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Sehome sweeps team titles at NWC cross country championships

Whatcom County runners total 31 top-25 finishes at regular season's final meet

Sehome junior Abby Rusk leads the varsity girls heat out of Civic Stadium Wednesday
Sehome junior Abby Rusk leads the varsity girls heat out of Civic Stadium Wednesday (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)
By Connor J. Benintendi Sports Editor

Sehome swept the boys and girls team titles, and 31 local runners finished top-25 at the Northwest Conference Cross Country Championships on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at Civic Stadium.

All 16 NWC teams were in attendance, including 10 Whatcom County Class 1A/2A/3A teams. It’s the last large meet of the season before the high schools split off into district postseason meets.

Sehome was led by second and third-place finishes in the girls 5,000-meter race by junior Abby Rusk (18:56.0) and freshman Lil Desler (18:56.2), respectively, out of 97 total runners. Five Mariners finished in the top-10 of the girls race.

Junior Heath Terry led the Mariners in the 5,000-meter boys race, finishing fourth out of 138 runners with a time of 16:01.4. A group of six Sehome boys runners also finished ninth through 14th, led by junior Sabastien Vahid.

photo  Sehome junior Heath Terry pushes through the final stretch for a personal record. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)  

Squalicum senior Chase Bartlett — the fifth-ranked 2A runner in the state — led all local boys runners with a time of 15:49.8 and second place overall finish. Senior teammate Evan Rush was close behind him in fifth (16:08.0). Rush has the eighth-fastest time statewide in 2A. 

The Storm’s top girls runner, junior Emily Bowles, finished 14th with a time of 20:10.3.

Meridian sophomore Logan Ignacio recorded the best finish among runners from local 1A schools, finishing fourth overall in the girls race and clocking a time of 18:57.9. The Trojans’ boys team was led by senior Braxton Ashmore, who finished eighth overall (16:16.7).

Lynden Christian sophomore Nickolas Luce finished seventh in the boys race with a time of 16:14.2. Luce was the only LC runner to finish in the top-25 of his respective race.

photo  The boys varsity cross country heat takes off from the starting line. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)  

Junior Zaya Smith led Bellingham’s girls group with her time of 19:43.9 and 11th place finish. A trio of Bayhawks boys runners finished top-20, led by Cedar Champol, who finished 16th with a time of 16:30.3.

Lynden was led by senior Gage Ellis, who finished 18th and crossed the finish line in 16:37.5. Sophomore Jorja Dyck led Lynden’s girls squad with her 37th-place finish (21:54.9).

Team scores


1. Sehome (46)

2. Squalicum (72)

4. Bellingham (114)

5. Meridian (144)

6. Lynden (203)

8. Lynden Christian (242)

13. Mount Baker (318)

14. Ferndale (424)

15. Nooksack Valley

16. Blaine


1. Sehome (30)

3. Meridian (151)

4. Bellingham (159)

6. Squalicum (169)

11. Lynden (269)

12. Ferndale (278)

13. Lynden Christian (347)

Top-25 finishers, by race and school

Sehome, boys

4. Heath Terry, junior (16:01.4)

9. Sabastien Vahid, junior (16:21.4)

10. Nick Gargano, junior (16:22.7)

11. Carter McGaffic, junior (16:26.7)

12. Dylan Hill, freshman (16:29.0)

13. Jackson Rogers, junior (16:29.1)

14. Judson Berreth, freshman (16:29.2)

22. Aidan Batt, freshman (16:53.9)

Sehome, girls

2. Abby Rusk, junior (18:56.0)

3. Lil Desler, freshman (18:56.2)

7. Samantha Knipp, freshman (19:14.6)

8. Sydney Harri, junior (19:16.0)

10. Marcella Leita, senior (19:37.9)

18. Alivia Hernandez, junior (20:22.7)

25. Grace Deluca, sophomore (20:57.7)

photo  Squalicum senior Charse Bartlett, who finished second, high-fives Anacortes senior Parker Mong, who finished five seconds quicker. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)  

Squalicum, boys

2. Chase Bartlett, senior (15:49.8)

5. Evan Rush, senior (16:08.0)

17. Ty Hoffman, junior (16:37.2)

24. Taylor Rush, freshman (16:58.9)

Squalicum, girls

14. Emily Bowles, junior (20:10.3)

24. Audrey Blue, freshman (20:55.7)

Meridian, boys

8. Braxton Ashmore, senior (16:16.7)

25. Reuben TeVelde, freshman (17:02.3)

photo  Sehome junior Abby Rusk, left, and freshman Lil Desler, right, run the final stretch while Meridan sophomore Logan Ignacio follows. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)  

Meridian, girls

4. Logan Ignacio, sophomore (18:57.9)

Bellingham, boys

16. Cedar Champol, senior (16:30.3)

19. Jack Eschliman, senior (16:38.4)

20. Quinn Hartsoch, senior (16:45.6)

Bellingham, girls

11. Zaya Smith, junior (19:43.9)

Lynden Christian, boys

7. Nickolas Luce, sophomore (16:14.2)

Lynden, boys

18. Gage Ellis, senior (16:37.5)

Ferndale, girls

16. Katie Manly, junior (20:13.8)

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