Updated: Nov 1, 2018
Langley, WA - After winning her fourth consecutive Northwest Conference championship the week before, Bellingham's Annika Reiss won her fourth consecutive District One and Two 2A cross country championship this past Saturday, Oct. 27, at South Whidbey High School.
Reiss ran a time of 18:28.27 for the 5,000 meter course and finished one minute and 30 seconds in front of the second place runner. Earlier this season, she had run on the same course and finished second in the South Whidbey invitational.
Comparing to the race from the week before, Reiss said she had the same goal in the sense of going out at a hard pace and keeping it at a constant rate. Also, she was running again by herself for the entire race just like at the conference meet.
"I really enjoyed the course," said Reiss. "It was kind of weird to think it was my last time running it, but I am happy about how the race went."
Next week, Reiss has the chance to do something no Red Raider girl has ever done before, which is to win a individual state cross country championship. If she is able to accomplish that, no question she is the programs best runner ever in the history of Bellingham High School.
She won't be traveling alone to state though. The Bellingham girls finished second as a team scoring 72 points.
Grace Much and Livi Lackland Henry placed fifth and sixth in times of 20:08.28 and 20:08.91 for Bellingham. Izabelle Anderson, Piper Brown, Lily Koplowitz-Fleming, and Skye Saling will also move on to state with Bellingham.
Finishing in first in front of Bellingham was the Cedarcrest Red Wolves scoring a total of 66 points.
The Red Wolves top runners came in the top 10 with Sonja Blyker (20:11.22) placing eighth and Elise Dombek (20:35.9) placing ninth.
The team win was a little surprise for head coach Bruce McDowell as he mentioned Bellingham's biggest strength was their top three girls.
"We knew we had some depth on our team, but I wasn't quite sure if that was going to be able to translate with Bellingham's front three," McDowell said. "We were able to get it done and scraped it by. I thought the girls did a super job."
South Whidbey's course's terrain is grass, mud, and loose gravel for those that have never been there before. There is only one proper shoe to wear for this course and is a cross country spike.
Cedarcrest's Hannah Brabec hadn't warn a pair of spikes up to this race and made the right decision to go with them this week. Brabec, who ran 21:09.49 to place 16th, has been the Red Wolves seventh runner all year according to McDowell and ended being the fourth runner in this race.
"Standing out for us was Hannah (Brabec). She got spikes this week for the first time and those were difference maker in how she raced and how are team performed."