Busy weekend in store for local cross country

Submitted photo – The CR women’s team

By Ray Hamill — Humboldt County will extend a wet welcome to 18 community colleges from around the state on Saturday, on what will be a very busy day for local cross country.

College of the Redwoods will host the 2022 NorCal Championships in Fortuna on Saturday morning, which will be followed by the H-DNL Championships at the Arcata Marsh in the afternoon.

The Corsairs are not only hosting the prestigious 19-team meet for the first time in 25 years, but their women’s team appears to have a decent shot at winning the team event.

Sophomore Hannah Hartwell also will be one of the favorites for the individual crown in what has been an outstanding season for her.

The expected wet weather won’t dampen the enthusiasm, but it might be an advantage for the CR runners, who are well used to the cold and damp weather.

“It’s good for us,” CR head coach Reed Elmore said with a chuckle. “Not so good for others.”

The race will be held on a hilly course at Rohner Park, with the women’s race at 10 a.m. and the men running at 11 a.m.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase to all these schools and runners our beautiful north coast community,” CR Athletic Director Bob Brown said. “We want to especially thank the Fortuna Parks & Recreation department, the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce and City of Fortuna for hosting both the preview race in September and this Saturday’s NorCal Championships.”

The CR women will carry some momentum into the big race after winning a second straight Golden Valley Conference championship last week.

The top seven teams, as well as the top-10 individuals not on those teams, will advance to the state championships in Fresno in two weeks time.

The H-DNL championships, meanwhile, will get under way at 1 p.m., and the league will recognize the seniors for every school after the final race.

McKinleyville junior Damian Dinan will be looking to complete a league sweep in the boys competition after placing first in all six regular-season races.

For the girls, Fortuna’s Ella Owsley and Eureka’s Charlotte Leonard have been the frontrunners for most of the season, with Owsley winning four straight league races before Leonard took top spot in the regular-season finale.

Leave a Reply