Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

Girls win HDN team title for seventh time in nine years, Bell captures three individual titles

The Del Norte track and field program left the Humboldt-Del Norte County Finals in McKinleyville on Friday with four individual event championships and the girls seventh team championship in the last nine years.

Sophomore Maddie Critz was the only Warrior girl to win an individual title, edging out teammate Kayla Costello in the 100 meter hurdles as Del Norte finished first, second and third in the race. Kaitlyn Clemann took third place.

While they had just one first place finish, the Warrior girls finished second in 10 events. In addition to a second-place finish in the 100 meter hurdles, Costello also took second in the 300 meter hurdles, the long jump and the pole vault. Critz was second in the 200 meter dash, Guadalupe Gonzalez was second in the 400 and 800 meters, Jordan Babich took second in the triple jump and freshman Raili Makela was second in the discus. Del Norte also took second place in both the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays.

"There is a huge difference between this championship team and the team we had in 2011," said Del Norte head coach Samuel Escobar. "In 2011, we had about four or five girls that scored all of our points for us. This year, we had 12 kids that scored points. All of the girls that participated except for one scored points for us. It was definitely a team championship."

The most surprising second-place finish for the girls came from Makela, with a personal best throw of 89'9" in the finals. That beat her previous record by 7'2", thrown at the qualifiers.

The boys had more individual championships than the girls, but as a team they finished third overall behind McKinleyville and Fortuna respectively.

"The boys did what we expected them to do," Escobar said. "At the same time, McKinleyville was the team that really stepped it up in the finals. For them to get the type of results that they got out of their kids, they deserved it."

The boys' top performer once again was junior Chad Bell. Bell became the conference champion in the long jump, the high jump and the triple jump. It is the second year in a row that he has won the triple jump, and the third year in a row that he won the high jump and the long jump.

Joining Bell as a conference champion was Anthony Jackson, who jumped a PR of 12-6 to win the pole vault. It was the first time that Jackson or any pole vaulter from the HDN had cleared 12 feet this season.

With the Humboldt-Del Norte County Finals in the rearview mirror, the Warriors will begin to prepare for the North Coast Section Redwood Empire meet, scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 24 at 9 a.m. in Santa Rosa. See Thursday's Triplicate for a complete preview of the Redwood Empire.