Tahoma - On the final day of the high school track season in the state of Washington, there were numerous state champions, outstanding performances by all the athletes, and one impressive record breaking performance. As for Whatcom County, 5 athletes brought home medals for their schools.
Lucas Cunningham Knocks Off Tate Hutchins for 2nd in 800
Sehome's Lucas Cunningham was following the shadow of Lynden's Tate Hutchins in the 800 throughout the entire season, but when it came down to one final race, Cunningham performed well at the right time.
The Sehome junior went on to place 2nd in the 2A 800 Meter State Final yesterday running a personal best time of 1:55.2.
Hutchins took the first lap of the race out in 55 seconds, with Cunningham trailing behind in 3rd. While on the back stretch, Hutchins started to show signs of fatigue. Right then, Cunningham saw an opportunity to pass the Lynden star.
"That was probably the hardest race I have ever run," said Cunningham. "I knew with 300 to go I needed to finish. I just wanted to hold on and run as fast as I could and stay in range of the race."
He jokingly also mentioned he didn't want to die on the final 100 meters, but it was well worth it at the end becoming the 2nd best 800 meter runner in the state at the 2A level for 2018.
"Everything has paid of this season, and I am excited to come back next year in both cross and track and just keep at it."
Toppenish's Anthony Sanchez won the 2A 800 in 1:53.91 for a personal best time.
Cameron Hodges Places 3rd in 800
Sehome sophomore Cameron Hodges battled for an entire 2 laps against Anacortes's Heather Hanson in the state 2A final and she comes away with a 3rd place finish at Mount Tahoma High School yesterday.
Hodges went with Hanson the first lap running a comfortable pace the first 200 meters, then Hanson started to pick up the pace on the homestretch passing through in a 67 second first lap.
Hanson, who placed 2nd in last year's 2A State 800 final, turned on the wheels with 250 meters to go knowing she really wanted to win this race. Hodges responded with her going at the same rate. Hodges would be sitting in 2nd place right now with less than 200 meters to go.
Turning down the final 100 meters, Hanson was well on her way to win the 800 title and Hodges falls back into third after being passed by Ellensburg's Audrey Piacsek. Hodges goes on to run 2:17.03.
Last spring, Hodges ran in the 2A State 800 final as a freshman and would finish in 4th behind former Sehome standout Abby Johnson.
Bellingham's Brown Finishes High School Career on a High Note
Beating someone once is easy, beating them a second time is tough, but beating someone a third time seems nearly impossible, but Bellingham's Cade Brown showed to be the happiest 2nd place finisher of the day as the Red Raider senior ran his final high school race of his career in the 2A State 3200 final.
The Bellingham senior goes down in Red Raider history as one of the greatest runners in school history to pass through the program, and he owes it all to the last 4 years.
"It has meant everything to me the second I was able to join this team freshman year," said Brown. "With Coach Mcclement and Bachmeier here at Bellingham High, I knew it was going to be a magical 4 years and it truly has been. With all the ups and downs, I got a state championship under my name from last fall and it will be forever memorized."
Brown gave tons of credit to Cedarcrest's Gran Van Valkenburg on an outstanding performance in the 3200 yesterday. Van Valkenburg had lost the 2A cross country state championship and the 2A district 3200 race to Brown previously.
"I was going for it today in the race, but I can't compete with a 7 second P.R.," said Brown. "All hats off and respect to Van Valkenburg."
Van Valkenburg ran 9:11.89 for the state championship win.
"The only way to get better is to run against people better then you so we have been pushing each other the last 2 years, having that rivalry going on. It has been super respectful between the both of us."
Brown will be continuing his running career at Yale University next fall as he will be running both cross and track for the Bulldogs.
Gutsy Performance Leads to 5th Place Finish for Annika Reiss
Bellingham's Annika Reiss got another 5th place medal at the 2A State Track and Field Championships running 11:05.99 in the Girl's 3200 State final.
Reiss appeared to be her regular self yesterday as she competed for 6 laps of the 8 with Sedro-Woolley's Kristen Garcia.
Earlier in the week, Reiss made the comment about how she didn't care what place she wanted to get in the 3200, all that matters to her was to run a good time and compete with the other runners.
With that mindset, she put herself in great position to finish in the top 3. Without as much training this spring due to an early season injury, Reiss was at a disadvantage as she didn't have enough speed to throw in one final kick on the final two laps of the junior's race.
Sedro-Woolley's Garcia came one win short of completing the distance triple crown, but the senior won 2 of the 3 after winning the girl's 3200 in a time of 10:55.26. Garcia finished in 2nd on Thursday in the 1600.