Nevarez and Griffin head to state, 22 head to track and field bi-districts


Track and Field

Blaine track and field competed well in the Northwest Conference 1A District Championships at Lynden Christian on May 8 and 10, with 22 athletes qualifying for the District 1/2 championships in Granite Falls.

This year’s track and field team has always been led by its sprinters and field team, and last week’s tournament was no different, with nine sprinters from the boys and girls teams qualifying for the tournament, and multiple pole vaulters, shot putters and jumpers also qualifying after stellar performances in Lynden.

Sophomore Dylan Johnson led all Blaine sprinters with a PR of 11.46 in the 100-meter finals, placing fourth overall. Johnson was followed close behind by Beckum Bleazard, Justin Minjarez and Jaiden Paez, all of whom will make up Blaine’s 100-meter, 200-meter and 4x100 meter relay team in Granite Falls.

Freshman Cheyenne Parker led the entire program by qualifying for four different races: the 100- and 200-meter sprints and both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. She came second in the 100-meter finals, posting a PR time of 12.67, and won the 200-meter finals with a PR of 26.05.

Junior AJ Anthony-Bennett also had a solid day of jumps, posting a PR in the long jump finals with a distance of 20 feet, 11.25 inches, which earned him second place.

The 1A District 1/2 track and field championships will be held in Granite Falls on Thursday, May 16 and Saturday, May 18. All told, 12 athletes from the boys team and 10 athletes from the girls team will have a chance at state placement.

The top five individual placers in each event, and the top five relay teams will qualify for the state tournament at Zaepfel Stadium in Yakima starting Thursday, May 23. With 22 Borderites competing for a top-five finish in bi-districts, there’s a good chance for Blaine to send multiple athletes to the state tournament.

Boys Golf

Senior Uno Nevarez and junior Ellis Griffin are headed to the 1A state tournament at Riverside Golf Club on May 21 after both shooting a stellar score of 85 at the 1A bi-district championship at North Bellingham Golf Course on May 14.

The Blaine boys golf team led the field with six golfers in the district tournament that began on May 9, but by the end of two days of fierce competition, the field of Borderite golfers was cut down to just Nevarez and Griffin after 36 holes on a tough course with even tougher greens.

Freshman Peyton Bouma and senior Cameron Saunders didn’t make the cut for the state tournament, losing out by just a few strokes after slow starts to their bi-district round, head coach Rick Shockey said.

“Peyton [Bouma] and Cameron [Saunders] didn’t make it, they had a couple holes they struggled on,” Shockey said. “Take a couple holes away and replace them with average scores and they might have made it too.”

Bouma shot a 97 and Saunders shot a 95, both improving their game as the course progressed. The same can be said for Nevarez and Ellis, with Ellis starting the round at six over par after the first four holes, then going a solid seven over par over the remaining 14 holes to clinch a spot in the state tournament.

Shockey said Nevarez and Griffin played very smart rounds that kept them within striking distance throughout all 36 holes.

“They’re playing to make sure they are in the middle of the pack so they can make the cut and play the next day,” Shockey said. “I’m pleased with the way they played and how smart they played. To be able to get their pars and bogeys, they knew the stakes and how to play that course.”

For Bouma, the standout freshman, Shockey said his expectations should be set higher next year after flirting with a state bid.

“[Bouma]’s got three more years to work on his game, I expect big things out of him next year,” Shockey said. “He knows what bi-districts is all about, so next year is all about state.”

The 1A state tournament will tee off at the Riverside Golf Club in Chehalis on Tuesday, May 21. For more information on how to attend, visit

Girls golf

The Blaine girls golf season abruptly ended at the 1A bi-district championship at North Bellingham Golf Course on May 14 after Kijah Van Rijswijck, Ellie Tanjuaquio and Thora Engen all missed the cut to qualify for the state tournament.

Van Rijswijck led the three Borderites with a score of 109, with Tanjuaquio just behind her with a 110, and Engen just behind that with a 111.

The score to make the state tournament was a 101.

All three Borderites had solid seasons over a long spring, highlighted by a first-place team finish at Loomis Trail Golf Course on April 8, and multiple other top-three team finishes and top-ten individual rounds throughout the year.

The Borderites, who finished second in the seven-team Whatcom County Championships earlier in the season, just couldn’t put together a good round on a North Bellingham course that features tons of steep hills, bunkers and tough greens to execute putts.

All told, the Blaine girls golf team had a solid season with consistently good performances from Engen, Van Rijswijck and Tanjuaquio, but just couldn’t make that highest hurdle to qualify for the state tournament.

Girls Tennis

Blaine girls tennis teammates Sara Olinger-Stirrat and Abby Schmidt played against one another for a chance to place at the bi-district tournament after both beating their Meridian opponents in the district semifinals on May 9.

In the semi-final round on May 8, Schmidt won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, and Olinger-Stirrat also won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.

In the unusual teammate versus teammate matchup, Olinger-Stirrat won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, and will represent District 1 in the bi-district qualifiers starting this weekend at University Prep High School in Seattle.

“However, the teammates went and got ice cream to celebrate each other’s season success after,” Blaine athletic director Chas Kok wrote postgame.

No hard feelings, it seems.

Blaine doubles teammates Tori Taengdaen and Sabrina Boczek will also be traveling to University Prep for bi-district qualifiers.


Blaine softball celebrated its Senior Night with a convincing 12-0 win over Friday Harbor on May 10 at Pipeline Fields. It was the last regular season game for the Borderites, finishing the season with a 14-6 overall record (11-4 NWC) to place first in 1A conference standings.

Junior slugger Shaylie Daniels again led the way offensively, posting a three-hit game, with senior pitcher Emersyn Bakker also swinging the bat well, also tallying three hits with a team-leading four RBI. Sophomore Aaliyah Bowman also contributed on offense, scoring one run on a sacrifice fly, and going 2-2.

Bakker threw yet another gem on the mound, striking out 11 batters in five shutout innings, walking just one batter and allowing three hits.

As of May 13, Daniels is top-ten in the conference in batting average (.517), slugging percentage (.783), hits (31), and RBI (25 – also tied with Bakker).

Bakker continues to light up the league’s pitching leaderboards with a Northwest Conference-leading 1.58 ERA and 198 strikeouts, along with 14 wins (second in NWC) and 110.2 innings pitched (also second).

The Borderites now head into the 1A District 1 postseason tournament with the No. 2 seed after Mount Baker finished the year with a better overall record and a head-to-head win over Blaine.

The Borderites will face No. 3 seed Lynden Christian on Thursday, May 16 at 4 p.m. Blaine defeated Lynden Christian earlier in the season, 4-1 on April 20 in the only matchup between the two teams so far this year.

The double-elimination tournament will send just one team to the state tournament, and will be held on Thursday, May 16 and Saturday, May 18 at Janicki Fields in Sedro-Woolley.

Stats provided by

This article was updated May 17 to correct the spelling of a name. We regret the error. 


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