Santa Rosa High senior Kirsten Carter, competing in three events, leads the charge of local athletes heading into the CIF track and field meet in Clovis starting Friday.
Preliminary running heats begin at 5 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium, while field events begin at 3 p.m.
The top nine times advance to the finals Saturday in races 400 meters or shorter. The top 12 advance in the 800 and 1,600 meters. The 3,200 is conducted as a final-only race, with all 29 racers competing on Saturday.
In field events, the top 12 athletes from long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus, high jump and pole vault will advance to the finals Saturday.
Carter, the Redwood Empire record holder in the 200 meters, finished second at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions in Berkeley Saturday with a 24.29 — a time that nears a personal, albeit wind-aided, best for the senior. She is seeded fifth in that race.
Carter finished third at MOC in the 400 meters with a time of 56.83. That puts her at the 16th seed. Carter’s fastest-ever 400 meters was the 54.24 she ran in 2015 — the best ever mark in Redwood Empire history.
Carter will also race in Santa Rosa’s 4x400-meter relay that includes juniors Izel Zamora, Jacque Hale and Caroline Duffy. That squad qualified by finishing third at MOC with a new school record of 55.67. That pace puts them at the 17th seed.
In the girls’ 1,600 meters, Healdsburg junior Gabby Peterson comes in as the reigning North Coast Section champion and the eighth seed at state with a qualifying time of 4:48.91, but Sonoma Academy senior Rylee Bowen’s credentials are pretty stellar, too. Bowen finished fourth at state the past two years after running to an 11th place finish her freshman year. Her qualifying time of 4:55.94 at MOC Saturday was her best of the season, but off her fastest mark of 4:43.92 that she posted in 2015. That mark is the second fastest in Redwood Empire history.
Maria Carrillo senior Habibah Sanusi emerged from an ultra-tight Meet of Champions race to take second in the 100-meter hurdles. Her time of 14.8 makes her the 17th seed in Clovis.
In the 300-meter hurdles, Santa Rosa junior Brayden Glascock’s 39.46 at MOC puts him in the 20th seed.
In the boys’ 4x400-meter relay, the Maria Carrillo squad of juniors Severin Ramirez, Will McCloud, Tyler Van Arden and senior Demetre Coffey are looking for a podium finish out of their 14th seed.
Ramirez will also compete in the 200 meters, where his time of 22.18 at MOC netted him the 21st seed at state.
Maria Carrillo sophomore Sarah Aanenson is seeded 28th in the long jump after she finished MOC at 17 feet, 7 inches, 2 inches off her personal best.
You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 707-526-8671 or email@example.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield. Podcasting on iTunes and SoundCloud, “Overtime with Kerry Benefield.”