Here’s a breakdown of the selection process of The Bellingham Herald’s All-Whatcom County Female Athlete of the Year.
1. Chloe Gardner (Sr., Nooksack Valley): Gardner was, for the most part, the leading selection from the beginning of the process given her accolades over all three high school seasons. Making state in cross country was an added bonus, but it was her state championship in wrestling and her late-season surge for the Pioneers’ softball team that stood out. It showed her ability to perform at a high level. across three vastly different sports. That, and her coaches Tom Harmon (softball) and Chad Parson (wrestling) spoke to a work ethic unlike most they had seen.
2. Emily Yost (Jr., Mount Baker): Yost is a powerhouse basketball player and a standout softball player. She will likely be a top contender for the female athlete of the year next year, as well as contending for the softball and basketball player of the year honors. This past year she averaged a league-best 21.1 points per game for the Mountaineers in basketball, and she hit .484 with 32 RBI, seven doubles, three triples and two home runs for a team that finished second in the 1A classification. She’s also a strong setter for the Mountaineers’ volleyball team, making her a three-sport stud that has one more year to torment the Northwest Conference.
3. Madi Krussow (Sr., Squalicum): Krussow’s run at state swimming to finish second in diving, paired with her second-place finish in the pole vault in track, made her a top contender for the athlete of the year. Her mark of 12 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault was second only to her teammate Kristen Webber, albeit that height would likely beat most if not all competition in Washington state. She was also a very talented gymnast, showing her versatility through all three athletic seasons.
4. Alyssa Porter (Sr., Bellingham): Porter’s second state championship in the 100 meter made her an easy decision to be in the top five. That speed showed during the basketball season, as well, Porter being the most exciting player to watch on the fast break. And while she was a good basketball player, where she really shined was during the track and field season. Aside from her state championship in the 100, Porter also finished fourth in the 200 and was a member on the state-winning 4x100 relay team. Her speed alone made her a contender for the female athlete of the year award.
5. Emily Pittis (Jr., Sehome): Pittis, who was the female athlete of the year last year, had another strong year in both track and field and cross country. Her personal-best time (18 minutes, 12.64 seconds) and second-place finish at the 2A state cross country championships helped lead the Mariners to a team title, and she also medaled in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at the state track and field championships. She was a big key to two team state titles for Sehome’s strong running program.