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BERKELEY — Santa Rosa High’s Kirsten Carter stole the show at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions on Saturday, capturing first place in the 100-meter sprint and second in the 200, sealing the opportunity to race at her third state track and field championship meet next weekend.

The top three finishers in each event at the Meet of Champions advance to the CIF state meet this weekend in Clovis.

Carter was one of two individual champions from the Redwood Empire. Sonoma Academy junior Rylee Bowen cruised to victory in the 1,600 for the third consecutive year.

Santa Rosa coach Doug Courtemarche said Carter’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

“It’s quite the double, and it was really sweet,” he said. “This is the first time she’s attempted the 100 in her three years. She’s run it occasionally but it wasn’t an event she focused on. This year she focused on the 100 and it’s paid off. She’s coming at her best at the right time and everything we’ve been working on all year is showing up now.”

Carter, a junior, had been varying race distances for the past few years, finally focusing on the 100 and 200 this year. This was the first year that she ran the 100 competitively, and her concentration on the event clearly paid off.

Carter said she’s been working with teammate Brayden Glascock to challenge her and push her while at practice. The duo had been working on Carter’s start off the blocks.

“Running against him every day in the (starter’s) blocks — as he’s also a tall person — was good because I learned to gradually come up in the blocks, and then just the actual explosion,” Carter said.

She has also been working on trying to gauge the differences between the race lengths.

“The 200 is more of a race that has to do with stamina, but you need to stay mentally strong because there’s enough time to think — whereas the 100, you just run it. You either run the best race of your life or don’t because it’s 10 seconds. There’s a few things that can actually go through your mind but before you can do them, the race is over.”

Sonoma Academy coach Danny Aldridge was equally impressed with Bowen’s victory.

“When someone came up on her, she would go (harder) again, and see if anyone could respond,” he said. “She could have gone to a higher gear if she wanted. She kept it in cruise control.”

Bowen was primed to not push herself too hard in the 1,600.

“The goal was to keep it as conservative as I could,” she said. “Try to keep the pace. We did that and I was really happy with that.”

Bowen is still trying to beat her personal 1,600 record from when she was a freshman, 4 minutes, 43 seconds — she ran the distance in 4 minutes, 51 seconds this year.

“Every year, my race has come down to a kick … but the goal at this one was to try to win and see what happens with it,” Bowen said.

Montgomery High track and field coach Bryan Bradley didn’t hide his elation when Thomas Thomsen took third place in the 110-meter hurdles to qualify for state.

“Yeah! We’re going to state! Yeah!” Bradley shouted to the audience from his perch in the top row.

Bradley wasn’t done celebrating, yet. Montgomery’s Jaymes Tischburn qualified for state later in the day with a second-place finish in the 200.

Bradley admitted he couldn’t hold back for that accomplishment, either, partly due to the fact that in his seven years coaching at the school (the past two as the head coach) these are his first two athletes he’s taking to state. Bradley thought Thomsen had finished fourth, until he watched the video again and saw that he had finished third.

Maria Carrillo’s boys 4-by-400 relay team finished in second place, and will race in Clovis next weekend. The Pumas’ girls 4-by-400 team finished in seventh, while the 4-by-100 girls relay team was disqualifed in their race. The Carrillo boys 4-by-100 team finished in fourth.

El Molino’s Brian Schultz finished in fourth place in the 3,200.