• Returning senior Pedro Ochoa finishes second in junior/senior competition
By Sean Pearson
A group of young Lady Mariners dominated the field at the 2013 Nikiski Class Races Saturday. In class races, freshmen and sophomores race against each other and juniors race seniors.
Sophomore Molly Mitchell led the way for the younger squad, taking first with a time of 21 minutes, 40 seconds. Freshman Megan Pitzman finished right on her heels, coming in at 21:46.
The Lady Mariners’ top-three sweep was thwarted by Soldotna’s Olivia Hutchings, who bested Homer sophomore Aurora Waclawski by 27 seconds. Waclawski placed fourth overall with a time of 22:59.
“We had a terrific first race,” said Homer Head Coach Bill Steyer.
Homer’s Jared Brant was the top Mariner finisher in the boys’ ninth and tenth grade races. Brant finished fourth with a time of 20:54. Dakota Alward and August Kilcher finished eighth and ninth, respectively.
In varsity competition, Lady Mariner Pam Jantzi finished fourth, while Matea Peters finished fifth.
Varsity standout and senior Pedro Ochoa was the fastest Mariner on the course, finishing second behind Kenai’s Jordan Theisen.
Theisen dominated the race, finishing almost a full minute ahead of the field. Mariner Josh Vantrease also turned in a top-five performance, crossing the finish line at the 19:02 mark. Brandon Beachy finished seventh.
Other Homer athletes participating in the community race included Elias Graham, 21:19; Hoxie Parks, 32:20; Max Mangue. 27:48; and John Sarmiento, 26:13.
The Mariner Cross-Country Team travels to Soldotna this Saturday to compete in the Skyview Invitational on the Tsalteshi Trails. Races run from noon to 3:45 p.m.
“This is a big race with many teams around the state participating,” Steyer said. “I encourage Homer fans to come up north and cheer on our speedy team.”
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