The track and field postseason will start hitting full stride today as the Humboldt-Del Norte League convenes in Crescent City for the annual HDN County Finals White Star meet, which will determine both the individual league champions in all 16 events along with team championships.
The field events are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Del Norte will honor its seniors for their last home meet with a short ceremony at 3 p.m. and running events will start on the track at 3:30 p.m.
Although both the Del Norte boys and girls teams have scored in the top three in team scores consistently all season long, assistant coach Samuel Escobar said in looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each school the Warriors are a long shot at best to win a team championship for the boys or the girls.
Head coach Jeff Cook said Del Norte has lost a few more athletes over the last few weeks due to injuries, grades, and a few athletes who have elected not to continue practicing after spring break last week.
Del Norte currently has a total of 22 boys, signed up to compete in 44 events. Meanwhile 16 Warrior girls will be competing in 24 events.
Although there has been some attrition late in the year, Cook said the athletes that are still competing have been working hard since the regular season ended on April 17.
“They have all been working on their individual events,” Cook said. “We have had pretty good practices I think.”
This year the Humboldt-Del Norte League has changed up how it runs its postseason. In year’s past, all athletes had to qualify for the White Star meet by placing in the top nine in each event at the HDN Prelims. This year the league expended the field for the White Star meet to 18 athletes in each event. Two heats of nine athletes will compete in each event.
Most of the field for the White Star meet was selected based on the athletes season best time at HDN regular season meets throughout the year. The HDN prelims were run in McKinleyville on Tuesday, but only the sprinters competed in the 100, 200, and 400 meter runs.
Although a longshot to challenge for a team championship, Del Norte has a handful of top athletes who will be in the running for individual league championships on Saturday.
Junior Luke King is the favorite to win the boys shot put as the No. 1 seed. King’s best throw this season is 6-feet beter than any other thrower in the HDN this season.
Scott Peters, King, Timmy Thompson, and Ethan Price are also the three through seventh seeds in the discus, and could collectively score a lot of team points.
Price is also the No. 1 seed in the high jump, and the No. 2 seed in the triple jump.
Bryce Howard is the top overall seed in the pole vault.
Del Norte also has the top seed in the girls pole vault in Katherine Martinez. Martinez is also the No. 2 seed in the 100 meter hurdles, and the No. 3 seed in the 300 meter hurdles.
Caroline Hamm is the top seed in the discus where her best throw of 107’8” is nearly 10 feet further than the No. 2 seeded throw.
Claire Taylor is the No. 2 seeded female in the long jump this year, although she will be competing against two-time state qualifier Katie Hurst, of Fortuna, for a league championship. Maykala Jackson is the No. 3 seed in the triple jump, though she will also be competing against Hurst in her best event.
Del Norte’s top female sprinter, Tianna Thompson, is the No. 4 seed in the 100 meter dash, the No. 3 seed in the 200 meters, and the No. 6 seed in the 400 meteres.
For the boys Samuel Cowan is the No. 5 seed in the 100 meter dash. Vova Sherman and Cowan are the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds in the 200.
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