Homer girls take second, boys take sixth at Kenai Invite

Setting 10 new personal records for individual performances, the Homer High School Mariners track and field team left their calling card at the Kenai Invite last Friday and Saturday. The Mariner girls took second place, with Soldotna in first and Grace Christian in third. The Mariner boys claimed sixth place, with Kenai Central in first, Anchorage Christian in second and Wasilla in third.

“This is a fun group to coach,” said Mariner Head Coach Bill Steyer.

“They work real hard and they get the benefits. Nice job.”

On the boys side, senior Pedro Ochoa scored a fourth place in the 3200 meters, with the Kenai Central duo of Jordan and Jonah Theisen in first and second, respectively, and Daniel Serventi of Grace Christian in third. In the 1600, Ochoa pushed into third, finishing on the heels of the Theisen brothers, but two places ahead of fifth-place Serventi.

“This was a really important meet for (Ochoa), to give him a lot of confidence. He deserves it and is working so hard. He’s an awesome kid,” said Steyer.

Junior Connor Seay led the pack in the 300 meter, 36-inch hurdles. Junior John Shank claimed fourth-place in the triple jump and fifth-place in the long jump, both personal records. 

The girls team “put together a stellar performance,” said Steyer.

In team performance, the Mariner girls had 89 points compared to first-place Soldotna’s 125.

“In a meet like this, it’s hard to challenge a big school like Soldotna because they have a lot more volume and they’re a great team. They’re points are pretty significant compared to ours,” said Steyer.

The Homer girls’ final points were significant compared to third place Grace Christian with 65 and Kenai Central with 53, however.

“Our girls are really serious competitors and they all performed really well last week,” said Steyer.

Senior Tayla Cabana placed first in the long jump with a time of 15-06.25, making it “the best long jump in her career,” said Steyer. “She also anchored our winning 4×400 relay team and beat the Wasilla girls, and the Wasilla girls are really good.”

On the relay team with Cabana were Aurora Waclawski, Ziza Shemet Pitcher and Lauren Evarts. 

Cabana also placed second in the 100-meter, 33-inch hurdles.

“When athletes can do the multi events really well, that’s a demonstration of a well-rounded athlete,” said Steyer.

“Speed, power, endurance, jumping capabilities …  You don’t have to be the best in every event, but if you’re consistently good in all of those, that can make a difference.”

Waclawski was first across the finish line in the 400 meters, with Shemet Pitcher in second. Molly Mitchell, who Steyer said is “in super good distance-running shape,” placed second in the 3200 meter and third in the 1600 meters.

“She tied her best time in the 1600,” said Steyer of Mitchell’s 5:32.69 finish.

Freshmen Audrey Rosencrans and Audrey Russell also were among Homer runners in the 1600, finishing in 10th and 14th, respectively. In the 3200 meters, Rosencrans moved up to fifth place and Russell to ninth. 

Homer placed fourth in the high jump, with junior Crystal Crane’s 4-06.00. Crane also placed fifth in the long jump, hitting the 14-01.25 mark.

This week, the Mariners head to the Anchorage Invite at Dimond High School.

“That’ll be where the state championships are and it’s important for (Homer) to get on that track,” said Steyer. “It has narrower lanes than ours. Ours are 42 inches; their lanes are 36. That is a big difference, especially for hurdles and relay exchanges.”

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

Kenai Invite

April 25-26, Kenai Central High School


1. Kenai Central, 141; 2. Anchorage Christian, 76; 3. Wasilla, 73; 4. Nikiski, 52; 5. Palmer, 39; 6. Homer, 34; 7. Soldotna, 30; 8. Grace Christian, 28; 9. Cook Inlet Academy, 27; 10. Skyview, 19; 11. Wasilla Lake Christian, 5. 


1600 meters: 3. Pedro Ochoa, Homer, 4:40.91; 18. Jared Brant, Homer, 5:06.51; 25. Timmy Woo, Homer, 5:42.76; 29. Tim Haller, Susan B. English, 5:56.74; 30. John Sarmiento, Homer, 5:56.74/

3200 meters: 4. Pedro Ochoa, Homer, 10:21.43; 12. Jared Brant, Homer, 11:18.13; 22. John Sarmiento, Homer, 13:00.09.

300 meter hurdles, 36-inch: 1. Connor Seay, Homer, 44.42.

4×100 relay: 5. Connor Seay, Joseph Cardoza, Tyeler Cooper-Day, Andrew Doughty, Homer, 49.81.

4×200 relay: 6. Joseph Cardoza, Ryan Navrot, Tyeler Cooper-Day, John Shank, Homer, 1:45.08.

4×800 relay: 4. Ryan Navrot, August Kilcher, Reme Nagle, Les Crane, Homer, 10:24.40.

Shot put, 12 pound: 21. Chase Crauthers, Homer, 30-11.00; 23. Jake Richter, 26-02.00.

Discus, 1.6 kg: 20. Jake Richter, Homer, 74-06; 23. Chase Crauthers, Homer, 67-09.

High jump: 7. August Kilcher, Homer, 5-00.00.

Long jump: 5. John Shank, Homer, 17-06.50; 8. Connor Seay, Homer, 17-04.00; 15. Souleymane Sidibe, Susan B. English, 16-04.50; 19. Sam Mireles, Ninilchik, 15-06.50; 22. August Kilcher, Homer, 15-00.00; 27. Dylan Waterbury, Susan B. English, 13-09.50; 34. Julian Richburg, Homer, 13-02.25.

Triple jump: 4. John Shank, Homer, 35-09.00; 9. Dylan Waterbury, Susan B. English, 31-00.50; 13. Souleymane, Sidibe, Susan B. English, 29-11.00.




1. Soldotna, 125; 2. Homer, 89; 3. Grace Christian, 65; 4. Kenai Central, 53; 5. Wasilla, 49; 6. Skyview, 45; 7. Cook Inlet Academy, 28; 8. Palmer, 26; 9. Nikiski, 20; 9. Anchorage Christian, 20.


100 meters: 7. Angie Cardoza, Homer, 13:86.

200 meters: 6. Aurora Waclawski, Homer, 28.67.

400 meters: 1. Aurora Waclawski, Homer, 1:03.91; 2. Ziza Shemet Pitcher, Homer, 1:06.04.

1600 meters: 3. Molly Mitchell, Homer, 5:32.69; 10. Audrey Rosencrans, Homer, 6:10.21; 14. Audrey Russell, Homer, 6:20.04; 18. Sakota Mitchell, Homer, 6:55.86.

3200 meters: 2. Molly Mitchell, Homer, 12:08.97; 5. Audrey Rosencrans, Homer, 13:27.06; 9. Audrey Russell, Homer, 13:40.55; 12. Jordan Finney, Ninilchik, 18:47.78.

100 meter hurdles, 33 inches: 2. Tayla Cabana, Homer, 16.99.

300 meter hurdles, 30 inches: 5. Lauren Jones, Homer, 57.47.

4×200 relay: 4. Angie Cardoza, Ziza Shemet Pitcher, Crystal Crane, Lauren Evarts, Homer, 1:59.81. 

4×400 relay: 1. Aurora Waclawski, Ziza Shemet Pitcher, Lauren Evarts, Tayla Cabana, Homer, 4:34.19.

4×800 relay: 3. Audrey Rosencrans, Audrey Russell, Lauren Jones, Sakota Mitchell, Homer, 11:33.65.

Shot put, 4 kg: 16. Jordan Finney, Ninilchik, 25-06.00; 20. Jenna Crosby, Susan b. English, 20-09.25.

Discus, 1 kg: 15. Jordan Finney, Ninilchik, 61-11; 20. Jenna Crosby, Susan B. English, 35-11.

High jump: 4. Crystal Crane, Homer, 4-06.00.

Long jump: 1. Tayla Cabana, Homer, 15-06.25; 5. Crystal Crane, Homer, 14-01.25; 17. Aurora Dell, Ninilchik, 11-05.50.