By Ray Hamill — The North Coast Section advancement committee selected four local runners for the State race, but left out the highly-rated Arcata girls team.
The decisions were released on Tuesday evening after five of the 10 scheduled NCS races were canceled earlier in the day due to the poor air quality in Hayward.
The Tigers dominated the Humboldt-Del Norte League this season, and were rated among the top Division-IV teams in the section.
The news was particularly surprising after the CIF announced it would accept four teams from each of the NCS divisions affected by the cancelations, instead of the usual three.
The Tigers, however, will be represented at the state race by senior Riley Martel-Phillips, who was one of the individuals selected.
Individually, three boys were selected along with Martel-Phillips, including McKinleyville’s Adam Vera and West Wood, and Fortuna’s Collin Stockwell.
Fortuna’s Agustin Garcinuno was a surprise omission, and the decision sees the senior’s standout prep career end without the chance to compete for a place at state.
According to Fortuna co-head coach Josh Quintal, Garcinuno got the better of Wood in five of the six races they competed against each other in this season.
“It’s frustrating,” Quintal said.
The coach said he will be filing an official complaint with the NCS over the decision.
The CIF state races will be held Saturday in Fresno.
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