Mariners girls finish 4th, boys come in 3rd at state cross-country meet

The Homer Mariners girls and boys cross-country teams each finished in the top four overall at the Division II state championship meet held Saturday in Palmer.

The Mariners’ girls team finished fourth overall with 109 points, coming up behind first-place Seward with 34 points, second-place Grace Christian with 57 points, and third-place Sitka with 57 points.

The leading racers for the Lady Mariners were 14th-placed sophomore Jaela Marchbanks (finished in 22:06.14), 17th-placed sophomore Claira Booz (finished in 22:17.30) and 19th-placed junior Beatrix McDonough (finished in 22:22.85). Sophomore Cassidy Carroll was 41st (finished in 24:15.68); sophomore Kiriakia Basargin was 56th (finished in 25:27.47); junior McKenna Black was 57th (finished in 25:36.92); and junior Ainsley Boss-Harmon was 67th (finished in 31:16.04).

Homer was led by sophomore Marchbanks in 14th place with a personal-best 22:06. Marchbanks said she also swims in the morning, and tapering off activity worked for her.

“We backed off the swimming, and we backed off the running, so it was just a ton of backing off,” she said.

The Mariners also were missing one of their top runners in junior Daisy MossWalker due to injury.

Marchbanks said the Mariners are looking forward to next season under head coach Bob Ostrom.

“It’s Alaska, so a lot of us have fishing jobs and stuff,” she said. “A lot of us are pretty dedicated and will continue throughout the summer.

For the boys team, they finished third place overall in the meet with 73 points, losing to Grace Christian’s state championship effort of 47 points and falling just behind Sitka, coming in second place overall, with 66 points.

Setting the pace for the Homer boys team was 11th-placed sophomore Johannes Bynagle (finished in 17:35.70). Bynangle finished 23rd at state last season.

Bynagle said the Grizzlies set a tough standard in the region and state.

“Hopefully, we’ll get them at some point,” he said. “Our oldest guy on the varsity team is a junior.”

“Our top five scoring boys are all freshmen and sophomores, so I feel like we have a few good years ahead of us.”

Homer also had 12th-placed sophomore Caleb Bunker (finished in 17:36.72), 17th-placed sophomore Jai Badajos (finished in 17:58.15), 21st-placed freshman Reid Rauch (finished in 18:10.71), 23rd-placed sophomore Ethan Styvar (finished in 18:24.39), 26th-placed sophomore Tait Ostrom (finished in 18:37.86), and 35th-placed junior Jody Goodrich (finished in 19:00.39).

Division II Final Results


Team scores: 1. Seward, 34; 2. Grace Christian, 57; 3. Sitka, 57; 4. Homer, 109; 5. Monroe Catholic, 128; 6. Bethel, 152; 7. Delta Junction, 176.

Top 10 5-kilometer individual finishers

1. Clare Mullin, Sit, 19:50; 2. Marina Dill, Sit, 20:13; 3. Hailey Ingalls, Sew, 20:57; 4. Sydney Mondeel, Gra, 21:07; 5. Tagan Rinner, Gra, 21:15; 6. Selah Brueckner, Sew, 21:30; 7. Lauren Kingstrom, Nome, 21:32; 8. Juniper Ingalls, Sew, 21:42; 9. AwaLuk Nichols, Nome, 21:50; 10. Katie Van Buskirk, Sew, 21:52.

Other peninsula finishers

12. Maddie Haas, Sew, 22:02; 13. Indigo Leslie, Sew, 22:03; 14. Jaela Marchbanks, Hom, 22:06; 17. Claira Booz, Hom, 22:17; 23. Emilee Wilson, Ken, 22:46; 33. Stella Dow, Sew, 23:39; 41. Cassidy Carroll, Hom, 24:15; 56. Kiriakia Basargin, Hom, 25:27; 57. McKenna Black, Hom, 25:36; 67. Ainsley Boss-Harmon, Hom, 31:16.


1. Grace Christian, 47; 2. Sitka, 66; 3. Homer, 73; 4. Mountain City Christian Academy, 111; 5. Bethel, 118; 6. Kenai Central, 121; 7. Monroe Catholic, 156; 8. Delta Junction, 225.

Top 10 5-kilometer individual finishers

1. Robert Annett, Gra, 16:39; 2. Greg Fallon, Ken, 16:42; 3. Colton Merriner, Gra, 16:49; 4. Simon Nelson, Gra, 16:54; 5. Connor Hitchcock, Sit, 17:00; 6. Trey Demmert, Sit, 17:14; 7. Rafe Caruthers, Val, 17:21; 8. Orson Hoogendorn, Nome, 17:29; 9. Ned Peters, Bet, 17:31; 10. Preston Kopp, MCCA, 17:33.

Other peninsula finishers

11. Johannes Bynagle, Hom, 17:35; 12. Caleb Bunker, Hom, 17:36; 17. Jai Badajos, Hom, 17:58; 18. Jack Laker, Ken, 18:07; 21. Reid Rauch, Hom, 18:10; 23. Ethan Styvar, Hom, 18:24; 26. Tait Ostrom, Hom, 18:37; 33. Chase Laker, Ken, 18:58; 35. Jody Goodrich, Hom, 19:00; 37. Zane Tews, Ken, 19:10; 47. Sam Sloan, Ken, 19:42; 61. William Roberts, Ken, 20:53; 65. Logan Cartwright, Ken, 21:06.

Homer’s Johannes Bynagle competes Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, in the Division II boys state cross-country race at Palmer High School in Palmer, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s Johannes Bynagle competes Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, in the Division II boys state cross-country race at Palmer High School in Palmer, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)