By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
Big is an appropriate way to describe the Redwood Empire Track and Field Championships, which is set to be held at Del Norte High this Saturday. More than 400 competitors from nearly roughly 30 schools in five conferences will take part.
Several Del Norte track team members qualified to participate by placing in the top three in the Big 5 championships recently. This is the first time in more than four years Del Norte has hosted the meet.
"It's nice to have it here, but it's a lot of work," Warrior track coach Scott Lindsay said. "It will be good to see some of the elite athletes compete."
Almost 50 local volunteers will help to make the event a reality, from working the concession stand, to keeping track of event times.
It's especially nice for Del Norte team members who normally have to drive five hours or more for the championships, Lindsay said.
"They can wake up in their own bed and come here in only a few minutes instead of driving for hours and getting up in in a motel room," he said.
Junior Rebecca Cink, who will compete in the discus and 800-meter run, is glad to have the home field advantage heading into Saturday.
"I like that it's at home," she said. "It's a familiar (discus) ring. It kind of gives you extra confidence and comfort."
The top seven finishers in each event will qualify for the NCS Meet of Champions in Berkeley on May 25 and 26. The top four in each event at that meet will go on to state in Sacramento.
Warriors who will take part on Saturday include Kelsy Hintz, who will compete in the pole vault. Last year, as a sophomore, she made it to state. She will also take part in the girl's 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. Bailee McCulloch will also compete in the 100 and 200-meter dash events.
McCulloch and Hintz are also members of the 4x100 relay team along with Jessica Slayton and Rachel Cink.
Slayton will also compete in the high jump, and Cink will take part in the 100-meter hurdles, the shot put and 300-meter hurdles.
Taylor Duncan is set for the pole vault, and the 400-meter relay. Eneas Caro will partake in the triple jump and long jump, while Cody Hoffman will compete in the high jump and 100 and 200-meter dash.
Michael Worch is set to compete in the 300 meter hurdles, while Joeseph Alexandre will compete in the pole vault.
Saxon Schultz will compete in the triple jump and long jump. Schultz said he's excited to compete in front of the home fans and hopes he can set a personal best mark of 41 feet in the triple jump
"If I jump good, I think I can get it," he said.
The boys team competes in the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays. Duncan, Hoffman, Matt Wakefield and Worch are set to compete in the 4x100. In the 4x400, Alexandre, Duncan and Matt and Troy Wakefield will compete.
The meet starts at 9 a.m. and goes all day.