• Homer’s McGregor, Seay dominate hurdle events
By Sean Pearson
After years of cancellations, postponements and general track-related frustrations, it was finally Homer’s turn to step up and guest-host a track invitational for somebody else.
With much of Skyview’s track still underwater following a late and persistently unpredictable break-up, the Homer track program was happy to welcome some 10 teams from around Southcentral Alaska for the “Mariner version” of the Skyview Invitational on Saturday.
Sunny skies and a steady, brisk wind kept many athletes huddled together for warmth throughout the day. Most would remain in warm-ups and sweats until just moments before their events.
Grace Christian dominated the women’s events, outscoring their next closest finisher by 37 points. Homer girls took fifth, thanks in part to strong finishes by Tayla Cabana, Aurora Waclawski and three formidable relay teams.
Cabana took second in the 300m, 30-inch hurdles, finishing with a time of 52.29 seconds. She took fourth in both the 400m run and the long jump. Cabana, a junior, also ran the second leg of the 4×200 relay team that finished third.
Waclawski lent her speed as the anchor leg for two relay teams that finished third and fourth, and bested teammate Cabana with a third-place finish in the 400m.
Casey Farrell added a couple of strong relay performances as well. She took fourth in the 3200m with a time of 12:46.58. Barae Hirsch finished sixth with a time of 12:59.56.
In field events, Cassidy Soistman placed fourth in the triple-jump, leaping to 29 feet, 9.75 inches.
In men’s action, the Grace Christian Grizzlies again led all teams with a total of 88 points, but only bested second-place Kenai by one point. And third-place Colony by two points.
Homer boys placed eighth overall, picking up most of their points off first-place finishes from senior Mark McGregor and sophomore Connor Seay.
McGregor took the top spot in the 110m hurdles, finishing in 16.92 seconds. Seay did the honors in the 300m hurdles, take first with a time of 45.31 seconds.
“I loved running on the new track, it’s super comfortable,” Seay said about his first competition on Homer’s new track. “I could tell I was going faster than I have on other tracks.”
Seay says he keeps his nerves in check by staying focused on the race and what he needs to do.
“My coach always says, ‘Don’t concentrate on jumping the hurdle, just sprint,”‘ Seay explained. “Staying calm has a lot to do with how well I run.”
Seay also finished 10th in the 200m sprint, while McGregor took 12th in the 100m, and 10th in the shot put.
Senior basketball standout Sam Reinert showed he knows his way around a track almost as well as a basketball court, as he sprinted his way to a third-place finish in the 400m. Reinert turned in a time of 55.81 seconds, and then went on to finish fifth in the long jump with a leap of 16-feet, 5 inches.
The Mariners return to their home track again this weekend as they host the Borough Tournament. Competition kicks off on Friday at noon, and resumes again on Saturday at 9 a.m.
The Region III meet will be held next weekend, with the State Championships to follow.
Skyview Invitational at Homer
Homer Women’s Results
100M: 19. Crystal Crane, 15.20; 20. Elsa Simmons, 15.32
200M: 11. Azizza Shemet Pitcher, 29.92; 20.Crystal Crane, 31.87
400M: 3. Aurora Waclawski, 1:05.30; 4.Tayla Cabana, 1:06.30; 7. Azizza Shemet Pitcher, 1:07.65
800M: 13. Abigale Brant, 2:49.72; 16. Mattea Peters, 2:54.33; 18. Valerie Mastolier, 2:56.08; 20. Sakota Mitchell, 3:05.04
1600M: 10. Molly Mitchell, 6:03.71; 14. Valerie Mastolier, 6:12.72; 16. Abigale Brant, 6:23.23
3200M: 4. Casey Farrell, 12:46.58; 6. Barae Hirsch, 12:59.56; 14. Mattea Peters, 15:10.12; 15. Sakota Mitchell, 17:39.95
300m Hurdles: 2. Tayla Cabana, 52.29
4×200 Relay: 3. Crystal Crane, Tayla Cabana, Cassidy Soistman, Aurora Waclawski, 1:59.03
4×400 Relay: 4. Azizza Shemet Pitcher, Molly Mitchell, Casey Farrell, Aurora Waclawski, 4:39.55
4×800 Relay: 3. Casey Farrell, Molly Mitchell, Azizza Shemet Pitcher, Barae Hirsch, 10:52.07
Shot Put – 4kg: 16. Abigale Brant, 20-06.75; 20. Valerie Mastolier, 17-10.25
Long Jump: 4. Tayla Cabana, 13-11.00; 14. Crystal Crane, 12-07.00
Triple Jump: 4. Cassidy Soistman, 29-09.75
Homer Men’s Results
100M: 12. Mark McGregor, 12.46 seconds; 22.David Wright, 13.46
200M: 10. Connor Seay, 25.50; 15.Jordon Reynolds, 26.27; 26. David Wright, 28.34; 30.Kyle Carrol, 29.16
400M: 3. Sam Reinert, 55.81; 9. Jordon Reynolds, 58.71; 20.Kyle Carrol, 1:03.87
110m Hurdles: 1. Mark McGregor, 16.92
300m Hurdles: 1. Connor Seay, 45.31
Shot Put – 12lb: 10. Mark McGregor, 34-04.00; 14. David Wright, 31-11.75
Long Jump: 5. Sam Reinert, 16-05.00
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