Blaine's track teams finished # 1 and #2 at the recent state championships in Tacoma. Left to right: Penina Laolagi, Kiersten Sigfusson, Jacob Rogers, Breanna Olason, Caleb Statham, Chanel Colinares, Ephraim Westbrook, Cherish Morrison, Shayne Moore, Robin Taylor, Tim Bradley, Breanna Adams, Ashley Tyree and Gabriela Avena. Photo by Levi Montgomery
Robin Taylor clears 11 feet to defend her state championship at last weekend's 2A state track meet in Tacoma. Photo by Levi Montgomery
As unheralded as a surprise summer thundershower, Blaine’s track athletes stormed the state championship meet last weekend in Tacoma. When the dust cleared the Borderites had set 12 records in winning the girls meet by four and a half points over Sehome, 56 to 51.5, and getting second in the boys meet to Lynden by 6 points, 45 to 39.
Freshman Cherish Morrison set school records in the 100 (12.3) and 200 (25.24) and her first in the 400 (57.2) is a new state record time. Along with Breanna Adams, Kiersten Sigfusson and Breanna Olason she helped drive the 4x200 relay team to a nearly two and a half second win (1:46.11) over Lynden (1:48.39) for another school record.
“When I first met her last summer she told me she’d do this,” said Blaine high school principal Scott Ellis, “win the state track meet, and she did!”
No kidding. This kid combines the speed of a falcon with the attitude of a true winner worn behind a wide smile and eyes that seem to penetrate any walls she finds in her way.
She’s already won more in just living her life than most of the people reading this story. Morrison’s win in the 200 at the end of the last day neatly lifted the Lady B’s into first, something she knew she had to do as she settled into the blocks.
Her stunning victory came from deep within after she nearly exhausted herself running on the winning relay team and setting records in the 100 and 400.
Most of us would be lucky to be able to walk after all that running, but Morrison ran faster than evaporating nitro, beating the next finisher by an unbelievable 25 feet, and she did this not at some podunk backyard warmup but at the state championship meet, on a field filled with sub-district and district champions.
No wonder the University of Washington has already been in touch with her. Move over, Tim Evans and Luke Ridnour. Make some space, Joey Paciorek and Stretch Summers.
Blaine has another incredible athlete moving through the system to join you like another cherub in the cathedral rafters.
Morrison said later that she won that last race “for the seniors on the team” but also, as she said to ear-splitting applause at a Blaine high school pep rally on Monday afternoon, “for that nice big banner we get to hang in the gym.”
And speaking of incredible, junior Robin Taylor basically owns the pole vault anywhere you look between B.C., Idaho, Oregon and somewhere out on the Pacific Ocean. She successfully defended her state crown, drifting like silk on the wind over the bar at 11 feet even.
Last week she had her personal best and set a school, sub-district and district record with a launch of 11 and a half feet, just shy of the top of a basketball backboard. This Lady B can fly, and without oxygen (so far).
Another stellar performer, senior Shayne Moore, set school records in wining the 110 hurdles in 14.6 and the 300 hurdles in 38.6. He also led out on the 4x400 relay, the last race of the day with the top three team places at stake.
Lynden, Blaine and Sehome all had a chance as competitors for this last race of the meet slowly assembled.
The Borderites needed to finish fifth or better to move ahead of eventual third place winner Sehome, and had a shot at beating Lynden for the overall title. But Lynden, who had disqualified the previous day in the 4x100, set a meet record in the event, moving past Blaine in points and narrowly claiming the over-all title.
Blaine’s fifth place (3:28.36) was good enough to claim an edge over Sehome (3:29.11) and clinch second for the tourney.
The amazing and resourceful Tim Bradley set yet another school record while winning the 1600 in four minutes and 20 seconds with a finishing kick that covered the last quarter of the four-lap race.
He also got a sixth in the 3200 at nine minutes, 40 seconds.
Other finishers included Sigfusson with a fourth in the 400 at 59.5 seconds, Jacob Rogers with a seventh in the boys 400 at 51.2 seconds, Ashley Tyree with an eighth in the discus at 103 feet, four inches and Gaby Avena 12th in discus with 99 feet, four inches, Brett Mattson with a 12th in the pole vault at 12 and a half feet, Penina Laolagi 15th in the shot put at 30 feet and Chanel Colinares, Robin Taylor, Breanna Adams and Breanna Olason 16th in the 4x100 relay.
It’s the ninth state championship of any kind for Blaine, the smallest 2A school in the league, and means a new line on the sign at H Street and the SR 543 (the truck route) on the corner of the school campus in addition to Morrison’s new banner for the gym wall.