14 Mariners vie for State track-field titles

After a successful Region III Championship meet held at Nikiski High School, the Homer Mariners are sending 14 athletes to compete in 25 events this weekend at the Alaska State Track and Field Championships at Lathrop High School in Fairbanks. 

During last weekend’s Regional Championships, Anchorage Christian School boys claimed first place with a team total of 133 points. The Mariner men followed in sixth place with 44 points. 

The Grace Christian Grizzly girls earned first place as a team with 154 points as the Homer Lady Mariners took fourth place with 71 points. 

“Our athletes seemed to peak for the meet accordingly,” said Head Coach Bill Steyer, evaluating the Mariners’ overall performance at Regions. 

The highlights of the meet however, came from the women’s 4x2, 4x4, and 4x800 meter relay teams who placed third, first, and second accordingly, earning them spots at the state competition. 

“Grace Christian is a powerhouse, and for us to beat them in the 4x4 was big, as we were finally able to put together our top 400 runners,” said Steyer.

For various academic and personal reasons throughout the season, the Mariners couldn’t quite get their fastest relay team assembled until finally the team of Azziza Shemet-Pitcher, Tayla Cabana, Cassidy Soistman and Aurora Waclawski ran together for a first-place time of 4:22.58.

In the girls’ singles competition, Waclawski finished top among Mariners in the 400-meter dash (third place, 1:03.36) and 800-meter dash (second place, 2:32.16) while Casey Farrell showed off her long distance skills, finishing third in the 1600-meter run (5:40.11) and second in the 3200-meter run with a time of 12:08.95.

Cabana and Soistman placed third in the long jump and triple jump respectively, giving them a good shot at winning their jumping events at the State championships. 

For the boys, only five athletes competed in Regions: Mark McGregor, Sam Reinert, Conner Seay, Pedro Ochoa and Peyton Wilson.  

McGregor took third place in the 100-meter hurdles before disqualifying for the 300-meter variation where Seay took third place honors. McGregor also placed third in the 110 discus throwing 117 feet, 1 inch, which he looks to improve during his State outing in the event this weekend. Reinert claimed fourth place in the high jump with a height of 5 feet 8 inches.

With the State Championships on deck, Steyer and the remaining Mariners gear up for their chance to earn a medal this weekend.

 “In numbers, our Region III is the strongest region for quality athletes,” said Steyer. “I would like to see the kids even drop some time and move up a notch or two in their final performance.” 

In lofty, but doable goals, the girls’ 4x400 meter relay team looks to claim a State title in repeating last week’s showing while the 4x800 meter girls need to shave just two seconds off of their previous time to break the Homer High School record and claim State. 

For the boys, McGregor looks to throw big at the state’s discus event and will be the second man with the baton in the competitive 4x200 meter relay. 


Region III Championships


Team Scores:

1. Grace Christian, 154; 2. Anchorage Christian, 97; 3. Skyview, 73; 4. HOM, 71; 5. Seward, 45; 6. Valdez, 28; 7. Nikiski, 19; 8. Houston, 5.

200 Meters – 7. Azizza Shemet Pitcher, 28.7.

400 Meters – 3. Aurora Waclawski, 1:03.3; 5. Tayla Cabana, 1:04.1; 7. Azizza Shemet Pitcher, 1:05.1.

800 Meters – 2. Aurora Waclawski, 2:32.1; 4. Molly Mitchell, 2:34.0; 5. Casey Farrell, 2:34.8.

1600 Meters – 3. Casey Farrell, 5:40.1; 5. Barae Hirsch, 5:42.2; 6. Molly Mitchell, 5:53.0; 8. Abigale Brant, 5:56.4; 15. Valerie Mastolier, 6:13.4.

3200 Meters – 2. Casey Farrell, 12:08.9; 3. Barae Hirsch, 12:13.1; 8. Abigale Brant, 13:17.0; 11. Mattea Peters, 14:03.4; 13. Sakota Mitchell, 15:00.28.

300m Hurdles 30” – 4. Tayla Cabana, 52.2

4x200 Relay – 3. Azizza Shemet Pitcher, Molly Mitchell, Elsa Simmons, Cassidy Soistman, 1:59.0

4x400 Relay – 1. Azizza Shemet Pitcher, Tayla Cabana, Cassidy Soistman, Aurora Waclawski, 4:22.5

4x800 Relay – 2. Casey Farrell, Barae Hirsch, Molly Mitchell, Aurora Waclawski, 10:12.9.

Long Jump – 3. Tayla Cabana, 14–08.25.

Triple Jump – 3. 11 Cassidy Soistman, 31–02.00.



Team Scores:

1. Anchorage Christian, 133; 2. Grace Christian, 85; 3. Seward, 79; 4. Skyview, 70.5; 5. Houston, 60.5; 6. HOM, 44; 7. Nikiski, 44; 8. Valdez, 9

200 Meters – 6. Connor Seay, 25.1; 7. Sam Reinert, 25.4.

400 Meters – 3. Sam Reinert, 54.4; 8. Connor Seay, 56.7.

800 Meters – 5. Pedro Ochoa, 2:08.8.

1600 Meters – 4. Pedro Ochoa, 4:45.9.

3200 Meters – 5. Pedro Ochoa, 10:28.1.

110m Hurdles 39” – 3. Mark McGregor, 16.7.

300m Hurdles 36” – 3. Connor Seay, 43.9.

4x200 Relay – 3. Connor Seay, Mark McGregor, Peyton Wilson, Sam Reinert 1:41.2.

Discus 1.6kg – 3. Mark McGregor, 117–01.

High Jump – 4. Sam Reinert, 5–08.00.


A Facebook login using a real name is required for commenting. Respectful and constructive comments are welcomed. Abusers will be blocked and reported to Facebook.