CARRILLO CONTINUES WIN STREAK

By DEWEY FORGET
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

With less than 500 yards left in the North Bay League cross country championships 
Thursday at Spring Lake, Jacqui Wentz trailed Montgomery’s Jennifer Martindill by 
15 yards. Not to worry. 
Wentz, a Maria Carrillo senior, overcame the deficit in the final 200 yards to 
capture the girls’ individual title. Shannon Rich of Rancho Cotate was third, 
followed by Montgomery freshman Celeste Berg.

Maria Carrillo’s Ryan Aldridge won the boys title, followed by teammates Michael 
Brew and Logan Ensign. Blake McDowell (Montgomery) was fourth.
Carrillo also took home both team titles. Nothing new for the Pumas. The boys are 
riding a 36 race unbeaten streak and the girls haven’t lost a league race in three 
years. 

The Pumas boys are ranked No.-1 in the North Coast Section in Div. II, and 4th in 
the state. The girls, who were second at the state meet last year, began the season 
ranked 8th in the state before injuries to top runners Kristen Sanzari and Leann Fogg 
slowed them down. Does the word dynasty come to mind?
While Carrillo coach Danny Aldridge hesitated to call the Pumas a dynasty in the making, 
preferring to characterize the Carrillo accomplishments as the result of a solid program 
that’s “just trying to make it a lot of fun for the kids”. However, Ukiah coach Chad 
Raugewitz had no such reservations.

“The NBL is a tough league. Carrillo is the closest thing to a dynasty that I’ve seen,” 
Raugewitz said. “In basketball or football there is always a chance for an upset, but in 
cross country all the Carrillo runners would have to fall in a ditch for them to lose, 
and it’s been that way for a long time. I’d call that a dynasty.”

Wentz, who was just trying to make the team as a sophomore and last year was the fifth-
rated runner, has become a team leader.
“I told her she had a real shot at winning the league championship,” Danny Aldridge said. 
“Since this summer she has been really focused. Now, she’s running with a lot of 
confidence.”

Martindill, who will attend Cal-State Davis on scholarship, may be the most improved 
runner in the Empire. This is her first year on the varsity squad and only her second 
year in cross country.
“She’s come out of nowhere. It’s unbelievable what this girl has accomplished,” said 
Montgomery coach Val Sell. “She’s literally taken minutes off her time.”

Ryan Aldridge, Brew and Ensign ran closely bunched through the first 2 miles before Ryan, 
Danny’s son, pulled away.
“We try to stay together the first half of the race, then usually the winner moves out,” 
Ryan Aldridge said. “We have arrows drawn on the ground near the dam, we call them turbo 
arrows. When we see the arrows, we just blast off.”

Santa Rosa edged out Montgomery for second place in the boys race, followed by Rancho 
Cotate and Cardinal Newman. Montgomery girls placed second with Ursuline third.

NOTES:

Montgomery freshman Celeste Berg finished fourth at the North Bay League championships 
Thursday. Her time of 18:45 is the fifth fastest ever for a freshman over the Spring 
Lake course behind the leader Sara Bei of Montgomery (17:09) from 1997. 

Maria Carrillo’s Logan Ensign, who finished third in the boys race, said the Pumas are 
all about the team, but aren’t above talking a little trash. “Before the race we get 
after each other pretty good, but it’s all very playfull. We all want to win, but I 
would be the first to hug the winner,” he said.