks her 10th in the state in any classification and is the top Class 2A time. Pittis also owns the seventh best 800 meter time (2:22.90) in Class 2A. There’s no reason to think the Sehome senior couldn’t end her final state meet with a pair of gold medals.
Kirsten Webber, Squalicum
Pole vault (No. 3 in state, 13-0)
Webber was 3 inches away her sophomore year from being able to go for back-to-back-to-back-to-back state titles in the pole vault this spring. She won her freshman season, placed second as a sophomore and took home a first-place medal last spring with a vault of 13 feet. The Trinity Western signee has her sites set on winning her third state championship, and she’s well on her way. Although Webber has a outdoor track and field PR of 13-01, she cleared a season-best height of 13-0 during the Northwest Conference Championships on April 24. The height tied her for the third best vault in the state in any classification.
A third 2A state title won’t come easy for Webber, though. Abby Weiler of R.A. Long has a personal best this season of 13-6. The matchup should be a fun one to watch come the state meet.