High School Sports

All-Whatcom County Girls’ Athletes of the Year

Lynden Christian's Kara Bajema spikes the ball against King's during the 1A Northwest District Volleyball Tournament at Lynden Christian High School on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 in Lynden, Wash. The Lyncs advanced to the championship round of the tournament with their victory.
Lynden Christian's Kara Bajema spikes the ball against King's during the 1A Northwest District Volleyball Tournament at Lynden Christian High School on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 in Lynden, Wash. The Lyncs advanced to the championship round of the tournament with their victory. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

NATALIE SMITH

School: Mount Baker

Year: Junior

Cross country: For first year in cross country had a mighty impressive showing. ... Made the state tournament after a 14th-place finish at the Northwest Conference Championships when she ran a personal-best time of 19 minutes, 51 seconds over 5 kilometers. ... Followed it up with a 13th place at the district race before finishing in 88th at state, when she ran almost a minute-and-a-half slower than her personal-record time.

Wrestling: Finished the season 38-4. ... Won first three matches at Mat Classic XXVII by way of pin or injury default, leading her to the 120-pound championship match. ... Lost to now three-time state champion Puyallup’s Jordyn Bartelson by a score of 5-3. ... Won regional and sub-regional titles with pins over Nooksack Valley’s Emma Bruntil. ... Helped her team to a second-place team finish at state, just half a point shy of state champion Grandview.

Track and field: No question had the best race of her career during the Class 1A State Championships’ 800 meter run, winning a state title with a personal best time of 2 minutes, 16.81 seconds. ... Set a PR by 1.28 seconds. ... Improved more than 11 seconds from last year’s PR. ... Won 1A Bi-District title in 800. ... Helped Mount Baker place 17th at state with 16 points.

FIRST TEAM

KARA BAJEMA

School: Lynden Christian

Year: Junior

Volleyball: Powerful hitter for the Class 1A state champion Lyncs. ... Recorded a whopping 435 kills — an average of 4.7 per set. ... While she’s known for her powerful strikes, her hitting percentage was .315, and she’s better on defense than she gets credit for. ... Had 233 digs, averaging 2.5 per set, and had 50 blocks. ... First team all-NWC selection.

Basketball: Scored a team-high 15.5 points per game, including a season-high 31 points in the final game of the season against Granger. ... Only scored in single figures five times is 25 games. ... Led the Lyncs to a 22-5 record, a Northwest Conference title and a fourth-place finish at the Class 1A State Tournament. ... An extremely long and athletic defender who causes opponents havoc and can get out in transition. ... All-NWC first-team selection.

KIM DORR

School: Squalicum

Year: Junior

Soccer: Scored 20 goals, which ranked fifth in the Northwest Conference. ... Biggest goal came in the championship game, when she netted the game-winner with just six minutes left in regulation. ... Also added seven assists for a team that led the NWC with 95 goals. ... Selected first team All-NWC.

Tennis: Made a tremendous postseason run with twin sister Rachel Dorr to claim the Class 2A State Tournament doubles title with a three-set win over Sehome pairing Taylor Harris and Simone Hall. ... Earned three-set wins in three of four state matches. Lost only two matches all year, one in the sub-district final and one in the district tournament final. ... First-team All-Northwest Conference selection.

KIM HAZLETT

School: Squalicum

Year: Junior

Soccer: Scored 27 goals, which ranked second in the Northwest Conference. ... Added five assists. ... Scored multiple goals in eight games, including a hat trick in Squalicum’s 5-0 win over Olympic in the opening round of state. ... Scored a goal in every state tournament game, including the game-tying goal in the championship. ... Selected first team All-NWC.

Track and field: Took sophomore year off from track and field but picked up right where she left off. ... Proved to be one of the fastest sprinters in the league and state, placing fifth in the 200 at the Class 2A State Championships with a time of 26.08 seconds. ... Won a state title running a leg on the Storm’s 4x100 relay team (49.13). ... Helped Squalicum finish 10th at state with 24 points.

EMILY PITTIS

School: Sehome

Year: Senior

Cross country: Won her third Class 2A state title with a season-best run of 18 minutes, 18.20 seconds. ... Won a 2A district title in a time of 19:11.38. ... Won a Northwest Conference title with a run of 18:23. ... Guided the Mariners to a 2A state team championship with 50 points. ... Selected all-NWC Runner of the Year.

Track and field: Finished an outstanding career with another state title. ... Amongst Whatcom County’s most decorated distance running athletes. ... Won a title at the Class 2A State Championships in the 3,200 meter s(10 minutes, 57.09 seconds). ... Had PR of 10:51.00. ... Finished second in the 1,600 at state, finishing in 5:03.42. ... Helped Sehome place second in state with 55 points.

EMILY YOST

School: Mount Baker

Year: Senior

Volleyball: Was one of two team captains for new coach Paige Huttula and was one of the Mountaineers’ top players. ... Helped Baker to a 4-12 overall record and a 4-8 Northwest Conference record. ... Was a setter for a team that had a ton of height that included the 5-foot-10 senior.

Basketball: Led the Northwest Conference with 20.42 points per game, including a school-record 46 points in a win over Oak Harbor. ... Topped 20 points in 14 of 24 games she played in and only scored in single figures three times. ... Helped the Mountaineers to a 14-12 record and to within one game of making the Class 1A State Tournament. ... Developed an outside shot to go with her inside game, making her one of the most dynamic players in the league. ... All-NWC first-team selection.

Softball: Showed she does more than basketball with impressive season at third base for Mounties. ... Hit a nice round .500 at plate, including five homers and 53 RBI. ... Helped Baker to Class 1A State Tournament. ... First team All-Northwest Conference.

HONORABLE MENTION

Olivia Adams, Blaine

Carly Bannerman, Ferndale

Emma Brice, Bellingham

Sara Dougan, Lynden Christian

Mia Hodges, Bellingham

Natalie Knops, Sehome

Janessa Murphy, Meridian

Hattie North, Bellingham

Hannah Rusnak, Lynden Christian

Madison Weg, Lynden Christian

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