That Squalicum girls’ soccer team sure had a lot of speed last fall. And Kirsten Webber, she runs pretty good for a state champion pole vaulter.
The Storm girls 4x100 relay squad — a team made up of three soccer players and the state meet record-setting pole vaulter — proved that good athletes are good athletes, no matter what event they’re competing in by winning the Class 2A state title in the event on Saturday, May 30, at Mount Tahoma High School.
“All of us, soccer or pole vault is our main thing,” said Julia DeVere, who joined soccer teammates Jessica DeVere and Kim Hazlett along with Webber atop the podium. “This is something we just do to stay in shape, and it’s something, I guess, we’re pretty good at. It’s really fun.”
Of course it’s always a lot more fun when you turn in a winning time of 49.13 seconds, ending friendly rival Bellingham’s hopes of winning a fourth-straight title in the event by just 11 hundredths of a second.
The two city schools were matched right beside each other, allowing them to keep a close eye on what the other was doing.
“My legs were really loose, and I was just feeling it,” Squalicum leadoff runner Jessica DeVere said. “I knew I had to get off to a really good start, because I couldn’t let Bellingham catch me.”
She managed to at least maintain the stagger over Bellingham and start making up some ground on the teams in the outside lanes before handing off to Webber, who was anxious for her opportunity to show what she could do with her feet on the ground.
“Yesterday I ran the fastest I think I’ve ever ran,” Webber said. “We had a really good time, so I was super psyched. My main goal was to just keep the stagger. Our first girl is really good at beating it. I just had to keep it and get it to the next girl, and it was wonderful.”
The Red Raiders and Storm appeared to be neck and neck heading around the far corner, and Julia DeVere used knowledge she picked up a day earlier to run a strong leg, as she battled with Whatcom Rangers soccer teammate and close friend Hattie North.
“Yesterday there was a head wind, and the wind was the same today, so I knew I was going to be running into it,” Julia DeVere said. “So I really focused on keeping my head down and driving into it. Hazlett leaves her marks super fast, so I always have to focus on pushing it really hard to the end.”
Hazlett had to leave her marks quickly, as she knew she had a few steps to make up down the front stretch to earn Squalicum the title.
“Just a little bit,” Halett said of the distance she trailed. “I think the whole team ran really well, and we PRed by a half second. Bellingham has been pushing us all season. They’ve beat us and have been really pushing us. We were able to run faster at state, which was good.”