Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cross-country runners get kicking in Nikiski

By Lindsay Johnson

Staff writer

Mariner runners got off to a good start Monday at the Nikiski Open Class Races. Ten boys and five girls represented Homer High School at the meet, which was run in four 5-kilometer races.

In the 9th/10th grade girls race, Homer sophomore Cassidy Soistman ran the hilly course in 22 minutes, 56 seconds for fifth place. Freshman Pam Jantzi took 12th in 24:12. The 9th/10th grade boys took fourth as a team, with sophomores Josh Vantrease and Jake Worsfold taking 13th (20:32) and 14th (20:37) respectively and a notable run from freshmen Brandon Beachy (21:54).

Valerie Mastolier (24:48) and senior Alaine Miller (25:20) ran in the upper-class girls race. In the 11th/12th grade boys event, senior Dan Adickes finished 8th in 19:34 and Connor McCarron took 11th in 20:11.

Five more runners are expected to round out the young home team at the Homer Invite, which begins Saturday at noon at Lookout Mountain. The new running venue is spectator-friendly, as runners will make three passes, said Homer Cross-Country Head Coach Bill Steyer. Steyer has been the Track and Field Coach for two years and is excited to be taking on the fall cross-country program assisted by Saundra Hudson.

"It's a great group of hard-working motivated kids that are going to improve throughout the season," Steyer said.

A community race will follow the high school event at approximately 3 p.m.