Lynden Christian track and field standout Hannah Rusnack displayed courage, a remarkably high pain tolerance and resourcefulness to become the only triple winner in the Class 1A Northwest District Meet.
Rusnack, who won three gold medals last season at state as a sophomore, came off the track in tears and obvious pain after winning the 100-meter hurdles in 15.2 seconds on Saturday, May 14, on her home track. But, consoled by coaches and teammates, she returned for the next girls’ event to take the 100-meter dash in 12.36 seconds, her second best ever.
And in the long jump, she took only one leap but it was enough to win at 17 feet, 2 inches.
“It’s my left foot and ankle causing pain,“ said Rusnack, who said she feels she can compete in the bi-district meet Thursday and Saturday at King‘s. “The 100 felt better than the hurdles, but still not good. I’m having it checked out but no one knows the problem yet. There’s no swelling or bruising.”
The only other multiple-event winner for county girls in the eight-team meet was LC’s Sarah Ball, who claimed the 1600 (5:24.67) and 3200 (11:43.84).
Other county girls’ winners were defending state champion Natalie Smith of Mount Baker in the 200 (2:18.07), Nooksack Valley sophomore Nicole Whittern with a personal best 119-9 in the javelin, and the LC 4x200 relay team of Brianna Bruneau, Libby Hielkema, Gracelyn Weg and Brandy Bruneau in 1:48.89.
“I was shocked,” said Whittern. “That’s by far my best (by nearly four feet over her seeding mark).”
MERIDIAN WINNER SURPRISED
In the boys’ meet, Meridian junior Camden Burgess, who came in with a best of 41-1.5, stunned himself by improving to 43-3 to take the triple jump.
“I was just hoping for a PR, but that broke a school record about 40 years old,” Burgess said. “I’ve been getting some rest for shin pain. I felt great today.”
Nooksack junior Colton Kautz was the only individual boy with two wins, claiming the shot (50-6) and discus (164-3.5) with typically high-caliber efforts.
Other local boys who won were Nooksack’s Connor Beard with a season-best 20-6.5 long jump; Meridian’s Daniel Young with a 6-0 high jump to match his PR; Meridian’s Lucas Van Dyke with a 12-6 pole vault; LC’s Stephen Cummins in the 400 meters (52.24); Meridian’s Marcus McGuinn in the 300 hurdles (personal best 14.9); and Nooksack’s Aaron Bosscher in the 110 hurdles (personal best 40.74).
Bosscher, a senior in his second year as a hurdler, said he will “go for under 40 seconds” at bi-district. “I just got tired of running distances,” he said, explaining his enthusiasm for the demanding long hurdles race.
“I usually get off the blocks last,” said McGuinn. “But Harlon (Stuit, Meridian’s other hurdler) has pushed me to get out faster. I probably wasn’t the last out of the blocks today. I’m excited (over the improvement).”
A BIG GOAL
Baker’s Smith, who recalled she won the state girls’ 800 last year at 2:16 and change, is approaching her typically high expectations – no surprise, since she met her goal by winning a state wrestling title.
“My goal this year is 2:13,” said Smith, knowing that would give her a good shot at another state title.