By Ray Hamill — The Humboldt-Del Norte League has a clear favorite on the girls side heading into this weekend’s cross country championships, whereas the boys competition presents some very intriguing battles.
For the girls, Arcata senior Riley Martel-Phillips has won all four league races she has competed in this year and will go into Saturday as the heavy favorite and leading the way on a very strong Arcata team.
In addition to Martel-Phillips, Arcata’s Claire Monge and Vivian Gerstein have also enjoyed stellar seasons so far and have been among the top finishers in all four races they have competed in, giving the Tigers the top three finishers in each.
Del Norte’s Julia De solini is also expected to feature among the lead runners, having won the league race at Sequoia Park in Eureka, as well as Eureka’s Hannah Kingstrom and KyleeAnna Zink Clinton, and McKinleyville’s Cecelia Ferreira.
The H-DNL championships will be held at the Arcata Marsh on Saturday, with the girls’ race getting under way at 3 p.m.
Vera, Stockwell lead the contenders in boys competition
The boys competition, meanwhile, should be a more open affair.
Fortuna’s Collin Stockwell and McKinleyville’s Adam Vera have split the five league races between them this season.
Stockwell has won three of the four league meets he competed in this season, with Vera winning two of his three.
The two have split a pair of head-to-head meets in league, with Vera edging the Huskies sophomore on opening day at the Arcata Sports Complex, and Stockwell returning the favor at the last race of the campaign in Fortuna.
Vera, who also won the Clam Beach Invitational early in the season, set a season-best time of 16 minutes 21 seconds over the three-mile course at McKinleyville, while Stockwell’s PR was a 16:48 at Fortuna.
Both McKinleyvile and Fortuna are expected to also battle it out for team honors.
The Huskies will be looking for big performances from senior Agustin Garcinuno and sophomore Bo Cox, while McKinleyville will be looking to sophomore West Wood and junior Max Combs.
The boys race gets under way at 3:30 p.m.
Arcata’s Ben Narwold, Miska Evans and Miles Johnson are also expected to feature on the leaderboard, as is Eureka’s Jaeden Thayer.