Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 7:34 PM on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring athletes stretch legs

By Lindsay Johnson
Staff writer


Photo by Bill Steyer

Homer's Ross Kalke throws the shotput on the first day of the Big C Relays at the Dome in Anchorage last Friday.

Homer's high school Track and Field team got a jump start on the 2011 season last weekend at the Big C Relays, held at the Dome's indoor field and 400 meter track in Anchorage.

The 17-member team is pacing for improved numbers and performance from last year, when a smaller squad missed the first two meets of the six-week season. Head Coach Bill Steyer and assistant coach Lance Williamson, both competitive runners, return charged up for their second year on the job.

"We're trying to rebuild the program," Steyer said. "It's a multi year process."

Sixteen Mariners sporting brand new uniforms competed in the meet with more than 900 other athletes representing 31 teams from around the state.

"This is everybody," said Steyer. He said it was a good opening meet to promote friendly, healthy competition in track and field.

"It's pretty inspirational," Steyer said.

The event also served as a chance for the athletes to see where they fall in the big field and for the coaches to see what the training priorities should be.

"We had some good performances," Steyer said.

Highlighting the event for Homer was senior Ross Kalke, who took third overall in shot-put with a 42 foot, 11 inch throw. Kalke raced his first ever 100-meter dash in 11.64 seconds for seventh place.

"He definitely has athletic gifts. And he didn't throw the discus at this meet. He's even a better discus thrower," Steyer said.

Junior Dan Adikes came in 14th overall in the 3200 in 10:49.73. Senior Mitch Wyatt took 15th in 300-m hurdles with a time of 45.18.

Freshman Tayla Cabana took 22nd overall in 100-m hurdles in 19.4 and 23rd in the high jump.

Izahia Henry, Kalke, Erik Rosencrans and Wyatt took 12th in the boys 4x400-m relay.

The girls 800 medley sprint relay team of Tayler Beacham, Cabana, Diane Frank and Cassidy Soistman finished 16th.

Juniors Ryan Cotney, Devon Kennelty and Joe Resetarits, sophomores Dylan Faulkner, Casey Farrell, Diane Frank and Mark McGregor and freshman Mattea Peters also competed.

Steyer hopes to have several Mariners qualify for state.

"When they're in that range of 18 and under they've got a shot at it, which is a good motivation," he said.

Though they've only spent about 10 minutes on their own track this year, Mariner runners, jumpers and hurlers have been training in the high school and parking lot. The Ms return to the Dome this weekend for the Pro/Whit Indoor Championships. Their closest meet to home will be held next weekend at Skyview, where regionals will also be held.

Visit the team's Facebook page, "Mariner Track and Field," to see more team photos, results and commentary.

Mariner Track and Field schedule

April 15-16 at Anchorage

April 22-23 at Skyview

April 29-30 at Palmer

May 6-7 Boroughs at Nikiski

May 13-14 Regionals at Skyview

May 20-21 State tournament