Heart in Sole Santa Rosa, CA
Under Armour/Heart and Sole Redwood Empire Athletes of the Week!


Athlete of the Week!


In an effort to recognize the hard work and achievements of the cross country runners throughout the Redwood Empire,
we have joined with Under Armour for the Redwood Empire Athlete of the Week award!
Each week, one boy and one girl will be awarded a custom silk-screened tech shirt in recognition of that week's accomplishments.
Stay tuned here and on our Facebook page for the winners each week

Week Seven

Ruben Mehler, Windsor, senior

Ruben Mehler - photo needed

Four events, four wins. It was a pretty good week for the Windsor senior. First up, Mehler competed in a tri-meet with Rancho Cottae and Santa Rosa, where he absolutely dominated the throws. He put the shot 42'11", which was over 7 feet further than second place. In the discus he threw 138'10" to win by over 10 feet. As impressive as those were, he upped his game at the Viking Invitational, beating athletes from all over the region. He won a close victory in the discus, throwing 154'6" to win by just 2 feet, though he again handily won the shot put, throwing 46'10" to win by over 5 feet. Both marks are #1 this year in the Redwood Empire.

Anbrianna Tait, El Molino, senior

Aubrianna Tait - photo credit Thomas Benjamin

At the Viking Invitational, Tait ran her way into the record-books thanks to some very stiff competition. First up was the 100m hurdles, where she had to face an incredibly strong field that included previous Athlete of the Week Habibah Sanusi of Maria Carrillo. She came through the line second in 16.25, while four other athletes finished within half a second of her. That 16.25 mark is not only the second fastest in the Redwood Empire this year, but it skyrocketed her to 35th All-Time in the history of the Redwood Empire. But that couldn't compare to the excitement in Tait's signature event, the 300m hurdles. In a near photo-finish, Tait just out-leaned a competitor from Tam, clocking 46.92. That time ties the mark she set at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions last year, making Tati the 26th fastest in the history of the Redwood Empire. In addition to her two great races at Viking, Tait handily won both hurdles in her Wednesday tri-meet against Healdsburg and Sonoma.

Week Six

Alexia Onate, Montgomery, senior

Alexia Onate - photo credit Thomas Benjamin

Onate wasted no time putting the NBL on notice, as she swept the throws at the first NBL tri-meet, where Montgomery faced Maria Carrillo and Windsor. In the Shot Put, she threw 26'6.5" to win a close contest by 2 inches. But it was in the discus where the reigning North Bay League Champion really turned heads. With second place throwing 87 feet, Onate let loose a monster 116'11" for a ridiculous margin of victory. That mark is not only 9 feet further than she threw last year (and 17 feet further than her NBL winning throw), it also extends her lead at the top of the yearly Redwood Empire list. In also puts her into the top-50 ever in the Redwood Empire for the first time, slotting her in at number 40. With the season only midway through, one can only expect for the Viking senior to inch her way up the list as her final HS season progresses!

Nobel Schlueter, Casa Grande, senior

Nobel Schlueter - photo credit Thomas Benjamin

At the North Bay League final's last year, Santa Rosa scored nearly three times better than Casa Grande (118-42), but this Wednesday's NBL meet had a very different outcome, thanks in large part to Schlueter. There he competed in three individual events, and he won them all. In the field, he topped all comers with a 5'8" in the High Jump, tying him or 5th this year in the North Bay League. But it was in the hurdles where he really excelled. In the 110m High Hurdles, he won by nearly two seconds, clocking 15.3 hand-timed, the 3rd best mark in the Empire this year. And in the 300m hurdles - the event in which he finished as NBL Runner-Up in 2016, he ran 41.6 to outdistance second by nearly 1.5 seconds. Only two other Empire athletes have broken 42 this year. Thanks to his triple-duty, Casa Grande won a narrow 65-61 win over Santa Rosa. The NBL finals, both individually and for teams, is going to be exciting!

Week Five

Luca Mazzanti, Santa Rosa, senior

Luca Mazzanti - photo credit Thomas Benjamin

Competing the 1,600m/3,200m double is never an easy task, but when it takes place in windy and rainy weather it's all the more rough. But Mother Nature couldn't stop Mazzanti, who convincingly won the both distance events at the Santa Rosa Twilight Invitational. First off was the 1,600m, where he shattered the Meet Record with a blistering last lap, crossing the line in 4:16.96. That time moves him to 18th on the all-time Empire list, an impressive achievement given the win and 3+second margin of victory. Less than two hours later, Mazzanti came back in the 3,200m, where he patiently waited for 6 laps before blowing away the field in the last 800m. His 9:39.26 was good enough to win by over 6 seconds, and is the fastest time run in the Empire this year. Currently, that time ranks him 7th in the North Coast Section, and his 1,600m mark is leading the NCS by nearly 3 seconds. We can only expect that times will fall come the post-season, and with that a shot at the State Championships.

Rylee Bowen, Sonoma Academy, junior

Rylee Bowen

Competing in the nationally prestigious Arcadia Invitational, Bowen finished a strong third in the Invitational Mile, clocking a huge season's best of 4:48.92. Already the second fastest in Empire History, this mark gives Bowen a fourth performance in the Empire top-15. She's nearly 20 seconds faster than any other girl in the Redwood Empire this year, and puts her second on the state list for the mile/1,600m. She'll next be competing at another national caliber invitational, the Mt. SAC Relays, in the 800m and 1,600m, and then will likely turn her attention to the post-season. But no matter how fast she runs, Bowen always makes sure to keep it fun!

Week Four

Amani Baker, Maria Carrillo, senior

Amani Baker - photo credit Michael Lucid

Already one of the fastest sprinters in Redwood Empire History, Baker helped bring some of her Puma teammates into history at the Stanford Invite. Competing against some of the top teams in California, Baker anchored her 4x100m relay team to a blistering 49.24 to win their heat. That time shattered the MCHS school record and put the team at #2 in the history of the Redwood Empire. While they couldn't go quite as fast in the final, Baker's squad still clocked 49.71, which would have been a top-20 time in it's own right.
Individually, Baker also impressed in the Long Jump and 100m. While just missing the 18-foot barrier, her 17'11.5" is the 10th furthest jump in Empire History (and the third wind-legal). It also broke the MCHS school record by three inches. Her 12.58 would have moved her to 10th all-time wind-legal in the 100m if she weren't already 4th. These marks placed her 7th in the Long Jump and 15th in the 100m for the prestigious Stanford Invite, making it all the more clear that Baker will be a force to be reconned with in the post-season, be it on a relay, in the field, or individually on the track.

Sakea Rokotuiviwa, Montgomery, junior

Sakea Rokotuiviwa - photo credit Michael Lucid

Moving schools can be tough. Moving halfway across the planet has got to be real tough. But that hasn't stopped Rokotuiviwa, who moved over 5,000m miles from Fiji to attend Montgomery HS this year. And he's making the most of it.
Competing at the Castleberry Invite, Rokotuiviwa clocked 10.98 in the 100m to became the first boy in 2017 to break the 11-second barrier. Less than 20 athletes have clocked a FAT sub-11 in the history of the Empire; not bad for his first month in a Viking uniform! For good measure, Rokotuiviwa also jumped 18'1" for 8th in the long jump.
With a training partner in Week 1 Athlete of the Week Jaymes Tischbern, expect big, big things from Rokotuiviwa as the season progresses. And don't be surprised to see the Vikings' relay notch some fast times too!

Week Three

Isaiah Smith, Maria Carrillo, senior

Isaiah Smith

Last year's NBL 400m Champion looks well on his way to retaining his title. Competing at the Eddie Hart Invitational in Pittsburg, Smith blazed to a 49.89 clocking in the 400m, winning by well over a second. If he weren't already the 15th fastest 400m runner in Empire History, that mark would move him into the top 30, quite the accomplishment for such an early-season meet. He now leads the yearly Empire list by nearly 3 seconds, and seems well on his way to moving up into the top-10 all-time. And if his individual exploits weren't enough, Smith ran a leg on the Pumas' 2nd-place 4x400m relay team. Their time of 3:28.10 leads the Empire this year by over 12 seconds. With such a solid sprint crew behind him, expect Smith to take home many more post-season medals before his prep career is done.

Gabby Peterson, Healdsburg, sophomore

Gabby Peterson

Finishing 10th overall out of over 150 runners in the 3,200m, Peterson had quite the performance at the Dublin Distance Fiesta. Her time of 10:59.75 didn't just shatter her PR by nearly 10 seconds, it set a new Healdsburg HS school record and vaulted her into the Top-20 All-Time for the Redwood Empire. The school record that she broke was held by none other than the late great Sarah Sumpter (HS State Champion, NCAA Division 1 Conference Champion, cancer fighter). She now sits just one spot behind hometown Olympian Kim Conley on the all-time 3,200m list, and is three spots ahead of now-professional marathoner Alia Gray. It's no exaggeration to say that Peterson is turning herself into one of a long line of standout distance runners from the Redwood Empire. And her sophomore season has barely begun.

Week Two

Habibah Sanusi, Maria Carrillo, junior

Habibah Sanusi

Continuing a multi-year hurdle rivalry with Windsor's Maddie Call, Maria Carrillo's Sanusi came out on top at the Windsor Relays. Sanusi clocked 16.25 for the 100m Hurdles to win by just over a quarter-second, and unsurprisingly run the fastest time in the Empire this year. That performance, while still off her best from last year (a wind-legal 15.50), shows that she'll be a real threat to take the NBL crown this year. For good measure she also raced the 200m, taking a solid second to week one AotW Carter in 27.67.

Thomas Thomsen, Montgomery, senior

Thomas Thomsen

Reigning NBL High Hurdle Champ Thomsen continued his 2017 season in style, capturing the event at the Windsor Relays. There he blitzed a wind-legal 15.34 to better his PR and moved to 13th on the All-Time list. He also took a solid second in the 300m Hurdles, and competed in the 100m as well.

Week One

Jaymes Tischbern, Montgomery, junior

Jaymes Tischbern

If the 2016 double NBL sprint silver medalist was looking to step to the top of the podium this year, he certainly started 2017 off on the right foot. In wet, blustery conditions at the Big Cat Invite, he stormed to a huge win in the 100m, clocking 11.00 (wind-aided with a +2.4 m/s tailwind) to win by over a third of a second. That moves him into the top 20 All-Time for FAT 100m's in the history of the Redwood Empire. Tischbern also did relay duty, anchoring his Vikings to a third-place finish in the 4x100m. All in all, he had a very solid start to the season, and what could become one of the better Empire sprint years in quite some time.

Kirsten Carter, Santa Rosa, junior

Kristen Carter

As the new Redwood Empire Record-Holder at 100m, should come as no surprise that Carter started her 2017 season in dominating fashion. She handily won the 100m at the Big Cat Invite, clocking 12.23 to win by a ridiculous half-second. That time is the 9th fastest ever run in the Empire, with only three girls not named Carter ever having gone faster. She also won the 200m by over a second, clocking 25.56 (though wind-aided with a +2.8 m/s tailwind). For good measure, she won the Long Jump by over a foot, soaring 17'8", Just as the last two years, Carter is an athlete to really keep an eye on this track season; even more big things are coming in 2017!


Heart n Sole Santa Rosa, CA
Previous Seasons

If you see your name please stop by the store to pick up your shirt! or contact us and we will do our best to get it to you.  

Athletes of the Week are picked solely by the Heart and Sole Staff, but we greatly value input from local COACHES. If any coach from the Empire has an athlete they wish to nominate, please contact us.