Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 6:08 PM on Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Valerie Mastolier: fired up for some running fun

Student Profile

By Lindsay Johnson
Staff Writer


Valerie Mastolier

Like any social butterfly, Valerie Mastolier likes being around people. The 16-year-old Homer High School junior started running with the team in elementary school because her friends were doing it, and she hasn't stopped since.

Mariner cross-country running teammate Alaine Miller said Mastolier brings a lot of fun to the squad. "She's hilarious. She's a blast to have on the team. She can get everyone laughing and joking around," Miller said.

Mastolier is an all-around athlete involved in running, basketball and softball, though her favorite sport is cross-country.

"It's an easy sport for me," she said. "It gets difficult in the races, but it just feels good to be able to run and to be able to have the achievement."

She also likes the combination of team and individual in running events.

"She's definitely a team leader. She's a good athlete and she's shown improvement every race," said Head Cross-country Coach Bill Steyer.

Mastolier is a team captain and was Homer's second-fastest female runner at the meet last weekend, but she leads with her attitude, too.

"She's very social and leads by example more than anything," said her father, Dave Mastolier, who also coached her in softball. "No matter what you ask her to do, she'll do it, and do it with a smile. No matter what the challenge is. She's very, very coachable," he said.

Whether or not she's training for high school events, Mastolier runs almost every day, including a couple per week with her mom, Bonnie.

"She keeps me motivated to go out and run. She's just very supportive," Bonnie said.

When she's not running, at school or watching silly movies with friends, Mastolier can be found waitressing at the Duncan House. She wants to go to culinary school and hopes to eventually own a restaurant of her own.