Homer tracksters enjoyed warm, sunny days at the Anchorage Invitational Track Meet on Friday and Saturday at Dimond High School; some even returning with a bit of early summer sunburns.
The Invite featured event competition in both varsity and open divisions, and featured teams from Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage-area schools.
Lady Mariner Molly Mitchell placed second in the varsity girls 3,200 meters, finishing with a time of 11 minutes, 51 seconds; a personal best for her. Senior teammate Tayla Cabana took fifth in the 100m hurdles, turning in a time of 16.91 seconds. Teammate Lauren Evarts was 11th, with a finish time of 18.11 seconds. Cabana also leapt 14 feet, 10.75 inches to place eighth in the long jump. Crystal Crane’s 14-foot, 1.5 inch jump was good enough for 17th place.
In boys varsity action, Homer senior Pedro Ochoa turned in an impressive third-place finish in the 800m race, finishing in 2:02.91. John Shank placed eighth in the long jump, leaping to 18 feet, 4 inches, while junior teammate Connor Seay was ninth with a 17-foot, 6.75 inch jump.
100m: 42. Angie Cardoza, 17.41
3200 m: 2. Molly Mitchell, 11:51.00;
100m hurdles: 5. Tayla Cabana 16.91; 11. Lauren Evarts, 18.11
Long jump: 8. Cabana, 14’ 10.75; 17. Crystal Crane, 14’01.50
100m 9. Lilli Johnson, 14.53
200m 3. Johnson, 30.39
400m 2. Crane, 1:07.02; 3. Evarts, 1:01.12
800m 2. Aurora Waclawski, 2:29.38; Audrey Rosencrans, 2:40.09; 20. Audrey Russell, 2:56.56
100m hurdles: 1. Lauren Jones, 20.78
300m hurdles: 1. Jones, 56.71
100m: 34. Joseph Cardoza, 12.49 seconds; 38. Andrew Doughty, 12.74; 42. Tyeler Cooper-Day, 12.94
200m: 26. Cardoza, 25.37; 30. John Shank, 25.50; 31. Doughty, 24.76; 40. Cooper-Day, 27.26
3200m: 3. Pedro Ochoa, 9:59.66
Long Jump: 8. Shank, 18’04; 9. Connor Seay, 17’06.75
100m: 17. Jake Richter, 12.97; 27. Julian Richburg, 13.59; 30. Ian Lowe, 13.72
200m: Richburg, 27.78; 32. Zane Boyer, 28.63
400m: 5. Ryan Novrot, 58,51
3200m: 5. Les Crane, 11:18.57
300m hurdles: 9. Boyer, 53:86
Shot Put: 14. Richter, 25’10.75; 18. Nolan Bunting, 21’06.75; 19. Remi Nagle, 20’01
Discus: 11. Nagle, 73’10; 14. Lowe, 68’01; 17. Chase Crauthers, 67’04; 20. Bunting, 55’04.
Long Jump: 4. Richburg, 14’06.25
Popeye wrestler Teddy Croft fell just one match short of earning his second triple-crown weekend in the schoolboy 136-pound division over the weekend. Croft and 39 of his Popeye teammates competed against more that 1,200 wrestlers at the Alaska USA Folkstyle, Greco and Freestyle Tournaments at the Wasilla Sports Complex,
Wrestlers from as far away as Bethel and Juneau joined the competition for State titles, with some Popeye wrestlers challenged as many as 18 times during the competition.
Winning by either pin or technical falls, Croft dominated the field of wrestlers in his division, losing only one match in three days of wrestling. He ends one of the most decorated middle school careers, winning the borough championships twice and placing in the Tanana Tournament three times.
Four of the seven Popeye girls wrestlers won State titles. Mina Cavasos was first in the novice 102-pound group, while Michelle Wells won the novice 75 category. McKenzie Cook took the title in the schoolgirl 120 division, and Erica Harrington won the open 158-pound class.
Popeye Coach Chris Perk said Wells won all four of her matches using her signature “head and arm” move, while Cavasos and Cook both dominated their opponents with a pin and a technical fall.
Wrestling in the open, 154-pound division, Channing Grillo won the Greco Championship and placed second in the folkstyle and freestyle tourneys. His losses came at the hands of two former high school Alaska State champions.
Austin Shafford also placed second in the freestyle, 90-pound novice division. Having lost only two matches all season, Shafford avenged one of those early season losses with a 4-0 rematch win over Tri-Valley’s Hunter Sasser. After winning two more matches, Shafford faced Sasser once again in the cross bracket, and jumped out to a 2-0 lead. But Sasser was able to counter Shafford’s shot in the second period, and held on for the 4-2 win.
Levi King, schoolboy 152 pounds, placed second in freestyle and folkstyle, and took third in Greco.
“Levi is just a first-year wrestler, but he shows a lot of promise for the future,” Perk said. “His aggressive double-leg move is what gave him a technical fall over MatSu’s Daniel Hargis.”
Schoolboys Wayne Newman, 91 pounds, and Luciano Fasulo, 105, placed all three days — both finishing second in the freestyle competition. Newman won 14 of his 18 matches over the weekend, placing second in Greco and third in folkstyle. Fasulo, who had one of the most evenly matched weight classes, won eight matches and placed fouth in Greco and second in folkstyle.
In the high school division, Popeye saw stellar performances from freshman athletes, including three third-place finishes from Jared Brant in the 113-pound cadet class.
At 132 pounds, Ravi Cavasos placed third all three days as well, including an exciting 10-8 win over Avalanche wrestler Weston Martin.
“Cavasos had never beaten Martin before, and was up 6-0 when Martin began his comeback,” Perk explained. “With Ravi leading 10-6 with about 10 seconds left, Martin threw him to his back and nearly pinned him.”
But Cavasos never surrendered, and held on to win the match 10-8.
Homer freshman and 138-pound cadet Timmy Woo placed second in the folkstyle and fourth in Greco.
“Timmy wrestled some tough matches, and scored more than 20 points in two different matches,” Perk said.
In other matches, Tristen Cook placed third in freestyle and fourth in Greco in the 145-pound cadet class, while Jaime Rios placed second in Greco in the cadet 126 division.
“Jaime was leading a Kotzebue wrestler with seconds remaining,” Perk said. “But he gave up four quick points and fell 6-8.”
Schoolboy, 144-pounder Brendon Fenex placed fifth in freestyle and seconnd in Greco. Perk said Fenex’s “bruising strength” helped him toss many of his opponents to their backs.
Wrestling at 132 pound, junior division wrestler William Roth placed second, as did teammate Lucas Bernard, who wrestled in the intermediate 55-pound class.
Perk said Roth hit a “really nice hip-toss” to pin Riley Stewman from the Avalanche.
On Friday, the five Cook-family Popeye wrestlers all placed in their tournaments and earned medals. Saoirse Cook won four matches and a fourth-place finish in the pre-bantam 45-pound division, while sister Roan placed third in the girls freestyle tournament, Rorey was sixth in Greco, McKenzie took first in the girls competition and Tristen earned fourth place in Greco. Perk said he was happy with the big improvements his team made since last year, pointing to the team’s overall 32 medals, and 16 second-place finishes.
The Lady Mariner softball team continued to struggle over the weekend, going 0-6 in two days on the road.
Homer outhit the Sitka Wolves 11-9 on Friday, and got as close as 6-7 in the fourth inning, but ultimately fell 7-12 after a Sitka five-run sixth inning. McKi Needham pitched the entire game for the Lady M’s, giving up nine hits and four earned runs. She struck out six batters and walked five.
On offense, Larsen Fellows went 3 for 3 and scored two runs for Homer, while Maggie LaRue was 2 for 2.
In a 2-10 loss to Thunder Mountain, Homer logged three hits, but committed 11 errors.
Lady Mariner Pam Jantzi pitched all four innings, and gave up 10 unearned runs. She allowed eight hits, walked two and struck out two.
Needham’s 2 for 3 performance at the plate led the Mariner offense.
The Lady M’s entered tournament play against Juneau-Douglas on Saturday, and fell 2-5. Their streak of bad luck continued with a 3-11 loss to Sitka, 4-15 loss to Ketchikan and 4-6 loss to Thunder Mountain.
Homer Head Coach Bill Bell called it, “a tough weekend for the varsity,” but said he saw a few “moments of brilliance.”
“We were lucky enough to find some things to work on before conference play starts,” he added.
Both Lady Mariner varsity and jv teams traveled to Kenai on Monday to face the Kardinals, but results from the games were not available by press time.
The teams return home to face Soldotna this afternoon (Wednesday). JV starts at 4 p.m., while varsity teams square off at 6 p.m. All games are played at Jack Gist Park off East End Road.
Homer baseball also saw its fair share of trouble over the weekend, losing to the visiting Colony Knights on Friday and Saturday in Northern Lights Conference play.
Nahoa Jette got the start for the M’s on Saturday, and gave up four runs in three innings. Kyle Johnson gave up one run in three innings, while Sheldon Hutt pitched a scoreless seventh inning. The M’s fell 3-5 in seven innings on Saturday
Nahoa Jette started for the Mariners and pitched three innings, yielding four runs.
Kyle Johnson then gave up a run in three innings, while Sheldon Hutt pitched a scoreless seventh.
Homer fell behind early on Friday, but came back to tie the game at 6. Two Knights runs in each of the sixth and seven innings game Colony the 10-7 win over the M’s.
Mariner Wiley Donich gave up six runs in five innings on the mound for Homer, with Jette finishing the final giving two innings. J.J. Sonnen led Homer at the plate with three hits.
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