Sports Briefs – May 25

M’s face Moose in conference baseball The Homer Mariner baseball team hammered the Kenai Kardinals 8-1 in Southcentral Conference action on Thursday. Kenai jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, but Homer answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning — and took control from there. Sophomore Joe Ravin led the […]

Homer tracksters punch ticket to State meet

Despite winning three of four relays and taking 22 top-five places, the Lady Mariners fell just nine points short of first place in the Region III/3A Track and Field Championships at Colony High School on Friday and Saturday.
Anchorage Christian School took the regional title with 144 points; the lion’s share of the points coming from standout senior sprinter Tanner Ealum.
Homer runners took the next three places, with freshman Kaylee Veldstra sprinting to second place in 13.23 seconds. Alia Bales and Angie Cardoza finished third and fourth, respectively.
Lady Mariner junior Lauren Evarts won the 100 hurdles in 16.43; she was third in the 300 hurdles with a time of 51.52. Teammate Lauren Jones was fourth in the 100 hurdles and fifth in the 300 hurdles.

Being the ‘best possible version’ of Austin Vanderford

A 2008 Ninilchik High School graduate and two-time Alaska State Wrestling Champion, Austin Vanderford is convinced he was supposed to be a gladiator.
“I have always believed I was born in the wrong era,” the 26-year-old personal trainer said. “I always pictured myself fighting to the death in a Roman colosseum.”
For a number of glaringly obvious reasons, “gladiating” and mortal combat are no longer widely accepted as 21st-century entertainment. Luckily for Vanderford, however, there are other outlets — like mixed martial arts.

Lady Mariner softball dominates on the road against Kodiak

After beating Soldotna 11-2 in a five-inning Northern Lights Conference match-up last week,
Lady Mariner softball fell in two non-conference home games against a 4A South Anchorage squad on Saturday.
In game one, Homer took a 7-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, and looked to be in control. The Wolverines had other plans, however, outscoring the Lady M’s 14-1 in the remaining four innings.

Ochoa flies past competition in 2016 Migration Run

On a sunny, warm race day, runners were quick to doff outer layers of clothing, despite a slight breeze wafting off the water.
Homer distance runner and former Mariner cross-country standout Pedro Ochoa flew past the competition at this year’s 5k Migration Run on Sunday.
Often seen running up Baycrest Hill or along the Spit, Ochoa took the top spot among 101 runners, finishing in 16 minutes, 13 seconds. The next runner, Sean Ulman, crossed the finish line at 18:43.24; two-and-a-half minutes behind Ochoa.
Homer High runner Bill Rich finished third in the men’s division with a time of 19:24.60.

M’s take Borough wins into Regional meet this weekend

Homer junior Lauren Evarts led the way for the Lady Mariner track team at the Borough Championships over the weekend with first-place finishes in both the 100 and 300-meter hurdles. Evarts ran the 100 hurdles in 16.38 seconds, and teammate Lauren Jones was fourth in 19.13.
The Lady Mariners finished third in the team standings, thanks also to strong sprints from Kaylee Veldstra. The freshman continues to fire up the burners, this time finishing second in the 100m in 13.13. Race winner Daisy Nelson of Soldotna won with a time of 13.04.

M’s hope to warm up baseball bats for postseason play

Following a 0-7 Northern Lights Conference shutout loss to the visiting Wasilla Warriors on Friday, Homer’s baseball boys rebounded, but still fell a bit short in a 9-10 barn-burner against the Colony Knights on Saturday.
Colony opened the game with hot bats, scoring six runs in the first inning and two more in the second. Homer answered with a run in the bottom of the second, and the two teams each picked up a run in the third.

Homer teams face Colony in opening round at Regions

Mariner sophomore Simon Dye continued to add to his collection of goals with two against the Seward Seahawks in Saturday’s 6-1 Homer win.
After getting off to a slow start and giving up a Seward goal just 12 minutes into the game, the Mariners answered seven minutes later with an Oliver Beck unassisted goal.
Facing a 1-1 halftime tie on “Senior Night” and the last home game of the season, the M’s kicked up their intensity a bit with five second-half goals.

Homer soccer teams rack up the goals

Homer sophomore Simon Dye scored five goals in the Mariners’ 9-0 home stomping of Houston on Thursday.
After neither team scored in the first half, the M’s came out hot in the second half and pelted the Hawks with shots; nine of them found the back of the net. Mariners Dexter Lowe, Charles Rohr, Tim Blakely and Oliver Beck each added a goal to round out Homer’s scoring.
The M’s hosted Colony on Friday under cloudy skies, cool temps and blustery winds, and managed to hold the Knights scoreless in the first half of the Northern Lights Conference game.
After the break, the Knights jumped out with two quick goals, surprising the Mariners in the first two minutes of the second half.

Mariner softball, baseball split road games

Homer senior McKi Needham hit five doubles on Saturday, as the Lady Mariners split games against Bartlett and Hutchison in the final day of the “Blue and Gold Battle” in Anchorage. The Lady M’s beat Bartlett 9-2, before losing to Hutchison 2-6.
Homer also split a pair of Friday games with a 9-8 squeaker over the Colony Knights, and a 0-8 shutout loss to 2015 large-schools state champion East Anchorage.
The Lady M’s endured an uncharacteristic hitting drought against East on Friday. A strong Thunderbird performance at the mound gave up just one hit, and struck out 11 Homer batters. Needham pitched four innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits. She struck out two batters, but five Lady Mariner defensive errors kept the Thunderbirds crossing home.

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