Blast from the Past: May 24-30

May 26th 1934
Vallejo’s Elmer Kaufman placed third at the State Meet shot put at 52-2, just short of the Empire record from way back in 1903 by Ralph Rose of Healdsburg at 52-8 2/5.
We also took two 5th’s in the hurdles with St Helena’s Wayne Williams in the 220LH and Analy’s Joe Grenier in the 120HH (42″).

May 25th 1935
A pair of 5th place medals at this State Meet came from Analy’s Bill Keegan (220LH) and Ukiah’s Bill Ford in the shot put.

May 28th 1938
Vallejo had a couple of State Meet medalist at this meet with Vernon Higbee (2nd high jump) and Bill Sweikert (3rd SP).

May 27th 1939
Sonoma Valley’s Frank Freeman placed 2nd in the long jump at state with a 23-10 mark, which to this day has only been bettered by Mel Gray.
Bill Sweikert of Vallejo placed 3rd for the NBL in the shot put at 50-8.5 .

May 25th 1940
The NBL scored five medals at state.
1st Ben Steele, Santa Rosa shot put 54-4½.
3rd tie Henry Piccolotti, Mendocino mile 4:32.8.
3rd Oce Brown, Vallejo high jump
5th Joe Salz, Santa Rosa 220 straightaway 21.9.
5th Jim Lytjen, Napa 880.

May 24th 1941
The NBL did it again the following year.
1st George Souza, Vallejo shot put 52-4.25
2nd tie Ernie Strickland, Vallejo high jump 5-11.5.
5th Frank Delazzar, St Helena 220LH.
4th John Towey, Napa 220.
4th Fran Burke, Santa Rosa shot put 50-8¾

May 25th 1946
Bill Gallagher of Vallejo placed 4th in Long jump at state.

May 29th 1948
3rd Santa Rosa’s Dave Miller placed 3rd at state in the pole vault.

May 27th 1950
Sherman Miller of Napa ran 48.8 for the 440 to win the state meet.
Vallejo’s Bobby Lavow took 4th in 220.

May 26th 1951
Analy’s Bob Foster cleared 12-9 in the pole vault to take 2nd at state.

May 29th 1953
Santa Rosa High earned two medals at state on this date.
Larry Robbins 5th 19.9 180LH.
Andy Alkire 6th discus 158-8.

May 29th 1965
Lower Lake’s Mike Stone broke the Empire Record in the 2 mile at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions.
His 2 mile time of 9:18.6 converts to a 3200m in 9:15.60. In the race the MOC record was at 9:26.8. Both Berkeley’s Ralph Gomez 9:16.5, Stone, placing second, and Montgomery junior Bob Waldon 9:20.1 all broke the old meet record. Waldon’s Empire junior class record held for 44 years.
Vallejo’s Frank Watkins would run 21.9 to win the 220.

May 28th 1966
Montgomery’s Bob Waldon would again break the MOC meet record but place third in 9:15.1 as Gomez would win again in 9:05.2. Waldon’s time would be a new Empire record equaling a 3200 in 9:12.12.
Most attention went to junior teammate Mel Gray who would help the Vikings to the team championship by winng the 220 21.7, long jump 24-1 and anchoring the 880 Relay to 1:29.0. Stan Wise was another Viking winner at 19.4 for the 180 LH.

Bob Waldon

May 25th 1968
El Molino’s Kraig Fisher and Terra Linda’s Lowell Harris both broke the NCS MOC meet record (14.3) in the 120y high hurdles clocking 14.0. Fisher placed just inches behind Harris for second but gave Fisher a new Empire record in the event. The time is equal to about 14.28 for 110HH. The meet was held at the Santa Rosa Junior College.
St Helena’s John Robinson cleared 13-6 to win the Pole Vault.

May 25th 1974
Vintage’s Mark Hadley would break the 18 year old Empire record in the 880 placing second at the MOC meet in 1:52.6, =1:52.19 800m.

May 24th 1975
On this day at the NCS III finals at the College of Marin Petaluma’s Dan Aldridge ran the fastest 880 in California for 1975 running 1:49.7. That mark stands to this day as the Empire record for the 800m converted to 1:49.31.

Dan Aldridge from 1975.

May 27th 1978
Piner’s Armand Moreno broke the Empire 2 mile record at the NCS MOC but nobody knew it.
He ran 9:14.0 but it was over 30 years before we knew that was a record. See story
Moreno’s teammate Marvin Colter went 47-2 for Triple Jump win.

May 25th 1985
Calistoga’s Mike Koellsted would run our first ever sub 39 second 300m Intermediate Hurdles at the NCS MOC clocking 38.9.
Sonoma Valley’s Jim Reis sailed over 6-6 in the High Jump for the win.

May 30th 1986
Ukiah’s Rich Benoy broke the FAT Empire record for the 110 High’s at the NCS MOC trials running 14.59.
The Empire would garner five wins. Santa Rosa High would win both long jumps with Rob Moore, 22-3 and Wendi Simmons, 18-1¾.
Plus Casa Grande’s Renee James, 40-8¾ Shot Put
El Molino’s Sharon Polley, 12.59 100
Montgomery’s Mark Spina, 1:53.85 800

May 26th/27th 1995
Montgomery’s Chris Barnsdale ran his first of three lowerings of the Empire record in the 300IH taking 2nd in 39.05 at NCS MOC with two other NBL hurdlers in top six.
Rancho Cotate got big performances by Corey Nelson winning the 400 in 46.89 and taking down DeDora’s 24 year old Empire record and setting the Empire’s FAT record in the 200 at 21.24 in the trials.
Teammate Chris Stevens ran one of our fastest ever wind adjusted 100 times ever at 10.94 (11.09 -1.8).
Empire also won high jump by Piner’s Pat Leonard 6-8, shot Cardinal Newman’s Brian Chase 58-02.25 and 3200 by Santa Rosa’s Julia Stamps 10:19.91.

May 30th 2009
Santa Rosa’s Troy Baker powered the shot out to 54-2 for the NCS MOC win.
Casa’s Jacque Taylor crossed the line first in the 1600 at 4:50.56 .
Petaluma’s Sterling Lockert would break the Empire 3200 record with a 9:09.48 but know one would know until next year. See story

Jacque Taylor leading the 1600 by Michael Lucid

May 25th 2013
Sonoma Academy’s Kiana Herold won the NCS MOC High Jump at 5-7.
Maria Carrillo posted a win in the girls discus as Kathleen Durand produced what was the #2 performance ever at 140-4 behind her own record.
Teammate Herbie Polk would also claim the #2 performance ever in the 400 with his 47.21 2nd place finish, just short of Corey Nelson record.
Boys Girls

Kathleen Durand by Michael Lucid

May 30th 2014
The Empire rules the high jump at this years NCS MOC meet.
Rancho’s Justin Zinnerman wins at 6-9 while Santa Rosa’s Morgan Bertsch does the same at 5-7.
In the trials Ukiah’s Hugh Pegan ran a wind adjusted 100 in 10.95 (11.01 -0.8).

Bertsch at 2014 MOC by Michael Lucid

May 26th 2018
Healdsburg’s Gabrielle Peterson blazed 4:48.91 to win the NCS MOC 1600.
Maria Carrillo’s Severin Ramirez did his own blazing running a wind adjusted 100 in 10.93 (11.03 -1.3).
Boys Girls

1600 podium by Scott Kruetzfeldt
Severin Ramirez from that race by Michael Lucid

May 25th 2019
5th Healdsburg’s Gabrielle Peterson earned two medals at state placing 6th in 1600 at 4:51.86 and 6th in 3200 at 10:23.85 .

May 29th 2021
COVID Season: This season was started later than normal and had no league finals or CIF post season.
Thankfully we had the Showcase meet bring many highlights to the season.
Maria Carrillo’s Lily Mulligan broke the Empire’s Invitational best ever with a 12-8 win.
What a Way to End the Season Boys Girls

Lily Mulligan from 2021 meet by Brian Tucker

May 28th 2022
Montgomery’s freshman Hanne Thomsen adds another 3200 win for the Empire running 10:06.89.
Justin-Siena’s Travis Hightower ties for 5th in high jump at 6-5.

May 27th 2023
The NBL took 2nd in the state in both high jumps.
Maria Carrillo’s Alexis Hunt with ahuge 5-10 jump and Montgomery’s Nathan Fifer at 6-6.
Montgomery’s Hanne Thomsen took 4th in the 1600 at 4:43.63.

In this 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