Mariner boys break record in 800m relay
April 27th | Sean Pearson
Homer High School track and field kicked off their 2017 season against a small, intimate gathering of athletes from Kodiak last Thursday. (Intimate might be a stretch.) The two teams faced off at the Homer track to compete in seven events — and wound up being fairly well-matched in many of them.
The "mini" meet acted as a great warmup for Friday and Saturday's Kenai Invitational, where teams from 18 different schools put their best up against the rest of the field in both running and field events.
Homer athletes turned in solid performances, with sophomore Kaylee Veldstra turning in the fastest time in the women's 100-meter sprint. She was the only female runner at the meet to finish under 13 seconds, with a 12.90-second performance.
As a freshman last year, Veldstra held her own against some of the fastest sprinters in the state; now she's one of them. The speedster also finished second in the 200m with a time of 27.78; she finished less than a half second behind winner Laura Ellis of Grace Christian.
Competing in the 4x200 with teammates Lauren Evarts, Marina Carroll and Autumn Daigle, Veldstra ran the anchor leg and helped her Lady Mariners to a third-place finish. Evarts and Daigle were joined by Lady M's Audrey Rosencrans and Lauren Kuhns as they finished the 4x800 relay in 10:56.46 — good enough for second place.
Evarts also finished seventh in the 300m hurdles.
In the longer-distance competitions, Rosencrans turned in solid and consistent performances throughout the meet, finishing with third-place finishes in the 800, 1600 and 3200m events. Daigle was fourth in the 800 and sixth in the 1600, while Kuhns finished fourth in the 3,200, fifth in the 800 and ninth in the 1600.
In field events, Homer sophomore Anna Brock took eighth in the discus with a throw of 88 feet, 7 inches. She also took 13th in the shot put — tossing the 8.8-pound steel ball some 28 feet, 3.5 inches.
Carroll took seventh in the high jump, while teammate Rythm Beckett-Cook finished ninth in the triple jump.
In boys' action, the 4X800 relay team of Bill Rich, Jacob Davis, Jared Brant and Luciano Fasulo turned in the fastest time — 8:35.09 — to take first in the event.
"We have some of the best distance boys in the state," said Homer head coach Bill Steyer. "These guys currently have the 4A/3A state lead the in the 4x800. They actually broke the school record by four seconds."
The Mariners also got a lot of help from junior Teddy Croft, who finished fifth in the 100m, fourth in the 200 and 10th in the 400. Croft also helped teammates Zane Boyer, Fasulo and Josh Fisk to a fifth-place finish in the 4x400 relay.
Fasulo picked up strong individual times, placing third in the 800m and fifth in the 1600m.
Rich was fourth in the 3200, finishing in 10:31.73.
Steyer said he continues to be impressed with the Rich's performance, noting that he turned in a time of 2:03 in the 800 at the mini meet with Kodiak.
In field events, Joel Carroll took seventh in the triple jump, and 11th in the high jump.
The Mariners host several teams this weekend for their 2017 Homer Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.