It’s clear the Sehome boys’ throwers are a tight-knit group.
After a strong showing in the shot put at the Class 2A, 3A, 4A State Championships on Friday, May 29, at Mount Tahoma High School, Drew Norvell, Tyler Haggen and Austin Rosas huddled together with a Sehome coach for several minutes in what appeared to be an emotional meeting.
Their time as a fearsome trio is coming to an end, and Friday’s shot put couldn’t have been a better send-off.
“We have a really strong bond,” Norvell said. “We’ve been throwing together and playing football together since freshman year. We’ve been lifting and working out; we’ve done everything together for four years.”
That work and relationship came together in the form of a 1-2 finish in the Class 2A shot put. Norvell took home the state title with a put of 59 feet, 10 inches and Haggen finished second, putting 53-04.5. Rosas didn’t make finals, as he finished 10th.
“It’s really fun. It gives us an advantage,” Haggen said of the throwers’ relationship. “We practice all the time and compete in practice. We’re used to competing with each other and it’s fun.”
The Sehome boys are in fourth after day two. Blaine’s Jon Fakkema finished in eighth in the shot put as well.
On the girls’ side, Chanelle Eddy also picked up points in the shot put, helping her team to a first-place ranking on the girls’ side after the first two days.
Eddy’s day didn’t start the way she wanted, as she scratched on her first attempt. A 38-foot put two tries later was enough to get her into the finals and calm the senior down. She threw a 40-06 to earn second place. Blaine’s Elle Moore finished seventh.
“I feel like I’m supposed to go to practice to do shot put tomorrow,” Eddy said. “It doesn’t feel like it’s over.”
Eddy wasn’t the only one to help the Sehome girls to the lead after two days.
Meleri Cummins in the triple jump earned an eighth-place finish and Bridget Henry took fourth in the high jump.
Henry, as another senior, was just hoping to improve on her eighth place from last year, so she’s content with taking fourth, as she cleared 5 feet, 3 inches.
“It feels good,” Henry said. “It feels amazing to place this high and get some points for my team. It’s a good way to go out.”
Just surpassing Henry in the high jump was Blaine’s Taylor V’Dovec, whose mark of 5-04 was good enough for third.
While plenty of Whatcom County athletes proved their worth at state, few were more impressive than Squalicum’s Kirsten Webber, who set the Class 2A meet record in the pole vault, clearing 13 feet, 3 inches. She bested her own mark of 13-0 that she set last year. Squalicum’s girls are in ninth as a team.
Along with Webber, Blaine’s Olivia Adams showed well in the vault, finishing with a mark of 11-09, just three inches below her personal best, and good for fourth.
Finishing off the day for Whatcom County girls was Bellingham’s Annie Waddell, whose fourth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles helped her team to a third-place standing.
“I felt like I had a really good race. I came out pretty strong and finished pretty strong,” Waddell said. “I wasn’t sure how I was going to finish. I just knew I was going to go out and run my best. I’m happy with fourth.”
Alongside Waddell in picking up points for the Red Raiders was Chloe Roth’s eighth-place finish in the pole vault.
On the boys’ side for the Red Raiders, the star was Benjamin Doucette, who offered one of the more exciting finishes of the day. In the 110-meter hurdles, Doucette started just a few paces off the leader before gaining ground at the end.
Doucette came crashing across the finish line, literally, for second place. The junior finished just .02 seconds behind the leader, as he stumbled and fell at the finish. The Bellingham boys are in 16th place as a team, with Jakob Chamberlin adding a fifth-place finish in the javelin.
For the 3A level, it was Ben Broselle as the only Golden Eagle competing in finals Friday. He finished fifth in the javelin after recovering from some poor early throws.
Broselle admitted the nerves got to him a bit at state and his coach had to settle the sophomore down. From there, it was all success.
“Coach just told me to calm down,” Broselle said. “Hopefully next year I can do even better.”
The final day of the state championships begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 30.