With the 2018 high school track and field season concluding, we look back and reflect on this year and what went down. Here are the 5 things we have learned from all the Whatcom County high school distance teams.
1. Sehome, once again, will dominate in the fall
Some could argue that this was a down year for the Sehome Mariners distance teams on both the boys and girls side. The Mariners only brought 1 boy and 1 girl to the state meet this year, but both came away with medals. However, with the loss of one senior on both the boy's and girl's side, the Mariners will most likely return there top 6 runners on both teams. The boys look to go for the 7th consecutive 2A State title, while the girls aim for the 5th title in the last 6 years.
2. Lynden boys are now a distance powerhouse
For many year, the Lynden Lions track team have been known to be good at sprinting and jumping, but 4 individuals on the boy's team change the culture of distance running at Lynden and could have been perhaps the most successful part of the program this year. Junior Tate Hutchins ran impressive times this year in both the 800 (1:55.77) and 1600 (4:22.65). This would reward him with two 4th place medals at the 2A State track meet. Before he caught pneumonia later in the season, sophomore Isaiah Ellis was by far the best sophomore distance runner in the entire county running times of 2:02.29 and 4:30.09. Be on the lookout for these two in the fall as they both could make the podium at the 2A state cross championships.
3. Injuries don't effect in the long term
Injuries are a big deal when it comes to running whether it is a stress fracture, shin splints, or plantar fasciitis. Without treatment, someone's season is in jeopardy. Bellingham's Annika Reiss did not start her season till the third to last week of the regular season due to a preseason stress fracture. After she returned, she had to take another week off because of strep throat. There were talks of her not evening running this season and taking it off. The junior from the Red Raiders gutted it out this year and it was enough for her to qualify in two events for the state meet. Reiss would go on to finish in top 5 in both races.
4. Will there be anybody at the 1A level that will compete with Meridian?
Now that Eric Steiger and Brooks DeWaard from Lynden Christian have finished there high school careers, who is going to be able to stop the Meridian boy's from dominating the Northwest Conference 1A division? The Trojans return 4 athletes who competed at the state meet this spring for the fall and the upcoming track season. But there is one team that could potentially be on the hunt for the Meridian team. After a strong finish to his track season, Nooksack's Logan Clabaugh leads the Pioneers in the fall in hopes of going to the state cross meet as a team. Look for Clabaugh to be up with Meridian's top runners in Abbas Theophilus, Jaskaran Dhatt, and Nathan Schneider.
5. Ferndale freshman are scary good
The Golden Eagles were fortunate this season to have Landon Sturdevant and Jaclyn Denham on their team this year. Sturdevant had more hype coming into this season as majority of the conference have heard of the fast young man and what he did as an 8th grader at Vista Middle School. The two freshman were top 8 in the Northwest Conference this season for the 800 with Sturdevant running 1:59.44 and Denham running 2:25.86. Sturdevant also ran 4:39.72 and Denham ran 5:41 in the 1600. These two will definitely make some noise in the next season.