Lynden Christian’s girls’ track and field team won the state title in the Class 1A State Championships Saturday, May 30, at Eastern Washington University.
As a team, Lynden Christian scored 51 points. The Lyncs 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams both won a state title. The 4x100 team consisting of Brianna Bruneau, Madison Weg, Brandy Bruneau and Hannah Rusnak ran a winning time of 49.07 seconds.
“Those girls really stepped up today. We had amazing performances,” Lynden Christian coach Kent De Hoog said in a phone interview. “All those races we knew we were in the running for the title. It’s another thing to actually do it, it’s not that easy.”
The winning time of 49.07 is a new 1A meet record. The old record was 49.58, set by Chewelah High School in 2008.
The 4x400 relay team consisting of Madison Hallberg, Weg, Brianna and Brandy ran a winning time of 4:03.45.
“I was nervous yesterday at prelims. Everyone was running very fast,” Madison Weg said in a phone interview. “A lot of us finished in the 4:09-4:07 range. There was a lot of good competition.”
Rusnak also won the state title in the 100 hurdles (14.71) and placed third in the 100 (12.90). But the team state title surprised her the most.
“I was shocked and I’m proud of my team,” Rusnak said in a phone interview. “That’s a huge accomplishment and I love every single one of them.”
During the regular season, De Hoog said the Lyncs didn’t have any wins in the win column, pointing out how well the team performed Saturday.
“There was elation everywhere,” he said. “All the girls did their part and we’re just thrilled.”
Lynden Christian has been in the running for a state title in recent years, placing third last season and fifth the year before, showing all the hard work put in by the team.
“We’re not used to it (winning). We had a run here the last three years, on the girls side especially,” De Hoog said. “They have changed the dynamic of the track team and we don’t take that for granted.”
Meridian’s girls’ 4x200 relay team consisting of Payton Lunde, Katelyne Zucati, Emily Brackinreed and Janessa Murphy won the state title with a winning time of 1:45.95.
“That was thrilling,” Meridian coach Patrick Ames said in a phone interview. “Especially because that was the race we tried hard to win last year.”
Nick Miller also won a state title for Meridian in the 400, an event he was favored in, with a time of 50.04.
“Nick was disappointed in his time. It wasn’t a PR,” Ames said. “But at the end of the day, you go out and win the races you can.”
Marcus McGuinn placed third in the 110 hurdles on a time of 15.68 for the Trojans and fourth in the 300 hurdles (40.97). Collin Magnusson finished the 3,200 in third place on a time of 9:53.23.
After this season, Meridian will lose Miller and Magnusson to graduation, along with Murphy on the girls’ side.
“Those boys have been rocks on our team. They work so hard together and we’re really going to miss them,” Ames said. “You can’t say enough about Murphy either.”
Mount Baker’s Jesse Phan placed fourth in the 800 on a time of 1:56.61 and Katherine Dunford placed third in the pole vault on a mark of 11-00.
“Jesse is a little dissapointed,” Mount Baker coach Tyler Mitchell said in a phone interview. “He started off as a sprinter and has still had a great high school career.”
Dunford’s third-place mark is a new Mount Baker school record, beating her old school record of 10-6.
Natalie Smith also won the 800 state title on a time of 2:16.81, passing the leader on the final straightaway.