The Del Norte track and field team went south to Fortuna for the Humboldt-Del Norte Prelims on Friday and qualified 35 kids in 66 different events for the Humboldt-Del Norte Meet of Champions this Friday by finishing in the top eight at the meet. The Warriors also qualified 26 kids in 52 events for the Redwood Empire meet, scheduled for May 24, with a top six finish in the prelims.
"Throughout the years, we have slowly been getting more and more kids eligible for the league championship and for the Redwood Empire," said Del Norte head coach Samuel Escobar. "That goes back to the fact that we have bigger numbers on the team."
The Del Norte girls ran away with the team title in the prelims with a score of 158, beating Arcata by 41 points. The boys finished second to Fortuna by 13 points with a score of 107.5.
"Initially we had concerns because it was cloudy, it looked like rain was coming and it was windy when we got down there. But it turned out great. Kids did what we expected them to do."
The girls had 12 girls qualify for Redwood Empire and 14 for the HDN Meet of Champions.
"While they won the prelim meet by 41 points and they qualified 15 girls, it is groups of kids that really help us out," Escobar said. "The hurdlers, the pole vaulters and the jumpers are all packed together and they produce a lot of points. We don't have anyone in the middle distance to long distance."
Once again, Costello led the way for the girls, finishing first in both the 100 and 300 meter hurdle races, upsetting defending HDN champion and 2013 state qualifier Lauren McCoy of Arcata in the process.
Costello ran a season best time of 16.02 in the 100 meter hurdles after McCoy fell down on the last hurdle while about a step behind Costello. In the 300 meter hurdles, Costello got off to a fast start and a big lead. McCoy was able to close the gap towards the end of the race, but Costello had enough left to fend her off at the finish line with another season best time of 46.15 seconds.
"We told her, you can compete with this young woman," Escobar said. "She is a good athlete, but you can compete with her. She is beatable. Costello went out there and proved it."
With McCoy falling down in the 100 meter hurdles, Del Norte dominated the results. Maddie Critz took second, Kaitlyn Clemann was third, Emily Holt was fifth and Jordan Babich took sixth place. All five Warrior runners had season-best times.
Del Norte also performed well in the field events. Grace Bruschi finished first in the discus and third in the shot put while Kira Standring took third in the discus and eighth in the shot.
For the boys both Saige Swan and Anthony Jackson qualified for Redwood Empire in the shot put. Zachary Taylor, Colton Davis and Chad Bell also qualified for Redwood Empire. Jacob LeBlanc defied expectations as well, setting a personal record by over 21 feet with a throw of 108'5 to take eighth place and grab a spot in the HDN Meet of Champions.
See Thursday's edition of the Triplicate for a complete list of runners who will be competing for a Humboldt-Del Norte championship.