The Del Norte track and field team was ready for some rough weather on Wednesday but by the time the Warriors got to the College of the Redwoods campus in Eureka they were greeted with sunny skies for the first Humboldt-Del Norte League meet of the year.
“The weather was awesome, which was a surprise,” said Del Norte head coach Jeff Cook. “We were expecting rain and we actually bought tents and rushed them here but it ended up being a beautiful day. We were at College of the Redwoods and their track was pretty nice.”
Del Norte had a strong showing in the first full league meet of the year. The Warriors boys nearly pulled out a team victory with 130 points but were edged out by McKinleyville which finished with 133.
The Del Norte girls ended up in third place as a team with 121 points trailing Fortuna (182) and Arcata (168.5).
The Warrior boys were particularly dominant in the field events, where they racked up most of their team points.
Luke King won the shot put with a throw of 43-04, while junior teammate Scott Peters came in second with a mark of 36-11. Del Norte also had the top two finishers in the discus where Timothy Thompson took first place with a throw of 114-09.5, followed closely by senior teammate Ethan Price’s throw of 114-02 for second place.
Price also finished in first place in the high jump with a jump of 5-08. The Del Norte senior also finished in third place in the triple jump and took fourth in the high jump.
In the pole vault competition, held in Fortuna, Ginu Thao grabbed a second place finish for the Warrior boys with a jump of 7-06.
The Del Norte boys only had one first-place finish on the track as Emmanuel Nunez, Vova Sherman, Bryce Howard and Sam Cowan combined to take the 4x100 meter relay with a time of 45.92.
Nunez came in third overall in the 400-meter run, while Sherman took third place in the 200-meter dash.
The Del Norte girls team came away from Eureka with three first-place finishes, and senior Katherine Martinez was at least a part of all three wins.
Martinez took first place in the pole vault competition in Fortuna after clearing 9-06. She also won the 300-meter hurdles in a time of 51.15.
Martinez also ran the opening leg of the 4x100 meter relay for Del Norte, along with Alyssa McCovey, Claire Taylor and Tianna Thompson. The Warrior relay team came away with a first-place finish in a time of 53.06.
“In the first meet in McKinleyville the girls were getting spanked, but I don’t think they realized that they are freshmen going against juniors and seniors,” Cook said. “Those girls are three years faster and stronger. In these last couple meets those girls have really been competing, and it was really cool that they actually won (in Eureka).”
Cook said he has been particularly impressed with Thompson, one of two freshmen on the relay team.
“Tianna Thompson, a freshman, anchors the girls team and she is doing awesome — she has done a great job,” Cook said. “All of the girls in that are doing well, but (Thompson) has really been finishing strongly for them.”
Thompson also ran well in the 200-meter dash, where she took second place overall with a time of 28.20.
Taylor came away with a second place finish in the long jump for the Del Norte girls with a distance of 14-10.
Caroline Hamm took second place in the discus with a throw of 89-03, just ahead of freshman Amy West who came in third with a personal best throw of 87-01.5. Emily Feeney finished in third place in the shot put with a throw of 27-07.
Although Del Norte had a good showing in the first meet of the year, Cook said the team is still in the early stages of development this spring.
“We are still working on handoffs, and a lot of the kids still aren’t comfortable coming out of the blocks, so we are still working on the fundamentals,” he said. “We still need more practice on the high jump and triple jump — we haven’t spent much time on either of those yet. So we are still in practice mode.”
Cook said the boys and girls teams have also encountered a few injuries over the past few weeks, and are down to 60 student-athletes on the team.
Del Norte is scheduled to be back in action on Wednesday in McKinleyville for the second HDN League meet of the year. Field events are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., with running events starting on the track at 3:30 p.m.
Reach Michael Zogg at email@example.com .