State Meet Race Video Countdown: No. 8, Girls 4x800m Relay

Princeton-bound senior Hannah Riggins dropped a blistering third-leg split to lead Del Norte to the title of the inaugural 4x800m relay.

Third in a Series

Early returns on the inaugural 4x800-meter relay as a State Meet event are that it was a hit! That certainly was the case for the Del Norte (SD) girls, which won the battle among four of the nation's top 13 teams.

The lineup of sophomore Emily Russo, junior Ella Echsner, senior Hannah Riggins, and sophomore Paige Echsner dropped a U.S. No. 4 winning-time of 8:55.99.

Sophomore Anne Elise Packard got JSerra (SS) off to a strong start with a 2:13.04 opening leg.

Russo opened at 2:17.21 for Del Norte, and was in third when she passed to Ella Echsner, whose 2:14.90 split made up close to a 20-meter gap to bring Del Norte almost even and set up Riggins to drop the hammer.

Riggins, who earlier in the day set a San Diego Section record in the 1600m and earlier in the year jumped atop the SDS record books in the 800m, took control in her third leg with an opening lap of 60.28! She closed in 67.3 for a 2:07.31 split (just off Sadie Engelhardt's winning time in the open 800m of 2:07.22). 

Paige Echsner, fresh off medaling in the pole vault -- yes, the POLE VAULT! -- closed in 2:16.60 for the win, holding off a challenge by JSerra (SS) junior Georgia Jeanneret, who anchored in 2:13.50, and St. Francis (CC) sophomore Sabrina Zanetto, who anchored in 2:11.17.   

Del Norte's time ranks U.S. No. 4.

The JSerra lineup of Packard, senior Ellie Johnson, junior Brooke O'Brien, and Jeanneret ran a time of 9:01.10, which ranks U.S. No. 7.

The St. Francis lineup of freshman Katie Mullane, senior Hinako Yamamoto, senior Anna Fawcett, and Zanetto ran 9:04.03 lowering the Central Coast Section record, which ranks U.S. No. 13. (Buchanan's 8:59.12 from Mt. SAC is U.S. No. 6)

Watch the race:

Race Countdown voting by Ryan Blystone, Steve Brand, Albert Caruana, Mark Gardner, and Jeffrey Parenti