ATHLETES AND TEAM OF THE WEEK — Record breakers and fundraisers step up

Submitted photo – The Arcata Tigers celebrate a recent tournament championship at Brookings-Harbor.

By Ray Hamill — It was an impressive week for local sports, on and off the fields of competition.

In volleyball, there was a notable record set at Cal Poly Humboldt, while in cross country another record breaker continued to set the standard in the H-DNL.

And arguably even more impressive was the efforts of one local team that held a very successful fundraiser for a very worthy cause.

And all of them feature in our Athletes and Team of the Week, awards that are sponsored as always by College of the Redwoods Athletics.

Our Athletes of the Week are McKinleyville High senior Damian Dinan and Cal Poly Humboldt junior Awelina Fakalata.

Dinan has been a force in the H-DNL in cross country over the past two seasons and got his eighth straight regular-season league win at Hiller Park in McKinleyville this week.

One week after setting a school record in a 5K race in the league opener at Del Norte, he comfortably ran his way to another victory on Wednesday and looks like he will be tough to stop this fall.

Fakalata, meanwhile had a week to remember for the Jacks.

On Saturday night, the Sacramento native who joined the Jacks from American River College had 29 kills in a five-set loss at Chico State, setting a new single-game record for the program.

Fakalata has an immediate impact in her first season with the team and also had 22 digs for a fifth double-double this season.

Our Team of the Week goes to a group of players that have been working hard on and off the volleyball court this season.

On Thursday night, the Arcata Tigers held Pink Night and raised more than $1600 for the Arcata Breast and GYN Health Project.

And that’s every bit as impressive as what they’ve been on the court this year, where they have won 17 of 22 matches.

Ray Hamill/


Damian Dinan

McKinleyville Cross Country, Senior

Dinan looks comfortable and determined in his pursuit of a league championship this fall.

And so far so good.

On Wednesday he won the second H-DNL race at McKinleyville, one week after winning the league opening race at Del Norte where he finished the 5K course in a school record time of 16 minutes, 16 seconds.

For more on his big start to the season, see Dinan continues his H-DNL dominance in cross country …

Cal Poly Humboldt Athletics

Awelina Fakalata

Cal Poly Humboldt Volleyball, Junior

Fakalata has been a definite bright spot for the Jacks this season and leads a 4-8 team in kills (189) and points (219).

She had her most impressive game yet for the Jacks at Chico on Saturday and finished the night setting a new program record with the 29 kills.

For more on her big week, see Record setting day for Cal Poly Humboldt junior …

Submitted photo – Arcata teammates Shia Sarchett and Qunicy Collins and their teammates raised more than $1600 for the Arcata Breast and GYN Health Project on Pink Night on Thursday.


Arcata Volleyball

Since dropping their opening match in the Big 5 to frontrunners Del Norte, the Arcata girls have won eight of nine matches, including three straight in league to keep pressure on the Warriors (3-0).

But Thursday might have been their most impressive performance of the season, as head coach Laurie Griffith’s team raised over $1600 for the Arcata Breast and GYN Health Project.

And that make them a worthy choice for Humboldt Sports Team of the Week.

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