High School Sports

She loves everything about running, and she’s a coach’s dream to work with

Bellingham’s Annika Reiss runs to a first-place finish at the Northwest Conference Cross Country Championships on Oct. 20 at Civic Stadium in Bellingham.
Bellingham’s Annika Reiss runs to a first-place finish at the Northwest Conference Cross Country Championships on Oct. 20 at Civic Stadium in Bellingham. eabell@bhamherald.com

It doesn’t take long speaking with Bellingham sophomore Annika Reiss to discover just how much she loves running.

And her love for the sport goes much deeper than just turning miles – it’s about every aspect of running.

Her favorite cross country meet of the year? Sloshing through the rain and mud at the Class 2A bi-district championships.

Her favorite part of the season? Getting to experience state with her teammates and best friends.

Her favorite part of competing? Being pushed by runners, such as Sehome’s Abby Johnson.

Reiss even likes practice, Bellingham coach Bill McClement says.

“Annika is really the best athlete to work with,” McClement said. “She’s so attentive and gives her best every workout. She wants to challenge herself. I think all of us at Bellingham, whether it be in athletics or in the classroom, she’s just such a pleasure to work with. She’s an outstanding student and a thoughtful and considerate student-athlete.”

For the second straight year, Reiss has been selected The Bellingham Herald’s All-Whatcom County Girls Cross County Runner of the Year.

“I’m really happy with my year,” Reiss said. “Abby Johnson pushed me hard in every race, and I got to run with teammates and best friends at state. The coaches pushed me hard throughout the year, and I think we had a good season.”

Reiss finished among the top six every time she toed the line this season.

She wrapped up her season by defending the Northwest Conference and 2A bi-district titles she won as a freshman before finishing fourth at the 2A State Championships in 18 minutes, 48.7 seconds.

“I’m most proud of my district race,” Reiss said. “Abby Johnson and I pushed each other the whole way. We picked up the pace, and it was super muddy, but we pushed the entire way. Then, when we got back to the track, I gave it everything I had and pulled ahead in the last 100 meters.”

But as good as Reiss felt about that, she said it was nothing compared to the elation of learning Bellingham finished third as a team to clinch a trip to state – something that was “on the edge coming in.”

“Everyone had their best race, and we made it,” Reiss said. “That was such an accomplishment, and it was great to share with my teammates.”

That was more important to her than any individual accomplishments.

“She’s just such a solid, thoughtful person to work with,” McClement said. “She’s got some really wonderful seasons ahead of her.”

All-Whatcom County Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year

2005: Bronwyn Crossman, Squalicum

2006: Bronwyn Crossman, Squalicum

2007: Bronwyn Crossman, Squalicum

2008: Annie Moore, Sehome

2009: Mimi Krieger, Sehome

2010: Brittany Gappa, Squalicum

2011: Emily Pittis, Sehome

2012: Emily Pittis, Sehome

2013: Emily Pittis, Sehome

2014: Emily Pittis, Sehome

2015: Annika Reiss, Bellingham

2016: Annika Reiss, Bellingham

2016 All-Whatcom County Girls Cross Country first team

Runner

School

Yr.

Edie Braimes

Bellingham

Jr.

Finished 59th at Class 2A State Championships with a time of 20:43.7. Also was 20th at the 2A bi-district meet in 20:46.6. Helped Bellingham place sixth at state.

Emma Clark

Sehome

Sr.

Finished 38th at Class 2A State Championships with a time of 20:15.4. Also was 17th at the 2A bi-district meet in 20:42.5 and 12th at the Northwest Conference Championships in 20:21. Helped Sehome place third at state.

Jada French

Bellingham

So.

Finished 56th at Class 2A State Championships with a time of 20:42.2. Also was 22nd at the 2A bi-district meet in 20:54.3 and 23rd at the Northwest Conference Championships in 20:37. Helped Bellingham place sixth at state.

Alyce Harlan

Nooksack Valley

Jr.

Finished 17th at Class 1A State Championships with a time of 19:41.2. Also was fifth at the 1A bi-district meet in 20:02.4 and fifth at the Northwest Conference Championships in 19:15. Helped Nooksack Valley finish 13th at state.

Abby Johnson

Sehome

Sr.

Placed second at Class 2A State Championships with a time of 18:42.7. Also was second at the 2A bi-district meet in 19:11.4 and second at the Northwest Conference Championships in 18:51. Helped Sehome place third at state.

Rosie Kirker

Sehome

Fr.

Finished 10th at Class 2A State Championships with a time of 19:16.7. Also was fourth at the 2A bi-district meet in 19:36.6 and sixth at the Northwest Conference Championships in 19:27. Helped Sehome place third at state.

Grace Much

Bellingham

So.

Finished 50th at Class 2A State Championships with a time of 20:28.2. Also was 16th at the 2A bi-district meet in 20:34.6 and 16th at the Northwest Conference Championships in 20:31. Helped Bellingham place sixth at state.

Grace Oswin

Squalicum

Jr.

Finished 102nd at Class 3A State Championships with a time of 20:33.8. Also was 25th at the 3A Northwest District meet in 20:44.1 and 17th at the Northwest Conference Championships in 20:32.

Kate Rose

Sehome

Sr.

Finished 30th at Class 2A State Championships with a time of 20:08.2. Also was 10th at the 2A bi-district meet in 20:16.5 and third at the Northwest Conference Championships in 19:08. Helped Sehome place third at state.

Ashlee VanDenTop

Meridian

Jr.

Finished 14th at Class 1A State Championships with a time of 19:29.6. Also was sixth at the 1A bi-district meet in 20:05.4 and eighth at the Northwest Conference Championships in 19:39. Helped Meridian place seventh at state.

  Comments