For the first time since 2005, the Sehome girls cross country team did not place in the top two at the state championships.
But don’t feel too badly for the Mariners. They certainly don’t.
“We’ve got a heavy legacy, and it weighs on us a little during the season,” Sehome senior Abby Johnson said. “None of us feel like we failed. We raced as hard as we could and worked as hard as we could this season, and we’re proud of how we finished today.”
Sehome placed third Saturday in Pasco – 11 points behind champion Selah and two behind second-place Liberty – to win its 11th consecutive team trophy.
The Mariners got a heck of a run out of Johnson, who finished second in 18 minutes, 42.8 seconds, 1.5 seconds behind Pullman’s Elyria Kabasenche.
“It was an amazing race by Abby,” Sehome coach Kevin Ryan said. “She did everything perfect. She made her move going up the hill to take the lead, but the girl ended up coming back to catch her coming down to the finish. She did everything perfect. Sometimes, you just have to tip your hat to the other runner.”
Johnson said her planning going into Saturday’s race was to go out conservatively and watch people in front of her drop off when they weren’t able to keep the pace during the latter stages of the race.
“I was surprised to see so many drop off,” she said. “It made it a little more exciting. It was a lot more crowded.”
With about 800 meters to go, Johnson said she made her move, but Kabasenche went with her, and the two “battled back and forth the whole way.”
“It’s definitely a really emotional day, because of all the time I’ve spent with this team and this sport,” Johnson said. “To see us race so well and see the boys team just destroy it, it’s emotional all the way around. I’m just so happy about how well everyone did.”
Bellingham’s Reiss places fourth
Annika Reiss of Bellingham placed fourth with a time of 18:48.7 after a crazy last mile.
Reiss was in third and running with the lead pack when the two girls in front of her bolted for the finish line. Reiss said everyone turned it on after that but it was difficult to see because the course was covered with fog.
Coach Bill McClement said he advised Reiss to do most of her work in the middle of the race so she would be in a good position for the kick at the end.
Grace Much of Bellingham was the closest teammate to Reiss with her 20:28.3, good for 50th. Jada French (56) and Edie Braimes (59) finished within two seconds of each other.
Rounding out Bellingham’s runners were Lizzie Hanks (68), Madeline Prentiss (76) and Claire Campbell (91).
Bellingham placed sixth as a team.
Someone to watch
Sehome freshman Rosie Kirker joined Johnson in the top 10 and showed she might be a force within the next couple of years. She ran 19:16.7.
Seniors Kate Rose (30th) and Emma Clark (38th) also finished among the top 40.
Class 2A girls state results
Class 3A girls