Mariners launch 2014 track and field season

Twenty-six members of Homer High School Mariner track and field team went toe to toe with athletes from around the state last weekend at the AKFCA Big C Relay held in the Anchorage Dome. 

“There were close to 40 teams … and I think there were close to 1,000 athletes,” said Head Coach Bill Steyer. “It’s the first meet for the kids to get exposure for track and field for the year, a huge meet like a state championship because of all the teams that are represented.”

The Mariner team did itself — and Steyer — proud.

“There were some really standout performances,” said Steyer. “It was pretty exciting.”

Pointing to the Mariner girls’ fifth place out of 24 teams in the 4×400 relay, Steyer described the Mariner girls as “really strong. Even though we have fewer girls (this year), this is a core group of girls that came out for cross country and-or track each year. They’re really good, quality athletes. They score high. They work hard and are talented. They’re top athletes in the state.”

That relay team consisted of Ziza Shemet Pitcher, Tayla Cabana, Molly Mitchell and Aurora Waclawski.

“We beat Dimond and that makes us feel good,” said Steyer of seventh-place Dimond High School. “Dimond won state last year in the 4×400.”

Crystal Crane, returning to the team after being injured last year, scored a third-place tie in the high jump.

“She’s a super talented athlete,” said Steyer

Tayla Cabana, whom Steyer described as a “great athlete” took eighth in the long jump.

New to the team this year is freshman Lauren Evarts, who placed an impressive 12th place in the 100m hurdle prelims. Advancing to the semi-finals, Evarts clipped a hurdle and went over, a stumble that kept her out of the finals.

“She didn’t get hurt, but a freshman against all those athletes? I haven’t had that,” said Steyer. “She’s just really good. You’ll hear her name a lot.”

On the Mariner boys team, Pedro Ochoa swept to fourth place overall in the 800 meter.

“He ran a 2:02, which is really fast. That’s four or five seconds off his personal record,” said Steyer. “He’s ranked No. 1 in 3A schools right now.”  

In the 3200m Ochoa had another impressive finish, ninth place out of 65 runners in a time of 10:13.

“He’s been working really hard and is dedicated, a coach’s dream. He knows it takes work and he’s doing that. “

Connor Seay scored an eighth place in the 300m hurdles.

“He did great,” said Steyer.

The action shifts to Homer April 18-19 for a two-day meet, with 11 schools including Homer competing. It is a two-day format with preliminaries on Friday and most finals on Saturday.

Volunteers are needed to assist with field events, making sure space is clear for competing athletes and helping with discus and shot put events and other activities.  

“It takes a lot of people to run these things,” said Steyer.

To volunteer, call Steyer at 399-1078.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at

AKFCA Big C Relays

April 4-5, The Dome, Anchorage

Varsity finals results – Homer, Ninilchik


800 meters: 4. Pedro Ochoa, Homer, 2:02.34; 37 Tyler Thorne, Ninilchik, 2:20.10; 42. Jared Brant, Homer, 2:21.15

3200 meters: 9. Pedro Ochoa, Homer 10:13.38; 21. Tyler Thorne, Ninilchik, 10:58.07

300m hurdles, 36-inch: 8. Connor Seay, Homer, 45:50

4×100 relay: 19. Homer team of Connor Seay, Joseph Cardoza, Ian Lowe and Andrew Doughty, 50:41.

4×400 relay: 21. Homer team of Connor Seay, August Kilcher, Les Crane and Pedro Ochoa, 3:56.96

4×800 relay: 23. Homer team of Jared Brant, Les Crane, John Sarmiento and Timmy Woo, 10:04.64

Medley 100-100-200-400m relay: 21. Homer team of Andrew Doughty, Joseph Cardoza, Ian Lowe and Les Crane, 1:53.45

Medley 200-200-400-800m relay: 24. Homer team of Ian Lowe, John Shank, Timmy Woo and John Sarmiento, 4:42.64

Long jump: 12. John Shank, Homer, 10-02.00; 52. August Kilcher, Homer, 14-03.00



800 meters: 56. Melissa Clark, Ninilchik, 3:10.33; 63. Naomi Hess, Ninilchik, 3:34.55

3200 meters: 49. Jordan Finney, Ninilchik, 18:45.10

300 meter hurdles, 30-inch: 8. Tayla Cabana, Homer, 51:90; 17, Lauren Jones, Homer, 57:16

4×100 relay: 10. Homer team of Lauren Evarts, Angie Cardoza, Crystal Crane and Lilli Johnson, 56:96; 24. Ninilchik team of Hannah Soplanda, Mikayla Clark, Ajiel Basmayor and Melissa Clark; 1:06.63

4×400 relay: 5. Homer team of Ziza Shemet Pitcher, Tayla Cabana, Molly Mitchell, Aurora Waclawski, 4:26.17

4×800 relay: 3. Homer team of Molly Mitchell, Ziza Shemet Pitcher, Audrey Rosencrans, Aurora Waclawski, 10:42.58

Medley 100-100-200-400m relay: 6. Homer team of Angie Cardoza, Crystal Crane, Lilli Johnson and Ziza Shemet Pitcher, 2:05.58; 25. Ninilchik team of Hannah Soplanda, Mikayla Clark, Jordan Finney and Ajiel Basmayor, 2:31.47

Medley 200-200-400-800m relay: 18. Homer team of Aurora Waclawski, Lauren Jones, Audrey Rosencrans, Sakota Mitchell, 5:17.54

Shot put, 4kg: 21. Mikayla Clark, Ninilchik. 26-05.00; 43. Heather Harrington, Homer, 21-04.00; 49. Heather Bear, Ninilchik, 20-05.00

Discus, 1kg: 52. Heather Bear, Ninilchik, 52-06; 54. Jordan Finney, Ninilchik, 51-05

High jump: 3 (tied), Crystal Crane, Homer, 4-08.00

Long jump: 8. Tayla Cabana, Homer, 14-03.50; 24. Crystal Crane, Homer, 12-10.25; 53. Melissa Clark, Ninilchik, 10-01.50; 56. Naomi Hess, Ninilchik, 9-11.50; 63. Ajiel Basmayor, Ninilchik, 8-01.50