BELLINGHAM - Like just about every other girls' long jumper at Sehome over the past 40 years, Zoe Moller had seen Melanie Kiehn's school record in the long jump and thought it was probably out of reach.
I knew it was there, and I guess I kind of wished that I could do it, Moller said in a phone interview after she had left the meet.
But until she jumped 18 feet, 91/2 inches at the Birger Solberg Invitational two weeks ago, it probably still seemed a little out of her reach. After all, Kiehn had jumped 18-10, and the mark was the longest standing record at a school known for outstanding track and field athletes. 23 NWC TRK
But on Friday, April 22, on a pleasant, sunny afternoon at Civic Stadium during the Northwest Conference Championships, Moller put her name atop the record book, smashing the record with a leap of 19-41/2.
Funny thing is Moller didn't even think she nailed the jump.
It didn't feel all that good, she said. I thought it was just average. Then (Sehome jumps coach Nic Castona) looked at the tape and I looked at the tape, and Nic started jumping up and down. ... It's pretty cool. I've put a lot of work in, and I feel like it's paid off.
Castona said the jump is the best ever in Whatcom County, and it currently stands as the best mark in the state in all classifications by more than a foot.
Moller also grabbed a win in the triple jump with a leap of 34-9, helping the Mariners to a successful defense of their girls' team title in the second year the conference championships have been held. Sehome scored 145.5 points, beating second-place Burlington-Edison by more than 50 points. Squalicum finished fourth with 66.75 and Bellingham was fifth with 66.5.
Sehome ended up sweeping the team titles, as the boys took the championship after finishing just one point short in 2010. The Mariners scored 124.5 points to beat out second-place Squalicum (70.5), third-place Bellingham (66.5) and fourth-place Ferndale (63).
Moller was hardly the only Sehome girl to shine on a day that saw the Sehome girls sweep the three relay events.
Kate Hannah also got to taste some success after she was visibly upset by finishing second in the 1,600 two weeks earlier at the Birger Solberg when she was passed in the final turn.
I was sick that day, so yeah, that wasn't all that good, Hannah said. I wasn't able to run last week at Eason, because I was still sick. It was pretty frustrating.
Now healthy, Hannah was able to take out her frustrations on Friday, as she passed teammate Taia Wu, who set a fast pace through the middle laps. Hannah then pulled away to win with a season-best time of 5:18.21. She said the quick pace that Wu set helped give her something to shoot for.
I liked having somebody out there to chase down, Hannah said. It felt great to finally run another good race today.
Sehome also got wins from Madison Heilmann in the girls' 800 (2:23.68), Riley Fraser in the boys' high jump (6-6) and the boys' 4x100 relay team (43.54 seconds).
Ferndale senior Willy Scott runs only one race - the 100 meters - but he runs it really well. In fact, he ran it extremely well on Friday, shaving 16 hundredths of a second off his season-best time to win the conference title in 11.17 seconds, beating out top-seeded Wes Sitser of Bellingham by 6 hundredths of a second.
I was a little nervous coming in, Scott said. I ran against Wes and (Blaine's Ephraim Westbrook) at a meet last month, and I didn't run a good race. I got off to a terrible start. When I faced them again today, I wanted to run a good race.
He definitely did that, which was good considering it was the only race he was running on Friday.
I'm not a fan of the 200, Scott said. I like running straight. The 200 is kind of awkward for me. I'd run the 400, but we just haven't had a chance to add it yet. I ran that my sophomore year. For now, it's nice just focusing on the one event.
Ferndale also got wins from Colson Crim in the boys' long jump (21-9) and Caleb Rodriguez in the boys' shot put (49-7).
Probably nobody enjoyed the sunshine and warm temperatures after a month and a half of rain and cold weather more than the pole vaulters. Squalicum's Tori Franzen capitalized on the girls' side, bettering her personal best by more than a foot to claim first with a leap of 10 feet.
I think it was just a matter of listening to my coach and executing what he told me to do, Franzen said.
Franzen needed every inch she could get, as Lynden Christian's Katie Vanden Bos also cleared 9-6. On Franzen's third attempt, she got over the bar cleanly to claim the win.
I was so relieved, Franzen said. I really wanted to PR and to win today. To do them both, it was just amazing.
Patrick Gibson turned in an impressive double win in the boys' 1,600 (4:22.81) and 3,200 (9:42.89).
The Storm also got a double win from Gina Flint in the shot put (36-3) and discus (133-7). Her throw in the discus stands as the best in Class 2A this year.
Squalicum also claimed the 4x400 relay in 3:31.14, thanks in part to a strong second leg by Travis Kurtz, to break up Sehome's sweep of all five relay events, and Brittany Gappa won the girls' 3,200 (11:18.29).
Mount Baker 400 runner Molly Scoles admits she doesn't like running at Civic Stadium.
It probably goes back to last year at the Northwest Conference Championships, Scoles said. I ran terrible. I think I had my worst time of the year ... I don't know why. I think it's because there are stands on both sides, and that makes it seem a lot bigger. It seems like I have a whole lot more time to think, and when I'm thinking about things, that's when I get tired.
Scoles did plenty of thinking on Friday, but this time it was nothing but words of encouragement.
I got worried when I saw the district meet was here, Scoles said. I knew I had to get over my fear of running here today. I think the last 200 meters, I kept thinking 'I love running here; I love running here.' I think I was probably saying it out loud.
After turning in a winning time of 58.98 - nearly a second better than her previous season best - she has reason to love running at Civic, too. She later won the 200 in 26.64 seconds.
Friday's performances should give Scoles the confidence she needs for the sub-district and district meets next month.
At those races, she'll likely be going head-to-head with two-time defending Class 2A state champion Cherish Morrison of Blaine. Morrison has had to sit for most of the last month after suffering a leg injury, but said Friday she hopes to start running again this weekend.
The Mountaineers also got a pair of wins from Logan Packard in the boys' 110 hurdles (14.71 seconds) and 300 hurdles (39.38 seconds). Mount Baker was ninth on the boys' side and eighth on the girls'.
Bellingham got a win from Chantal Tran in the girls' 100 (12.95 seconds), as she beat out Meridian's Alicia Wolf by 3 hundredths of a second.
Lynden Christian finished tied for seventh on the boys' side and 13th on the girls' and was led by wins from Jacob Hollander in the boys' 800 (2:01.99) and Simon Vlas in the boy's triple jump (43-5.5).
Lynden finished tied for seventh on the boys' side and 11th on the girls' and was led by Gibb Dallas' win in the pole vault, as he cleared 14 feet long after the sun had set at Civic Stadium.
BJ Salmonson highlighted Nooksack Valley's day, as he won the boys' javelin with a throw of 170-5. The Pioneers were 14th on the boys' side and 10th on the girls.
Blaine was sixth on both the boys' and girls' sides, while Meridian placed seventh on the girls' and 14th on the boys'.
Reach David Rasbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2271.
NORTHWEST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Civic Stadium
Team scores: 1. Sehome 124.5, 2. Squalicum 70.5, 3. Bellingham 66.5, 4. Ferndale 63, 5. Burlington-Edison 57.50, 6. Blaine 55, 7. Lynden 49, 7. Lynden Christian 49, 9. Mount Baker 39, 10, Nooksack Valley 26.5, 11. Anacortes 20, 12. Mount Vernon 18.5, 13. Sedro-Woolley 13, 14. Meridian 11.
100: 1. Willy Scott (Ferndale) 11,16l 2, Wes Sitser (Bellingham) 11.23; 3. Jammarick Cavitt (Burlington-Edison) 11.25. 200: 1. Jammarick Cavitt (Burlington-Edison) 22.62; 2. Matt Sloane (Sehome) 22.97; 3. Ephraim Westbrook (Blaine) 23.19. 400: 1. Jammarick Cavitt (Burlington-Edison) 50.72; 2. Caleb Newman (Lynden) 52.76; 3. Brandon Becerra (Blaine) 52.76. 800: Jacob Hollander (Lynden Christian) 2:01.99; 2. Reed Henderson (Sehome) 2:02.32; 3. Connor Shelton (Mount Baker) 2:03.32. 1,600: 1. Patrick Gibson (Squalicum) 4:22.81; 2. David Elliott (Squalicum) 4:24.56; 3. Scott Carlyle (Sehome) 4:25.16. 3,200: 1. Patrick Gibson (Squalicum) 9:42.89; 2. Joseph Charbonneau (Bellingham) 10:02.13; 3. Nick Lobb (Bellingham) 10:09.81. 110 hurdles: 1. Logan Packard (Mount Baker) 14.71; 2. Ian Earle (Sehome) 16.14; 3. Elijah Varner (Lynden) 16.69. 300 hurdles: 1. Logan Packard (Mount Baker) 39.38; 2. Ian Earle (Sehome) 39.71; 3. Nigel Lindsey (Sedro-Woolley) 42.95. 4x100 relay: 1. Sehome (Ian Earle, Matt Sloane, Konstantin Andrushenko, Michael Faulkner) 43.54; 2. Lynden (Gibb Dallas, Caleb Newman, Ben Diacogiannis, Braden Fishbook) 43.93; 3. Bellingham (Wes Sitser, Kyle Redmond, Oliver Dougherty Michael O'Brien) 44.01. 4x400 relay: 1. Squalicum (Kyler Reed, Travis Kurtz, Jason Pfannenstiel, David Elliott) 3:31.14; 2. Sehome (Ian Earle, Matt Sloane, Scott Carlyle, Reed Henderson) 3:34.40; 3. Blaine (Brandon Becerra, Brad Whitley, Ephraim Westbrook, Isaiah Jackson) 3:34.60. Shot put: 1. Caleb Rodriguez (Ferndale) 49-7; 2. Titi Lamositele (Sehome) 49-5; 3. Trevon Myhre (Nooksack Valley) 49-0. Discus: 1. Nick Majeske (Anacortes) 158-5, 2. Titi Lamositele (Sehome) 15-4; 3. Joey Spoelstra (Lynden Christian) 152-10. Javelin: 1. B.J. Salmonson (Nooksack Valley) 170-5; 2. Brady Penn (Bellingham) 162-0; 3. Patrick Clemons (Ferndale) 161-7. High jump: 1. Riley Fraser (Sehome) 6-6; 2. Dan East (Bellingham) 6-4; 3. Brett Watson (Ferndale) 6-4. Long jump: 1. Colson Crim (Ferndale) 21-9; 2. Simon Vlas (Lynden Christian) 21-6; 3. Dan East (Bellingham) 21-5.5. Triple jump: 1. Simon Vlas (Lynden Christian) 43-5.5; 2. Travis Kurtz (Squalicum) 41-5; 3. Michael Faulkner (Sehome) 41-3; 3. Aaron Watts (Burlington-Edison) 41-3. Pole vault: 1. Gibb Dallas (Lynden) 14-0, 2. Brett Mattson (Blaine) 13-6, 3. Nathan Dunford (Mount Baker) 13-0.
NORTHWEST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Civic Stadium
Team scores: 1. Sehome 145.50, 2. Burlington-Edison 95.25, 3. Sedro-Woolley 79.50, 4. Squalicum 55.75, 5. Bellingham 66.50, 6. Blaine 43.50, 7. Meridian 42.75, 8. Mount Baker 30.75, 9. Mount Vernon 28, 10. Anacortes 26.60, 11. Lynden 24.50, 12, Ferndale 24, 13. Lynden Christian 22.50, 14. Nooksack Valley 6.
100: 1. Chantal Tran (Bellingham) 12.95; 2. Alicia Wolf (Meridian) 12.98; 3. Maddison Garcia (Sedro-Woolley) 13.00. 200: 1. Molly Scoles (Mount Baker) 26.64; 2. Alicia Wolf (Meridian) 26.78; 3. Kiersten Sigfusson (Blaine) 26.81. 400: 1. Molly Scoles (Mount Baker) 58.98; 2. Kiersten Sigfusson (Blaine) 59.13; 3. Christy Sanford (Sehome) 1:01.85. 800: 1. Madison Heilmann (Sehome) 2:23.68; 2. Katlyn Mataya (Burlington-Edison) 2;25.40; 3. Randi Donahue (Meridian) 2:25.95; 3. Bekah Jensen (Bellingham) 2:25.95. 1,600: 1. Kate Hannah (Sehome) 5:18.21; 2. Kim Rabenstein (Burlington-Edison) 5:20.13; 3. Marissa Hielkema (Lynden Christian) 5:20.44. 3,200: 1. Brittany Gappa (Squalicum) 11:18.29; 2. Allie Reynolds (Bellingham) 11:39.16; 3. Taia Wu (Sehome) 11:45.25. 100 hurdles: 1. Nichole Oudman (Sedro-Woolley) 16.04; 2. Carly Stewart (Sedro-Woolley) 16.74; 3. Nikki Buchanan (Burlington-Edison) 170.5. 300 hurdles: 1. Catherine Miles (Anacortes) 47.40; 2. Nichole Oudman (Sedro-Woolley) 47.81; 3. Carly Stewart (Sedro-Woolley) 48.16. 4x100 relay: 1. Sehome (Shannon DeBacker, Zoe Moller, Kendra Thomas, Jori Hall) 49.75; 2. Bellingham (Aurelia Carrillo, Chantal Tran, Nicholia Kenison, Ayssa Porter) 50.46; 3. Meridian (Randi Donahue, Alicia Wolf, Breanna Taylor, Taylor Lunde) 51.70. 4x200 relay: 1. Sehome (Sarah Dolese, Kendra Thomas, Zoe Moller, Shannon DeBacker) 1:46.68; 2. Squalicum (Jessica Wallace, Kendra Longo, Molly Rider) Kylie Garrison) 1:50.60; 3. Blaine (Kiersten Sigfusson, Olivia Moore, Lindsey Freeman, Olivia Olason) 1:51.15. 4x400 relay: 1. Sehome (Sarah Dolese, Christy Sanford, Madison Heilmann, Kate Hannah) 4:09.07; 2. Squalicum (Jessica Wallace, Sirre Radtke, Katie Stick, Molly Rider) 4:09.60; 3. Burlington-Edison (Katlyn Mataya, Kyndall Bingham, Kim Rabenstein, Katie Studebaker) 4:12.50. Shot put: 1. Gina Flint (Squalicum) 36-3; 2. Kaya Jones (Sehome) 34-6; 2. Penina Laolagi (Blaine) 34-6. Discus: 1. Gina Flint (Squalicum) 133-7; 2. Penina Laolagi (Blaine) 119-2; 3. Juilanne Seely (Lynden) 108-3. Javelin: 1. Racheal Pederson (Burlington-Edison) 114-7; 2. Amalie Zook (Bellingham) 105-5; 3. Sonora Hlebichuk (Nooksack Valley) 108-4. High jump: 1. Brittany Grandy (Sedro-Woolley) 5-4; 2. Ali Gonzalez (Ferndale) 5-2; 3. Olivia Halverson (Bellingham) 5-2. Long jump: 1. Zoe Moller (Sehome) 19-4.5; 2. Catherine Miles (Anacortes) 16-9.5; 3. Grace Bills (Ferndale) 16-9. Triple jump: 1. Zoe Moller (Sehome) 34-9; 2. Kaya Jones (Sehome) 34-7.5; 3. Brittany Grandy (Sedro-Woolley) 33-0.5. Pole vault: 1. Tori Franzen (Squalicum) 10-0; 2. Katie Vanden Bos (Lynden Christian) 9-6; 3. Forrest Ristow (Sedro-Woolley) 9-0. Reach DAVID RASBACH email@example.com or call 715-2271.