Practice for the Homer High School track and field team runs like a well-oiled machine. Athletes work on various training exercises at different stations, while head coach Bill Steyer keeps watch. Steyer sends athletes from one exercise to another, starts a group in a race, and makes sure no one is idle — tasks that keep him ever vigilant.
“Track’s a pretty busy sport because there’s 15 events to get kids ready for,” Steyer said.
The team taking over the Homer High field is preparing for their first meet of the season, Big C’s Relay at The Dome in South Anchorage. The Big C meet will take place on April 1 and 2 and is hosted by Alaska Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Grace Christian School and Anchorage Christian Schools. Though it is not a critical meet, Steyer said, the team is still getting ready to compete.
“There’s some veterans here and there’s some new kids so we’re working on technical skills, speed development and some endurance. We’re pretty much covering all the bases here,” Steyer said.
Though the final roster for the team is not set, as some students will come over from basketball and others may drop out due to time conflicts with other activities, Steyer pointed out some returnees to keep an eye on this season.
For the boys, senior sprinter Jake Richter has a lot of speed, as does sophomore sprinter Teddy Croft. On the girls side, junior Lauren Evarts can be expected to impress on the hurdles and senior runners Ziza Shemet Pitcher and Aurora Waclawski should be watched as well.
Though each athlete has their specialty, many will compete in multiple events, Steyer said. For a small school like Homer, this will ensure that they are represented in all or most of the 15 total track events.
Last year’s girls finished the season as runner-up state champions, in addition to taking champion titles in the 4 by 100, 4 by 200 and 4 by 400 relays, Steyer said. All but one of those girls are returning, and they aim to bring back another title if the season goes their way.
“We’ve got some depth on the girls side and we’re hoping to have a repeat performance, or challenge ACS (Anchorage Christian Schools) and Grace for the state title. We’ll see, a lot of things need to come into play — conditioning, hopefully nobody’s injured — but we’ve got a long season so we’ll see how that plays out,” Steyer said.
Anna Frost can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Track and Field events:
Sprints: 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter
Mid-distance races: 800 meter, 1600 meter, 3200 meter
Hurdles:100 meter hurdles, 300 meter hurdles, 110 sprint hurdles, boys; 300 meter hurdles, boys and girls
Relays: 4 by 100 relay, 4 by 200 relay, 4 by 400 relay, 4 by 800 relay
Field Events: Shotput, discus, long jump, triple jump, high jump