McKinleyville’s Damian Dinan made certain there would be no letdown this year.
The senior standout came into Saturday’s H-DNL cross country championships at the Arcata Marsh with 10 wins in his previous 10 regular-season league races and he has dominated the rest of the field since the beginning of his junior season.
The one time he didn’t claim victory at a league race over the past two seasons was at last year’s league championships, when he surprisingly placed second to Eureka’s Daniel Shaver.
This year, however, he was more than up for the challenge and ensured there would be no letdown, taking home a league title in a time of 16 minutes, 22 seconds, which was just six seconds off his PR for a 5K course.
“I was pretty happy with how it went, because the year before I probably could have won and didn’t,” he said. “I was a little nervous going in but I stuck with my routine and it worked.”
Dinan won by a comfortable margin of 15 seconds over Arcata’s Nathan Whitney in second and will now turn his attention to the upcoming North Coast Section championships in Hayward.
Whitney, a senior, crossed the line in a time of 16:37 to lead the Tigers to a team championship.
The Arcata boys placed five runners in the top seven on a dominating day for the school.
Arcata’s Levi Browne and Ocean Walker placed sixth and seventh, followed by Eureka’s Everett Docherty in eighth.
The next three runners were all freshmen and all three appear to have a bright future in H-DNL cross country.
Arcata’s Eoin McGoldrick was ninth, with teammate Evan Poston 10th and Eureka’s Ryder Bullman in 11th.
The Arcata boys also dominated the JV championships, taking the top 11 spots.
Senior Jordan Gaskell placed first, followed by Caden Demers in second and Shea Lyons in third.
Well have a story on the girls H-DNL championships on Wednesday.