• Teams prepare for regional meet this weekend in Seward
By Sean Pearson
With colder temperatures and inevitable snow looming in our very near future, Homer Cross Country runners decided to check out the ski trails at Lookout Mountain before they turn into the Homer Cross Country Ski Team.
In a series of Saturday relays, Homer girls dominated the running event that coaches use as a fun, low-pressure, warm-up competition before Regions this weekend.
The relays consist of teams of four runners, each running two 1-mile legs, combining into an 8-mile event.
The Lady Mariner relay team of Aurora Waclawski, Ziza Shemet-Pitcher, Pam Jantzi and Audrey Rosencrans took first, turning in a time of 58 minutes, 58 seconds. Homer’s second girls’ team, comprise of Molly Mitchell, Megan Pitzman, Lauren Evarts and Shenandoah Lush, finished less than two minutes later, coming in at 1:00.38.
Sophomore Aurora Waclawski said she enjoyed the race because it is so different from usual races.
“The biggest downside was that it was very cold and windy,” Waclawski said. “The course was much hillier than the high school one, but it wasn’t too bad, since it was only a one-mile race.”
Rosencrans said the coldness on the mountain made it difficult for her to think about running.
“Running on the trails was pretty fun — except for the cold,” Rosencrans said. “We’ve been practicing very hard, so hopefully we will all do our best in the regional and state competitions.”
Skyview boys won the varsity event in 48:31, while Homer’s team of August Kilcher, Pedro Ochoa, Jared Brant and Dakota Alward took second in 50:06.
“The race on Friday was nothing but fun,” said sophomore Dakota Alward. “It was snowy and rainy and muddy, but I still tried my hardest.”
Kilcher said he thought the course was a lot rougher than the well-maintained trails the team is used to running on. One Homer runner rolled an ankle more than five times on the trail.
“It was definitely a shame that we couldn’t pull out a first-place win, but I think Skyview was simply the stronger team for that scenario,” said Kilcher. “It gets a little strange moving from the track to the trail, but a walk through the course and a quick pre-race run usually clear that up.”
Kilcher said he felt like he still had a good run, even with the cold weather; and the shorter distance was a nice change of pace.
Homers’ second boys’ team, comprised of Nahoa Jette, Brandon Beachy, Josh Vantrease and Elias Graham finished third.
Next up for the runners is the Regional Tournament at Seward this weekend. Alward is already working on a plan for success.
“I’m going to train harder than I ever had to before,” he said. “I want to compete to the fullest of my ability.”
For Kilcher, his biggest concern for the post season races is the weather.
“Otherwise, I’m mainly running to have fun.” he said.
Comments are closed