Sehome High School junior Mary Carbee had been the state’s dominating force among Class 2A throwers in the discus all year. As she entered the state track and field championships her top mark was a good seven feet better than anyone else’s best.
One would believe, because of such a sizeable advantage over her competition, she would enter state brimming with confidence.
That wasn’t the case.
“It was a little nerve wrecking actually,” Carbee said. “The prelims were a little shaky. I scratched on my first throw and my second throw wasn’t very good.”
Then came her third attempt. She uncorked a throw of 127 feet, 2 inches. The pressure suddenly melted away and it became very clear everyone else was now throwing for second place.
Carbee was simply outstanding at the 2A state girls’ track and field meet at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, capturing both the discus and shot put titles and in the process helping the Mariners secure their sixth overall team state title.
Sehome finished with 57.5 points, edging runner-up Fife (52 points) to win its third championship over the last five seasons.
The Mariners also received a state championship in the 3,200 from senior Abby Johnson, while Bellingham, which finished sixth overall in the 2A girls’ division, got first-place finishes from sophomore Annika Reiss (1,600) and freshman Jaden Stevenson (triple jump).
Sehome just didn’t excel on the field, however, as the Mariners also claimed the 2A girls’ state academic championship with a team GPA of 3.823, becoming the only track program in the state to win both titles.
Carbee’s winning throw in the discus was 128-11, which was 13 feet longer than runner-up Lily Campbell of North Mason.
“Right when I threw 127, I thought, ‘OK, here we go,’ and was finally able to get comfortable,” said Carbee, who finished 12th in the event last year as a sophomore. “Last year it was my first time ever at state. It was a big deal. This year, I knew I had been here before and I knew how to deal with it, and that helped.”
Whatever nerves Carbee had were completely gone by the time she moved over to the shot put pit as her first throw came in at 41-10.
No competitor would get within three feet of that mark the rest of the way.
Johnson was equally spectacular in her winning run in the 3,200 as she crossed the wire in a personal-best 11 minutes, 4.44 seconds. Reiss got up for second with a time of 11:07.8.
Johnson also finished third in both the 800 and 1,600.
Additionally, the Mariners got a fourth place in the 800 from freshman Cameron Hodges, a fifth place in the pole vault from freshman Blakely Bornstein and a fifth place from the 4 x 100 relay team of Zoe Dietrich, Hannah Moore, Zola Carbone and Eva Airoldi.
Sehome has won six girls’ team championships since 2007, winning back-to-back titles in 2010-2011 and 2013-2014 to go with the 2007 crown.
Carbee wasn’t the only Mariners throw to take home a state title as senior Ben Malquist successfully defended his 2A boys’ shot put championship with a throw of 57-06.75. Malquist was also third in the discus.
Reiss followed up her second place in the 3,200 by winning the 1,600 (4:59.16), while teammate Stevenson became just the second freshman ever and first since 2004 to win the triple jump (36-09.25).
The Red Raiders also got high placings in the 2A girls’ meet from sophomore Carmen Souza (second, 300 hurdles) and junior Madeline Domico (third, pole vault).
The Bellingham boys received strong showings from Cole Allain (fourth, 110 hurdles), Cade Brown (fourth, 3,200), Nicholas Oesterling (third, javelin) and Iyan Maju (second high jump).
Lynden’s Brandon Swarthout medaled four times at the 2A boys’ meet, picking up second in both the long jump and triple jump and thirds in the 100 and 200.
Lions’ senior Jasmyne Neria also brought in a second place on the girls’ side in the 400.
A year after finishing second at the 3A boys’ state meet in the javelin, Ferndale’s Ben Broselle capped his high school career by winning the event with a throw of 183-10.
Squalicum’s 4 x 400 relay team of Chalae Wolters, Jamie Dierdorff, Grace Oswin and Audra Johnson were the runner-ups at the 3A girls’ meet in the event.