The Mariner boys track and field team pushed into second place at borough championships in Kenai on Saturday, tying with Skyview and with Kenai Central in first place.
“The boys did awesome,” said Mariner Head Coach Bill Steyer. “They collectively ran from the heart and ran extremely well. They’ve been improving all year and pulled it all together.”
The Homer girls claimed third place, with Soldotna in first and Kenai Central in second. Steyer took advantage of the meet to focus on his training strategy.
“All of them were not in their marquee events, but they did pretty good,” said Steyer.
The boys’ second-place team finish was a result of some “stellar performances from several individuals that really helped out with team points, particularly Connor Seay in the long jump and the 100-meter dash. He also did win the 300 (meters, 36-inch) hurdles,” said Steyer.
In addition to the hurdles, Seay’s 18-11.50 distance in the long jump put him in second place, he scored another second place in the 100-meter dash and he was on Homer’s winning 4x200 relay team that included Joseph Cardoza, Ryan Navrot and John Shank.
Also getting nods from Steyer were Shank, Cardoza and Pedro Ochoa. Shank placed second in the triple jump and fifth in the 100 meters; Cardoza was fourth in the 200 meters; Ochoa was second in the 1600 meters. Ochoa also was on Homer’s fourth-place 4x800 relay team, along with Navrot, Jared Brant and Les Crane.
Homer’s top-10 finishers in the girls’ events included Ziza Shemet Pitcher and Tayla Cabana with eighth and ninth place finishes, respectively, in the 200 meters. Aurora Waclawski took second in the 400 meters, with Audrey Rosencrans in ninth. Sakota Mitchell placed eighth in the 800 meters and in the 1600 meters Molly Mitchell was a close second to SoHi’s Allie Ostrander. Mitchell finished in 5:30.72 and Ostrander in 5:00.96. Rosencrans was fourth in the 3200 meters, with Audrey Russell in sixth; Lauren Jones was seventh in the 100 meter, 33-inch hurdles; Lauren Evarts took second in the 300 meter, 30-inch hurdles.
“(Evarts) is a sprinter, but also a mid-distance runner,” said Steyer. “I put her in the 300 hurdles and she came in second place. The way she’s running, I expect her to do well at regions and hopefully at state. She’s a good athlete.”
The Mariners’ team of Angie Cardoza, Crystal Crane, Evarts and Cabana placed third in the 4x200 relay; the team of Crane, Evarts, Waclawski and Lilli Johnson placed third in the 4x400 relay; and the team of Cabana, Pitcher, Mitchell and Waclawski were first across the finish line in the 4x800 relay. Crane was the third-place finisher in the high jump and fourth in the long jump.
This weekend, the Mariners head to the region meet at Palmer.