Cal Poly Humboldt

Influential Eureka captains commit their futures to the Jacks

Submitted photos – Charlotte Leonard and Daniel Shaver at their signing ceremony with teammates and Eureka coach Scott Pesch.

The Lumberjacks are getting a lot more than a pair of talented runners after Eureka seniors Daniel Shaver and Charlotte Leonard recently signed their letters of intent to join the Cal Poly Humboldt cross country and track and field teams.

Shaver and Leonard have been among the most prolific distance runners on the North Coast for the past few seasons, but it’s the leadership they have both displayed that has most impressed Eureka head coach Scott Pesch.

“They are what a coach would call perfect student-athletes,” Pesch said. “These two, they are the ones that are responsible for the culture of our distance running program.”

Each of them has also enjoyed plenty of success, with Leonard claiming the H-DN girls cross country championship in 2021 and Shaver winning the boys cross country championship last year.

Both also have enjoyed big seasons in track and field this spring, with league titles for each in the 3200 meters, as well as a second-place finish for Shaver in the 1600m.

Shaver, who will compete in this weekend’s prestigious Meet of Champions with the Eureka boys 4x800m relay team, says he is looking forward to joining the Jacks.

“My track experience at EHS has definitely helped pave the way for this opportunity at Cal Poly Humboldt,” he said at the recent letter signing. “I feel I’m ready to be a freshman again. I’ve met the team already, I like the team culture, and I think it’s going to be a great experience.”

Shaver first competed in track and cross country during his freshman year at Eureka, but says he’s loved running since childhood. 

His main events in track are the 1600m and 3200m, with PRs of 4 minutes, 34 seconds and 10:01, respectively. 

His personal record in 5K for cross country is 16:57 and his PR in the 3 mile is 15:59. 

Leonard, meanwhile, says she will relish the time she had competing in high school and believes it helped prepare her for collegiate competition.

“My experience with my coaches and my team has been really awesome,” she said. “They have all been supportive of me, and we support each other to be the best runners and people we can be. 

“I’m excited to see what I can do in college; keep running and keep doing well.”

In cross country, Leonard has a PR of 20:21 in the 5K and a PR of 19:47 in the 3 mile. 

Her track events are the 1600m, with a PR of 5:48, and the 3200m, with a PR of 12:15. 

Both runners have played a key role in the Loggers’ recent success, which included boys and girls league championships in track and field this spring, and they both have been team captains for three years.

“From running on the beach to around town, they are always leading the way,” Pesch said. “They have great work ethic and they have been captains now since sophomore year, and that’s remarkable. 

“The coaches and the whole school are proud of them. We’re going to miss them but I know they will have great success at Cal Poly.”

Both athletes have also impressed in the classroom.

Shaver, who has a passion for math, wants to study environmental engineering at Cal Poly Humboldt, while Leonard is in the EHS orchestra, jazz band, symphonic band and several clubs and plans to study psychology in college.

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