Led by a spectacular and surprising win by the 4x100 relay team, the Casa Grande girls finished third in the North Bay League track and field championships held at Santa Rosa High School last Friday.
As usual and as expected, Maria Carrillo dominated the boys and girls competition.
The Maria Carrillo boys compiled 177 points, the most ever earned by an NBL team. The Casa boys were fifth with 42 points behind the Pumas, Montgomery (87), Santa Rosa (74) and Windsor (50). Ukiah (39), Cardinal Newman (18) and Rancho Cotate (17) rounded out the field.
On the girls side, the Lady Gauchos were third with 73 points behind Maria Carrillo (181) and Santa Rosa (151) who battled it out for the league championship. Following Casa were Montgomery (52.5), Ukiah (30), Windsor (12.5), Cardinal Newman (12) and Rancho Cotate (0).
The first four finishers in each event advance to the Redwood Empire Championships set for Saturday at Santa Rosa High School.
A bevy of young girls came up with veteran-like performances to lead the Casa Grande girls to their third-place finish.
Sophomore thrower Lillian McCoy led a strong showing for Casa Grande in the field events, winning the shot put with a 36-foot, 6-inch effort. Sophomore Leilani Highland was eighth at 30-3.5 and Francisca Theodore ninth at 29-11.5. McCoy was fourth in the discus at 99-2.
A highlight for Casa Grande was a win by the 4x100 relay team of Perla Perez, Maya Tia, Emily Melton and Mia Shew who ran a 52.34-second time to upset both second-place Santa Rosa and favored Maria Carrillo.
In the distance events, Grace Petruglia was sixth (5 minutes, 35.54 seconds) and sophomore Emma Baswell eighth (5:38.50) in the 1600 and Celeste Chavez-Hernandez sixth in the 3200 (12:43.13).
Baswell was also eighth in the 800 (2;35.05), with freshman teammate Abby Vestnys 10th in 2:35.65.
Freshman Emily Melton was sixth in the 400 in 1:04.22.
Dorah Brutus ran a strong third in the 300 low hurdles (52.38). Kayla Briceno was fifth (53.49), Nita Mevil sixth (53.73) and freshman Tess Shelton 10th (56.15). Brutus was fifth in the 100 highs (17.72) and Chloe Winsemius sixth (17.77).
Freshman Tia came up with a strong effort to finish second in the 100 in 13.58. Perez was fourth in 13.58 and Shew ninth in 14.33. Tia was seventh in the 200 (27.90).
Perez placed third in both the long jump at 14-11 and the triple jump at 29-9.5. In the long jump, Francisca Theodore was fourth at 14-9, Aalyna Silva sixth at 14-3 and Tiarra Jeff eighth at 13-8. Jeff finished sixth in the triple jump at 28.7, Theodore seventh at 28-4 and Silva ninth at 26-10.
Freshman Chloe Winsemius was eighth in the high jump (4-3).
Casa Grande’s 4x400 relay team was fourth in 4:27.30.
The Casa girls junior varsity team, led by the winning 4x100 relay team, was second to Rancho Cotate as a team.
Speedster Mathew Mason led the Casa Grande boys, running second in the 100 in 11.64, and fourth in the 200 in 23.04. Teammate Jalydon Love was seventh in the 200 in 23.49. Love also finished eighth in the 400 in 53.07, with sophomore Chris Sachen 10th in 54.49.
Casa Grande’s younger athletes gave a glimpse of a bright distance future, with freshmen Owen Hite and William Hite running sixth and seventh in the 1600. They were also fifth and sixth in the 3200 with William fifth in 10:11.94 and Owen sixth in 10:25.06.