Lynden, WA - For the past few years, the Bedlington Twilight Invite has been one of coldest and wetter meets on the west side of the state.
This winter hasn't been the kindest to Whatcom County with so much snowfall , but since the first day of spring this past Wednesday, we have had some amazing weather.
Fortunately, athletes from 15 schools were able to run in 60 degree temperatures, with some mild winds, and we got to see some incredible finishes in all six distance races on March 22 at Lynden High School.
Beginning with the girl's 3,200 meter, a very tactical, slow first mile turned into a sprinting finish the last 800 meters that was won by Anacortes High School's Saville Feist in 11:57.92.
From the start, Feist felt no obligation to take an early lead as she ran with a pack of three other girls in the front, something she feels comfortable with.
"I like running with people," said Feist. "It's nice to tuck in and coast with them. Eventually I would start to kick at the end and create separation."
Feist managed to pick it up with 800 meters, but it might have been too early because there was some confusion as to how many laps were left in the race since there were others who thought it was the last lap.
"They said we had two more laps to go so it felt like we were going too fast too early and I didn't know if could hang on." said Feist as she was laughing. "But it ended up being correct so I just went with the top girls and I kicked it in the last 200 meters. I felt I raced smart and it was a lot of fun."
Bellingham's Grace Much finished in second place behind Feist running a time of 12:03.71. Sehome's Rosie Kirker was third in 12:06.19 and Meridian's Kayla Aalpoel was fourth in a personal best time of 12:07.78.
An hour later, the boy's 1,600 took the track and was one of the more intriguing races featuring multiple state participants in both cross country and track and field.
Lynden's Isaiah Ellis took lap one out very strong running 68 seconds as did everyone else in a tight bunch.
Midway through lap two, a new runner in Sedro-Woolley's Rafe Holz took the lead from Ellis and took full control of the race.
"I tried to use the lead runner to break the wind on lap one," said Sedro's Holz. "I saw (Ellis) slowing down on the second lap and that's when I knew I had to get going."
Holz wasn't alone when he made the surge as Sehome's Jacob Alexander and Lucas Cunningham were a few strides away in second and third. By increasing his lead more and more going in the final laps, Holz knew that he gave himself a better chance to win.
Alexander kept making moves on the final lap to get closer and would reach within 15 meters of Holz. It wasn't enough though as Holz managed to pull off a two second victory running 4:33.64, in what he says was "the biggest race I have wo