Although sunny spring days stubbornly avoid the Pacific Northwest, it is still the time of year where fans of Blaine athletics can say, “It’s our time of year.” As spring sports wind down, one only needs to look at last year to see what a bounty Borderite athletes brought in. This includes the surprise postseason run by Aubrey Hagen into the second round of the district tournament in girl’s tennis. Last year saw Cherish Morrison bring home two more state titles in track, running up her audacious total to 10. And spring 2011 saw sophomore phenom Ryan Wallen coming home with the individual state championship in 2A golf.
With the district playoffs in spring sports looming, even more potential Borderite glory might be had in 2012. Morrison is recovered from a shin injury that sidelined her last week, and is prepared to make a run at four more state titles in the 100m, 200m and 400m sprints and the 4x100m relay. In addition, Kiersten Sigfusson, a two-time state champion on the relay team, made a strong case for herself last week, with a personal best in the 400m. A one-two finish wouldn’t be unexpected and certainly would be fitting for the friends and teammates.
Of course, if you follow prep golf in any classification in Washington, there is Blaine’s Wallen and then everyone else. The prohibitive favorite to win his second consecutive state title as a junior will then look forward to winning his third title in a row as a senior after shifting into a different classification.
The boys’ track team is prepared to make some noise at districts, especially with speedster Ephraim Westbrook and distance runner Tom Bradley leading the charge. Even the girls’ softball team, which struggled so mightily last season is in the hunt for a district berth. With two games remaining, Alisa Burk has the Borderites poised for a winning season only one year removed from a run at the state tournament. Hagen will be going to districts this year as Blaine’s No. 1 singles star. Girls’ golf has had a strong showing this year and might make noise (Shh! Silence on the course!) as well.
All this being said leads me to one exhortation. Come out to the fields and watch these remarkable athletes. Covering the events last year for The Northern Light, I was struck by how few people came out to see what was an extraordinary season. When Luke Ridenour led the Borderites to two state titles in basketball, there were parades from Blaine Road into town.
Cherish Morrison has 10 and has led the Borderites to a team championship and a second place finish. Wallen got his first title as a sophomore. Last year, in what was the most dominating championship performance by a team or individual, Wallen caused his competition to simply wilt under the skill he showed under inclement conditions. When Morrison is running at her best, it is almost unfair to her competition. These athletes are the envy of others around the state.
I urge friends and family to brave the hard northwest spring and help these transcendent athletes as they bring home glory and lustre to Blaine with their fine performances.