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Sehome XC sweeps state team titles for the second time in 6 years

Mariners girls win 13th total championship, boys capture 12th

Sehome girls’ cross country takes off during a meet in Lynden on Sept. 14. The Mariners won their third straight state title Saturday
Sehome girls’ cross country takes off during a meet in Lynden on Sept. 14. The Mariners won their third straight state title Saturday (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)
By Connor J. Benintendi Sports Editor

Sehome boys and girls cross country teams swept the Class 2A team titles and 12 Whatcom County athletes finished top 10 individually at the state cross country meet Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, Washington.

Of the eight local schools that sent runners, four had at least one full team compete. Outside of Sehome, Bellingham’s girls team and Meridian’s boys group each captured top-5 finishes.

Sehome girls added to its state-leading championship total with its third straight title, and the Mariners now have 13 in the program’s storied history. The Mariners’ boys won their first championship since 2019, claiming their 10th title overall. 

The pair of titles marked the first time Sehome has won both team championships since 2017.

Class 1A 

Lynden Christian sophomore Nickolas Luce led local 1A runners with his third-place finish in the boys 5,000-meter race (16:09.3). Meridian senior Braxton Ashmore was just over a second behind Luce in fourth, posting a time of 16:10.9.

Ashmore helped the Trojans’ boys team finish fourth overall with 135 points, just eight behind third-place Seton Catholic — Meridian’s best state finish since also finishing fourth in 2018.

Meridian sophomore Logan Ignacio finished top-10 in the 1A girls 5,000-meter race, taking third with a time of 19:27.60. 

Mount Baker was the only other Whatcom County team that had girls runners present, and freshman Violet Fox finished 87th out of 150 runners with her time of 22:13.40. The Mountaineers also had three boys runners compete, led by junior Cameron Scott in 88th (out of 164 runners) with a time of 18:07.6.

Nooksack Valley’s lone runner, senior Isaiah Buckley, finished 143rd in the boys race (19:07.1).

photo  Lynden Christian’s Nickolas Luce, left, was the top local Class 1A finisher at state, placing third with a time of 16:09.3. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

Full list of finishers:

1A boys


4. Braxton Ashmore, senior, 16:10.9

36. Reuben TeVelde, freshman, 17:21.6

37. Nolan Jacoby, junior, 17:21.8

76. Asher Todd, junior, 17:59.3

80. Kellen Todd, junior, 18:01.7

87. Ian Forbes, 18:07.0

92. Carson Siadal, sophomore, 18:09.1

Lynden Christian

3. Nickolas Luce, sophomore, 16:09.3

81. Larson Rische, junior, 18:01.7

106. Colby Honcoop, freshman, 18:17.2

149. Levi Zylstra, senior, 19:31.8

159. Alex Smith, senior, 21:02.0

160. Haiden Kooiman, freshman, 21:02.1

163. Gavin Haskell, sophomore, 21:49.5

Mount Baker

88. Cameron Scott, junior, 18:07.6

110. Palmer Detta, junior, 18:23.1

145. Wyatt Freeman, junior, 19:11.2

Nooksack Valley

143. Isaiah Buckley, senior, 19:07.1

1A girls


9. Logan Ignacio, sophomore, 19:27.60

32. Adelle Ashmore, sophomore, 21:18.30

52. Ava Hansen, junior, 22:04.20

68. Grace Bender, freshman, 22:29.90

75. Jada Katschke, senior, 22:41.90

85. Maddy Swanson, freshman, 22:58.80

104. Natalie Larson, junior, 24:42.80

Mount Baker

87. Violet Fox, freshman, 22:13.40

100. Erica Cook, senior, 22:26.90

Class 2A

Bellingham freshman Sophie Koch posted the best finish of the day, finishing second out of 152 runners in the 2A 5,000-meter girls race with a time of 18:13.00. The Bayhawks finished fifth as a team with 169 points. 

Koch was the clear-cut second-best runner, beating Sehome freshman Lil Desler (18:50.50) by more than 37 seconds. East Valley (Spokane) senior Logan Hofstee finished first with a time of 17:20.80.

Desler’s finish for Sehome was just six seconds ahead of her junior teammate Abby Rusk, who finished fourth with a time of 18:56.80. 

Junior Sydney Harri (sixth, 19:07.10) and freshman Samantha Knipp (10th, 19:24.10) also finished in the top 10 for Sehome, helping the Mariners to a convincing team title performance. Sehome (40) was nearly 50 points ahead of second-place Anacortes (87). 

photo  Sehome junior Abby Rusk, left, and freshman Lil Desler compete at the NWC cross country championships Oct. 19. Rusk and Desler finished fourth and third, respectively, at the Class 2A state meet. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)  

Bellingham junior Zaya Smith finished in the top 10 as well with her seventh-place finish (19:10.90).

All seven of Sehome’s boys runners finished top 25, led by junior Nick Gargano in seventh (16:00.10) and fellow junior Skyler Gillham in eighth (16:01.40). 

Juniors Sabastien Vahid (14th, 16:28.00), Heath Terry (15th, 16:30.90), Jackson Rogers (18th, 16:35.50), Carter McGaffic (22nd, 16:47.60) and freshman Dylan Hill (19th, 16:39.00) rounded out Sehome’s competitors.

Squalicum senior Chase Bartlett led the Storm’s three runners, finishing eighth with a time of 15:55.70. Bellingham was led by sophomore Berkley Pass in 16th (16:20.60) and Lynden’s lone runner, senior Gage Ellis, took 59th (17:20.10).

Full list of finishers:

2A boys


7. Nick Gargano, junior 16:00.10

8. Skyler Gillham, junior 16:01.40

14. Sabastien Vahid, junior 16:28.00 

15. Heath Terry, junior 16:30.90

18. Jackson Rogers, junior 16:35.50

19. Dylan Hill, freshman 16:39.00

22. Carter Mcgaffic, junior 16:47.60


16. Berkley Pass, sophomore, 16:20.60

17. Quinn Hartsoch, senior, 16:27.50

24. Cedar Champol, senior, 16:32.00


8. Chase Bartlett, senior, 15:55.70

22. Evan Rush, senior, 16:31.60

42. Owen Voigt, senior, 17:04.50


59. Gage Ellis, senior, 17:20.10

2A girls


3. Lil Desler, freshman, 18:50.50

4. Abby Rusk, junior, 18:56.80

6. Sydney Harri, junior, 19:07.10

10. Samantha Knipp, freshman, 19:24.10

17. Marcella Leita, senior, 20:00.10

36. Alivia Hernandez, junior, 21:02.30

48. Johnny Eggert, sophomore, 21:42.00


2. Sophie Koch, freshman, 18:13.00

7. Zaya Smith, junior, 19:10.90

38. Ella Dowling, sophomore, 21:09.90

56. Sylvia Briggs-Bauer, freshman, 21:59.30

66. Nora Alexander, freshman, 22:16.60

68. Sonia Klise, freshman, 22:26.10

79. Avery Manning, sophomore, 22:44.50


50. Emily Bowles, junior, 20:52.40

60. Audrey Blue, freshman, 21:03.10

Class 3A

Ferndale’s lone runner was junior Katie Manly, who finished 113th out of out of 192 runners with a time of 20:57.90.

For full results on all classifications, visit the WIAA’s website.

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