By Ray Hamill — The Humboldt-Del Norte League cross country runners who qualified for the section meet will have to wait a few more days to compete after the races were postponed due to the poor air quality in the Bay Area.
The 10 North Coast Section races, featuring five divisions for both boys and girls, were scheduled to take place in Hayward on Saturday, but have been pushed back to Tuesday.
The NCS said on its web site it will continue to monitor the air quality and update schools on any additional changes, although it remains doubtful if the races can be held at Hayward with the air quality not expected to improve much by then.
According to Mack head coach Amber Coley, her runners are preparing as if the race will take place.
The coach said they were disappointed to hear of the postponement, but remain upbeat.
“I think they’re super positive,” Coley said. “We’ve done all the work at this stage, we just have to stay in a positive place.”
The top three teams in Division IV, which features Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna and McKinleyville, will each advance to the state meet in Fresno next Saturday, along with the best five runners within the top 16 not associated with any of the qualifying teams.
In addition to league champions Adam Vera of McKinleyville and Riley Martel-Phillips of Arcata, a number of the league’s top runners – Collin Stockwell and Augustin Garcinuno (Fortuna), West Wood (McKinleyille) – will be eying qualification, along with the Arcata girls and Fortuna and McKinleyville boys teams.
If Tuesday’s races do take place, it gives state qualifiers just four days turnaround before the CIF races in Fresno next Saturday.
“It’s not ideal,” Coley said of the short turnaround. “It definitely puts those runners at a disadvantage. That’s going to be a hard race on Tuesday.”
The long travel won’t help matters for the H-DNL teams either, although the trip to Fresno to compete is one Coley says her runners would gladly take.
St. Bernard’s soccer postponed — again
The St. Bernard’s girls will have to continue to play the waiting game for their first NCS soccer championship appearance since the early 2000s.
The Crusaders, who defeated Credo in the semifinal two weeks ago, were supposed to play in the championship game last weekend and have now seen the game postponed on three separate occasions.
St. Bernard’s is scheduled to play Technology.
No make-up date has yet been set.
The game is one of three NCS soccer championships affected by the air quality.