Participating in the two-day Anchorage Invite was an open door for the Homer Mariner track and field athletes to plant their feet on the site where state championships will be in a few weeks.
More importantly, while there the team scored some “really good performances,” said Head Coach Bill Steyer.
Senior Pedro Ochoa finished third in the 3200 meters, with an impressive time of 9:59.
“He broke 10 minutes in the 2-mile, which is a pretty significant barrier,” said Steyer.
Ochoa also placed third in the 800 meters, crossing the finish line in 2:02.91.
Sophomore Molly Mitchell also did Homer proud, grabbing second place in the 3200 meters with a time of 11:51.
“She did really well, dropping her best time by 17 seconds,” said Steyer. “That’s also pretty significant.”
Original plans called for the Mariners to participate in the Palmer Invite, but “we wanted to change the venue to where the state championship is and also wanted to compete against some different teams we don’t normally compete against,” said Steyer.
In addition to Homer, participating teams included Bartlett, Birchwood Christian, Chugiak, Colony, Dimond, Eagle River, East Anchorage, Lathrop, Service, Skyview, Soldotna, South Anchorage, West Anchorage and West Valley.
The Anchorage Invite also meant some big challenges for Homer’s 35 athletes.
“You’re competing against some teams that have more than 100 and we just don’t have that kind of numbers,” said Steyer.
• Saturday: Borough championships in Kenai.
• Following week: 10-school Region III competition.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.