• Ochoa leads Mariner boys’ squad with third-place finish
By Sean Pearson
Lady Mariner cross country runners combined forces on Saturday to put themselves at the top of their own Homer Invitational Meet. Taking six of the top 10 spots, Homer girls were able to squeak by Soldotna by eight points.
Kenai finished third, with the lion’s share of their points coming at the hands of Kardinal standout Allie Ostrander. The diminutive junior continued her iron-fisted domination of Alaska’s female running community with a first-place finish and time of 17 minutes, 47 seconds on Homer’s cross country course. The nearly three minutes of waiting for the second-place finisher to come into range felt like a lifetime.
Soldotna Star Olivia Hutchings was the second finisher, coming in with a time of 20:28. Hutchings edged Lady Mariner top-finisher Megan Pitzman by just seven seconds.
Once Pitzman, a freshman, crossed the finish line, the Mariner jerseys just kept coming.
Sophomore standout Aurora Waclawski kicked her sprint into overdrive late in the race, overtaking Soldotna’s Sadie Fox in the final 150 yards of the race. Fox finished four seconds later. Lady M’s Molly Mitchell, Aziza Shemet-Pitcher, Shenandoah Lush and Pam Jantzi rounded out the top 10.
In boys’ action, Homer senior Pedro Ochoa turned in an impressive time of 17:32 to finish third in the varsity race. He crossed the tape just five seconds behind Kenai’s Jordan Theisen; who finished seven seconds behind his brother Jonah’s first-place time of 17:20.
Not surprisingly, the Kardinals placed first in the team competition as well. Homer finished second.
Other strong finishers for Homer included Josh Vantrease, who took eighth in 18:18. Brandon Beachy finished tenth.
Nikolaevsk’s single varsity entry, Greg Trail, finished 24th with a time of 20:55.
In junior varsity competition, Lady Mariner Audrey Rosencrans finished first and Mattea Peters took second, while Homer’s Dakota Alward finished fourth. His time of 20:31 bested that of teammates Calvin Johnson, fifth, and Maximiano Mangue, sixth. Nahoa Jette placed ninth.
Nikolaevsk’s Jonah Fefelov took third in the boys’ jv race, followed by teammates Nicetas Lasiter, Kyle Cooper and Matthew Minium.
Homer Individual 5k results
Varsity Girls: 3. Megan Pitzman, 20:35; 4. Aurora Waclawski, 20:48; 6. Molly Mitchell, 21:25; 8. Aziza Shemet-Pitcher, 22:02; 9. Shenandoah Lush, 22:38; 10. Pam Jantzi, 22:46; 12. Lauren Evarts, 23:02.
3. Pedro Ochoa, 17:32; 8. Josh Vantrease, 18:18; 10. Brandon Beachy, 18:30; 11. Elias Graham, 18:58; 15. Jared Brant, 19:31; 18. August Kilcher, 19:46; 25. Antonia Ochoa, 21:09.
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