• Relay teams shine; Seay hurdles to second
By Sean Pearson
A consistent top-3 finisher throughout the season, Homer sophomore Aurora Waclawski has always finished her races strong. But with a stunning running performance at Friday and Saturday’s State Track and Field meet at Dimond High School, Waclawski kicked her game up to a whole new level.
In Saturday’s 800-meter race, Waclawski found herself in fourth place as she headed into the final lap of the event. Shifting into overdrive, her pace steadily increased — turning into an all-out sprint in the final 100m.
Her finish time of 2 minutes, 22.458 seconds was enough for a first-pace finish, as well as knocking almost 2.5 seconds off her personal best time.
“I was surprised by the 800,” Waclawski said. “This is only my second time racing against other people this year, so I didn’t know how fast I would be able to go.”
Turns out, it was pretty fast.
Later in the day, Waclawski picked up her second State title in much the same way, but with teammates Tayla Cabana, Crystal Crane and Ziza Shemet-Pitcher at her side. Trailing in the final lap of the 4X400 relay, Waclawski caught up to the leading Glennallen runner and sprinted past her for the win.
The team not only took gold, they hacked more than four seconds off their best time this year.
“I was really focused on getting ahead of the girl from Glennallen, and just wanted to close the gap as much as I could,” Waclawski said. “I was confident that I could pull it out in the end.”
Homer girls also took second in the 800m — finishing just 2 seconds behind Grace. A second-place finish time of 10:10.23 in the 3,200m relay was enough to break the Homer High School record.
“Coach has made sure that everyone on the team is fit and has stamina,” Waclawski explained. “I think that training really paid off when we had to do several events.”
Waclawski also finished second in the individual 400m.
In other girls action, Molly Mitchell finished third in both the individual 1,600m and 3,200m events. She was fourth in the 800m, less than half a second behind a Thorne Bay runner, while teammate Cabana took third in both the 100 and 300 hurdles.
On the boys side of State action, junior Connor Seay finished second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 43.46. Cross country standout Pedro Ochoa was third in the 800m and fifth in the 3,200. Ochoa’s finish time in the 800m missed second place by just over a quarter of a second.
Seldovia runner Souleymane Sidibe was sixth in the 110 hurdles, while Sea Otter teammate Calem Collier finished seventh in the triple jump with a leap of 36’ 02.
3,200m: 3. Molly Mitchell, 11:42.26; 7. Audrey Rosencrans, 13:02.98
3,200m relay: 2. Homer 10:10.23
1600m: 3. Mitchell, 5:19.196
100m hurdles: 3. Tayla Cabana, 17.113; 6. Lauren Evarts, 17.845
3200m relay: 1. Glennallen 9:53.116; 2. Homer 10:10.234
400m: 2. Aurora Waclawski, 1:02.416; 5. Ziza Shemet-Pitcher, 1:06.074
800m: 1. Waclawski, 2:22.458; 4. Mitchell, 2:25.41
300m hurdles: 3. Cabana, 51.258
400m relay: 6. Homer 55.209
800m relay: 2. Homer 1:53.994
1600m relay: 1. Homer (Cabana, Waclawski, Shemet-Pitcher, Crane) 4:15.040
3,200m: 5. Pedro Ochoa, 10:24.67
1600m: 7. Ochoa, 4:54.009
800m: 3. Ochoa, 2:04.159
300m hurdles: 2. Connor Seay, 43.46
400m relay: 4. Homer 46.972
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