By Ray Hamill — The Fortuna boys are off to an impressive start in cross country this season, clinching their second team win in two league meets at Arcata on Wednesday.
The Huskies were paced by Collin Stockwell, who won in a time of 16 minutes, 50 seconds, 18 seconds ahead of teammate Agustin Garcinuno in second.
Bo Cox made it a top-three for the Huskies, who won the team event with 28 points, with Eureka (48) and Arcata (57) rounding out the top three.
McKinleyville’s Owen Lien was fourth overall, followed by another Fortuna runner, Andrew Hansen rounding out the top five.
And with so many underclassmen, the future looks as bright as the present for Fortuna.
“The exciting thing is Augustin is the only senior out of our top runners that we’re going to lose next year,” Fortuna co-head coach Josh Quintal said.
Garcinuno is the undoubted leader of the group, and was the driving force behind the team’s impressive offseason work.
And that’s something that is clearly paying off this season.
“I’ve coached quite a few years at different levels, and I’ve never seen a group of individuals and incoming freshmen, that have worked so hard,” Quintal said.
Quintal and co-head coach Jennifer Hayes were hoping Stockwell would emerge as top competition on the team alongside Garcinuno as the season progressed, but the sophomore has exceeded expectations.
And with the depth throughout the team, this is a group that is getting the best out of each other.
“They push each other at practice, and Augustin sets a great example,” Quintal said. “It makes it fun as a coach.”
Jaeden Thayer paced Eureka in sixth, with teammates Silvio Salmeron in eighth and Diego Gonzales in ninth.
Arcata’s Ben Narworld was seventh, with teammate Amos Whitney in 10th.
Both Garcinuno and Stockwell will compete at the big Stanford invitational this week.
Martel-Phillips dominates again
In the girls’ race, it was another top-two for the Arcata duo of Riley Martel-Phillips and Thea Norlund.
Martel-Phillips displayed her dominance for the second straight week, winning in a time of 19:40, with Norlund in second, 14 seconds back.
Teammate Claire Monge was third, more than a minute farther back, with Vivian Gerstein giving the dominant Tigers the top four finishers for the second straight week.
Arcata easily won the team competition with 16 points, with Eureka (58) a distant second and Fortuna (61) in third.
McKinleyville’s Tamia Crackel rounded out the top five individual runners, while KyleeAnna Zink Clinton paced Eureka in sixth.
Aleesa Lewis placed seventh and Kylee Swanson ninth to give the Tigers six runners in the top 10.
Maggie Stacey paced Fortuna in eight, while McKinleyville’s Cecelia Ferreira was 10th.