Marysville - 4 Whatcom County distance runners qualified for the 2A State meet in their respective events yesterday down at Lakewood High School in the 2A District Track and Field Meet.
Cade Brown Comes From Behind to Win 3200
Bellingham's Cade Brown was trailing Cedarcrest's Grant Van Valkenburg by 10 meters going down the final stretch, but it was Brown's ability to switch to a final gear to outkick the Cedarcrest runner to take the boys 3200 district crown.
Brown was sitting in the 2nd and 3rd place position for majority of the race with Van Valkenburg out in front and Liberty's Luke Knoblich in the mix.
Brown and Van Valkenburg didn't start to separate themselves from the lead pack till about 3 laps to go when Van Valkenburg started to pick up. It was then Brown didn't let him get away.
One lap to go, Van Valkenburg starts to pull away from Brown with 200 meters left and appears to be on his way to win the race, but as soon as both turn down the final 100, Brown immediately clicks and passes Van Valkenburg on the final 5 meters. Brown would finish in personal best time of 9:18.29.
Cameron Hodges Returns to State in the 800
Sehome's Cameron Hodges finishes in 2nd place but advances to the 2A State Track and Field Meet next week for the 2nd year in a row.
Hodges ran her first lap of the race in a 67 and closed in a 70 to a run a time of 2:17.65. Heather Hansen of Anacortes won in 2:15.69. Hansen has the best 800 time in the state for 2A.
Both Hodges and Hansen now sit at the top of the 2A 800 rankings and Hodges goal was to stick with the Anacortes senior.
"For the 800, I wanted to stick with Heather and hold on to the other girls because we are now the top runners in the state." said Hodges. "The state meet is going to be a lot like today's race and I'm hoping to knock off a couple seconds for my 800 time."
Hansen and Hodges will most likely meet again in the 800 meter state final next week at Mount Tahoma.
Gusty Performance Earns Tate Hutchins 800 Title
From the get go, Lynden's Tate Hutchins let nothing stand in his way of winning the 2A Boy's 800 District final as the junior standout won in a close race beating Sehome's Lucas Cunningham with a personal best time of 1:56.58.
Hutchins opened out his first lap running in 56 seconds and closed in a 60 second 2nd lap to pull out the victory.
"I just wanted to get out really fast and out of the mess of runners, then just hold on and get into state." Hutchins said in post-race interview. "It was really good to be able to execute it and get into state."
Cunningham started to kick on the final 100 meters and it appeared he was going to catch Hutchins, but Cunningham led up a little bit midway through the final stretch.
Hutchins now puts himself into contention to win the 2A state 800 meter race as he has the best time at the 2A level as of yesterday.
"With this time it definitely puts me in the mix for top in the state, so I will give it a shot to go win it next week."
Preseason Injuries Not A Factor for Annika Reiss and Rosie Kirker
Before the track season, there was many concerns as to whether Bellingham's Annika Reiss and Sehome's Rosie Kirker would even have a shot at making it to the state track meet because of earlier injuries, but their performances proved us all wrong as both girls advance to the 2A state meet in the 3200.
Reiss finished in 2nd placed with a season best time of 11:13.65 and Kirker finished in 4th place in a time of 11:38.12.
Reiss would run with Sedro-Woolley's Kristen Garcia, the eventual champion, for the first 5 laps, then Garcia extends her lead up to 100 meters when the race was all sudden done.
Kirker trailed in 6th place for 6 laps behind teammate Jess Gill and Cedarcrest's Elsie Dombek, but the opportunity opened up when both Gill and Dombek slowed down and Kirker took a 50 meter lead on both girls for the final 2 laps of the race.
Last fall, Reiss finished in 2nd and Kirker finished in 8th at the 2A State Cross Country Meet.
For more results, check out: https://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/MeetResults.aspx?Meet=326172&show=all