Nine Del Norte High track and field athletes competed in Saturday’s Sterling Bank Invitational held at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Ore.
Warriors coach Samuel Escobar had expressed a desire to challenge his girls’ team, and the eight Del Norte girls responded with a third-place finish out of 21 teams from Oregon, California and Nevada. The Warriors scored 46.5 points, falling short of McQueen High School of Reno, Nev. (192 points) and Henley High School of Klamath Falls (81.5 points). Hidden Valley High School of Grants Pass nipped at Del Norte’s heels, taking fourth place with 46 points.
“Considering that we had eight girls (participating), it was pretty impressive,” Escobar said. “There was some stiff competition. McQueen had some great athletes.”
Freshman Kayla Costello turned in a standout 300-meter hurdles race, winning her heat and placing third overall in a personal-best 49.44 seconds.
“She hit every single hurdle in stride,” Escobar said. “It was her best performance on the year.”
Costello, Katelynn Rowe, Kylee Bruder and Jennifer Goacher combined on a 400-meter relay that took third place (51.35) in a tight race; the Del Norte team came within half a second of winner North Valley High of Grants Pass, Ore. (51.03) and runner-up Mazama of Klamath Falls (51.14).
“Though we came in third, one of the prettiest sights was to see, on the last turn, the teams were neck and neck,” Escobar said.
“It was close. Everyone was smooth on handoffs, everyone ran hard.”
Goacher ran what Escobar termed a “killer time” of 26.64 in the 200, finishing second, also producing the fourth-best time of the day in the 100 (13.11).
Morgan Laney set a personal record in the discus throw, her 98-foot, 11-inch throw good for fourth place in the event.
“She’s shooting for triple digits by the end of the year,” Escobar said. “I think she’s going to get there.”
Laney also placed third in her signature event, the shot put, with a mark of 37-10.
Bruder produced what Escobar called “valuable points” for Del Norte by tying for fourth in the pole vault (9 feet even) and capturing third place in the high jump (5 feet even).
Freshman Chad Bell was the lone representative from the Warriors boys’ team at the meet. Bell tied for ninth in the high jump (5-6) and finished ninth in the long jump (18-2).
McQueen swept the Invitational with a boys’ team title, scoring 142 points. Eagle Point (Ore.) (65 points) and Hidden Valley (55) finished second and third, respectively.
Del Norte will compete at the Pre-County Meet in McKinleyville on Friday, a qualifying meet for the Humboldt-Del Norte All-County meet May 11 in Fortuna.