The Del Norte cross country team hosted the second Humboldt-Del Norte League meet of the season on one of the hottest days of the year on Wednesday at the Del Norte Golf Course.
“Overall we are pleased. We survived and nobody collapsed,” said Del Norte head coach Kirk Burrows. “Everybody was complaining about the heat.”
Julia DeSolenni had the top performance of the day for the Warriors. Del Norte’s only female runner finished in second place with a time of 16:41. DeSolenni finished over a minute after Arcata’s Riley Martel-Phillips took first place but was still 25 seconds ahead of the third place finisher.
“She looked good but she was kind of in no-man’s land,” Burrows said. “She was a ways behind first and a ways in front of third, so it’s got to be kind of tough on her to just run by herself. But she is a hard worker and she is getting better.”
DeSolenni took third place in the first HDN meet of the season, but McKinleyville’s Cecelia Ferreira was not in attendance at the Del Norte Golf Course. DeSolenni said she noticed herself getting a little bit too comfortable out on the course without any competitors in front of or behind her for about 100 yards. She said she is hoping to be able to push a little harder throughout the course in order to hopefully challenge the HDN leaders in upcoming races.
“I think I need to try to get out a lot faster and try to move up to the leader,” DeSolenni said. “The first two races that is how it has been going.”
The Del Norte boys varsity team had a pair of runners compete in Braydon Henderson and Steven Berry. Henderson finished in 27th place overall in a time of 17:31.
“The competition itself didn’t really matter much to me — I just ran and had fun,” Henderson said. “It was a good day.”
Henderson said the Del Norte Golf Course adds another challenge into the competition on top of the high heat. The cross country course is set up so nearly half of a loop goes uphill while the other half goes downhill. The varsity runners completed the circuit four times in all.
“Its tough to keep up with people on this course if you fall behind,” Henderson said. “There aren’t really many places that you can actually catch people. The only way to do it is to sacrifice recovery time when you are running downhill.”
Steven Berry also ran for the Del Norte varsity, finishing in a time of 18:31 to take 30th place.
“The varsity boys just enjoy running,” Burrows said. “They aren’t going to win the thing, but we are pleased with the effort. They come out and run hard, which is what it’s all about.”
The meet also featured the first boys junior varsity race of the season. Del Norte had four boys compete in the JV run, which is a little shorter than the varsity course.
Kaleo Abasolo paced the Warriors with a time of 11:07 to take third place overall, but Abasolo was just two seconds behind first place.
Lance McKinney took eighth place with a time of 11:07, followed by Seth Lee in 10th place in a time of 11:46. Isaiah Abasolo took 15th place with a time of 12:29.
“They competed well,” Burrows said. “This is a new sport for them, so I thought they did a good job in the heat.”
The Del Norte cross country program is scheduled to be back in action at the third Humboldt-Del Norte League meet of the season in McKinleyville on Wednesday.