By Ray Hamill — A pair of outstanding cross country runners and a football team that dominated all season long make up this week’s Humboldt Sports Athletes and Teams of the Week, sponsored by College of the Redwoods Athletics.
McKinleyville junior Damian Dinan is this week’s boys athlete of the week after a huge performance at the North Coast Section cross country championships last weekend.
Dinan rebounded from a disappointing performance at the H-DNL championships by placing higher than any other local runner at the big section meet.
CR sophomore Hannah Hartwell has been even more impressive and is showing no signs of letting down.
The greatest distance runner in Corsairs history, Hartwell became the first CR women ever to win a state championship in cross country last week.
She has broken five school records in 2022, having also become the first CR woman to win a 5K state championship in track and field last May.
Our team of the week, meanwhile, goes to arguably the most impressive local high school team in any sport this fall.
The Del Norte Warriors saw their football season come to an end in a hard-fought NCS semifinal at Marin Catholic on Saturday, but that doesn’t take from what was a memorable and successful campaign.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
McKinleyville Cross Country, Junior
The best is yet to come from Dinan, who dominated for much of the H-DNL season in just his junior year.
Competing at the prestigious state meet this weekend will be a huge experience for him after his 14th place finish at the NCS Division-5 race in Hayward.
For more on his big week, see Community, teammates help inspire Dinan to success …
Redwoods Cross Country, Sophomore
Hartwell is clearly having fun at CR.
The multiple record holder continued her remarkable Corsairs career with a state-championship performance at Fresno last weekend, where she came within three seconds of the course record at the annual community college event.
Hartwell will continue to compete at CR in track and field in the spring, and don’t be surprised to see more records fall when she does.
For more on her big week, see Hartwell wins another state title …
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Del Norte Football
The Warriors gave one of the best teams in the entire NCS all it could handle in last weekend’s NCS semifinal and they will walk away from an impressive season with their heads held high.
Without a doubt, they were the best local high school team this fall, as they have been for three of the past four seasons under the guidance of head coach Nick White and his staff.
They won a third straight league crown and earned the respect and admiration of the rest of the league.
For more on their big season, see Classy Warriors are setting the standard in the H-DNL …