• M’s to host Homer Invitational April 25-26
By Sean Pearson
A junior at Homer High School, Crystal Crane said she surprised herself with how high she jumped at the Big C Relays in Anchorage on Saturday. I’m guessing she surprised a lot of people.
Crane stretched to a 4-foot, 8-inch third-place finish in the high jump competition, out-leaping a number of jumpers from around the state.
Not bad for her first time.
“This was my first time competing in the high jump,” Crane said on Monday. “I’m happy with my performance, but I’m also happy for my teammates. Everyone performed well.”
Everyone did, indeed, perform well.
The Lady M’s hit the relay circuit hard, finishing third in the 4×800 meter event, fifth in the 4×400 and tenth in the 4×100.
The third-place 4×800 team of Molly Mitchell, Aziza Shemet-Pitcher, Audrey Rosencrans and Aurora Waclawski clocked in at 10 minutes, 48.2 seconds.
Waclawski said the team was “extremely pleased” with the relay results.
“We are definitely hoping to have competitive four by four and four by eight relays,” she said. “I’m looking forward to a fun season.”
Homer senior Tayla Cabana ran the 300-meter hurdles in 51.9 seconds for an eighth-place finish. She also finished eighth in the long jump competition with a distance of 14-feet, 3.5 inches.
And, while competing in several events in one meet can often be exhausting for an athlete, Waclawski said she had no trouble with fatigue — especially with this being the Big Cs.
“That is not a problem at the Big Cs at all,” she explained. “There are so many people competing, there is quite a bit of down time.”
Little surprise that the 601-foot long by 290-foot wide by 87.5 foot tall dome in Anchorage can hold so many competitors. (That’s 15,250,375 cubic feet of space, for those of you doing the math.) It is the largest structure of its kind in North America.
Homer junior Connor Seay had little trouble finding his comfort zone there.
“I knew I was gonna have a great start this season when I got eighth out of 45 kids in the hurdles,” Seay explained. “Finishing on top — well, sorta on top — felt great.”
Seay also ran a leg of the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay competitions, but he was happiest with his performance in the hurdles.
“I’m feeling really good about the hurdles; like I’ve been able to push hard and really do my best,” Seay said. “As for the relays? Well, my team and I both agreed that we definitely need more work.”
Senior Pedro Ochoa also turned in strong numbers at the Big C competition. Ochoa said getting back into the rhythm of running wasn’t really difficult for him.
“After wrestling at State, I still had the winning momentum, so I only had Sunday, Monday and Wednesday off,” he said. “On Thursday morning, I started running and going to the Alaska Training Room.”
Ochoa said he is feeling strong and healthy — thanks also to the weight-lifting class Coach Chris Perk offers. His average day consists of running in the morning, working out during sixth period, and then running to the Alaska Training Room after school for even more working out.
“I have had some good, quality training thanks to many of my coaches,” Ochoa explained. “I am ready — and physically fit — to compete with anybody in 3A and 4A competition this year.”
Homer tracksters have this weekend off, before hosting the Homer Invitational April 25-26.
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