A pair of familiar faces led the way once again at this week’s H-DNL cross country meet, held at Del Norte Golf Course on Tuesday.
And fast times were the story of the day, with several runners setting either new PRs or season-best times.
In the boys race, Jude Ortega continued to set a blistering pace, finishing in a time of 16 minutes, 22 seconds and winning for the fifth time in five league races this season.
The Arcata senior set a new PR with the time and is closing in on one of his main season goals, a sub-16 minute finish over the 5K course.
McKinleyville’s Damian Dinan continues to be Ortega’s closest challenger, placing second for the fifth time in five league races in a time of 17:13.
Northcoast Prep’s Jaxon Peaker broke the top-three for the third time this season, finishing in a time of 17:23, followed by McKinleyville’s Cody Rheinschmidt (17:36) and Eureka’s Daniel Shaver (17:45).
A deep Arcata team had five of the top-10 finishers and took the team competition with 39 points, followed by McKinleyville (48) and Eureka (82).
Arcata’s Reese Thompson also continued to impress and was the highest placed freshman in sixth place, followed in turn by teammate Tobias Sanchez, Brookings-Harbor’s Everest Abblitt and Arcata’s Lucas Blair and Andrew Trieu.
Arcata also took the girls competition with 24 points, with Eureka (34) the only other school to field a complete team.
Ai-Lan McGoldrick led the way for the Tigers, placing first in a time of 20:16, a season best mark.
The consistently dominating McGoldrick has now won all four league races she has competed in this year.
Eureka’s Charlotte Leonard continues to be McGoldrick’s biggest challenger and placed second for the third straight race with a PR time of 20:34, followed by Arcata’s Gabrielle Ducate in third.
Eureka’s Miriam Mende (21:05) and Arcata’s Raven Alvarez (21:25) each also set new PRs in fourth and fifth.
Fortuna’s Gabby Crosswhite, Eureka’s Stasha Leonard and Arcata’s Lillian Cunningham, Aluana Thompson and Sydney Trieu placed sixth through 10th, respectively.
The dominating Tigers had six of the top-10 finishers, with Trieu the only senior in the top 15, showcasing just how much young talent there is in the H-DNL right now.
Cunningham was the top placed freshman.