Sports and Outdoors Highlights

Adult Sports

  • Homer’s Michael Houghton can still remember the first hole fellow Homer resident Chris Morin played at the Kenai Golf Course about 10 years ago.

    Morin’s initial swipe at the notoriously penal layout was a duck hook that ended up on the tee box of the ninth hole.

    “I thought, I’m glad I have another duffer to play with,” Houghton said. “He then clears the top of the trees, puts it on the green and two-putts for par.

  • The pool echoes with excitement as soon as families hustle in for American Red Cross morning lessons. It is a busy place. There are three groups each morning and just as one session finishs up and a new one rushes in and huddles in a line on the bench at the shallow end of the pool.

  • Down East Saloon and Homer Events sponsor the second-annual Alaska Open Human Foosball Competition on Aug. 29 at Down East. Last year’s champions from the Maverick Bar will defend their title. 

    “Homer Events is famous for making weird things happen at their events, so teams are encouraged to make a big showy entrance, dress strange, sing their theme song, wear matching T-shirts, have cheerleaders, bring a poster to trot around the outdoor venue, whatever,” said Homer Events coordinator Dax Radtke.

  • Rounds for the Rink, the annual 18-hole best ball scramble, is 3 p.m. Saturday at the Tips Golf Course. The scramble benefits the Homer Hockey Association and the Kevin Bell Ice Arena. The player fee is $60. Teams can have four to five players per team, with nine teams maximum. Pre-register at Tips Golf Course or call 399-1728.

  • A dozen local runners tackled the epic Fourth of July Mount Marathon race.

    Race history was made with Swede Emelie Forsberg, 28, finishing the 3.1-mile race at 47 minutes, 48 seconds, smashing the women’s 1990 record of 50:30 by Nancy Pease. In the men’s race in the afternoon, Forsberg’s boyfriend, 27-year-old Spaniard and mountain-running superstar Kilian Jornet, made an equally triumphant, procession down Fourth Avenue, winning in 41:48 to lower Eric Strabel’s 2013 record of 42:55.

Youth Sports

  • The defending small-schools state champion Ravens used a punishing rushing attack to turn back the host Mariners on Saturday.

    The Ravens, of the Aurora Conference, had 386 rushing yards against the Mariners of the small-schools Peninsula Conference.

    Kalib Dunlap led the way on the ground for Eielson with 13 rushes for 164 yards and three touchdowns, while Caleb Velez had seven carries for 89 yards and two scores. Antonio Griffith and Andrew North added rushing scores for the Ravens, who had a 33-0 lead after the first quarter.

  • Following a great performance at the Tsalteshi Invitational, the Mariners will host the Homer Invitational starting at 3 p.m. Friday.

    Although the Tsalteshi race doesn’t feature a lot of small schools, Homer was the top 1-2-3A squad in both the girls and boys races, even beating out powerhouse Grace Christian. The girls finished sixth out of 16 participating schools; the boys seventh out of 19 participating schools.

    Megan Pitzman was ninth in 19:54 in the girls race, and Homer’s top female finisher. 

  • Before she burst out of the forest and onto the football field for her finishing kick at the Nikiski Class Races on Monday at Nikiski, Soldotna senior Olivia Hutchings actually had to run under a spectator who had strung a hammock from a tree on each side of the trail.

    One would think Hutchings would remember that, but it’s an indication of how hard she ran — and how hard Nikiski’s roller-coaster course is — that the last thing she recalls in the 5-kilometer race is looking at her watch and seeing she had run 3.8 kilometers.

  • Although this past weekend didn’t end in a victory, the Homer High School softball team held its own during the state championships in Fairbanks, placing third overall and winning two out of four games.  The Mariners lost to Sitka and Ketchikan, but had overwhelming wins against Hutchison and North Pole. 

    The Homer softball team cannot seem to crack the Southeast code, but the same can be said for most of the state.

  • The Mariners’ 2015 soccer season drew to a close Friday. The boys team had a fantastic season and reached state for the third time in Mariner history, before ending the season with a 2-1 loss against Bartlett.

    The team put up a solid defense against Bartlett, refusing to go down without a fight. Senior Kenneth Schneider scored a penalty kick against Bartlett.

    “You know it was a tough game. It ended up being our last, but the boys never stopped playing. ... We went out very well,” said Head Coach Warren Waldorf.

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