While Santa Rosa High senior Deborah Fry opted out of competing in the CIF state track and field championship that starts Friday in Clovis, three Redwood Empire athletes will be in the Central Valley taking part.

Sonoma Academy sophomore Rylee Bowen won a highly competitive 1,600-meter race at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions last weekend, in which five — not the typical three — racers met the qualifying time to compete in Clovis. Bowen clocked a 4:49 for first place.

Bowen finished 11th at the state meet a year ago and is second on the Empire’s all-time best list with a 4:43 she posted as a freshman.

Santa Rosa High sophomore Kirsten Carter will also make a return trip to the state meet after finishing third in the 200 meters at NCS in a time of 24:39. She made it to the state meet in both the 200 and 400 meters last year.

Carter, the Empire’s best ever in both the 200- and 400-meter sprints, did not run the 400 at NCS in order to focus on the shorter race. At the state meet last year, she did not move past the preliminary heat in the 200, but did advance in the 400 before finishing in the back of the pack in the final.

Carter’s qualifying time in the 200 was just off her all-time best of 24:36.

Santa Rosa will also send senior Delaney White to Clovis. White, The Press Democrat’s cross country runner of the year, finished third in the 3,200-meter race Saturday to clinch her first-ever spot at the state track meet. Her finishing time of 10:41 moved her to 10th on the Empire’s all-time list.

You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield. Podcasting on iTunes “Overtime with Kerry Benefield.”