It’s been Bridget Henry’s dream to anchor a winning state relay team. She got the chance to do that Saturday and she did it convincingly in Sehome’s winning 4x400 relay.
“I knew I had it when I got to the corner and there was nobody,” Henry said. “I knew when I could hear all the parents screaming at the 50. I knew when I crossed the line that nobody had passed me.”
Henry shot off like a cannon in the fourth leg, topping familiar opponents Bellingham and Lynden by 3 seconds.
It came as no surprise to her teammates that Henry finished the final leg like a rocket, because that’s what she does.
“The baton pass was a success and Bridget is just a successful person,” third leg runner Katrina Dank said.
Amid all the joking around after the race between the four, who have been racing the 4x400 for two straight years together, there was triumph.
A relay team trying to make up for a fifth-place finish last year, an anchor making up for a fourth-place finish in the high jump, two seniors trying to end their career on a high note all were champions Saturday.
It started with Dana Ringler’s opening leg, where she got out to a lead.
“This entire season I’ve been working on eating up the stagger and I did that,” Ringler said.
Elsa Sandeno took over next and extended that lead to a few strides, combating her tendency to have too high a pace too early.
“What I’ve done in the past is go out too fast and tire on the backstretch so today I was being really careful to get out fast in the first 40 and then just maintain to save some for the backstretch,” Sandeno said. “It felt great. That hasn’t happened in awhile.”
Dank was handed the baton next and held off Bellingham for the lead at the end of her leg, giving Henry plenty to work with.
“I’ve run with the leg three girls quite a bit and I knew who they were,” Dank said. “I’m used to chasing so it’s a little different situation to be in first.”
Henry closed from there and there wasn’t any strategy on the senior’s part other than to just run.
“I tried to relax and not go too fast but I couldn’t do it. I was way too excited,” Henry said. “I’m a senior and this is my last race. I was like ‘Don’t get beaten. You will push everything.’ I didn’t win the other races. I didn’t win the high jump. I wanted to win this.”
The culmination of years of hard work made the scene a spectacular one as the girls embraced after Henry crossed the line.
“All the puking after running, it was all worth it,” Dank said. “I don’t like puking for nothing.”
Now a state title? That’s worth it.