Mariner girls run to first place at Seward cross country meet

  • Pedro Ochoa is the first Homer runner to cross the finish line and the third overall in the boys’ varsity race Tuesday during the borough-wide cross country meet at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna. The Homer boys’ team took second place, while the Homer girls team finished in first place. Saturday, the action is closer to home with the Homer Relays on the Lookout Mountain sky trails.-Photo by Rashah McChesney, Morris News Service - Alaska

The girls on the Homer High School Mariners varsity cross country team conquered the Frank Dieckgraeff Invitational meet in Seward on Friday, charging into first place in a competition against nine other schools. 

In a field of 13 boys teams, the Mariner boys claimed eighth place.

“It was a pretty awesome performance, awesome across the board,” said Head Coach Bill Steyer. “I hope they can keep the momentum going. They’re doing really well.”

The girls’ teams included Barrow, Bethel, Colony, Grace, Kenai, Kodiak, Palmer, Soldotna, Wasilla and Homer, with Soldotna finishing in second and Wasilla in third. In individual competition of 79 runners, Allie Ostrander of Kenai shot into first place with a time of 17:44. Megan Pitzman was the first Mariner to cross the finish line, taking fifth place in 19:52. 

Steyer attributed the girls’ success this season to spirit, work ethic, talent and motivation.

“Being a successful runner is not rocket science. You need to put in the time and those girls did,” said Steyer.

In the boys’ team competition, Kenai took first place, Colony second and Grace third. Other teams included Anchorage Christian, Barrow, Kodiak, Nome-Beltz, Palmer, Seward, Skyview, Soldotna, Wasilla and Homer. Of 100 individual runners, Levi Thomet of Kodiak had the fastest individual time of 15:57, with Homer’s Pedro Ochoa in fifth with a time of 16:54.

“The boys are doing really well. We have a chance of them having a successful state meet, provided they come together as a unit and they’re definitely working on that,” said Steyer.

Tuesday, the Mariners ran in the 3K Boroughs on the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, with the Homer varsity girls team coming in first. Homer’s varsity boys took second place, with the team’s top runner crossing the finish line in third place.

On Saturday, the Homer Relays on the Lookout Mountain ski trails. Four-member teams complete the one-mile course one team member at a time, and then do it again.

“It’s a good spectator course,” said Steyer, encouraging the public to come out and cheer on the runners.”

Anyone wanting to help with the race or hospitality can contact Steyer at 399-1078.


Frank Dieckgraeff Invitational

Sept. 13 in Seward


BOYS Team scores: 1. Kenai, 63; 2. Colony, 78; 3. Grace, 84; 4. Kodiak, 85; 5. Wasilla, 128; 6. Anchorage Christian, 143; 7. Seward, 173; 8. Homer, 214; 9. Skyview, 219; 10. Palmer, 260; 11. Soldotna, 313; 12. Barrow, 350; 13. Nome-Beltz, 365.

HOMER BOYS Individual five-kilometer results:
5. Pedro Ochoa, 16:54; 30. Brandon Beachy, 18:14; 35. Jared Brant, 18:22; 72. Dakota Alward, 19:38; 79. August Kilcher, 20:04; 81. Calvin Johnson, 20:05; 90. Nahoa Jette, 21:10.


GIRLS Team scores: 1. Homer, 62; 2. Soldotna, 64; 3. Wasilla, 66; 4. Grace, 94; 5. Colony, 104; 6. Palmer, 145; 7. Kenai, 158; 8. Kodiak, 182; 9. Bethel, 249; 10. Barrow, 286.

HOMER GIRLS Individual five-kilometer results:
5. Megan Pitzman, 19:52; 12. Molly Mitchell, 20:19;
14. Aurora Waclawski, 20:30; 21. Lauren Evarts, 21:14; 23. Ziza Shemet-Pitcher, 21:17; 29. Pam Jantzi, 21:56;
46. Melanie Mastolier, 22:41.



Sept. 18 at Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna


BOYS Team scores:  1. Kenai, 22; 2. Homer, 47; 3. Skyview, 54.

HOMER BOYS Individual three-kilometer results:
3. Pedro Ochoa, 10:05; 7. Josh Vantrease, 10:46; 11. Brandon Beachy, 11:00; 12. Jared Brant, 11:07; 14. August Kilcher, 11:27; 17. Dakota Alward, 11:40; 20. Calvin Johnson, 12:11.


GIRLS Team scores:1. Homer, 20; 2. Kenai, 39; 3. Skyview, 85.

HOMER GIRLS Individual three-kilometer results:
2. Megan Pitzman, 12:01; 3. Aurora Waclawski, 12:11;
4. Molly Mitchell, 12:26; 5. Ziza Shemt-Pitcher, 12:52; 6. Lauren Evarts, 12:54; 8. Pam Jantzi, 13:09; 11. Audrey Rosencrans, 13:48. 


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