Stars sweep team titles at unique Homer Invite

Editor's note: This story corrects the original story, which did not reflect field events added into the team scores after the event concluded.

 

The Soldotna track and field teams swept the team titles Saturday afternoon at the Homer Invite.

Saturday’s single-day event attracted some of the fastest and strongest prep athletes from the peninsula, but it was the Soldotna boys and girls teams making off with the championship hardware. The Soldotna boys scored 96.5 points to top the 88.5 of runner-up Homer, while the Stars girls had 118 points to the 106 of runner-up Homer.

Warm, sunny skies cast a glow on the unique track meet that featured two events not typically offered at prep meets in Alaska. Included in the program was a 5,000-meter endurance run, along with a new event never before raced in Alaska, the 400-meter hurdles.

According to longtime Palmer track and field guru Michael Janacek, the 400-meter hurdle event — which is contested in the NCAA and Olympics — has never been run on the Alaska prep track scene.

It made for some historic moments on Saturday.

“It was a little nerve-wracking, because it’s an event that hasn’t been done before,” said Homer senior Lauren Evarts, who won the girls race in a time of 1 minutes, 13.94 seconds, while Kenai Central sophomore Jarett Wilson won the boys event in 1:03.20. Wilson said the final “extra” 100 meters offered up a new challenge.

“The first 300 meters felt like a normal 300 hurdles, but the last 100 was tough,” Wilson said. “You really feel that extra distance.”

Homer head coach Bill Steyer said when he was constructing the Homer Invite schedule, he wanted to add a little flare and flavor to spice up the track season. Both the 5,000 and 400 hurdles accomplished that.

“I try to offer something different each year,” Steyer said. “One year we had a true mile, another year we had a 1,500.

“It’s an invite, so it’s good to mix it up a little.”

Because there is no precedent set for the 400 hurdles, Evarts said she wasn’t sure of what time to reach for, but 75 seconds seemed reasonable. Evarts is a the reigning Class 1-2-3A champion in the girls 300 hurdles, and is set to sign a letter of commitment to run hurdles at Division I Utah State in Logan, Utah.

However, Evarts came face to face with an added test of skill when one of the hurdle barriers she encountered was accidentally set too high, giving her a few more inches to leap over.

“I considered going under it,” Evarts quipped.

The one-lap event was staged with 10 sets of hurdles challenging racers, and Evarts said the rogue hurdle came about halfway through the race, at the entrance to the second turn.

Wilson said when he discovered that the rare event would be offered at the Homer Invite, he jumped at the chance to compete in it in the hopes that the extra distance would provide a good test of where his speed was at. Wilson’s personal best in the ordinary 400-meter dash is 60 seconds flat, although he said he has run a 55-second lap out of competition.

“I was guessing it could be around a 400 time,” he said. “But it was a little less fast today.”

Grace Christian senior Trent Fritzel captured the win in the 5,000 meters with a time of 16:46.06, while teammate Grace Gannon claimed the women’s race in 18:53.58. Fritzel said the 12 1-2 lap race was certainly long enough for him to establish a rhythm, leading to his fast time.

“This is the first year for me running track, and I saw this as an opportunity to run a 5K on a track,” Fritzel said.

A Grace Christian coach standing nearby noted the Fritzel was the perfect runner to pace off of, as the senior ran nearly identical laps of 1:18 throughout the event.

Steyer said the addition of the 5K gave the runners the opportunity to size up their long run speed in the cross-county offseason.

Among the highlights of the day, Kenai senior Josh Jackman racked up wins in the boys 200 sprint and the long and triple jumps.

Homer sophomore Kaylee Veldstra helped the Mariners to the team title with wins in the 100 and 200 sprints, while Seward junior Ruby Lindquist rolled to wins in the girls 800 and 1,600 races. Anchorage Christian junior Blake Bennett won the boys 1,600 and 3,200 races.

Homer Invitational

Saturday

at Homer High School

GIRLS

Team scores: 1. Soldotna, 118; 2. Homer, 106; 3. Kenai, 101; 4. Grace, 61; 5. Seward, 49; 6. ACS, 39; 7. Birchwood, 6; 8. Nikiski, 2.

100 — 1. Kaylee Veldstra, Hom, 13.21 seconds; 2. Hayley Maw, Ken, 13.66; 3. Tekaiya Rich, Ken, 13.86; 4. Brittany Taylor, Sol, 13.90; 5. Alyssa Bucho, Ken, 13.91; 6. Tovia Bremond Hilton, Sol, 13.96.

200 — 1. Kaylee Veldstra, Hom, 28.08; 2. Brittany Taylor, Sol, 28.33; 3. Alyssa Bucho, Ken, 29.06; 4. Tovia Bremond Hilton, Sol, 29.11; 5. Tekaiya Rich, Ken, 29.13; 6. Holleigh Jaime, Sol, 29.57.

400 — Addison Gibson, Ken, 1:02.84; 2. Jaelyn Singleton, ACS, 1:06.85; 3. Serena Becker, Bir, 1:07.72; 4. Sadie Lindquist, Sew, 1:08.01; 5. Kalyn McGillivray, Sol, 1:08.45; 6. Ashton Ealum, ACS, 1:08.53.

800 — 1. Ruby Lindquist, Sew, 2:26.66; 2. Autumn Daigle, Hom, 2:32.77; 3. Audrey Rosencrans, Hom, 2:33.22; 4. Laura Ellis, Gra, 2:33.38; 5. Brooke Satathite, Ken, 2:34.04; 6. Megan Pitzman, Hom, 2:35.39.

1,600 — 1. Ruby Lindquist, Sew, 5:30.34; 2. Tessa O’Hara, ACS, 5:39.14; 3. Audrey Rosencrans, Hom, 5:42.94; 4. Autumn Daigle, Hom, 5:44.54; 5. Brooke Satathite, Ken, 5:44.64; 6. Riana Boonstra, Ken, 5:49.54.

3,200 — 1. Grace Annett, Gra, 12:51.04; 2. Grace Gannon, Gra, 12:51.54; 3. Emma Moore, Sew, 13:22.94; 4. Emma Armand, Sew, 13:33.34; 5. Ashley Fuller, ACS, 13:36.04; 6. Anna McLaughlin, Gra, 13:46.04.

5,000 — 1. Grace Gannon, Gra, 18:53.58; 2. Ithaca Bergholtz, Ken, 20:09.50.

100 hurdles — 1. Lauren Evarts, Hom, 17.20; 2. Katie Kilfoyle, Ken, 17.73; 3. Sophie Thomas, Sol, 18.18; 4. Kylie Ness, Sol, 18.31; 5. Holleigh Jaime, Sol, 18.71; 6. Nikki Overson, Gra, 18.72.

400 — 1. Lauren Evarts, Hom, 1:13.94; 2. Nikki Overson, Gra, 1:16.59; 3. Holley Hoback, Gra, 1:24.13; 4. Carlisa Wood, ACS, 1:28.11; 5. Ashleigh Herr, Ken, 1:33.42.

400 relay — 1. Kenai (Bucho, Kilfoyle, Maw, Rich), 52.80; 2. Homer, 53.00; 3. Soldotna, 54.63; 4. Grace, 57.32; 5. ACS, 57.40; 6. Seward, 1:01.27.

1,600 relay — 1. Seward (S. Lindquist, R. Lindquist, Armand, Petrosius), 4:29.80; 2. Homer, 4:30.07; 3. Soldotna, 4:32.02; 4. ACS, 4:39.92; 5. Kenai, 4:40.28; 6. Grace, 5:11.38.

High jump — 1. Marina Carroll, Hom, 4 feet, 8 inches; 2. Danica Schmidt, Sol, 4—7; 3. Aliann Schmidt, Sol, 4—5; 4. Denali Wurst, Sol, 4—5; 5. Coral Petrosius, Sew, 4—4; 6. Olivia Schwenk, Sol, 4—2.

Shot put — 1. Ituau Tuisaula, Sol, 34—3 3-4; 2. Jenna Markel, Gra, 34—2 1-4; 3. Abby Beck, Ken, 34—1; 4. Annie Quinn, Sol, 33—7; 5. Emily Pieh, Sol, 31—8 3-4; 6. Savannah McDonald, Sol, 31—0.

Discus — 1. Abby Beck, Ken, 107—11; 2. Emily Pieh, Sol, 104—6; 3. Annie Quinn, Sol, 99—8; 4. Anna Brock, Hom, 98—0; 5. Coral Petrosius, Sew, 97—10; 6. Ituau Tuisaula, Sol, 94—5.

Long jump — 1. Chelsea Plagge, Ken, 13—11; 2. Olivia Schwenk, Sol, 13—10 1-2; 3. Natalie Johnson, Sol, 13—6 3-4; 4 (tie). Kaitlyn Johnson, Nik, Aliann Schmidt, Sol, 13—6; 6. Rythm Beckett-Cook, Hom, 13—3 1-2.

Triple jump — 1. Mary Kate Parks, ACS, 30—8 1-2; 2. Marina Carroll, Hom, 29—4; 3. Brooke Satathite, Ken, 29—1 1-2; 4. Aliann Schmidt, Sol, 28—0; 5. Denali Wurst, Sol, 27—11; 6. Isabel Kulhanek, Hom, 27—10 1-4.

BOYS

Team scores: 1. Soldotna, 96.5; 2. Homer, 88.5; 3. Grace, 85; 4. Kenai, 78.5; 5. ACS, 62; 6. Nikiski, 42; 7. Seward, 39.5; 8. Birchwood, 1.

100 — 1. Isaac Averill, Nik, 11.50; 2. Josh Jackman, Ken, 11.55; 3. Brenner Furlong, Sol, 11.74; 4. Teddy Croft, Hom, 11.90; 5. Noah Fisk, Hom, 11.95; 6. Matthew Minium, Nik, 12.17.

200 — 1. Josh Jackman, Ken, 23.85; 2. Teddy Croft, Hom, 24.40; 3. Michael Kuentzel, Gra, 24.71; 4. Abraham Van Hout, Sol, 24.97; 5. Noah Fisk, Hom, 25.04; 6. Patrick Perry, Nik, 25.15.

400 — 1. Brenner Furlong, Sol, 52.79; 2. Hunter Kratz, Sew, 53.66; 3. Koby Vinson, Sol, 54.49; 4. Michael Kuentzel, Gra, 54.63; 5. Jared Randall, ACS, 56.29; 6. Dominik Efta, Ken, 56.36.

800 — 1. Luciano Fasulo, Hom, 2:11.24; 2. Luke Fritzel, Gra, 2:14.48; 3. Cy Dull, Ken, 2:15.17; 4. Jacob Davis, Hom, 2:15.45; 5. Zen Petroius, Sew, 2:16.29; 6. Collin Becker, Bir, 2:16.84.

1,600 — 1. Blake Bennett, ACS, 4:43.04; 2. Luciano Fasulo, Hom, 4:45.04; 3. Jacob Davis, Hom, 4:49.34; 4. Luke Fritzel, Gra, 4:56.24; 5. Zen Petrosius, Sew, 4:57.44; 6. John Sanford, ACS, 4:57.64.

3,200 — 1. Blake Bennett, ACS, 9:41.24; 2. Hunter Kratz, Sew, 9:49.34; 3. Sean Vergin, Sol, 10:56.04; 4. John Sanford, ACS, 11:07.04; 5. Lance Chilton, Sol, 11:14.14; 6 (tie). Chance Reynolds, Sol, Corbin Mattingly, Hom, 11:18.34.

5,000 — 1. Trent Fritzel, Gra, 16:46.06; 2. Gabe Martin, Gra, 16:54.04; 3. Bill Rich, Hom, 17:16.15; 4. Elan Carrol, Hom, 19:01.58; 5. Tucker Mueller, Ken, 19:07.09; 6. Shay Stiers, Ken, 20:20.78.

110 hurdles — 1. Abraham Van Hout, Sol, 16.04; 2. Ben Sobek, ACS, 16.64; 3. Jarett Wilson, Ken, 17.04; 4. Josh Gatpandan, ACS, 19.44; 5. Shayne Sullivan, Sew, 19.84; 6. Corbin Wirz, Sol, 20.14.

400 hurdles — 1. Jarett Wilson, Ken, 1:03.20; 2. Trapper Allen, Sew, 1:06.57; 3. Hunter Patton, Hom, 1:08.89; 4. Joel Hofacker, ACS, 1:09.43.

400 relay — 1. Soldotna (Van Hout, Vinson, Schrader, Furlong), 45.20; 2. Nikiski, 45.52; 3. Homer, 47.65; 4. ACS, 47.99; 5. Seward,49.42; 6. Kenai, 49.47.

1,600 relay — 1. Homer (Brant, Rich, Davis, Fasulo), 3:48.17; 2. ACS, 3:50.67; 3. Seward, 3:51.20; 4. Grace, 3:54.03; 5. Kenai, 3:55.61; 6. Soldotna, 4:01.80.

Shot put — 1. Ryan Sheldon, Gra, 41—4 3-4; 2. Alex Binder, Gra, 41—4 1-2; 3. Ian Johnson, Nik, 40—3 1-4; 4. Wendell Tuisaula, Sol, 39—4; 5. Galen Brantley, Sol, 39—4; 6. Kyle Marcuson, Sol, 38—4 1-2.

Discus — 1. Wendell Tuisaula, Sol, 141—2; 2. Alex Binder, Gra, 139—5; 3. Ian Johnson, Nik, 130—8; 4. Galen Brantley, Sol, 123—11; 5. John Grossl, Ken, 121—6; 6. Ryan Sheldon, Gra, 117—3.

High jump — 1. Joel Carroll, Hom, 5—8; 2. Jarett Wilson, Ken, 5—8; 3. Brogan Nieder, Gra, 5—6; 4. Tyler Morrison, Sol, 5—2; 5. Eli Davis, Sew, 4—10; 6. Andrew Bezdecny, Ken, 4—10.

Long jump — 1. Josh Jackman, Ken, 20—5; 2. Brogan Nieder, Gra, 18—11 1-4; 3. Logan Schrader, Sol, 18—4 1-2; 4. Aaron McCollum, Nik, 18—4 1-4; 5. Jack Sullenger, Nik, 18—1 3-4; 6. William Parks, ACS, 17—9 1-4.

Triple jump — 1. Josh Jackman, Ken, 40—5 1-2; 2. Logan Schrader, Sol, 40—4; 3. William Parks, ACS, 39—1-2; 4. Aaron McCollum, Nik, 38—1-2; 5. Joel Carroll, Hom, 37—9 1-4; 6. Caleb Matson, Sol, 36—11 1-2.

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