Blast from the Past: April 5-11

April 8th, 1916
Santa Rosa’s Wayne Weeks won both the shot 47-4½ and the discus 117-0 (2 kilo) to break the meet records in the second annual State Meet.

April 9th, 1977
The San Jose Relays produced a number of fantastic performances for the Redwood Empire.
Piner’s James Burrell took on some of the best in the state and came out a winner twice.
Yards was the standard back then but this meet was run in meters.
Burrell won the 100 in 10.69 which is still the fastest 100 meters ever run for the Empire.
He would take the 200 in 21.60 +1.9 for what was the Empire’s FAT record at the time and still our fastest pre-league FAT mark ever.
Teammate Tony Barton ran the high hurdles in 14.70 for a Former Empire FAT record.

James Burrell

April 11th, 1981
What a day for the Redwood Empire.
Santa Rosa’s Dennis DeSoto had the meet of a life time throwing a national best 63-10 in the shot to win the Santa Rosa Relays and topped Empire record holder Chris Day of Montgomery 172-6 to 171-10 to win the discus. Montgomery’s Mike Kesler ran a close second in the high hurdles at 14.4 to St. Mary’s Mark Boyd’s in 14.3.
On this same date over at the Bruce Jenner Classic Montgomery’s Dave Rodriquez ran the 800 in 1:53.9 while Petaluma’s Jeff Johnson ran the 400 hurdles in 54.1.

Dennis DeSoto

April 7th, 1984
The headline was “Gash goes on a binge at Relays”.
Santa Rosa’s John Gash has an incredible day at the Santa Rosa Relays.
He became the Empire;’s first ever 15 footer in the vault clearing 15-2 for meet record.
He won the high hurdles in 14.7 and tied the Empire record in the 300 hurdles at 39.0 for a third individual win.
He finished the day by anchoring the 1600 relay team to a 3:25.2 win.

John Gash

April 7th, 2004
Maria Carrillo’s Jenna Lowder would have one of the greatest tri meet performances ever verses vs Montgomery & Piner at Piner.
Lowder would triple taking the 400 in 58.4, still our tri-meet record, the 100 12.2 and the 200 at 26.5.

Jenna Lowder

April 10th, 2004
Montgomery’s Matt Tillinghast would soar to 15-7 in the Arcadia pole vault.

April 10th, 2010
So many great 3200 have been run at Arcadia meets including the Empire’s first ever sub 9 by Santa Rosa’s Reesey Byers at 8:59.89.

April 6th, 2011
If your looking for the fastest FAT high hurdle time in a tri meet you’ll find it on this date.
Casa Grande’s Adam Lundquist ran 14.95 vs Healdsburg & El Molino at Healdsburg. Plus he added a nice 40.85 in the 300IH.

Here is Michael Lucid’s photo of Adam Lundquist running that record race.

April 11th, 2014
Maria Carrillo’s Ryan Anderson would run a great 3200 at Arcadia finishing in 9:16.31.

April 11th, 2015 Santa Rosa Twilight Invitational
Santa Rosa freshman Kirsten Carter running in her first ever high school 200 became only the second Empire runner ever to break 25 seconds (24.44) and destroyed the old Empire record by a huge .35 seconds and it was into a slight headwind -0.3.
She won the 100 by .84 seconds, the 200 by 2.5 seconds and the long jump by 2 feet 4 inches.
El Molino’s Lani Gaspar would break the meet record at the Santa Rosa Twilight Invitational in the 200 at 22.13 -1.0.
Won the 100 by .41 seconds, the 200 by .98 seconds, the 400 day meet by 1.53 seconds and placed 3rd in triple jump at 40-11.
Broke 100 meet record by .14 seconds, the 200 MR by .10 seconds, the 400 day meet MR by 1.74 seconds.

April 9th, 2016
Two spectacular 3200 times at the Arcadia meet.
Sonoma Academy sophomore Rylee Bowen surprised the field with a win at 10:13.20. The top 7 girls in the race beat the current national leading time.
Watch Bowen’s race.
It was a sophomore record surpassing the 10:15.27 by Julia Stamps, Santa Rosa 1995.
Meanwhile in the boys rated race El Molino’s Brian Schulz would move to the 8th All-Time performer in 9:12.92, watch the race.

Screen shot from Bowen’s win.

April 7th, 2017
Santa Rosa’s Kirsten Carter was named Athlete of the Meet at the Santa Rosa Twilight Invitational.
Topping her performances was a new Empire Record in the 100 running 12.02 +0.9.

Kirsten Carter midway through the 100 just beginning to pull away to an Empire Record in way less than ideal conditions by Thomas Benjamin

April 7th, 2018
Maria Carrillo’s Habibah Sanusi would run the fastest high hurdle time ever for us in an Invitaional at 14.88 -0.7 at the Arcadia meet.
While the Puma boys 400 relay team would run the 8th performance All-Time at 42.73 to win their heat winner.

April 9th, 2022
As a freshman Montgomery’s Hanne Thomsen came within a second of taking down the Empire record in the 3200 placing 4th at the Arcadia Invitational with a time of 10:12.03. It was the fastest time ever for us in an Invitaional.

Hanne Thomsen, hip #4, after 300 meters.

April 7-8th, 2023
Arcadia again produced record breaking marks by Empire athletes.
Puma’s Take Down The Record
Maria Carrillo girls 4X200 relay team breaks the 33 year old record running 1:46.32.
Day 2 Arcadia: Thomsen 9:55.31
The next day Montgomery’s Hanne Thomsen becomes our first ever sun 10 3200 meter runner to run the third fastest time in the nation that year.

Puma relay team

In this new weekly tidbit column, “Blast from the Past”, I’m going to take a look at some special performances that happened during the week we are on.
Other Blast from the Past stories