History of girls Redwood Empire High Hurdles

The history of girls sprint hurdles has seen probably the most changes of any event.
When girls track & Field started back in 1975 the event was run as the 80 yard Low Hurdles, 30 inches.
After only two years the event was lengthened by 30 yards to the 110y Low Hurdles.
In 1981 when all running events switched to metrics the event was changed to the 100 meter Low Hurdles, taking 23 inches off the finish.
Those 23 inches would improve a hurlders time by about 0.08 seconds.
In 1993 the hurdles were raised from 30 inches to 33 changing the name from the lows to the highs.

So in 1975 Ukiah’s Louise Jurado started things off for the Redwood Empire winning the North Bay League 80 yard Low Hurdles in 12.1 seconds for our first Empire record. Sonoma Valley’s Debbie Bernhardt won the Sonoma County League finals in 12.5.
The following year those records were lowered by Hogan’s Cookie Faucett, 11.0, NBL and Piner’s Crystal Olsen, 11.8, SCL.

With the event now changed to the 110y Low Hurdles our first big star was El Molino’s Annette Richardson, sister to Larry Richardson who still holds the fastest 120y High Hurdle time in the SCL finals at 14.2 from 1975.
Annette would break the SCL finals Meet Record running 15.0 in 1977 and being the first to break 15 in the low hurdles with a 14.9 best.
The following year, 1978 she would lower the Empire record to 14.7.
Finally in 1979 she would win her third SCL title with an Empire record of 14.3, which has never been bettered.

Leannetta Eddens

Ukiah’s Leanetta Eddens would set the first NBL finals Meet Record running 15.6 in 1977.

The NBL MR was lowered by Petaluma’s Juli Walter in 1978 15.4 and 1979 15.2.

Jenean Sceales, 1982

In the SCL Healdsburg’s Jenean Sceales was dominating her finals in 1980 15.4 and 1981 14.8.

The NBL MR was lowered by Petaluma’s Denise Adiego in 1982 to 14.9.

El Molino’s Mara Konopasek would take the SCL title three years in a row. (1984 15.3, 1985 15.8, 1986 15.2).
Konopasek was also the second best 100LH/300LH Hurdler ever.

Empire’s Best 100LH/300LH Hurdlers
100 LH / 300 LH ** / Total
14.64 (890) / 48.64 (578) / 1468 LaJuene Gage, Lower Lake 1985-86 14.4
15.34 (797) / 46.04 (663) / 1460 Mara Konopasek, El Molino 1986 15.1, 45.8
**-event has only been around since 1981

The 30 inch hurdles were still the standard event in 1987 but Ursuline’s/Cardinal Newman’s Leanne O’Meara set our first 33 inch Empire Record that year with a 17.6 time.


El Molino’s Sharon Polley had broken numerous Empire Records in the 100 and 200 flat races during her first three prep season’s.
Her senior year she took on the 100 meter Low Hurdles and quickly made herself the GOAT of the lows.
Polley’s Championship run
5/10/88, SCL trials, 14.44+ broke Empire record, Meet Record
5/12/88, SCL finals, 14.54+
5/21/88, NCS 2A trials, 14.45 broke Empires NCS Regional Record
5/21/88, NCS 2A finals, 14.41 broke both NCS Regional Record and Empire record
5/27/88, MOC trials, 14.24+ broke Empire record
5/28/88, MOC finals, 14.10 broke Empire record
6/3/88 State trials 14.34 +1.5
6/4/88 State Finals 14.55 -0.7 Slow loading video of race, Polley lane 2
Polley’s 6th place finish at state is the Empire’s lone medal in this event.
+ = hand time converted to FAT by adding 0.24 seconds.

Amey Mitchell

In 1990 Rancho Cotate’s Amey Mitchell won the NBL 100LH n 15.1. That win, along with NINE other NBL wins, tied her for the most individual wins in a career with Wendi Simmons.
Most Individual NBL Wins, Career 10
Wendi Simmons, Santa Rosa; 400/1985-1987, 800/1985, 300LH/1986-1987, long jump/1985-1987, triple jump/1987, also Mile Relay 1985
Amey Mitchell, Rancho Cotate; 100/1989-1991, 100LH/1990 15.1, long jump/1988-1991, triple jump/1988-1989, also 400 Relay 1991

Over in the SCL El Molino’s Aimee Valley would take the SCL title three years in a row. (1990 16.2, 1991 15.5, 1992 15.7)

Montgomery’s Lindsay Stephens would tie our 33 inch Empire Record in 1991 at 17.6.

Ursuline’s/Cardinal Newman’s Pam Karbowski would win the NBL title twice, equaling the Meet Record her second time. (1991 15.4, 1992 14.9 MR)

Santa Rosa’s Kirsten Silverek would break the 33 inch Empire Record in 1992 with a 16.9.

Official switch to 33 inch hurdle height in 1993 to 100m High Hurdles.

The first official year of girls running over high hurdles saw Petaluma’s Kristen Palmer take the SCL title in 15.7 and Montgomery’s Patty Teal taking the NBL title in 16.1.
At the NCS 3A trials it would be Santa Rosa’s Nikki Henkel who would break the Empire Record with a 15.3 clocking.

The 1994 NBL finals is still one of the greatest ever.
Teal would win her second title in MR 15.59 (FAT), to edge 1991 & 1992 winner Karbowski 15.63 (still fastest non-winning Redwood Empire League Finals time ever), with Henkels 15.81 in 3rd for the fastest League Finals 3rd place ever.

In the CMC Lower Lake’s Stepanie Hansen was a two time finals winner taking 1994 in 17.9 before setting a MR in 1995 at 17.4.

Then came Schukle

Katie Schukle

Santa Rosa’s Katie Schukle would do the the highs what Polley did to the lows.
Schukle ran as a freshman for Rincon Valley Junior High along with an incredible group. See story-An amazing group of Junior Highers.
Her freshman mark of 16.81 was a Redwood Empire class record at the time.
In high school she would run for Santa Rosa High.
Her sophomore year would see her win the NBL finals in 15.76.
Then at the NCS Redwood Meet she would break the Empire Record for the first time in 15.27 defeating Henkels in 15.80.
Watch the race. Schukle lane 5, Henkels lane 2.

During her 1996 junior year she would break the Empire Record another fives.
She would be Co-Athlete of the Year for 1996
Her are some of her best races that year.
3/16/96 K-Bell 15.16, Broke Empire record
4/20/96 Vallejo Relays 14.97, Broke Empire record
5/4/96 Sac MOC 14.93, Broke Empire record
5/10/96 NBL trials 14.83, Still RE League Finals Record, Broke Empire record, Still NBL Meet Record
5/12/96 NBL finals 15.00, =fastest League Finals winning time
5/18/96 NCS Redwood 14.57, RE NCS Regional Record, Broke Empire record, still Junior Class Record
5/24/96 MOC trials 15.04+, Broke RE MOC Record
5/25/96 MOC finals 14.86, Broke RE MOC Record
5/30/96 State trials 14.85 -0.8, Broke RE State Record
6/1/96 State finals 8th 14.81, Broke RE State Meet Record

Her senior she would win her third straight NBL title.
5/10/97 Sacramento MOC 14.97 +1.7, Broke Legal Empire record
5/18/97 NBL finals 15.41
5/31/97 MOC finals 14.85, Broke RE MOC Record
Schukle’s 15 races under 15.28 is the most of any hurdler we have ever had.

Schukle is far ahead of all our other All-Around Hurdlers.
Best Redwood Empire All-Around Hurdlers
100 HH *** / 300 LH ** / Total
14.57…(899) 43.40…(758) 1657 Katie Schukle, Santa Rosa 1996
15.18…(818) 43.32…(762) 1580 Kyra Johnson, Piner 2011-12
14.52…(906) 46.17…(658) 1564 Habibah Sanusi, Maria Carrillo 2018
14.69…(883) 45.57…(679) 1562 Suzanne Howard, Santa Rosa 2007-08
14.74…(876) 46.13…(659) 1535 Claire Bingham, Healdsburg 2010
15.17…(819) 45.46…(683) 1502 Mary Shibata, Ukiah 2003-4
15.39…(791) 45.80…(672) 1463 Maddie Call, Windsor 2015
15.75…(745) 44.87…(704) 1449 Jenni Kincheloe, El Molino 2001-02
15.54…(772) 46.07…(662) 1434 Nikki Henkels, Santa Rosa 1993 15.3
***-event has only been around since 1993
**-event has only been around since 1981

You can watch Schukle win the 1996 NCS Redwood meet here in the 300 hurdles (44.12), lane 4 black uniform.

Analy’s Nicole Hyde would break the Empires Dual Meet Record on 5/7/97 at Sonoma Valley HS with a 15.2 time.
She then tied the SCL finals Meet Record held by Kristen Palmer of Petaluma in 15.7 seconds from 1993.

Kelseyville’s Aja Garcia had a nice streak in the CMC finals taking three in a row ending with a Meet Record (1997 17.5, 1998 18.1, 1999 16.6).

Clear Lake’s Trisha White would run the high’s in 2000 in 15.95 for what is still the FAT Freshman Record.

Jenni Kincheloe

El Molino’s Jenni Kincheloe would take the SCL title three years in a row. (2000 16.5, 2001 17.2, 2002 16.0).

Trisha older sister, Tanya White a senior from Clear Lake would place 4th at NCS MOC on 5/26/01 in 15.67 -0.6 to run our fastest legal time ever at this meet to that point.

Kelseyville’s Kristen Andre would lower the CMC finals record to 16.3 in 2002 .
Also in 2002 the Santa Rosa 4 X 100m HH Relay team set the still standing shuttle relay record at 1:07.34, thats a 16.84 average by Deena Stapleton 16.66, Sarai Williams 16.89, Becka Parker 17.27 and anchored by Juliana Helleskov 16.52.

Mary Shibata
Alise Fix

Casa Grande’s Alise Fix would twice lower the SCL Meet Record, first in 2003 15.6 then to 15.3 in 2004.
Ukiah’s Mary Shibata would take two NBL titles, the first with a time of 15.17 in 2003, making her number two All-Time performer then and is still number five. She would take her second NBL title in 2004 at 15.58 and win NCS Redwood meet.

2005 would produce six girls at 16.44 or faster, still the third best year ever for depth.
15.74 Tracy Webster, 11, Analy, 5th NCS
15.96 Suzanne Howard, 9, Santa Rosa, NBL Champion, 2nd NCS Redwood
16.33 Natasik Staehly, 9, Maria Carrillo
16.34+ Katie Franci, 12, Analy, SCL Champion
16.35 Kaitlin Sather, 11, Maria Carrillo
16.44+ Allison Carroll, 11, Petaluma

Webster, Howard, Franci, Sather, Carroll

Santa Rosa’s Suzanne Howard started off her freshman year (2005) with a bang and only got better.
Her freshman year she won the NBL title at 15.96 making her the only freshman besides White to ever break 16 as a freshman.
Sophomore year she would win NBL again at 15.12, win the NCS Redwood meet and blaze a 14.83 +1.4 in the NCS MOC finals, which is still our Sophomore Class Record.
Junior year she would break the RE Legal Invitational Meet Record at Stanford with a 15.25 -0.1, pick up her third NBL title 16.42 and her second NCS Redwood title.
2008 Senior year she would break the RE Invitational Meet Record at Santa Rosa All City meet in 14.90.
She would become the only girl sprint hurdler to ever win the NBL title all four years with a 15.75 this time.
Howard would win the NCS Redwood meet in 14.93.
She would then break the wind legal Empire Record running 14.69 +0.1 at the NCS MOC trials.

Howard’s 13 races under 15.28 is second only to Schukle’s 15.

Suzanne Howard

Healdsburg’s Claire Bingham can fly.
Bingham completed her freshman year with great marks winning the SCL title in 16.66 and having a seson best of 16.28, #3 Freshman All-Time & #3 Empire for 2007.
2008 was a bust because of an ankle injury that plagued her for her career.
2009 she broke the SCL Meet Record with a 15.33.
2010 Season
This could be Claire Bingham’s year
Her senior year was spectacur.
She had major wins at Big Cat, Windsor Relays, Oakland Relays and Viking Classic.
During the trials of the Stanford Invitational she broke the legal Empire Record for an Invitational with a 15.09 +1.0 time.
On 4/21/10 vs El Molino she would run the fastest dual meet time ever to that point clocking 15.00.
A week later vs Casa Grande at Healdsburg she would run 14.75 +2.2 which to this day is still the fastest Dual Meet Record plus the Adjusted Dual Meet Record record at 14.99.

Actual photo of Claire Bingham running her 14.75 by Michael Lucid, Fastest time ever before League Finals

At the SCL finals she took her Meet Record down to 15.00 -2.2.
This is still the SCL/NBL Redwood Meet Record and is equal to the fastest Empire League Finals record ever.
As an adjusted for wind time it was a former Empire record at 14.65.
At the NCS/Redwood meet she won in 14.74 +4.1 for our 3rd fastest time ever in that meet. This fell just 0.05 seconds short of Howard’s Empire record and is still third fastest time ever.
She would take 5th at the NCS/MOC meet at 14.97 +1.1 for her 5th sub 15 mark.

Combined with her mom they hold our Mother/Daughter record.
14.96 LH Jenean Sceales 1981
14.74 HH Claire Bingham 2010

Combined with her brother they hold our Brother/Sister record.
30.76 Bingham
16.02 Justin 2006
14.74 Claire 2010

Piner’s Kyra Johnson broke the Legal NCS Regional Meet Record with a 15.35 +0.5 clocking in 2012.
Along with her other events this helped her to the 2012 Athlete of the Year title.

Kyra Johnson

St. Helena’s Julia DeVincenzi would break the CMC Meet Record in 2014 at 16.00 and lower it to the current record in 2015 to 15.53. She would win her third straight title in 2016 at 15.71. Her 2014 & 2015 (15.27) season bests lead the Redwood Empire.

Julia DeVincenzi by Michael Lucid

2015 and 2016 would produce the two fastest years of high hurdlers in Empire history.
2016 six at 16.24 or faster
15.50 Habibah Sanusi, 10, Maria Carrillo
15.58 Kiara Miles, 11, Sonoma Valley, SCL Champion
15.71 Julia DeVincenzi, 12, St. Helena, CMC Champion
15.84+ Maddie Call, 11, Windsor, NBL Champion
15.94+ Kelsi Avana-Reihl, 12, Maria Carrillo
16.24+ Lucy Segraves, 11, Maria Carrillo
16.54+ Hannah Ford-Monroe, 11, Sonoma Valley

NCS Redwood -1.1 by Thomas Benjamin
1 Ariel Dunbar 12 San Marin 15.58
2 Dena Prince 12 Justin Siena 15.82
3 Kiara Miles 11 Sonoma Valley 15.96
4 Maddie Call 11 Windsor 16.18
5 Kelsi Avana 12 Maria Carrillo 16.34
6 Lizzie Dolan 10 McKinleyville 16.64
7 Habibah Sanusi 10 Maria Carrillo 16.73
8 Hadlie Ward 9 McKinleyville 16.91

2015 six at 16.44 or faster
15.27 Julia DeVincenzi, 11, St. Helena, CMC Champion
15.39 Maddie Call, 10, Windsor, NBL Champion
15.74+ Kelsi Avana-Reihl, 11, Maria Carrillo
16.14+ Sheena Blackwell, 12, Piner
16.25 Kiara Miles, 10, Sonoma Valley, SCL Champion
16.44+ Annabel Cowden, 11, Santa Rosa

NCS Redwood by Michael Lucid, plus Julia DeVincenzi
1 Maddie Call 10 Windsor 15.39
2 Kelsi Avana 11 Maria Carrillo 15.89
3 Dena Prince 11 Justin Siena 15.96
4 Kiara Miles 10 Sonoma Valley 16.40
5 Kayla Costello 12 Del Norte 16.43

It would take 22 years but Maria Carrillo’s Habibah Sanusi would finally break Schukle’s Empire record in her very last high school meet.
As a sophomore Sanusi would run the 2016 prep best in 15.50 but just missed winning the NBL finals in what is probably the closest finish ever, shown below.

15.6 Maddie Call, 11, Windsor
15.6 Habibah Sanusi, 10, Maria Carrillo
15.7 Kelsi Avana-Reihl, 12, Maria Carrillo by Michael Lucid

She ran her 2017 prep best time in the NBL trials at 15.12 +2.0 before winning the finals in 15.80 –0.2.

Sanusi 2018 Season
Sanusi won four Invitatinals (Big Cat, Eddie Hart, Santa Rosa Twilight and Viking Classic).
At the big Arcadia meet she ran the fastest Empire time ever in an Invitational at 14.88 -0.7.
She would win her second NBL title by an amazing 1.85 seconds to win her first event of the day.
Her 14.74 +1.1 time was enough to win the NCS Redwood meet in the Empire’s fastest Legal NCS Regional meet ever.
A second place finish at the NCS MOC (14.80 -1.1) got her to State.
In the State trials her 14.52 +1.3 finally took down the Empire Record and placed her 13th.

Habibah Sanusi winning the finals following setting the wind legal record in the trials by Michael Lucid

Petaluma’s Sydney Dennis would be the, new VVAL, first league champion in 2019 at 16.32 -0.1.

Sydney Dennis by Michael Lucid

Santa Rosa’s CoCome McKamey would run the fastest wind legal mark ever in a Dual Meet on 3/29/22 at Analy in 15.25 +2.0.

CoCome McKamey

Vintage’s Sophia Notaro lowered the VVAL meet record down to 15.90 +2.1 in 2023.

Sophia Notaro by Michael Lucid

Girls All-Time 100m High Hurdles
Top 5
Wind legal
14.52 +1.3 Habibah Sanusi, Maria Carrillo #1 2018
14.69 +0.1 Suzanne Howard, Santa Rosa #1 2008
14.97 +1.7 Katie Schukle, Santa Rosa 5/10/97
14.97 +1.1 Claire Bingham, Healdsburg #1 2010
15.25 +2.0 CoCome McKamey, Santa Rosa 2022

Fastest Fully Automated timed races
14.52 Habibah Sanusi, Maria Carrillo #1 2018 +1.3
14.57 Katie Schukle, Santa Rosa #1 1996
14.69 Suzanne Howard, Santa Rosa 2008
14.74 Claire Bingham, Healdsburg #1 2010
15.17 Mary Shibata, Ukiah #1 2003

100 meter Low Hurdles ( 30 inch )
Conv. Actual
14.10 14.10 Sharon Polley, El Molino #1 1988
14.52 Habibah Sanusi, Maria Carrillo #1 2018 +1.3
14.54 14.3 Annette Richardson, El Molino #2 1979
14.57 14.57H Katie Schukle, Santa Rosa #1 1996
14.64 14.4 LaJuene Gage, Lower Lake #1 1986

Top 5
14.52 +1.3 Habibah Sanusi, Maria Carrillo 6/1/18 State trials, Empire record
14.57 nwi Katie Schukle, Santa Rosa 5/18/96 NCS Redwood, Former Empire record, watch race
14.69 +0.1 Suzanne Howard, Santa Rosa 5/23/08 MOC trials
14.74 nwi Claire Bingham, Healdsburg 5/28/10 MOC trials
14.74 +1.1 Habibah Sanusi, Maria Carrillo 5/19/18 NCS Redwood

Most marks in the top 50
(15) 14.57  15.27 Katie Schukle, Santa Rosa
(13) 14.69  15.27 Suzanne Howard, Santa Rosa
(11) 14.74  15.24 Claire Bingham, Healdsburg
 (8) 14.52  15.26 Habibah Sanusi, Maria Carrillo  

 (1) 15.17 Mary Shibata, Ukiah
 (1) 15.18 Kyra Johnson, Piner
 (1) 15.25 CoCome McKamey, Santa Rosa 
 (1) 15.27 Julia DeVencenzi, St. Helena

Fastest times per place in NBL 100m HIGH HURDLES Finals
1 15.00 Katie Schukle, Santa Rosa 1996
1 15.45 Habibah Sanusi, Maria Carrillo -2.1 2018, wind legal best
2 15.63 Pam Karbowski, Ursuline/Cardinal Newman 1994
3 15.81 Nikki Henkels, Santa Rosa 1994
4 16.24+ Lucy Segraves, Maria Carrillo 2016
5 16.86 Stephanie Fernandez, Montgomery 2015
6 17.14 Alexander Dotti, Cardinal Newman +1.8 2014
7 17.30 MeiLi Bartholome, Montgomery +1.8 2014
8 17.53 Lucy Segraves, Maria Carrillo +1.8 2014

Meet Record Katie Schukle, Santa Rosa 1996, 14.83 in trials

Lucy Segraves, far left, ran 16.0 in 2016 NBL 100HH finals and could finish no better than 4th place, photo by Michael Lucid, she also has the fastest ever for 8th place from two years earlier.

4 X 100m HH Relay
1:07.34 Santa Rosa* 2002 avg 16.84
1:13.03 Santa Rosa# 2010
1:13.78 Santa Rosa% 2016
1:13.94 Santa Rosa! 2011
1:16.71 Maria Carrillo 2011
1:17.64+ Santa Rosa^ 2009
1:20.04+ Santa Rosa 1993

* Deena Stapleton 16.66, Sarai Williams 16.89, Becka Parker 17.27, Juliana Helleskov 16.52
# Jessica Chen, McKennan Bertsch, Gabby Elliott, Tori Bruno
% Victoria Trono, Carissa Nacol, Dana Johnson, Annabel Cowden
^ Jessica Chen, Gabby Elliott, Gemma Waaland, Chiara Sarter
! Brittney Kozenko, Claire Bartlett, Molly Bartlett, Melissa Lopez

4 X 100m LH Relay
1:02.6 El Molino 1986 avg 15.05
1:03.3 El Molino 1988
1:03.3 El Molino 1989
1:03.9 El Molino 1987
1:07.0 Petaluma 1979

Class Records

Redwood Empire League Finals
NBL Oak 14.83 Katie Schukle, Santa Rosa 1996 trials, 15.12 +2.0 Habibah Sanusi, Maria Carrillo 2017 trials
NBL Redwood 15.00 -2.2 Claire Bingham, Healdsburg 2010, 16.09 +1.3 Sheena Blackwell, Piner 2013 wind legal
VVAL FAT 15.90 +2.1 Sophia Notaro, Vintage 2023, Wind Legal 16.32 -0.1 Sydney Dennis, Petaluma 2019
CMC 15.53 Julia DeVencinzi, St. Helena 2015

NCS MOC Best times
14.69 +0.1 Suzanne Howard, Santa Rosa 5/23/08 MOC trials
14.74 nwi Claire Bingham, Healdsburg 5/28/10 MOC trials
14.80 -1.1 Habibah Sanusi, Maria Carrillo 5/26/18 MOC finals
14.83 +1.4 Suzanne Howard, Santa Rosa 5/27/06 MOC finals
14.85 nwi Katie Schukle, Santa Rosa 5/31/97 MOC finals

Boys History of Events

100 200 400 800 1600 3200 110HH 300IH 400R 1600R HJ PV LJ TJ SP DT

Redwood Empires Greatest High School Male Track and Cross Country Athletes

Girls History of Events

100 200 400 800 1600 3200 100HH 300LH 400R 1600R HJ PV LJ TJ SP DT

Redwood Empire Girls Track & Field and Cross Country history Part I (1972-1981)
Redwood Empire Girls Track & Field and Cross Country history Part II (1982-1991)
Redwood Empire Girls Track & Field and Cross Country history Part III (1992-not finished)

Compiled by Jim Crowhurst