Bowen, Carter to run at Brooks Invitational

Sonoma Academy's Rylee Bowen runs in the girls 1600-meter race during the 2015 CIF Track & Field Championships at  Clovis on Saturday.  (Crista Jeremiason/ The Press Democrat)

Sonoma Academy’s Rylee Bowen runs in the girls 1600-meter race during the 2015 CIF Track & Field Championships at Clovis on Saturday. (Crista Jeremiason/ The Press Democrat)

By KERRY BENEFIELD
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Two of Sonoma County’s brightest track stars have been invited to the expenses-paid Brooks Invitational meet in Seattle on June 20.

Freshmen Rylee Bowen of Sonoma Academy and Kirsten Carter of Santa Rosa High will compete in the mile and 400 meters, respectively.

The timing could not be better for either, according to their coaches.

Both Bowen and Carter posted disappointing results at the CIF Track & Field Championships in Clovis last weekend despite racing to blistering times in the qualifying Meet of Champions at Berkeley.

“After this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if they do really well,” said Santa Rosa track coach Doug Courtemarche.

Bowen finished 11th out of 12 runners in the final at Clovis. Just a week prior, she ran a 4:43.92 in the 1600 meters at the MOC, a time that would have gotten her fourth place at the state meet.

And Carter, despite posting a 54.24 at the MOC, had an uncharacteristically dismal state final and finished last in the final.

The Brooks meet, where Carter is likely to line up against new California state champ Hannah Waller in the 400, will feature some of the fastest high school runners in the country.

“It should be as fast as the state meet, if not faster,” said Sean Fitzpatrick, head coach of Sonoma State University’s cross country and track and field teams, and Bowen’s long-time personal coach. “Everybody that is getting this nod pretty much has to be the cream of the cream.”

You can reach Kerry Benefield at 526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield.