Robert Husseman, The Triplicate

Del Norte High hosts HDN League Qualifier meet on Thursday

The Del Norte High track and field team took the fourth Humboldt-Del Norte League meet of the season a little easier for one main reason: It could afford to.

With several team members nursing minor injuries, the Warriors sent a smaller squad than normal to Wednesday's HDN League meet at McKinleyville High School.

"This is a reflection of us having limited kids to specific events," Warriors head coach Samuel Escobar said. "We have to participate in league meets and we met our obligations."

Regardless of squad size, Del Norte still made its presence felt. The Warriors varsity boys came in third in the team standings with 68 points, behind Fortuna High (153) and host McKinleyville High (93).

Chad Bell was the lone individual to win an event on Wednesday, notching a personal-best triple jump of 41 feet, 1 inch in the victory. The sophomore also finished second in the long jump (personal-best 20-1) and third in the high jump (5-10).

Senior Dalton Alexandre earned a pair of second-place finishes in the 110-meter hurdles (16.40) and 300-meter hurdles (42.89). Alexandre also finished third to Bell and Fortuna's Josh Jorgensen in the triple jump (40-0).

Freshman Jesus Lara took fourth place in the 800 (2:12.23) and fifth in the 1,600 (4:49.88).

"He competed with the big boys and held on," Escobar said of Lara's performance. "He's probably going to place in the top six in both events."

Seniors Victor Martinez and Adan Rodriguez finished 4-5 in the pole vault competition, clearing 11-0 and 10-6, respectively. Shawn De Arman's high jump of 5-6 was enough for fifth place, while freshman Victor De Los Santos took fifth in the 300 hurdles (47.38).

The varsity 4x400-meter relay of David Sathe, Cameron Cain, Ryan Waite and De Los Santos crossed the finish line in third place (3:49.64).

The Del Norte High girls ended up with 68 team points, good for fourth place. Meet champion Arcata (166 points) more than doubled the point total of runner-up McKinleyville (82), with Eureka (71) taking third place.

The girls' 4x100-meter relay team of Maddie Critz, Rachel Rowe, Kayla Costello and Katelynn Rowe - Del Norte's fastest lineup - won its race in 51.50 seconds.

Costello led the Warriors to a 2-3-4 finish in the 100-meter hurdles, behind Ali Smith of McKinleyville (16.80). Costello followed Smith across the line in 17.02; Critz (17.42) and Katelynn Clemann (17.55) took the third and fourth spots.

"Costello ran a good, competitive race in short race," Escobar said. "It showed her she can hang with Ali Smith. Costello has good form and she can three-step."

Clemann triple-jumped 31 feet, 2.25 inches to take second in that event, with teammate Katelyn Eninger (30-8.75) finishing in fourth place. Eninger added another fourth-place finish in the long jump, with a personal-best mark of 15-2.

Junior Guadalupe Gonzalez continued her strong season with a second-place finish in the 800 (2:29.27). Critz finished fourth in the 100 (13.70) and Karlie Scott took fifth place in the 3,200 (13:09.50).

Escobar complimented the performances of sophomores Alexis Acosta - who set a personal best of 20.18 seconds in the 100 hurdles - and Alexis Wright, who set personal bests in four events (100, 200, high jump, long jump).

"A lot of times, the most noticeable are the kids who are doing well," Escobar said. "Other people don't notice the hard work the other kids that are showing up day after day to practice and are improving."

Escobar and the Del Norte coaches de-emphasized the freshman/sophomore competition for the boys, moving many of the Warriors' underclassmen into varsity races. As a result, Del Norte scored 10 team points in the division, finishing last out of six teams. Fortuna (128 points) won the freshman/sophomore team title.

Warriors freshman Steven Vance recorded the top individual finish with a mark of27-7 in the triple jump (third.The) 4x100 relay team of Owen Loney, Marcus Henderson, Cameron Jones and Adrian Henderson finished fifth in 52.73.

Postseason competition begins with the Humboldt-Del Norte League Qualifier meet, to be held Thursday at Del Norte High School. Field events begin at 4 p.m., with running events set to kick off at 4:30 p.m.

The Warriors will also honor 2013 seniors Katelynn Rowe, Dalton Alexandre, Adan Rodriguez, Victor Martinez and Shawn De Arman during the meet.

Reach Robert Husseman at