Mariners finding their groove in track and field competition

The Homer Mariners Track and Field team traveled to Palmer this past weekend to participate in the Colony Invitational at Colony High School.

The Colony boys and Kenai Central girls track and field teams won the Colony Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

It was a great meet for both the boys and girls relay teams. In the 4×100 meter event, the boy’s team took third place overall out of 17 teams. The girls team took third place overall in the 4×100 meter, 4×200 meter and the 4×400 me- ter events.

The prospects for the relay teams getting to go to re- gionals this year look promising, and Coach Bill Steyer is very optimistic.

“We’ll see the relays getting into regionals, I’m sure,” said Steyer.

Several freshman on the team showed well including Teddy Croft who secured a career best by placing fourth overall in the triple jump. Alex Mosley, freshman, also land- ed a career best in the 1600 meter with a time of 5:58 and ran the 800 meter in 2:48. Jacob Davis, also a freshman, ran his best mile time yet at 5:18.

Lauren Evarts repeated her victory from the previous weekend at the home meet by placing first in the 300 meter hurdles in Palmer. She also came in third overall in the 100 meter hurdles.

Another notable run for the girl’s team was Audrey Rosencrans who ran 5:48 in the 1600 meter.

“She’s our top distance girl, and took a second off her time. She ran really well,” said Steyer.

Jake Richter, junior, took fifth place overall and senior John Shank took sixth place overall in the 100 meter dash against 68 competitors.

For the Borough Championships this weekend, Coach Steyer is creating a strategy around qualifying more athletes for regionals that follow soon after. “The borough cham- pionships are just a one day meet, so most athletes will

compete in two of their better events to try and get some regional qualifying times,” says Steyer.

The top 16 athletes in the region for each event will get to compete at the regional championships.

“There’s quite a few that will get into regionals,” said Steyer. “I could see more than half to two-thirds of our ath- letes either qualifying individually or getting in on a relay.”

Coach Chris Perk, throwing coach for the Mariners Track and Field team, also is optimistic about his athletes’ chances.

“The girl’s team is doing well. Briea Gregory’s dis- cus and shotput performances should get her into regionals, she’s in the top 8 right now,” said Perk. “We’re hoping to get her on to state as well this year.”

The top eight athletes for each event competing at re- gionals will get to compete at the state level.

With the season coming to a close, Coach Steyer said the team is finding its groove.

“Things are starting to come together with respect to what the best events are for each athlete and we’re start- ing to fine tune that as we approach the championships,” he said.

The Mariners will compete at the Borough Championships this coming weekend and head on to Regionals in Kenai on May 22-23.

Colony InvItatIonal

Girls team scores: 1. Kenai Central, 54; 2. ACS, 49; 3. Soldotna, 43; 4. Colony, 42; 5. Grace, 24; 6. Homer, 18; 7. Valdez, 13; 8. Palmer, 12; 9. CIA, 8; 10. Wasilla, 4; 11 (tie). Seward, Houston, 2.

Boys team scores: 1. Colony, 44; 2. ACS, 39; 3. Kenai, 38; 4. Soldotna, 29; 5. Seward, 23; 6. Palmer, 17; 7. Wasilla Lake Christian, 13; 8. CIA, 12; 9. Glennallen, 11; 10. Wasilla, 4.

Aryn Young is a freelance writer for the homer News.