By LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Maddie Call and Alyssa Stewart needed redemption in the North Bay League track and field championships at Windsor High School Friday night.
As the third and fourth legs of the Windsor girls 4×100-meter relay team, the teammates flubbed the baton handoff heading into the final stretch. The Jaguars were in the lead at the time and it appeared a sure thing as they readied for the final handoff.
But the drop disqualified them and Maria Carrillo pulled ahead in the final yards to win.
Carrillo’s Kelsi Avana brought home the 50.23 win after building on solid legs by Shannon Palladino, Amy Glaser and Assata Polk.
“We couldn’t believe our eyes,” Carrillo coach Greg Fogg said. “I don’t think that team has ever dropped a baton.”
A tearful Call couldn’t either, and was comforted by teammates afterward.
But Call wasn’t done. Neither was Stewart.
Stewart set three school records — in the 100-meter dash (12.63 seconds), long jump (17-2.5) and triple jump (34-11.25).
Call recorded two personal bests in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles (15.57 and 46.10.)
“I felt really bad for my team because I felt like I ruined their chances,” Call said. “But I was thinking I had a couple more races to do and I have to do well, so the best thing to do is forget about it and race to your own race. That’s all you can do.”
Windsor coach Larry Arterberry said the girls lifted each other up after the disqualification.
“All the girls rebounded and did well in their individual races after that,” he said. “They all know it happens and it’s part of the game.”
Carrillo’s boys 4×100 relay team finished in style as anchor Alex Netherda smiled his way to the finish line, capping a 43.57 win ahead of Windsor (44.12) and Rancho Cotate (44.23).
Netherda said he and his teammates Ian Herculson, Dominic Garcia and Jordan Rosado wanted to make up for dropping a baton in the Viking Classic earlier this year.
“That was killer because that was the best competition up until this point,” he said. “We knew we were better than that. Last year, the first time we dropped the baton was here.”
In the girls 1600 meters, Santa Rosa High School junior Delaney White held a solid lead the entire race.
She also overcame a brief loss of rhythm when a race official almost herded her off the course, mistakenly thinking it was the final lap.
She finished in 5:05.27, ahead of Adria Barich of Casa Grande (5:09.36) and Shaz Breedlove of Maria Carrillo (5:20.97).
“It was tough,” White said, coughing after the win. “Tougher than most. I’m just getting over a head cold.”
You can reach Lori A. Carter at 521-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @loriacarter.