Tracksters get the best of Mother Nature’s Arctic insolence

• Lady M’s third, men fifth in team competition
By Sean Pearson
Homer Tribune

HOMER TRIBUNE/Sean Pearson - Homer junior Tayla Cabana leaps to a second-place finish in the long jump competition at Saturday’s Borough meet in Homer. Cabana’s best jump was 14 feet, 7.5 inches.

HOMER TRIBUNE/Sean Pearson - Homer junior Tayla Cabana leaps to a second-place finish in the long jump competition at Saturday’s Borough meet in Homer. Cabana’s best jump was 14 feet, 7.5 inches.

A rather sad and pathetic snowman welcomed track and field athletes to Homer High School over the weekend to compete in the 2013 Kenai Peninsula Borough Track Meet. He was, perhaps, a not-so-friendly reminder that winter had still failed to loosen its grip on a much-anticipated Homer spring.
His appearance, however, as well as a few lingering patches of snow, did little to slow down competitors in the precursor to this weekend’s Region III meet in Nikiski. And Homer’s brand-spankin’ new track held up to it’s first real test of heavy duty competition.
“The new track was like a dream come true for me,” said Homer Head Coach Bill Steyer. “The effort put in over the past 18 months — including working within all the political channels and dealing with a lot of red tape — all came together in the form of a very successful Borough meet.”
The Lady Mariners had a successful two-day competition, finishing third behind Kenai and Soldotna with 70 points. Much of their scoring came from strong finishes in the relays, as well as solid performances from junior Tayla Cabana and a promising freshman class.
Cabana leaped to a second-place finish in the long jump, covering 14 feet, 7.5 inches in her best attempt. She also placed fourth in the 300 hurdles and sixth in the -meter. Homer
Leading the way for the Lady M’ freshmen was Aurora Waclawski, who was on the winning 3,200m relay team, and also managed to secure a third-place finish in the 400, as well as sixth place in the triple jump.
Senior Casey Farrell was also a member of the winning 3,200, team, and also finished third in the individual 1,600.
“I felt fast on our new track and I’m really happy I got to race on it one last time,” Farrell said. “I stayed injury-free during this season because I was really careful on how I trained and raced.”
Farrell said she injured herself during the cross-country running season by over-training, so she’s being careful to not do that again.
“The time to pack in intense, hard training is during the off-season,” she explained. “That’s what I did during the winter.”
Steyer said many of his athletes trained hard in the off-season, helping them to develop a strong core strength.
“They did a lot of training over the winter, and we’ve worked pretty hard with the Alaska Training Room,” he said. “Now, we are in phenomenal shape.”
Steyer said he continues to be impressed with his freshman class of girls, as well as senior and first-year trackster Sam Reinert.
“Sam is just a heck of a good athlete all-around,” Steyer said. “We’ve been working on getting him into the track program since his freshman year, and this year we were finally successful. He is so talented, I can’t imagine how fast he would be if we had been able to work with him for four years.”
Reinert said he was happy with his performance overall. He finished second in the 200 with a time of 25.48 seconds, and third in the 400 in 55.19.
“I was really happy with how I ran, seeing as how last week was my first time running the 200 in a meet,” he explained. “I was pretty proud of that.”
Sophomore Connor Seay finished strong in the 300 hurdles, posting a time of 45.95 seconds. He also took fifth in the 400 and sixth in the long jump.
Overall, the Homer men’s team placed fifth, but were short on some team members due to injury.
“We’re really missing Pedro (Ochoa) in our distance races,” Steyer said. “He rolled his ankle just running from home to school. We hope he’ll be healed up enough for Regions.”
With Alaska’s cold and wet springtime weather, injuries are often a problem for athletes. Cabana strained a quad in her 400m run, and Steyer said it impacted her performance in the hurdles.
Reinert said injuries are always something that is in the forefront of his mind when training, as well as competing.
“We can’t always stay injury-free,” he said. “But, actually warming up and cooling down properly like our coaches say is usually enough to keep everyone healthy.”
Reinert added that he is hoping to improve his time in the 400 this weekend at Regions.
“But, most of all, I hope the team can get as many people qualified for State as possible.”

Photo by Catriona Lowe - A forlorn snowman greets track and field athletes to the 2013 Kenai Peninsula Borough Meet in Homer on Saturday.

Photo by Catriona Lowe - A forlorn snowman greets track and field athletes to the 2013 Kenai Peninsula Borough Meet in Homer on Saturday.

Farrell’s goals are similar.

“My goal for Regions is to lower my time in the 800, 1,600, and 3,200 events.” she said. “My other goal is to qualify for State in every event I can.”
Wolverines hold their own
Ninilchik senior and basketball standout Jack Wheeler turned in an impressive performance overall at the Borough meet. He competed in four events, and placed in the top five of each of them. His best performance came in the triple jump, where he launched himself to second place with a jump of 37 feet, 2.5 inches. And — Wheeler said he had only done the triple jump one other time, and never practiced it.
“I felt alright with my events, but I feel like I have a lot more potential,” Wheeler said of his performance. “The cold definitely had a lot to do with it, but I can’t use that as an excuse. It’s all mental, and that’s what separates good competitors from great competitors.”
Wheeler said what he liked most about the Borough meet was being able to compete with the “big dogs.”
“It was a great feeling,” he said. “Our school is 1A and we came in and kicked some big-school butt and took home some medals.”
Wolverine teammate Tyler Thorne also took third in the 3,200m, while Lady Wolverine Robin Riley finished third in the high jump.
And, with the Regional meet looming in the next few days, Wheeler said he is ready to compete.
“I’m in the best shape of my life and feel like I have a competitive edge over everyone else,” he said. “I’ve been to State before, and I know what it takes to get there.”
He added that the Mariners’ new track was great.
“It’s, by far, the best track I’ve ever run on, and all the jumping pits were awesome,” he said. “I’d go to a meet in Homer again any day.”

Kenai Peninsula Borough Track Meet

(Homer results unless otherwise noted)


• 100 meters: 5. Jack Wheeler, Ninilchik, 12.64
• 200: 2. Sam Reinert, 25.48
• 400: 3.Reinert, 55.19; 5. Connor Seay, 58.49
• 3,200: 3. Tyler Thorne, Ninilchik, 10:42.43
• 300 hurdles: 2. Seay, 45.95
• 800 relay: 4. Homer, 1:47.53
• High jump: 4. Wheeler, Ninilchik, 5—6;
• Long jump: 3. Wheeler, Ninilchik, 17’ 6”; 6. Reinert, 16’ 6.”
• Triple jump: 2. Wheeler, Ninilchik, 37—2 1-2;


• 200: 4. Azizza Shemet-Pitcher, 29.85
• 400: 3. Aurora Waclawski, 1:03.99; 5. Azizza Shemet-Pitcher, 1:05.30; 6. Tayla Cabana, 1:06.31.
• 800: 6. Molly Mitchell, 2:39.68
• 1,600: 3. Casey Farrell, 5:44.67 4. Barae Hirsch, 5:46.57;
• 3,200: 5. Hirsch, 12:34.43
• 300 hurdles: 4. Cabana, 54.15
• 400 relay: 4. Homer, 58.28
• 800 relay: 5. Homer, 2:10.53
• 1,600 relay: 2. Homer, 4:44.15
• 3,200 relay: 1. Homer (Farrell, Hirsch, Mitchell, Waclawski), 10:31.56
• High jump: 3. Robin Riley, Ninilchik, 4’ 8”
• Long jump: 2. Cabana, 14’ 7 1-2
• Triple jump: 4. Soistman, 30’ 3”; 6. Waclawski, 29’ 2”.

Homer Middle School Results

(Homer results unless otherwise noted)


• 100 2. Andrew Doughty, 12.97 seconds
• 200 1. Andrew Doughty, 27.08; 8. Tyler Presley, 28.18, Ninilchik
• 400 3. Andrew Doughty, 59.64; 4. Tyler Presley, 1:00.64, Ninilchik; 7. Charlie Menke, 1:01.81.
• 800 4. Charles Rohr, 2:32.40; 8. Garrett Butcher, 2:36.82;
• 1600 2. Charles Rohr, 5:31.52; 7. Jordan Beachy, 5:56.18; 9. Justin Ellison, 6:00.48.
• 4×100 Relay 6. Homer 1 (Dimitry Kuzmin, Charlie Menke, Denver Waclawski, Isaac Swenson,) 1:01.23; 7. Homer 2 (Troy Anderson, Kannen Cabana, Seth Classen, Joel Carroll,) 1:05.76.
• 4×200 Relay 3. Homer 1 (Kain Mack, Charlie Menke, Dimitry Kuzmin, Tim Blakely) 2:02.45; 5. Homer 2 (Jakob Schmidt, Aaron McCollum, Ian Johnson, Derek Charlie,) 2:18.69.
• 4×400 Relay 3. Homer 1 (Charles Rohr, Logan Harris, Garrett Butcher, Andrew Doughty) 4:22.77.
• Shot Put – 8lb 2. Trevor Fenex, 33-02.50; 10. Vincent Waddell, 25-04.50;
• Discus 4. Wyatt Arno, 78-05; 6. Vincent Waddell, 72-09;
• High Jump 1. Tyler Presley, 5-02.00, Ninilchik.
• Triple Jump 4. Garrett Butcher, 30-07.00; 5. Charles Rohr, 29-09.00; 9. Logan Harris, 28-09.00.


• 100 1. Lilli Johnson, 13.93; 5. Mary Hana Bowe, 14.42; 6. Lauren Cardwell, 14.63.
• 200 1. Johnson, 29.50; 3. Bowe, 31.05; 4. Nyla Green, 31.10; 8. Sarah Wolf, 32.37.
• 400 1. Cardwell, 1:08.93; 2. Sarah Wolf, 1:09.21; 3. Green, 1:09.51; 8. Megan Pitzman, 1:14.29.
• 800 1. Pitzman, 2:43.63; 5. Izabelle Hagge, 2:55.92; 8. Alissa Cole, 3:03.58.
• 1600 1. Pitzman, 6:02.95; 4. Haley Knott, 6:25.82; 6. Lauren Evarts, 6:51.70
• 100 Hurdles – 30” 1. Uliana Reutov, 18.54; 2. Evarts, 18.57
• 4×100 Relay 1. Homer 1 (Wolf, Green, Bowe, Cardwell) 57.56; 5. Homer 2 (Malina Fellows, Haley Knott, Alissa Cole, Annali Metz) 1:05.20.
• 4×200 Relay 2. Homer 1 (Bowe, Green, Evarts, Reutov) 2:04.61; 4. Homer 2 (Desiree Cleary, Andie Sonnen, Mariah Hendricksen), Knott) 2:12.56.
• 4×400 Relay 1. Homer 1 (Johnson, Rosencrans, Pitzman, Hagge) 4:53.91; 6. Homer 2 (Emily Arno, Kiriana Basargin, Kendra Raymond, Sonnen) 5:38.45.
• Shot Put – 6lb 5. McKayla Clark, 23-06.25, Ninilchik; 9. Fellows, 20-06.25;
• Discus: 8. Samantha Jacobsen, 56-03;
• High Jump: 1. Hendricksen, 4-06.00; 6. Rosencrans, 4-02.00; 8. Jessie Hiller, 4-00.00; 10. Ramirez Clark, 3-10.00.
• Long Jump: 2. Cardwell, 13-00.00; 3. Cleary, 12-11.00; 6. Gillette, 12-06.00, Chapman;
• Triple Jump: 1. Johnson, 27-02.50; 5. Jacobsen, 23-01.00; 9. Annali Metz, 21-03.00;

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Posted by on May 8th, 2013 and filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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