Arcata

Ortega leads Tigers to league title in cross country

File photo – Jude Ortega, center, was crowned H-DNL champion at the Arcata Marsh on Saturday.

As expected, senior Jude Ortega placed first in the H-DNL boys cross country championships at the Arcata Marsh over the weekend.

The Arcata senior crossed the line in a time of 16 minutes, 33.96 seconds, outpacing the field by more than half a minute and comfortably winning for the eighth time in eight races this fall.

“He’s been very consistent,” Arcata head coach James Washington said. “And he ran well. He ran really well.”

Ortega’s impressive showing helped the Tigers to a team championship with 32 points, which was well ahead of the chasing pack.

McKinleyville (61) was second, followed by Eureka (78), Northcoast Prep (81), Del Norte (120) and Fortuna (123).

Northcoast Prep senior Jaxon Peaker had his best showing of the season and placed second individually with a PR of 17:09.51.

McKinleyville sophomore Damian Dixon (17:09.93) was less than half a second back in third, followed by teammate Cody Rheinschmidt (17:47.57) and Eureka’s Daniel Shaver (17:51.48).

Arcata had four of the next five finishers, including Reece Thompson (sixth) and Luke Moxon (10th), the only two freshmen in the top 10.

Arcata’s Tobias Sanchez was seventh, while his teammate Lucas Blair was eighth, followed by NCP’s Devon Baker-Berry in ninth.

The top seven finishers each receive all-league recognition.

Wyatt Zerlang (Eureka), Andrew Trieu (Arcata), Summit Hodgson (NCP), William Hufford (McKinleyville), Aaron Martinez (Del Norte), Mathew Hansen (Fortuna), Aidan Davis (McKinleyville), James Coleman (Eureka), Brian Adams (Eureka) and Noah Crosswhite (Fortuna) rounded out the top 20.

Arcata’s Will Salamunovich placed first in the boys JV race, followed by teammates Alex Spanos in second and Kaleb Ashdon-Brown in third.

The North Coast Section championships will take place on Nov. 20 in Hayward.

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