Girls place third at Homer Invite

The Homer girls track and field team took third place out of 15 teams at the Homer Invite on April 29 and 30. Soldotna High and Anchorage Christian came in first and second place. 

Kaylee Veldstra took third place in the preliminary girls 100-meter dash, followed by teammate Angie Cardoza in sixth. Veldstra placed second in the 100-meter final event, while Cardoza placed fourth. Veldstra’s finals time was 13.04 seconds, while Cardoza’s time was 13.34 seconds.

Aurora Waclawski took fourth place in the both the preliminary and final girls 200-meter dash events, as well as the girls 400-meter dash preliminary race. Her time in the 200-meter finals was 28.03 seconds. Waclawski moved up to second place in the 400-meter final event, while teammate Ziza Shemet Pitcher coming in fourth. Waclawski ran the 400-meter final race in 1 minute and 4.09 seconds, while Shemet Pitcher came in at 1 minute and 6.83 seconds.

Lauren Jones placed third with a time of 18.3 seconds in the preliminary 100-meter hurdles, but came in at 18.84 seconds and fifth place in the finals.

The girls’ team’s strength showed in the longer distance relay races. Shemet Pitcher, Wolf, Waclawski and Cheyenne Gillette took first place in the 4×400 meter relay race, with a time of 4 minutes and 31.34 seconds. Waclawski, Shemet Pitcher, Audrey Rosencrans, and Alex Moseley placed second in the 4×800 meter relay at 10 minutes and 53.15 seconds.

Cardoza, Veldstra, Sarah Wolf and Lauren Evarts placed fourth in the girls 4×100 meter relay race. Veldstra, Cardoza and Wolf raced the 4×200 meter relay race with Alia Bales, coming in third place.

Madison Akers placed third in the girls triple jump final event.

Lauren Evarts placed second overall in the girls pentathlon, where she competed in the 800-meter race, 100-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump and shot put. Evarts previously competed in the pentathlon at the Big C meet in April, where she placed sixth out of six athletes. 

Evarts placed first in the 800-meter run with a  time of 2 minutes and 32.97, nearly 9 seconds faster than the second place runner from Kodiak. Evarts also came in first in the 100-meter hurdles. She faltered at the field events, taking sixth and seventh in the high jump and long jump events, but took fourth at shot put. 

Homer’s boys team took ninth place out of 11 teams. Kodiak and Anchorage Christian placed first and second.

Jake Ritcher placed fourth in the 200-meter dash finals. Zane Boyer, Bill Rich, John Sarmiento and Kane Graham brought in a fourth place win for the 4×400 meter relay.

The Homer teams also participated in the Unified Partners events, which are completed by a partnership between a varsity athlete and a special education athlete. Ralph Mitchell and Nolan Bunting of the boys track and field team paired up with Espen Restad and Miles Clearly. 

Mitchell placed first in the Unified Partners boys 100-meter dash, with Bunting coming in fifth, Clearly in sixth and Restad in seventh. Mitchell also placed first in the long jump event, while Bunting came in second, Restad in sixth and Clearly in seventh. 

“It’s just a neat way to help the special education students mix in and mingle with the track meet and race,” said Homer High School Athletic Director Chris Perk.

During the Unified Partners 4×100 relay, Espen pulled ahead of Soldotna athlete Malikhi Hanson, who is partially blind, Perk said. However, when Espen approached the finish line, he stopped and waited so he and Hanson could finish together.

Anna Frost can be reached at