Morrison ready for run at third consecutive titles

Published on Thu, May 19, 2011 by Jerry Huls

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Blaine juniors Cherish Morrison and Kiersten Sigfusson race in the 400m dash at the 2A sub-district meet at Rollie DeCoster Field in Lynden. Photo by Mitchell Loeppky

“I’m definitely ready for state,” Cherish Morrison said between races at the second day of the 2A Northwest sub-district track meet, Friday May 13 at Rollie DeCoster Field in Lynden. Morrison is moving into the rarified air of star status, chasing her seventh, eighth and ninth individual state championships in the sprints.

She took the first step, sweeping the 100m, 200m and 400m dashes convincingly, though not approaching her state best times. Morrison will lead the Borderites contingent at the Northwest district track meet at Civic Field in Bellingham on May 18 and May 20.

The fourth title Morrison is pursuing will be as part of Blaine’s two-time 2A defending championship 4x200m relay team with Kiersten Sigfusson, Olivia Moore and Olivia Olason. That quest hit a small bump in the road when the Borderites were upset early in the meet by last season’s runner-up, Sehome, leaving Northwest Conference track fans with the uncommon sight of Borderite anchor Morrison trailing Sehome sprinter Zoe Moeller at the finish. The two teams will meet again as both qualified for the district meet.

Both the boys and the girls finished fifth overall.

The boys were led by junior Eddie Avena, who won the shot put with a throw of 48-09. James Fakkema finished second in the javelin with a throw of 146-09.

Both of the boys relay teams of Ephraim Westbrook, Isaiah Jackson, Brad Whitley and Brandon Becerra qualified for the district meet, finishing third in the 4x400m and fifth in the 4x400m relays. Westbrook finished second in both the 100m and 200m sprints, while Becerra and Whitley finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 400m sprint.

Blaine distance runner sophomore Tom Bradley finshed third in the 3200m run and sixth in the 1600m run.

Also qualifying was Blaine senior pole vaulter Brett Mattson, who cleared 14 feet but was once again topped by Lynden senior Gibbs Dallas, who won the event with a vault of 14-06.

On the girls side, joining the sprinters at Civic Field will be Rachel McKinstry and Kate Cochran in the pole vault. Junior Penina Laolagi finished a distant second in the discus and third in the shot put. 

“The weather (on Wednesday) kinda psyched me out,” Laolagi said. “It was a lot like it was at districts last year when I didn’t do well in discus.”

The discus and other preliminary events on Wednesday were plagued by winds and heavy rain.