Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Homer XC teams head to state

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer

A change of venue — from storm-ravaged Seward to the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna — didn't throw the Homer Mariner cross-country runners off their game last weekend.

At the Region III competition on Saturday, the Mariner girls team took second place in a field of six teams and the boys came in fourth out of seven teams.

Region III A Championships

Skyview High School, Tsalteshi TrailsSept. 22

Girls team scores: (1) Grace, 15 points; (2) Homer, 55; (3) Seward, 78; (4) Valdez, 95;(5) ACS, 147.

Homer girls individual results:(7) Aurora Waclawski, 21:14.23: (8) Barae Hirsch, 21:14.44;(14) Pam Jantzi, 22:36.34; (15) Rebecca Seneff, 22:52.57; (19) Casey Farrell, 23:35.05; (21) Valerie Mastolier, 24:03.83; (23) Mattea Peters, 24:27.35.

Boys team scores: (1) Seward, 55 points; (2) Grace, 57; (3) ACS, 78; (4) Homer, 88; (5) Skyview, 94; (6) Valdez, 152; (7) Cordova, 187.

Homer boys individual results:(9) Pedro Ochoa, 17:46.12; (11) Connor McCarron, 17:49.88; (19) Josh VanTrease, 18:24.91; (25) Jake Worsfold, Jake, 18:47.37; (29) Brandon Beachy, 19:11.14; (43) John Walsworth, 20:10.32.

"We're pretty excited about it," said Coach Bill Steyer of the teams' qualification for state competition at Bartlett High School in Anchorage on Saturday. Teams had to be in at least fourth place to qualify.

"The girls came in second, which I kind of expected them to do, although I believe some of the kids on the team can run better," said Coach Bill Steyer.

"And the boys did good, but I think they can do better too and they know they can do better. We were hoping to come in third."

Steyer believes improvement is a question of strategy.

"We'll modify a little bit how we approach different periods of the race and what kind of effort they're putting out," he said of preparing for the state competition.

The change from Seward to Soldotna turned out to be a good choice.

"The course was excellent," said Steyer.

"The weather was fairly cooperative. It didn't really rain at all. And there was not a drop of water on the course."

The Nikolaevsk Warriors competed in the Region II meet at Su-Valley in Talkeetna over the weekend. Freshman Megan Hickman's finish time gave her an individual qualification for state, while the boys' team also has them headed for state competition.

Hickman crossed the finish line in sixth place with a time of 22:51.

Senior Blake Klaich finished in second, with a time of 18:29; freshman Greg Trail was in sixth place with a time of 19:25 and freshman Nicetas Lasiter was seventh, finishing in 20:00.

Also running for the state-bound Warriors are seniors Eric Mametieff and Frank Holub and freshman Jonah Fefelov.

"Hickman ran well this season and was rewarded with a trip to state," said Coach Steve Klaich. "Blake had another solid run at the Region II meet. Last year he was Region champion, but came in second to a freshman from Galena this season. Freshmen Nicetas Lasiter and Greg Trail had great runs at Su-Valley and have very bright futures as distance runners."

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com