Prep track and field: Montgomery boys win first NBL championship title in 20 years; Maria Carrillo girls continue dominance

The North Bay League’s top athletes punched their tickets to the next stage of postseason competition at the NBL championships on a cool and cloudy Thursday evening.|

The North Bay League’s top athletes punched their tickets to the next stage of postseason competition at the NBL championships on a cool and cloudy Thursday evening at Rancho Cotate High School.

Just like last year, when Santa Rosa beat Maria Carrillo in the final event to claim the pennant, the boys race came down to the 4x400-meter race, the last event of the meet. Holding a six-point advantage in the team competition heading into the event, Montgomery placed just well enough to hold off Santa Rosa and Maria Carrillo and claim the team title.

The Vikings finished with 101 points to the Panthers’ 95 and the Pumas’ 93. It’s the first NBL title for the Vikings since 2003.

“This was definitely our goal all season when we saw that it was possible,” Montgomery head coach Melody Karpinski said. “We’ve definitely been getting the boys fired up since the beginning of the league season when we knew were going after this.”

“It was definitely a team effort across the board,” Karpinski continued. “Everyone performed really, really well today. In track, there’s always hiccups and there were some hiccups today, but then other people were able to pick up the slack.”

On the girls’ side, Maria Carrillo won its sixth NBL championship meet in the last 10 years after going a perfect 4-0 during league dual meets. They scored 203 points to runner-up Montgomery’s 123.

The Pumas boys also went a perfect 4-0 during dual league meets this season.

The top five finishers in each event advanced to the North Coast Section Redwood Area Meet next weekend at San Rafael High School. The top finishers there will advance to the NCS Meet of Champions for a chance to qualify for the state meet.

Full results from Thursdays meet are posted at


While they finished fourth in the 4x400 — three seconds behind winner Analy (3:28.61) — it was just enough for Montgomery to hold off Santa Rosa.

Senior Joey Bowser was a big part of the finish, as he anchored the 4x400 and made up some crucial ground.

“I usually worry more when there’s a guy behind me, rather than a guy in front of me,” Bowser said. “Whatever they set me up with, we’re always just going to go hard, try to win.”

Senior Jude DeVries was another big piece of the puzzle for the Vikings. He took home two wins, in the 1,600 and 3,200, with times of 4:21.30 and 9:29.58, respectively, and finished second in a very competitive 800. Piner’s Jared Hayes took first in 1:58.42 and won the pole vault with the top mark of 11 feet, 6 inches.

The non-Viking headliner on the boys’ side was Rancho Cotate junior sprinter Jacob Pruitt, who ran one of the fastest times in area history in the 100.

He crossed the finish line in 10.82 seconds, improving on his previously held school and personal record. The time is also the ninth-fastest ever in Redwood Empire history and the second-fastest time ever in meet history, trailing only Mel Gray’s adjusted mark of 10.54 from 1967, per records compiled by

Pruitt also won the 200 and anchored the 4x100 team in a win.

“I wasn’t expecting anything to happen today because I felt like garbage coming into it,” Pruitt said. “But luckily, kept my motto — “have fun” — and made sure I smiled through it, because if I smile through it, I know I’m relaxed.”

Local sprint fans were unfortunately robbed of a chance to see Pruitt race head-to-head with Cardinal Newman’s Gavin Doig, the reigning 100 champion in the NBL. Doig is sidelined with a season-ending injury but plans on running next year at Pomona College.

Cardinal Newman’s Liam Currie was another winner Thursday, taking the 400 title with a personal best of 49.85. Currie specialized in the 800 last year as a sophomore but has added the 400 to his repertoire. He outkicked Analy’s Owen Foley over the final 100 meters to take the win.

“That felt amazing,” Currie said of the PR. “We’ve been going for sub-50 seconds all season. That was my first time doing it.”

Other running winners Thursday included Rancho Cotate’s Sai Vadrawale in the 110-meter hurdles (15.31), Maria Carrillo’s Alexander Ong in the 300 hurdles (41.12) and Rancho Cotate’s 4x100 team (43.47). Santa Rosa also won the 4x800 relay, a new event this season, in 8:20.32.

In field events, Cardinal Newman dominated the throws, going 1-2 in the shot put and discus.

Santiago Adan took the discus title with a throw of 153-01, while Jake Joerger took second with 131-01. Joerger then came back to win the shot put with 47-07, ahead of teammate Devon Bertoli (45-0).

Montgomery’s Nathan Fifer continued his strong senior season in the high jump with another win of 6-03, 5 inches better than second place.

Maria Carrillo took both the long jump and triple jump, with Jai Gray winning the former with a mark of 20-4.25 and Nehemiah Holiday taking the latter with a 42-1.25.


Maria Carrillo had winners in eight of the 17 events, highlighted once again by its deep and talented sprints team.

Kathryn O’Malley and Elianah DeMange headlined, per usual. O’Malley won the 100 in 12.58 and took third in a very close 200. DeMange won in 26.25, with second going to Montgomery’s Sadie Sanders in 26.26 and third to O’Malley in 26.27.

DeMange also won the 400 in 58.39 but had to fend off a late charge from Montgomery’s Elizabeth Beiswanger, who took second in 58.49.

The Pumas also picked up wins in the 300 hurdles, courtesy of Payton McGarva (47.94), and in the 4x100 relay (49.58) and 4x400 relay (4:03). They were in control in the jumps, where Alexis Hunt won the high jump (5-04) and Lily Mulligan won the pole vault (11-0) and long jump (16-2.5).

Other winners in field events were Santa Rosa’s Sofia Henderson in the discus (113-11), Rancho Cotate’s Siolo Lua in the shot put (36-2.5) and Analy’s Karris Morasch in the triple jump (34-0.5).

Aside from DeMange and Mulligan, Montgomery’s Hanne Thomsen was the other double winner — in the 1,600 and 3,200, her signature events.

Thomsen nearly set a PR and meet record in the 1,600, crossing in a time of 4:46.03, and coasted her way to a win in the 3,200 in 10:18.27, more than a minute ahead of second place.

Thomsen is gearing up to defend her 3,200 state title.

“I think today was definitely good for training purposes, leading up to state,” said the sophomore, who currently holds the fourth-fastest 3,200 time in the country. “Overall, I’m pretty pleased with today.”

Montgomery also got a win and a PR from fellow sophomore Amrie Lacefield in the 800. Her winning time of 2:21.69 was a four-second improvement on her previous best and enough to hold off Maria Carrillo’s Mia Carra down the stretch for the win.

You can reach Staff Writer Gus Morris at 707-304-9372 or On Twitter @JustGusPD.

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