Mariners show promise at first track-field meet

Homer High School’s track team finished the Big C Relays Meet in Anchorage on April 1 and 2 with three athletes in sixth place spots. The team has a week’s break before heading back up to The Dome in Anchorage for the Pro Whit Meet on April 15 and 16.

Jack Ritcher, Anna Brock and Lauren Everts came in sixth in their events. Brock, a freshman, placed in shot put, a first for Homer. 

Ritcher’s spot in the 100-meter dash was the first time Homer has had a sprinter make it to the final, said track and field head coach Bill Steyer. 

Ritcher’s personal goal for the season is to break the school’s record time for the 100-meter dash, which is currently 11.6 seconds. Ritcher’s time is 11.6. Though the team began practicing in early March, Ritcher worked out with the coach and Everts in the off-season, running the halls of the school while the snow was on the ground.

“Initially it was to prepare Lauren for the pentathlon. … We’ve been working since about December 1 just by ourselves and with Coach,” Ritcher said. “I have near hit probably three teachers. I’ve hit Bill twice. I know that for certain because it’s such close quarters. I’ve never clipped a pillar or anything yet. It’s really hard to stop and if you stop too fast you’ll hurt yourself. I learned that last year.”

Everts competed against five other athletes in the pentathlon at the Big C meet. Although her sixth place puts her in last, being accepted to compete in the event was a privilege, Everts said. 

“They had an application I had to fill out, it included my GPA. I had to include any extracurricular activities I do outside of school besides sports,” Everts said. “I think the athletes that help most with their community and push themselves the most, those were the athletes that were accepted in the pentathlon.”

The pentathlon was made up of five events: high jump, shot put, 300 hurdles, 100 meter dash and 800 meter run. Everts had never done the high jump nor the shot put before she started preparing for the event. 

“It helped me get out of my comfort zone a lot. I didn’t have my best times but I did start out the season well,” Everts said. “The athletes I was competing with were really good athletes. They had really fast times, they were really strong and I was really anxious going into it at first. After awhile I learned just to try my hardest and that’s what I can do. That’s just all that’s really expected of me.”

Looking ahead: The Homer Invitational is expected to see 13 teams compete April 29 and 30.

Anna Frost can be reached at