The track at Del Norte High School was packed to the brim on Wednesday with 12 teams, 923 entries, and more than 325 middle school athletes competing in the Del Norte Invitational.
“It was the largest middle school meet in Del Norte in at least 15 years, probably more than that,” Redwood Track & Field coach, and meet organizer Scott Lindsey said in an email.
The meet was the first of three scheduled in Crescent City this spring, and is expected to be the largest middle school competition locally this season.
Included in the field were athletes from four local schools — Redwood, Crescent Elk, Smith River, and Uncharted Shores Academy.
Although lots of local athletes fared well in multiple events, a pair of Redwood runners stole the show by setting two Del Norte County records.
Redwood’s Gianna Taylor ran the fastest girls eighth grade 200 meter dash ever in Del Norte County with a time of 26.90 seconds. Taylor’s time edged out the previous record of 27.10 seconds, ran by current Del Norte freshman Tianna Thompson as an eighth grader last year. Last year Taylor set new county records for seventh graders in both the 100 and 200.
On Wednesday Taylor also took first place in the 100 meter dash (13.21 seconds) and the long jump (15-01).
Redwood seventh grader Noah Burg also turned in a record-breaking performance on Wednesday in the 100 meter hurdles. Although running in the sixth and seventh grade race, Burg’s winning time of 16.41 seconds was also faster than any of the eighth graders in the competition by a full second. Burg’s time also beat the Del Norte seventh grade record of 16.86, which Burg himself had set earlier this season.
Burg also finished in first place in the junior varsity 200 meter hurdles (30.00) and the 100 meter dash (12.78) while taking second place in the 200 meter dash (27.18).
Other top performances for Redwood eighth grade include Bryson Price winning the 200 and finishing second in both the 100 and the discus. Price also teamed up with Burg, Kaleb Fernandez, and Alderon McCovey to win the 4x100 meter relay. McCovey also finished in third place in the long jump. Kaitlyn Machado won the eighth grade girls shot put and discus for Redwood. Ava Burg finished in third place in the high jump.
In the sixth-seventh grade competition Ariana Standbury won the 1500 for Redwood. Ben Borges took second place in the boys high jump while Jaylee Ritter took second in the girls 100 meter hurdles. Brann Winingham also had a good day for Redwood finishing second in the discus and third in the shot put. Molang Zhu finished in third place in both the shot put and the high jump, Sienna Weir came in third in the 800, and Channey Schaad took third place in the discus.
The Smith River eighth grade was led by Wesley Rodriguez, who won the 800 and finished in third place in the 400 while Westyn Fitch came in second in the 200 meter hurdles.
In the sixth-seventh grade division Zoe Minyard had a big day with a first place finish in the discus while finishing second in both the 800 and the shot put. Kailee Stanley also turned in a first place finish in the high jump while taking second in the 1,500 meter run, and third in the 200. Minyard and Stanley teamed up with McKinzie Kertula and Emily Allen to take second place in the 4x400 meter relay. Wyatt Finicum came in second in the shot put, Dylan Rodgers took second in the 800, and Mario Ledezma took third in the 1,500 for Smith River.
Gabe Howard picked up a first place finish for the Crescent Elk eighth grade, winning the pole vault. Savannah Williams came in third in the eighth grade 200 meter hurdles, while Blake Larson finished third in the sixth-seventh grade discus.
Uncharted Shores Academy also had a pair of top three finishers on Wednesday. Brianna Schumack finished in second place in the sixth-seventh grade 200 and 400 meter runs while Abbie O’Reilly came in third in the junior varsity high jump.
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org .