Central Valley High School in Shasta Lake, just to the north of Redding, is approximately 222 miles southwest of Del Norte High School.
The site of the John Frank Invitational track and field meet, held on April 13, is not exactly a world away for the Warriors track and field team, but it's enough distance for the athletes from Del Norte to leave an impression.
"The biggest compliment we got was, 'Wow! Where's this Del Norte place?'" Warriors head coach Samuel Escobar said. "I think we educated a few people based on the performances the kids showed."
The 22 kids from Del Norte making the trip, veterans and greenhorns alike, also gained a better sense of what kind of athletes are competing in high school track.
"We saw some astounding performances," Escobar said. "Kids were amazed when they see some kid from some other school running a 10.4 (-second) 100 or a sub-22 (-second) 200. It's kind of cool to see some kids amazed by what's out there."
The seven representatives of the Del Norte High girls team put themselves up with the best of the meet.
The Warriors finished fifth among all schools at the varsity level with 45 points and second at the junior varsity level (freshman and sophomores) with 76 points. Meet host West Valley won the varsity team competition (106.33 points); Enterprise High of Redding took first place in the junior varsity competition (128).
"(Del Norte was) competing against schools with larger populations and a lot more depth," Escobar said. "That's amazing."
Del Norte captured six event titles at the meet, with Kayla Costello responsible for three of them. The sophomore won the JV 100-meter hurdles (16.48 seconds) and the JV 300-meter hurdles (49.31) individually and joined with Maddie Critz, Rachel Rowe and Joely Tynes to win the JV 4x100-meter relay (52.65). That same foursome also participated in the JV 4x400 relay, finishing second (4:24.29).
Senior Katelynn Rowe won the varsity 400 (in a personal-best 59.75) and the varsity 100 hurdles (16.71). Rowe also jumped 15 feet, 10.75 inches in the varsity long jump, good for third place, and ran the 300 hurdles in 48.41 seconds (third).
Tynes won the JV high jump (4 feet, 8 inches) and placed third in the JV triple jump (31-0). Critz was the runner-up to Costello in the JV 100 hurdles (17.22) and finished fourth in the 100 (13.40)
Junior Kaitlyn Clemann took third place in the varsity high jump (4-8), fourth in the varsity 100 hurdles (17.71) and fifth in the varsity 300 hurdles (50.61). Freshman Karlie Scott earned a third-place finish in the 3,200 meters (13:42.26), and Rachel Rowe accrued fifth-place finishes in the 100 (13.51) and 200 (28.41).
West Valley High and Enterprise High also claimed the varsity boys team title (84 points) and junior varsity boys team title (128 points), respectively. Del Norte scored 31 points in the JV meet (seventh place) and one point in the varsity meet (tied for 17th place).
Sophomore Chad Bell was the lone event winner for the Del Norte boys, leaping a personal-best 19-10 to win the junior-varsity long jump. Bell also set a personal best in a third-place JV finish in the high jump (5-10) and ran the JV 100 in 11.57 for second place.
Freshman Victor De Los Santos set a personal best in the JV 400, clocking 56.88 (fifth), and also medaled in the JV 300 hurdles (seventh, 46.84). Escobar was also complimentary of sophomore Samuel Aragones (seventh in the JV long jump in a personal-best 17-7.5), freshman Cameron Cain (personal-best 12.64 in the JV 100), junior David Sathe (personal best 2:13.10 in the varsity 800) and freshman Jesus Lara (personal-best 2:16.88 in the JV 800).
"Out of the eight freshman/sophomore boys (brought to the meet), they all had PRs," Escobar said. "You can't ask for more."
The Warriors traveled to Fortuna High for the third Humboldt-Del Norte League track meet of the season on Wednesday night. Results were unavailable at press time. Check Saturday's Triplicate for more information.
Reach Robert Husseman at email@example.com.