Leonard leads the way at Del Norte ahead of league championships

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Eureka’s Charlotte Leonard appears to be peaking at an opportune time.

After four straight second-place finishes in H-DNL cross country, the senior ran her best race of the season and posted a PR time to place first in the final race of the regular season at Del Norte on Wednesday.

Leonard, who has been consistently among the top runners in the area over the past few seasons, finished the three-mile course in a time of 19 minutes, 48 seconds.

Fortuna’s Ella Owsley, who had won the previous four races, was second in a time of 20:16, followed by Eureka’s Sequoia Ashby (20:40), Fortuna’s Gabby Crosswhite (21:09) and Eureka’s Miriam Mendes (21:35).

Eureka had five of the top eight runners and comfortably took the team event with 15 points, followed by Arcata (41) in second.

Eureka freshman Molly Rose was sixth, with Sarah Curtis (Del Norte), Anna Grimmett (Eureka), Ana Ducate (Arcata) and Madison Trieu (Arcata) seventh through 10th.

In the boys race, it was business as usual for dominating McKinleyville junior Damian Dinan.

Dinan made it six straight wins in league competition and finished the three-mile course in a time of 16:09.

The Panthers standout has now won eight of his nine races this season, including a victory at the Clam Beach Invitational in early October.

Eureka senior Daniel Shaver continued to build momentum with his third straight second-place finish in a time of 16:38, followed by Del Norte sophomore Dylan Rodriguez (17:26) in third.

Eureka’s Ashton Plessinger (17:42) was fourth and Arcata’s Tobias Sanchez (17:48) fifth, with four different schools represented in the top five.

Eureka had five of the top 10 finishers and took the team event with 29 points, followed by Arcata (58), McKinleyville (74), and Del Norte (114).

Everett Docherty (Eureka), Chase Jimenez (Eureka), Jace Thomson (McKinleyville), Lucas Blair (Arcata) and Jesse Vasquez (Eureka) placed sixth through 10th.

Next up are the league championships, which will take place a week from Saturday (Nov. 5).

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