Some fast splits
Unlike the boy’s relays, which started out with a boom, the girls started out slow and have just gotten better over the years. In fact the oldest mark in the 50 best performances will not appear until 1991.
The first Empire record was in 1976 by Hogan High of the North Bay League.
Hogan turned in a 4:07.6 mile relay time that year that is equal to about 4:06.41 for 1600 meters.
That year Ukiah set the first NBL meet record at 4:13.0 and Sonoma Valley set the first Sonoma County League meet record at 4:35.4, 1st year event. SCL MR
Casa Grande’s 1977 team lowered the SCL meet record to 4:18.0 .
In 1978 both league meet records were lowered as Ukiah went 4:11.9 in the NBL and Sonoma Valley went 4:16.3 in the SCL.
Casa Grande took back the SCL record in 1979 at 4:14.9.
Santa Rosa would claim its first meet record in this event in the 1980 NBL finals with a 4:11.5 finish.
Events changed from yards to meters in 1981 in California.
Santa Rosa High would finally take down the first Redwood Empire record by Hogan at the West Coast Relays. The team of Andrea Robinson, Alison DeRuntz 58.2 split, Kim Linden and Erin McNay would run 4:03.70.
They would lower the NBL meet record to 4:06.2.
Then at the NCS 3A meet the same foursome would improve to 4:03.14+.
+ – Hand times get 0.24 seconds added to compare to Fully automatic times.
The Santa Rosa team that year also set an Empire record in the Mile Sprint Medley (220,220,440,880) at 4:22.0.
Over in the Coastal Mountain Conference Fort Bragg set their meet finals record at 4:20.7y in 1983.
The following year, 1984, Santa Rosa would have the prep best at 4:07.2 but Fort Bragg would set their still standing school record at 4:15.7 by A. O’Donnell, Wendy Hudgins, Sandy Pickering, Melissa Seale.
That time is still the 2nd best time among all CMC schools.
Prep bests for the next two years
4:03.44+ 1985 Santa Rosa (Wendy Gleason, Kim Carlson, Becky Northen, Wendi Simmons)
4:04.44+ 1986 Santa Rosa (Sheryl Gwin, Kim Carlson, Becky Northen, Wendi Simmons).
Also in 1986 El Molino would lower the 1600m Sprint Medley Empire record down to 4:14.9
Heidi Weckerle 26.9, Ylisa Stanford 27.2, Sharon Polley 60.9, Mara Konopasek 2:20.3.
The 1987 El Molino team erased the SCL Meet Record with a 4:12.4 clocking.
Santa Rosa High would win all the NBL finals from 1988 to 1995.
In 1989 the Prep best of 4:04.51 was by the Santa Rosa team of Mandy Zucco 61.5, Kristi McCall 61.7, Hembd 61.2 and Stephanie Durelli 60.0.
The 1990 Casa Grande team erased the SCL Meet Record with a 4:11.8 clocking.
The Santa Rosa team of Kellie Baralt, Nika Horn, Rhonda Mazza and Azmina Hanna had the prep best that year at 4:04.44+.
After winning the 1991 NBL title the Santa Rosa relay team went on a record binge breaking the Redwood Empire record the next four times they ran including being the first to break the 4 minute barrier.
4:02.76 1991 Santa Rosa 5/17 NCS 3A trials, Empire record
4:02.74 1991 Santa Rosa 5/18 NCS 3A, Empire record
4:00.24^ 1991 Santa Rosa 5/24 MOC trials, Empire record
3:59.54^ 1991 Santa Rosa 5/25 MOC, Empire record
4:00.34+^ 1991 Santa Rosa 5/31 State trials
^Members of the SR 1991 record team were Kellie Baralt, Azmina Hanna, Nika Horn and Ronda Mazza.
This was also a big year for Sonoma Valley as they set their school record at 4:07.57 by Dinah Chao, Jenna Nouguier, Vannesa Kale and Shannon Chapman giving them the 9th best school record in the Empire. Sonoma Valley would win all the SCL finals from 1991 to 1995.
The Montgomery team of (Jamie Duncan 62.6, Nicole Park 59.7, Krissy Lombardo 62.4, Melissa MacPherson 59.5) also had a nice MOC race clocking 4:04.49.
1992 would be even better.
This would be the first year two have two teams that produced times fast enough to make the current top 50 performances.
Santa Rosa first showed their talent at Arcadia with a 4:03.24+.
Santa Rosa lowered the NBL meet record with a 4:04.8.
They then went 4:00.54+ at the NCS 3A trials, 4:03.69 in the finals.
But the big meet was at the NCS MOC.
At the trials Santa Rosa would fly to a 4:01.55 time.
Then at the finals the Santa Rosa team of Kellie Baralt, Rhonda Mazza, Nika Horn 59.1 and Azmina Hanna would break the Empire record with a 3:59.10, with the Montgomery team of Melissa MacPherson 60.3, Jamie Duncan 60.5, Patty Teal 61.3 and Nicole Park 57.8 close behind in 4:00.01.
Santa Rosa also downed the Mile Sprint Medley (220,220,440,880) Empire record with a 4:14.4 by A. Kneifel, Kellie Baralt, Rhonda Mazza 60.6*, Nika Horn 2:19.3*. Equivalent to a 4:13.17 1600m Medley.
Santa Rosa ran the 1995 Prep best at MOC in 4:01.40.
(Nikki Henkels 60, Katie Schukle 59, Thompson 61, Melissa Guanella 59)
Petaluma’s 4:08.75 in 1997 gave them the 10th best school record in the Empire.
Montgomery lead that year with a 4:08.63.
In 1998 Ursuline, now, Cardinal Newman, ran 4:06.36 by Kate Ferchlund, Sarah Hallas, Adrienne Lindsay and Kristi Jereb, giving them the 5th best school record in the Empire.
Montgomery lead that year as well with a 4:04.98 by Lisa Mackie 61.9, Diana Rancourt 62.0, Sara Bei 62.2 and Devorah Harris 59.3.
The Maria Carrillo squad of Gephart, Beth Fernlund, Jenny Aldridge and Jenny Drady gave the Empire it’s next top 50 performance, after a seven year drought, running 4:01.35 at the 1999 MOC trials. They clocked 4:04.45 in the finals.
The new millennium would bring a new Redwood Empire record.
In 2000 Maria Carrillo got off to a nice start with a 4:04.52 at Stanford.
At the NCS MOC meet the Carrillo foursome of Jessica Archer, Nicole Nelson, Beth Fernlund and Jenny Drady would break the Empire record with a 3:58.27 at the trials. But that was only a warmup as the group of (Nicole Nelson, Beth Fernlund., Jenny Aldridge, Jenny Drady 57 split) would fly to a 3:56.50 in the finals. It is still the number sixth performance ever. They then ran 4:00.51 at the State trials.
The next year, 2001, Carrillo would get even faster.
At NCS MOC the team of Jenny Aldridge, Jessica Archer, Melissa Matulich and Natilie Poor would blaze to 3:55.97.
Only four times would anyone run faster than this.
Ukiah would run 4:08.78 that year to take the 11th best school record.
The following two years Carrillo continued to be the ones blazing around the track.
The 2002 team posted three sub 4’s in a row.
NCS Redwood (3:59.85), MOC trials (3:59.63), MOC finals (3:59.68).
The only real change to 2003 from 2002 was Santa Rosa putting a little pressure on Carrillo as they ran a nice 4:04.60 at the MOC trials from Cassie Alcocer 60.94, Julianna Helleskov 61.50, Ashley Hauser 63.82 and Kristen Jellison 58.34.
Carrillo was still the top school as they ran 4:03.45 at the NCS Redwood meet and then the same foursome of (Jenna Lowder, Jessica Archer, Jen Irtenkauf, Cherie Kolin) would run 4:00.34 NCS MOC. At the MOC trials they clocked a fast 4:00.68.
In 2004 Maria Carrillo didn’t break the record but did do some things no other team had ever done.
They started off nicely running 4:04.40 at Stanford.
They then ran 3:59.81 at the Oakland Relays.
To this day that is still the fastest pre-league finals time any Empire team has ever run.
They had good clockings at Woody Wilson (4:01.12) and the MOC trials (4:01.65).
In the MOC finals the team of Jessica Chapman, Jenna Lowder, Jen Irtenkauf and Danielle Sanzari would run their best time of the year in 3:58.47.
The same foursome would run 4:02.43 at the State trials.
That would give them five times still in the current top 50 performances, the most any squad had done to this point and still 2nd ever.
2005 would be one of the Redwood Empire’s best years ever.
Maria Carrillo and Montgomery had some incredible battles with each winning some.
Never before had four schools clocked 4:08.22 or faster during the season. Only one year would ever have more depth than this one.
Maria Carrillo started things off at Woody Wilson with the 2nd fastest pre-league finals time ever at 3:59.89.
Carrillo would earn a win at the Viking Classic with a 4:03.07.
The first big clash of the year was at the Santa Rosa All-City meet with Carrillo taking that one over Montgomery 4:00.64+ to 4:02.44+.
Montgomery would get even at the NBL finals breaking the Meet Record at 4:00.51 by Gretel Amman, Alexica Bosque, Megan Pang and L.J. Perry.
Carrillo was second at 4:02.23.
Maria Carrillo then won the NCS Redwood with a 3:59.58 to Montgomery’s 4:02.76.
Fireworks were flying at the NCS MOC meet.
Day one at the trials Montgomery would run 3:58.68 in heat one for what is still the number 12 performance ever.
In the same heat Analy would run 4:06.52 for the 6th best school record.
In heat two Maria Carrillo would win in 3:58.07 for what is still the number 8 performance ever.
In the finals both teams would make it to state with Carrillo breaking the Empire record with a 3:55.84 time for what is still the number 4 performance ever. Montgomery earn their state trip with a 3:59.46.
At the state trials Montgomery ran 3:58.94 with the same group as their MOC trials time (Gretel Amman, Alexica Bosque, Megan Pang, L.J. Perry).
Carrillo ran 3:59.58 at state trials using this Jessica Chapman, Jenna Lowder, Jenna Lundgren and Kristin Sanzari.
2005 has 2nd best depth for four schools at 4:08.22 or faster
3:55.84 Maria Carrillo, NCS Redwood Champs, 2nd NCS
3:58.68 Montgomery, NBL Champion, 2nd NCS Redwood, 4th NCS
4:08.22 Casa Grande, SCL Champion
4:10.62 Santa Rosa
This would be the year, 2006, that Maria Carrillo would put it all together.
Carrillo would win all the NBL finals from 2006 to 2011 including this year at 4:03.96.
The next set of finals were composed of the same four runners listed at State.
Carrillo would win the NCS Redwood meet at 3:58.85.
At the MOC finals this team would break the Empire record for the first time at 3:55.06, which has never been bettered by another team.
At the State trials they would run what is still the fastest time ever run at 3:54.82.
They were 10th in the state prelims overall just missing the finals.
Here are the splits for the record group, Jacqui Wentz 59.6, Kristen Sanzari 58.4, Jenna Lundgren 59.5, Jenna Lowder 57.3.
In 2007 Maria Carrillo turned in a 4:03.42 at MOC. (Lauren Curtin, Cara Curtin, Jenna Lundgren, Kristen Sanzari)
Maria Carrillo would win the Viking Classic in 2010 at 4:04.32 and the NBL finals at 4:07.27.
Santa Rosa claimed the 2010 Prep Best with a 4:02.65 at the MOC trials and then a 4:01.17 in the finals by (Joanne Howard 60.80, Suzi Rozga 61.36, Rosalyn DiLilo 61.52, Sadia Ibrahim 57.49).
The Casa Grande team of Eva Luu, Jenny Brothers, Ariel Kubes and Jacque Taylor ran 4:06.76 this year to claim the 7th best school record in the Empire.
2011 Prep best went to Santa Rosa from NCS Redwood in 4:00.86 (Joanne Howard, Darci Whyte, Barbara Moretto, Sadia Ibrahim)
Santa Rosa would win the Viking Classic (4:04.78) and NBL finals (4:06.20) in 2012 .
Casa Grande would set the still standing SCL meet record at 4:11.39.
Santa Rosa won the NCS Redwood meet in the fastest time of the year in 4:00.51.
At the 2013 NCS Redwood meet the Montgomery team of Jackie Chalmers 58.8, Ellen Moeller 61.9, Erin McCullough 60.8, Reese Hewett 61.9 would win in a prep best 4:03.74. Healdsburg would take second in the meet at 4:05.83 making them the 4th fastest school in Empire history. Watch the race at the 7 minute mark of this video.
2015 Prep best went to Santa Rosa from NCS Redwood in 4:04.26.
No other year has had four teams as fast as 2016 produced.
Santa Rosa was the dominate team this year.
They would run the fastest tri-meet time ever at Rancho Cotate in 4:04.74+.
Santa Rosa would win both the NBL (4:03.14+) and NCS Redwood (4:04.28).
Maria Carrillo would be 2nd at both with 4:05.04+ at NBL and Montgomery 3rd there in 4:07.24+. NBL Video of race with focus on Montgomery in 3rd
At NCS Redwood meet the Piner team of Itzel Gonzalez, Kassia Chagnon, Daisjah Sheperd and Cynthia Rosales set their school record at 4:07.52 becoming the 8th best school record.
At MOC trials Santa Rosa would win their heat in the 2016 prep best at 4:01.36.
2016 is best year ever, depth wise, with four at 4:07.52 or faster
4:01.36 Santa Rosa, NBL Champion, NCS Redwood Champs
4:05.04+ Maria Carrillo, 2nd NCS Redwood
4:07.52 Piner, SCL leader
2017 would be all Maria Carrillo
The team of Kiely Rowe 60, Assata Polk 58.8, Sarah Aanenson 62 and Amy Armstrong 62 would start things off at Stanford in 4:03.14.
They would win NBL with Rowe, Talia Leano, Aanenson and Polk, then NCS Redwood with Rowe, Leano, Armstrong and Polk.
The prep best came when they were the heat winners at the MOC trials in 4:00.77 with Rowe, Leano, Armstrong, Polk.
You can watch their finals race in 4:02.23 here. Video of race
The 2018 Santa Rosa team would run three of the ten fastest 1600 relays in Empire history.
They ran the first ever sub 4 minute race in NBL finals history setting the meet record at 3:59.99 by Izel Zamora 59+, Anika Williams 63+, Kirsten Carter 55+ and Caroline Duffy, 61+. Watch race, focus on Montgomery in 3rd
They were pushed by the Maria Carrillo team of Polk, Rowe, Leano and Armstrong in 4:04.77.
At the NCS Redwood Meet Santa Rosa would run the 7th fastest time in Empire history at 3:57.52 claiming the FAT meet record. Carrillo would be 2nd in their season best of 4:04.36. Video of race with focus on Montgomery in 4th.
At the MOC trials the three fastest teams ended up in the same heat with the Santa Rosa taking 3rd in 3:58.31 for the 10th fastest time in Empire history. Video of trials race
In the finals they would again palce third for a state berth but with the the 3rd fastest time in Empire history at 3:55.67. Kirsten Carter would run the fastest recorded relay split in Empire histroy at 55.2. (Izel Zamora 59.9, Jacque Hale 60.6, Carter 55.2, Caroline Duffy 59.7)
Middletown became the fastest CMC school in 2019 when they ran 4:14.22 at MOC. It was their fourth straight title.
Santa Rosa had the prep best that year with a 4:03.06, also at MOC.
The Napa team (Stephanie Gudino, Molly McGrath, Aliyah Aguiar, Jane McLoughlin) set the first VVAL Meet Record at 4:12.38.
Sadly we lost the 2020 season to the COVID pandemic and will never know what great relays we might have seen.
The 21 fastest times have all come after league finals. NCS MOC 15, State 3, NCS Redwood 3.
Only three sub 4’s have been run before the NCS regionals.
3:59.81 2004 Maria Carrillo 4/3 Oakland Relays
3:59.89 2005 Maria Carrillo 4/15 Woody Wilson
3:59.99 2018 Santa Rosa 5/11 NBL Finals
All of the NBL finals since 2000 have been won by either Maria Carrillo 13, Santa Rosa 5 or Montgomery 2.
Most marks by school in top 50
Maria Carrillo 27
Santa Rosa 17
Most marks by Year in top 50
12 2005 Maria Carrillo 7, Montgomery 5
5 2004 Maria Carrillo
4 2018 Santa Rosa
4 1992 Santa Rosa 3, Montgomery 1
4 1991 Santa Rosa
3 2006 Maria Carrillo
3 2002 Maria Carrillo
3 2000 Maria Carrillo
2 2017 Maria Carrillo
2 2010 Santa Rosa
2 2003 Maria Carrillo
1 2016 Santa Rosa
1 2012 Santa Rosa
1 2011 Santa Rosa
1 2001 Maria Carrillo
1 1999 Maria Carrillo
1 1995 Santa Rosa
Most marks by Decade in top 50
1980’s best 4:03.14+ 1981 Santa Rosa
1970’s best 4:07.6y 1976 Hogan
Some fast splits