The Del Norte High track and field team had one meet under its belt entering Saturday’s Panther Relays in McKinleyville.
If the previous meet, the Brookings-Harbor Icebreaker, was something of a status update after a month of practice, the Panther Relays served as an experiment for the Warriors. Athletes competed in events familiar and unfamiliar to them in hopes of challenging themselves or putting up improved marks.
“The combo of kids we put out on the track — they rooted each other on. They cheered each other, supported each other,” Del Norte head coach Samuel Escobar said.
“We didn’t have high expectations for the meet. Our goal is to win the league championship and slowly peak at the end of the year.”
The Warriors took sixth in the men’s team standings (19 points, 33 behind champion McKinleyville) and third in the women’s team standings (23 points, 55 behind champion Arcata), but team points took a backseat to the relay teams competing.
Del Norte’s 4x100-meter relay team of Maddie Critz, Rachel Rowe, Kayla Costello and Katelynn Rowe combined on a second-place finish (53.49 seconds).
“They did well, but well was second place,” Escobar said.
Critz, Costello, Rachel Rowe and Katelynn Rowe joined forces in the 4x200-meter relay, finishing second there, too, in 1:53.23. They added a third second-place finish in the Swedish relay (legs of 100, 200, 300 and 400 meters), clocking in at 2:32.38.
The Del Norte High shuttle hurdles team of Whitney Reitz, Kaitlyn Clemann, Joely Tynes and Katelyn Eninger added to the Warriors’ team scoring with a second-place finish (33:87).
Clemann won the girls’ high jump event, clearing a personal-best height of 4 feet, 8 inches. Tynes cleared 4-6 for a third-place finish.
The Del Norte boys’ 4x800-meter relay team of Marcus Henderson, David Sathe, Jesus Lara and Victor De Los Santos took second place in 9:48.65. The quartet also teamed up for the distance medley relay (400-, 800-, 1,200- and 1,600-meter legs), finishing fourth overall (12:36.42).
Warriors sophomore Chad Bell tied a personal best with a clearance of 5-10 in the high jump, good for third place. Bell also captured third place in the long jump (18-4).
Del Norte has a week off from competition before embarking on a trip to Fortuna for its first Humboldt-Del Norte League meet of the season, on Saturday, March 27.