We are 9 days away from the first day of high school track here in Whatcom County. Off season training is coming to an end and it is now time to get to the good stuff: intervals, long slow runs with teammates, and speed work.
To get things kicked off, I would like to do a preview of who to watch for this season. This is the 2018 Girls track preview: Who To Watch For?
You know who they are:
Ashlee Vandentop, Meridian
Photo taken by Karen Mullen.
As a junior last spring, Vandentop ran times of 2:17 in the 800 and a personal record of 5:11 in the 1600. She made it to state in both of those events, including the 4x4 relay, and place 2nd in the 800 and 9th in the 1600. At the NWC Track Championships, she ran a very good 1600 in 5:15, which claimed 1st place. She did run the 800 but it was not at her best pace. The leader of the Meridian women distant runners, Vandentop looks to claim the 800 title this year and go out with a bang in her final high school track season.
Grace Oswin, Squalicum
Grace Oswin (1707) competing in the 800 at the 2016 3A State Meet at Mount Tahoma High School. Photo taken by Evan Abell.
In her sophomore year, Grace Oswin finished in 2nd place with a time of 2:20 in the 800 at the 3A State meet in 2015, but last season she finished in a disappointment placing of 5th (2:17). Oswin finished in 4th place at the NWC Championships last spring in a time of 2:24. For the senior to reach her goal of becoming a state champ at the 3A level in the 800, it will take lots of guts and heart. This is a very competitive level of track at this classification.
Annika Reiss, Bellingham
800, 1600, 3200
Annika Reiss in the lead the NWC XC Championships in 2016 at Civic Stadium. Photo taken by Evan Abell.
What more can be said about Bellingham's decorative athlete? Reiss has a total of 6 state medals between cross and track in her three year career and looks to add more to her resume this spring. In her sophomore track season, Reiss won the 2A 1600 state race in 4:59 and finished 2nd in the 3200 in 11:07. At the NWC championships, she did not run the 1600 or the 3200, but did run the 800 and placed 1st in a time of 2:19. The ultimate goal for Reiss this season would to win both the 1600 and 3200 at state this year. She is very capable of it.
Rosie Kirker, Sehome
Rosie Kirker (white jersey) looks to make improving marks in her sophomore season of track. Photo taken by Evan Abell.
As a freshman, Rosiee Kirker ran impressive times in the 1600 and 3200 last spring. She ran personal best times of 5:21 at the 2A Bi-district meet and 11:39 at the Shelton Invite. She did not qualify for the state meet in track as freshman, but as a cross country runner, she has made the podium in her first two years at the state cross meet (2016-10th, 2017-8th). Sehome's top distant runner looks to make some noise this spring as she has hopes of qualifying for state in either the 1600 or 3200.
Alyce Harlan, Nooksack Valley
Alyce Harlan crosses the finish line at the 2016 Silver Lake Invite. Photo taken by Cameron Van Til.
From running 28 minutes in her very first 5k her freshman year, to becoming a state champion her senior year last fall, Alyce Harlan has tons to look forward to this upcoming spring. Harlan's junior track season showed a vast improvement from the year before. She qualified for state in the 3200 but ran very nervous and finished a disappointing 9th place in 11:48. Harlan's best times last season were 5:22 and 11:35. She hopes to qualify in both events this year and possibly win a state title in one of them in her final season.
You don't know them yet, but you will:
Natalie Monks, Ferndale: 1600
- Ran personal best 5:38 as a freshman.
Brooke DeBleed, Nooksack Valley: 1600, 3200
- Competed at the State cross meet 3 times. Ran personal best times of 5:36 and 12:27 last spring.
Grace Much, Bellingham: 1600, 3200
-Ran personal best times of 5:23 and 11:45 last spring. Finished 2nd at the Bedlington Invite in the 1600 and 3rd at the NWC Championships in the 3200.
Kaelyn Devaney, Bellingham: 1600, 3200
-Ran personal best times of 5:33 and 11:57. Had 2 top 8 finishes at the Sub District meet in both of her events.
Cameron Hodges, Sehome: 800
-Finished 4th at the State meet in a time of 2:18 last spring as a freshman. Ran a personal best time of 2:17 at the Bi-District meet.
Kornelija Houston, Lynden: 800, 1600
- Ran personal best times of 2:26 and 5:39. Finished 4th in 1600 at the NWC Championships and 8th in the 800 at the Bi-District meet.