By Ian Ferguson
Competition is heating up as track and field heads into the postseason, and several local athletes are vying to advance through districts and make a run at the state tournament.
Day two of the 2A Northwest Conference (NWC) sub-district meet is this Friday, May 15 at Civic Stadium in Bellingham. Blaine athletes are up against athletes from seven other schools, all of which have significantly bigger teams.
“Overall, with the move to 2A we’re expecting fewer athletes to make it through the district tournaments and move on to state,” said Blaine coach Carey Bacon. “The schools are bigger and the competition is tougher, but we still have a number of athletes who could make it to state and a couple who stand a good chance of medaling at state.”
Last week, the Borderites had a meet against teams from Meridian and Bellingham. The girls team took second behind host Meridian and the boys came in third.
“The girls beat Bellingham, which is encouraging because Bellingham always has a strong program,” Bacon said.
Four Blaine athletes set or tied personal records at the meet. Sophomore Riley Fritsch posted his first sub-12 second 100m sprint, taking third place with a time of 11.89 seconds. Freshman Sophia Dwyer ran her fastest 800m, taking first place with a time of 2:30.48.
Senior Elle Moore set a personal record in the 4kg shot put, throwing a distance of 33 feet, 6 inches to take first place. And Gage Lott tied his personal best in the pole vault, clearing 12 feet, 6 inches for second place.
The slew of personal records is typical for this late stage of the season, and a positive sign for coaches, Bacon said.
“That’s what you want to see, and it’s always a major theme for us to see rapid improvement at the end of the season,” Bacon said. “It’s when all the training and competition start to come together and pay off.”
In addition to being at their peak fitness, athletes have weathered a season of meets, which helps prepare them for the mental challenge of stiffer competition.
“I’ve been talking to the team about how things get more intense at this point. The seniors are used to it, but the younger players haven’t experienced it yet. They’re starting to get into the right frame of mind,” Bacon said.
A total of 26 Blaine athletes are competing at the sub-district tournament.
Bacon said he expects all the relay teams to advance to the district tournament, as well as several individuals. From here on out, advancement comes down to each individual performance.
“It doesn’t matter what you’ve done before. It’s all about how you perform at that moment, and sometimes you have a good day, sometimes you have a bad day. Having a competitive mindset can be really important in the postseason,” Bacon said.
Friday’s action at Civic Stadium begins at 4:30 p.m. The two-day 2A Northwest District 1 meet is Wednesday, May 20 and Friday, May 22.