McKinleyville’s Damian Dinan got the new cross country season off to a flying start in Del Norte on Thursday.
After dominating the field for much of the 2022 season, the impressive senior won the first of seven league races this year.
And he did so with a new PR and a new school record, completing the 5K course in a time of 16 minutes 16 seconds.
Senior Nathan Whitney was second home in a time of 16:49, followed by junior teammate Reece Thompson in third with a time of 16:52.
Eureka junior Chase Time (17:21) placed fourth, with Arcata freshmen Evan Poston (17:23) and Eoin McGoldrick (17:39) finishing fifth and sixth, respectively, after impressive H-DNL debuts for the youngsters.
The Tigers scored 23 points, comfortably beating the field, with Eureka (51), McKinleyville (89), Brookings-Harbor (101) and Fortuna (118) rounding out the top five teams.
Time and Poston weren’t the only young runners to impress.
In the girls race, Arcata freshman Bella DeCarli had a league debut race to remember and placed first in a time of 21:08, beating the field by more than half a minute.
DeCarli was one of three Tigers freshmen in the top eight, capping a remarkable day for the youngsters.
A pair of seniors also made their mark.
Eureka senior Miriam Mende was second in a time of 21:39, followed by Arcata junior Josephine Maguire (22:59) in third and Fortuna senior Gabby Crosswhite (21:13) in fourth.
The Huskies had two runners in the top five and three in the top 10.
Fortuna sophomore Brida Lester placed fifth in a time of 23:31, followed across the line by freshman Sonya Chisholm (Arcata), junior Madisoni Trieu (Arcata), freshman Zoe Cappuccio (Arcata), senior Sasha Love (Arcata) and junior Stella Lewis (Fortuna).
The Tigers won the girls team event as well.
The next league meet will be hosted by McKinleyville on Wednesday.