Twenty-three Del Norte High track and field athletes and four relay teams will be advancing into postseason competition.
Each of those individuals placed eighth or better in one or multiple events at the Humboldt-Del Norte League Qualifier meet Thursday at Del Norte High School.
"The kids that got there earned it," Warriors coach Samuel Escobar said.
The next step for the Warriors is the Humboldt-Del Norte League Finals meet - the White Star meet - which comes to Fortuna High School on Friday, May 10.
Those who finished in the top six are automatically eligible for the Redwood Empire Area Track and Field Championships, coming Saturday, May 18, to Santa Rosa High School.
The Arcata High girls (145 points) and the Fortuna High boys (136 points) were the meet champions. Del Norte finished second to the Tigers in the girls' team race with 97 points and third to the Huskies and McKinleyville High in the boys' team race, with 86 points. The Panthers tallied 100 team points.
In the girls' races, Del Norte senior Katelynn Rowe set a personal best of 59.30 seconds in the 400 meters, good for second behind Arcata's Lauren McCoy (57.90 seconds). At 800 meters, junior Guadalupe Gonzalez set a personal best by over two seconds in a runner-up finish (2:26.54).
The Warriors benefited from a 2-3-6 finish in the triple jump by freshman Joely Tynes (32 feet, 4.5 inches), sophomore Katelyn Eninger (31-3.5) and junior Kaitlyn Clemann (30-11). Del Norte sophomore Kayla Costello led the Warriors in the 300-meter hurdles to a 2-3-7 performance; Costello clocked 47.24, followed by Rowe (47.36) and then Clemann (50.43).
Escobar was complimentary of the performance of freshman Maddie Critz. Critz finished third in the 100 (13.30), third in the 200 (27.73), and fourth in the 100 hurdles (17.21).
"It's nice to see the progress she's made," Escobar said.
Critz ran the first leg of the 4x100-meter relay with freshman Rachel Rowe, Costello and Katelynn Rowe. The Warriors clocked 50.54 seconds for second place, behind Eureka High (50.27).
The 4x400 relay team of Rachel Rowe, Costello, Katelynn Rowe and Tynes "all had killer splits," according to Escobar, in running 4:11.13. However, the Warriors again finished second in the relay, this time to Arcata (4:08.00).
"Having Arcata in front of them definitely pushes them," Escobar said of the relay team.
Costello finished third in the 100 hurdles in 16.58 seconds. Junior Kira Standring qualified for Redwood Empire with a third-place finish in the discus (89-7).
Clemann and Tynes finished sixth and seventh in the high jump, respectively, both clearing 4-6. Sophomore Whitney Reitz cleared 7-0 in the pole vault for sixth place, and freshman Karlie Scott finished sixth in the 3,200 (13:04.35).
In the boys' events, sophomore Chad Bell won the triple jump with a leap of 41 feet, 6.25 inches and won the high jump with a 5-6 clearance. Teammate Shawn De Arman finished fourth in the high jump, also clearing 5-6 but with more misses than Bell.
Bell also took second in the long jump (19-9) and third in the 100 (11.75).
Senior Dalton Alexandre accrued a pair of second-place finishes in the 110 hurdles (16.49) and 300 hurdles (43.45), also taking third place in the triple jump (39-2.75) and eighth in the long jump (18-6.25).
Senior Adan Rodriguez cleared 11-6 in the pole vault (third) for his best mark in over 13 months. Senior Victor Martinez took fifth place in the event (11-0); sophomore Jonathon Martinez took sixth (10-6).
Both junior David Sathe (2:08.73, fifth) and freshman Jesus Lara (2:13.52, eighth) advanced in the 800, with Lara also finishing seventh in the 1,500 (4:47.95). Sophomore Samuel Aragones finished fourth in the long jump (18-11), and freshman Victor De Los Santos took fifth in the 300 hurdles (45.13).
De Arman threw the discus 100 feet, 2 inches for fifth place, qualifying him for Redwood Empire, and added an eighth-place finish in the triple jump (36-10.75).
The Warriors also advanced both relay teams, as the 4x100 team of Anthony Jackson, Cameron Cain, Jordan Carpenter and Sathe finished fourth (46.72) and the 4x400 team of Sathe, Cain, Ryan Waite and De Los Santos finished third (3:49.80).
A small cadre of Del Norte athletes will end their season today at the Grants Pass Rotary Track and Field Meet in Grants Pass, Ore. Field events begin at 10 a.m., with running events beginning at 10:30 a.m.
The extent to which the Warriors supported their teammates Thursday - regardless of ability or grade level - impressed Escobar.
"It's just been a nice experience working with these kids," he said.
Reach Robert Husseman at firstname.lastname@example.org.