Track-field team strong in numbers, talent

Spring is in the air and excitement is building for Homer High School’s 2015 track and field season. Although both the girls and boys track teams are young, Coach Bill Steyer is optimistic. 

“We’ve got really good numbers this year, with forty kids on the roster, and it’s building every year” he said. 

With only two practices to judge this year’s team by, Steyer doesn’t have firm goals for the season yet, but he’s certainly looking for personal improvements in all events. 

This is quite the task, with the girls and boys teams bringing home 13 medals in total from the 2014 State Track and Field Championships, and the girls team placing third overall.

The Homer High School record for the 4×800 meter relay event also was broken during the 2014 State Championships by athletes Molly Mitchell, Tayla Cabana, Ziza Shemet Pitcher and Aurora Waclawski.

“The girls team has won the 4×400 meter two years in a row at state, and we’re really hoping to defend that title for this year as well,” said Steyer. 

The addition of two assistant coaches for Homer High School’s throwing program will also keep things exciting this year for the track team. Chris Perk and Lindsay Layland have taken on the positions of assistant coach for the throwing program and Steyer is eager to see the results the team will get with this extra attention. 

“We’ve had temporary help with the throwing program before, but this is the first year we’ve had full-time assistant coaches for it,” said Steyer. 

Captains for the 2015 track and field season include John Shank, Crystal Crane and Ian Lowe, all seniors. Crane participated in the 4×400 meter team that took first place at state last year, as well the second place 4×200 meter team. Shank was part of 4×100 meter team that took second in the 2014 state championships. Ian Lowe ran on the 4×100 meter AKFCA Big C Relays at The Dome in Anchorage last year.

Steyer said they are all looking to have a good season this year as well, and looks forward to seeing how they do in practices to come. 

Even more excitement is building for this year as Connor Seay, another 2015 senior, has been invited to participate in the Big C Relays Alaska Airlines Pentathlon competition this year at the Dome in Anchorage. 

Coaches submit applications for their athletes to participate in the race, and only six individuals are invited to attend each year.

The five events included in the pentathlon are the high jump, shot put, 100 meter, 300 meter hurdles and 800 meter. 

Although more medals for this year would be nice, the focus for the 2015 Homer High School’s track and field team still remains on the athletes. 

Steyer’s hope for the season is for “the kids to have fun, discover the benefits of going out for a sport where working hard and daily effort can result in benefits in sports and down the road in life.”

Aryn Young is a freelance writer for the Homer News.

2015 Homer High School Track and Field Schedule

April 10-11: Big C’s Relays, The Dome, away, TBA

April 24-25: Kenai Invitational, away, TBA

May 1: Homer Invite, home, 2 p.m. 

May 2: Homer Invite, home, 9 a.m. 

May 8-9: Colony Invitational, away, TBA

May 16: KPBSD Boroughs, Soldotna, Away, TBA

May 22-23: Regions, Kenai, away, TBA

May 29: State Championship,  Dimond High School, away, 9 a.m.

May 30: State Championship, Dimond High