The Lynden boys’ and girls’ track and field teams celebrated its Bedlington Twilight Invitational meet-concluding 4x400 meter relay wins by taking pictures under the lights at Rollie DeKoster Field while they awaited to hear final team scores
Scores, though, weren’t necessary to determine how the Lions fared. The audible clinking and clanking of the many medals hanging from Lynden’s athletes’ necks told the story.
The Lions girls’ relays had already won the 4x100 and 4x200 when the 4x400 came around, and the team of Jasmyne Neria, Hailey DiLorenzo, Lily Bogart and Cassidee Barclay earned a Lynden relay sweep and captured the girls’ team title in the process with 118.5 points during the annual Bedlington Twilight Invitational on Friday, March 27, at Lynden High School.
“There was a lot of fatigue before the 4x4,” said Neria, who earned four first-place medals with her 400-meter win and three relay titles. “Like, a lot of us were dreading it. It’s the last event and you’re tired, but I just told those girls they need to run their race and have fun. Having a chance to run in the Twilight and under those football lights is a great opportunity. It’s just awesome.”
Meridian finished in second with 115 points, Squalicum took third with 109.5, Ferndale was fourth with 92.5 and Lynden Christian rounded out the top five girls’ team scores with 86 points.
The Lynden boys collected its share of medals, too, settling for second place with the help of three first-place finishes from Bryce Sterk (shot put, 300 hurdles, 4x400 relay) and two titles from talented jumper Nick Faber (high jump, triple jump).
What made Sterk’s 300-hurdle finish of 42.77 seconds and shot put winning mark of 47 feet, 4 inches, was for the most part he was competing in those events for the first time this spring.
“Shot put, I haven’t quite reached my PR yet,” Sterk said, “but it’s early in the season, and I still got a long way to go. I haven’t really practiced it yet in practice. Three hundred hurdles, that was the first time I’ve ran them this year, so I was a bit nervous, but I’m feeling pretty good now that I ran them.”
Meridian took home the boys’ title with 156.5 points, Lynden recorded 153, Squalicum finished third with 97.5, Ferndale was fourth with 71 and Bellingham finished fifth with 59 points.
The Trojans received impressive performances from sprinter Nick Miller, who should be one to watch this season after training all winter, and distance runner Collin Magnusson.
Miller edged out Lynden’s Trent Postma in the 400, finishing in a time 50.60 seconds, which was .20 seconds off the the Trojans’ school record. Miller also finished second in both the 100 and 200 meters and ran a leg on the team’s sixth-place 4x100 relay.
Narrowly edging Postma, a state meet athlete, was a big confidence boost, said the Meridian senior.
“I just kicked real hard at the beginning, because I know I can kick at the end, because I have that power from working out over the winter,” Miller said. “I saw Lane 3 or 4 come up behind me and then I just saw him, kicked again and hauled it all the way.”
The Trojans received impressive performances throughout the girls’ team, but sophomore thrower Sydney Gospodinovich and senior Janessa Murphy made the most impact. Gospodinovich won the discus with a throw of 94-0 and added a javelin title with a toss of 104-10. Murphy won a long jump title with mark of 17-11.25, finished second in the 400 and took third in the 200.
Arguably the most impressive all-around girls’ performance went to Lynden Christian sophomore standout Hannah Rusnak, who won the 100 meters with a 12.94, won the 100 hurdles with a new Bedlington Twilight Invite record of 15.55, took second in the long jump with a mark of 17-08.50 and helped LC’s 4x100 relay team place second.
Another record taken down Friday came from the pole vaulting work of two-time state champion Kirsten Webber of Squalicum. The senior cleared 12-06, breaking the old record of 12-0 that Webber and former teammate Madi Krussow set last season.
Highlighting Mount Baker’s meet was Natalie Smith and Jesse Phan, who swept the 800-meter races. Ferndale’s Daniel Jones won the 200 with a time of 22.80, and girls’ teammate Emma Denessen won the triple jump with a mark of 33-03.
Bellingham’s Benjamin Doucette won the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.40 and added a title by helping the Red Raiders’ 4x100 team get a win, and shot putter Kiana Gray highlighted the Borderites’ meet by winning a title with a put of 29-11.
Bedlington Twilight Invitational
At Lynden High School
Team Scores: Meridian 156.5, Lynden 153, Squalicum 97.5, Ferndale 71, Bellingham 59, Blaine 44, Lynden Christian 44, North Mason 32, Mount Baker 29, Grace Academy 10, Friday Harbor 4.
100: Josiah Westbrook (Squalicum) 11.49; 200: Daniel Jones (Ferndale) 22.80; 400: Nick Miller (Meridian) 50.60; 800: Jesse Phan (Mount Baker) 2:01.38; 1,600: Collin Magnusson (Meridian) 4:33.88; 3,200: Roberto Aguilera (Ferndale) 9:48.55; 110 hurdles: Benjamin Doucette (Bellingham) 15.40; 300 hurdles: Bryce Sterk (Lynden) 42.47; 4x100: Bellingham (Cole Allain, Benjamin Doucette, Isaiah White, Tanner Aliff) 44:19; 4x400: Lynden (Jordan Thompson, Bryce Sterk, Clark Hazlett, Trent Postma) 3:32:10; Shot put: Bryce Sterk (Lynden) 47-04; Discus: Jon Fakkema (Blaine) 133-07; Javelin: Anatoliy Balko (Ferndale) 148-08; High jump: Nick Faber (Lynden) 6-02; Pole vault: Sam Tanner (Meridian) 13-00; Long jump: Joshua Vail (Squalicum) 20-04.75; Triple jump: Nick Faber (Lynden) 42-03.25.
Bedlington Twilight Invitational
At Lynden High School
Team Scores: Lynden 118.5, Meridian 115, Squalicum 109.5, Ferndale 92.5, Lynden Christian 86, Blaine 76, Bellingham 64, North Mason 34.5, Mount Baker 28, Friday Harbor 5, Grace Academy 4.
100: Hannah Rusnak (Lynden Christian) 12.94; 200: Tegan Daviscourt (North Mason) 26.07; 400: Jasmyne Neria (Lynden) 1:00.12; 800: Natalie Smith (Mount Baker) 2:22.95; 1,600: Alexa Shindruk (Lynden) 5:30.57; 3,200: Alexa Shindruk (Lynden) 11:51.64; 100 hurdles: Hannah Rusnak (Lynden Christian) 15.55; 300 hurdles: Annie Waddell (Bellingham) 50.50; 4x100: Lynden (Lauren Zwires, Jasmyne Neria, Hailey DiLorenzo, Cassidee Barclay) 51:55; 4x200: Lynden (Lauren Zwiers, Jasmyne Neria, Lily Bogart, Cassidee Barclay) 1:48:55; 4x400: Lynden (Hailey DiLorenzo, Jasmyne Neria, Lily Bogart, Lauren Zwires) 4:15:77; Shot put: Kiana Gray (Blaine) 29-11; Discus: Sydney Gospodinovich (Meridian) 94-00; Javelin: Sydney Gospodinovich (Meridian) 104-10; High jump: Taylor V’Dovec (Blaine) 5-02; Pole vault: Kirsten Webber (Squalicum) 12-06; Long jump: Janessa Murphy (Meridian) 17-11.25; Triple jump: Emma Denessen (Ferndale) 33-03.