Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 8:53 PM on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tayla Cabana: Able and amiable runner, jumper

Mariner Profile

By Lindsay Johnson
Staff Writer


Photo by Amber Cabana

Freshman Tayla Cabana brings a sense of humor and enthusiasm to both school and sports.

Homer High School freshman Tayla Cabana likes being a Mariner, and it seems the Mariners like having her.

In school, she's smart, funny and motivated. In sports, she's gifted, dedicated and motivating.

"As a teammate she has very good sportsmanship. If you mess up she always supports you and encourages you," said Cabana's basketball team- and classmate, Megan Gee. "We just became friends because she's a really happy person and she's just really fun to be around."

Sharon Thompson, Cabana's biology teacher, said the 15-year-old's enthusiasm and work ethic make her fun to have in class.

"She's one of those kids who comes in and pays attention. She gets along well with everybody," Thompson said. "It seems like she's just nice to all her peers, in the class that I have her in anyway. Everyone likes her, too."

Cabana's personable nature and athletic aptitude make sports ideal extracurriculars. She's a basketball and volleyball player, a former hockey player and a rising track star.

She started track as an eighth grader after seeing how many people were into it.

"My friends told me it was fun. I kind of just tried it out and I liked doing it," she said.

Though only two of her friends from middle school are on the high school team, Cabana is sticking with the program and exercising her social skills.

"This year I made a lot of friends, like everyone on the track team. It's pretty awesome," she said.

Cabana's performance at the first meet of the season also was impressive, with high finishes in the 100-m hurdles and high jump. Head Track and Field Coach Bill Steyer said the freshman has all of the qualities a coach could ask for and he's excited to have her on the team.

"She's just a very multitalented and real promising athlete for track and field. She's turning out to be one of our superstar freshmen," he said.

Cabana is shy about her speed, but guessed she could be good if she worked hard enough. Convenient, because that seems to be what she's good at.

"She's always just ready to run and do practice. She makes everyone want to do well and makes everybody ready to go," said another team- and classmate, Cassidy Soistman.

This summer, Cabana plans on taking her training up a notch by attending basketball camp in Oregon.

The young Mariner, who grew up in a commercial fishing family, will miss a bit of time seining in Prince William Sound°© with her dad, but is willing to make the trade-off.

"I go out there but I try to come back and catch up on sports. I want to work on my skill and I feel like if I don't do that I won't improve as much for when I come back next year," she explained.

Cabana claims basketball as her favorite sport, but likes the human dynamics of track and other sports at Homer High.

"Everyone gets along super well with each other," she said. "If anyone has a problem they fix it, everyone makes sure it's resolved. I don't know how that works out, but it does, which is cool, it's nice."

Lindsay Johnson may be reached at lindsay.johnson@homernews.com.