Redemption for Marysville Pilchuck girls 400 relay

MARYSVILLE — Marysville Pilchuck came into Friday’s Bi-District meet as the favorites in the 400-meter relay, but the Tomahawks weren’t about to take anything for granted.

Not after what happened last year.

The Tomahawks had a strong relay team last year as well, but failed to qualify for state. Heck, they didn’t even run in the finals at this meet a year ago after dropping the baton in the prelims.

Things went much more smoothly for the Tomahawks this time around, however, as the team of Bri King, Mackenzie Nolte, Summer Cull and Charlee Pilon won convincingly in 49.54 seconds, a time that is within striking distance of the top 4A time in the state this year, Curtis’ 48.91.

“It was so exciting,” said Pilon, who ran the anchor leg. “We were the favorites, but after what happened last year, it feels amazing to win.”

Added King: “It was devastating. It was the worst thing ever, so to get here to win it and to get to state is amazing.”

Marysville Pilchuck’s win was even sweeter because it has been anything but smooth sailing of late. Amanda Klep, one of the Tomahawks’ top sprinters, has been at less than full speed because of a knee injury, and was held out of the relays. Cull was running with a brace on her arm having broken her left wrist while pole vaulting last month.

Cull, who had surgery a month ago, noted that wrist injury may keep her from pole vaulting, but that it isn’t much of an excuse for a runner.

“Nothing’s wrong with my legs,” she said after placing third in the 400. “I can still run.”

Cull, who Nolte called the “team mom” is the only senior of the group — the other three are all sophomores — and now that this year’s relay team held onto the baton and advanced to state, she and her teammates have only one goal in mind.

“Winning of course,” Cull said. “Always.”

The team title went to Arlington, which won thanks to depth more than any standout individual performances. Arlington had enough points to win fairly comfortably over second-place Issaquah and third-place Marysville Pilchuck even though the Eagles didn’t have a single individual winner during the two-day meet. Freshman Jessica Ludwig, who Arlington coach Judd Hunter jokingly refers to as “Studwig” took second in the triple jump and third in Wednesday’s long jump. She also qualified for the finals in the 100 hurdles, finishing seventh, and ran on the 4×200 relay team that placed third.

The Eagles’ real depth was in the throwing events, most notably the discus, which took place Wednesday. Arlington throwers Alexis Sarver, Marissa Swegle, Lyndsay Leatherman finished second through forth in that event, respectively.

“We didn’t have a single event winner, but still got the win,” Hunter said. “Our throwers, there’s some serious depth there.”

Snohomish’s Leiran Cornish won the 400 in 57.34, and also took third in the 200 behind Emmaline Suchland of Ballard and Djenne Dickens of Edmonds-Woodway. Cornish’s 400 time is the fastest in the 4A classification this year according to

Herald Writer John Boyle:

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