The Rewind: Champions crowned at Big C Relays and Anchorage Wolverines earn sweep to tie for division lead

Apr. 8—This past week featured several notable individual and team performances across the Alaska sports landscape at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. The 2024 prep soccer regular season saw its top two teams at the highest level stay unbeaten while the track and field season had its premier event of the early season. On the college scene, the University of Alaska Anchorage track and field team had one of its top performers honored while the University of Alaska Fairbanks is going in a new direction at the helm of its men's basketball program. Outside the state, several Alaskans had impressive performances at the youth and pro levels domestically and abroad.

Headlines and highlights

This past week saw boys and girls reigning state champions at the Division I soccer level remain undefeated. In the first matchup between since facing off in last year's title bout, South bested longtime rival Dimond 3-2 this past Wednesday to improve their record to 2-0 in conference and 3-0 overall. A late goal from freshman Shayla Lee on a penalty kick proved to be the difference in the end and it was set up by junior Faith Hughes, who was fouled while going for a ball. Hughes also scored a goal in the first half of the game.

"It feels really good to come back after our great state win last season and beat them again," Hughes said. "The team is coming together really nicely. We have a lot of new incoming freshmen and they put in a really good shift this game."

[South girls soccer team edges past rival Dimond in first matchup since state finals]

Meanwhile, the Colony boys team improved to 3-0 with a pair of commanding victories over Cook Inlet Conference opponents this past week. The Knights shut out West 5-0 last Wednesday and blew out Bartlett over the weekend in a 7-1 win. Junior Isaac Villa, who scored a pair of goals, led the Knights in scoring.

[Colony boys soccer sets out on title defense with 'new season, new team' mindset]

The biggest track and field meet of the early season took place at The Dome over the weekend with the annual Big C Relays. There were several notable individual and team performances that resulted in personal and meet records being broken.

[5 Alaska high school track and field athletes to watch, plus top Big C Relays performances]

Chugiak junior Alliyah Fields won the girls 400- and 800-meter races, setting a personal record in the latter. She was also on the Mustangs girls relay team that broke a 14-year old meet record. Eagle River senior Alan Szewczyk Jr. won the boys 110- and 300-meter races, both of which were events he won at state last year during his Gatorade Player of the Year-winning junior season. West senior Leileanah Toleafoa set personal records with her first-place marks in the girls shot put and discus.

On the college scene, UAA junior Cole Nash received his first weekly honor of the outdoor track and field season this past Monday for an impressive performance he had last weekend. He recorded the third-fastest finish in Division II this season in the 5,000 by running a 13:55.71 at the Stanford Invite, he was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference Men's Track Athlete of the Week.

Up in Fairbanks, the UAF men's basketball team will be moving forward with a new head coach after the university announced Greg Sparling will not be returning for the 2024-25 season last Friday.

"We thank Coach Sparling for his years of service to UAF and wish him the best in his future endeavors," director of athletics Brock Anundson said in a statement.

During his six years at the helm of the program, Sparling compiled a record of 33-48 the past three seasons. The highlight of his tenure came in 2022 when he guided the Nanooks to a magical run to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship and an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.

"Winning the GNAC title and getting the Nanooks all the way to the NCAA Division II West Region championship game are certainly among the highlights of my career," Sparling said in a statement. "I want to thank my players, our fans and all Nanook boosters for the support they've shown me during my time at UAF."

The Anchorage Wolverines pulled within a tie for first place in the NAHL's Midwest Division standings after sweeping the Janesville Jets in the last series on their home ice of the regular season. Anchorage got goals from five players in a 5-3 win Friday night and outpaced Janesville 5-1 on Saturday, getting a pair of goals from Arvega Hovsepyan to lead the way. While the Wisconsin Windigo having no games left on their regular season schedule, the Wolverines have a chance to break the two-way tie for first place and earn a home-ice advantage through the first two rounds of the postseason.

"Every time we can stay in Alaska and make a team come up here and play, it's a huge difference," Anchorage forward Romulus Riego de Dios said Friday. "I think we have one of the best crowds in the NAHL, so first place is huge."

[Anchorage Wolverines keep rolling, pull into tie for division lead]

Alaska stars shining Outside

A pair of Alaska youth hockey teams made it to the national title games of their respective Tier II divisions Sunday, with one emerging victorious. The Hockey Club Fairbanks 19U girls team claimed the first championship in program history thanks in large part to Gennesaret Halbert's 29 saves and a huge power-play goal scored by Galilee Murray in the third period that secured a 2-1 victory over the Kensington Valley Ravens of Michigan. Meanwhile, the Anchorage North Stars 18U boys fell 3-2 to the Nashville Jr. Predators of Tennessee. Owen Melson scored a goal in the second period to cut Anchorage's deficit to 2-1. Joseph Christiansen and Jude Doniere assisted on the power-play goal. In the third period, Brody Melocik cut the deficit to 3-2 with a goal. Austin Wiita earned the assist. Zachary Blanton made 25 saves in goal for the North Stars.

Eagle River's Alev Kelter scored a combined 20 points Sunday in the medal round to lead the Team USA women to the finals of the World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Hong Kong. Even though they wound up taking home a silver medal after getting beat by New Zealand 36-7 in the gold-medal match, Kelter's scoring prowess was on full display when she outscored both Fiji and France with outings of 13 and seven points in commanding victories earlier in the day.

Anchorage's Jeremy Swayman set a career high in season wins as a starting goalie in the NHL when he helped lead the Boston Bruins to a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. His previous career-high that he set last season was 24 and after stopping 29-of-30 attempts from finding the back of the net in his most recent outing, he notched his 25th win of the 2023-24 season.

Fast Forward


Track and field

Quads 1 and 2, Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at The Dome

All eight of the teams from the Anchorage School District will be back in action for the second weekend in a row for a pair of quad meets. The first block will pit Bartlett, Service, West and Dimond against each other from 8-11 a.m. and the second will feature East, South, Chugiak and Eagle River from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Boys Soccer

Service vs. West, Saturday at 1 p.m. at The Dome

Two of the top contenders at the Division I level will face off for the first time this season in a weekend Cook Inlet Conference clash. The Eagles will be looking to bounce back after getting shutout Wednesday while the Cougars are still in search of their first win of the season.


AABC Senior All-Star weekend

The Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches is having its annual three-day event this weekend where athletes from across the state and all four divisions will get a chance to put their skills to the test, receive next-level coaching and gain college exposure over the course of several activities. The crown jewel events will be the 1A/2A and 3A/4A Senior All-Star games on Saturday from 2-9 p.m. but there will also be skills contests as well as college exposure camps at Dimond and Bartlett high schools earlier in the day and an additional session for girls on Sunday morning. A full breakdown of the schedule can be found online.

Last week's results



Anchorage Wolverines 5, Janesville Jets 3


Anchorage Wolverines 5, Janesville Jets 1


Boys Soccer


East 1, Eagle River 0

Juneau-Douglass 4, Thunder Mountain 0


Wasilla 3, Grace Christian 0

Colony 5, West 0


South 8, Dimond 2

Ketchikan 4, Juneau-Douglass 0


Colony 7, Bartlett 1

Ketchikan 3, Juneau-Douglass 1

Girls Soccer


Eagle River 2, East 1


South 3, Dimond 2

West 0, Colony 0

Wasilla 9, Grace Christian 0


Ketchikan 5, Thunder Mountain 3


Colony 2, Bartlett 0

Ketchikan 5, Thunder Mountain 1

Track and Field

Big C Relay


100 Meters Varsity — Finals

1. Jihsana Williams, 12.84, Chugiak

2. Taylor Eddington, 13.03, Tri-Valley

3. Sarah Brown, 13.20, Soldotna

3. Anna Green, 13.20, South Anchorage

5. Gabrielle Okorodudu, 13.34, Eagle River

100 Meters Pentathlon — Finals

1. Makaylen King, 13.49, South Anchorage

2. Hope Jackson, 13.65, Grace Christian

3. Gracie Miotke, 13.72, Homer

4. Emily Moore, 14.10, Chugiak

5. Rylee McIntosh, 14.20, Colony

400 Meters Varsity — Finals

1. Alliyah Fields, 59.34, Chugiak

2. Skyler Belmear, 1:00.91, Chugiak

3. Petra Knox, 1:01.44, Chugiak

4. Ryleigh Ervin, 1:01.73, Chugiak

5. Leila Petersen, 1:02.26, Palmer

800 Meters Varsity — Finals

1. Alliyah Fields, 2:17.48, Chugiak

2. Petra Knox, 2:24.44, Chugiak

3. Ella Hopkins, 2:25.48, Colony

4. Hannah Bodkin, 2:26.41, Chugiak

5. Ashlyn Paynter, 2:26.55, Eagle River

800 Meters Pentathlon — Finals

1. Emily Moore, 2:28.61, Chugiak

2. Makaylen King, 2:40.87, South Anchorage

3. Rylee McIntosh, 2:48.89. Colony

4. Ellie VanDeventer, 2:49.06. Tri-Valley

5. Hope Jackson, 2:49.42, Grace Christian

3,200 Meters Varsity — Finals

1. Ida Meyer, 11:25.27, Juneau-Douglas

2. Etta Eller, 11:31.61, Juneau-Douglas

3. Elizabeth Page, 11:59.01, South Anchorage

4. Madeleine Lojewski, 12:01.55, East Anchorage

5. Ella Hopkins 12:04.20, Colony

100m Hurdles Varsity — Finals

1. Nevaeh Watkins, 15.83, Dimond

2. McKinley Eddington, 16.03, Tri-Valley

3. Ellen Kruchoski, 17.29, Chugiak

4. Sarah Dittman, 17.37, Dimond

5. Samantha Jensen, 18.00, Chugiak

300m Hurdles Varsity — Finals

1. McKinley Eddington, 48.34, Tri-Valley

2. Nevaeh Watkins, 48.54, Dimond

3. Anaulie Sedivy, 48.75, Soldotna

4. Caelynn Carter, 49.15, Wasilla

5. Jenna Houck, 49.85, Mountain City Christian

300m Hurdles Pentathlon — Finals

1. Gracie Miotke, 49.43, Homer

2. Makaylen King, 50.15, South Anchorage

3. Emily Moore, 50.80, Chugiak

4. Hope Jackson, 51.06, Grace Christian

5. Rylee McIntosh, 53.16, Colony

4x100 Relay Varsity — Finals

1. Dimond — A, 52.75

2. Chugiak — A, 53.71

3. South — A, 54.51

4. Service — A, 54.56

5. West — A, 54.68

Sprint Medley Relay 800m Varsity — Finals

1. Dimond — A, 1:53.73

2. Chugiak — A, 2:02.33

3. South Anchorage — A, 2:02.53

4. Bartlett — A, 2:03.05

5. West Valley — A, 2:06.23

Distance Medley Relay

1. Soldotna — A, 13:43.06

2. Dimond — A, 13:59.44

3. Chugiak — A, 14:09.21

4. Eagle River — A, 14:10.95

5. Service — A, 14:15.08

Shot Put Pentathlon — Finals

1. Makaylen King, 29-5.25, South Anchorage

2. Hope Jackson, 26-6, Grace Christian

3. Emily Moore, 25-8, Chugiak

4. Gracie Miotke, 22-8.25, Homer

5. Ellie VanDeventer, 19-1, Tri-Valley

Discus Varsity — Finals

1. Leileanah Toleafoa, 107-p11, West Anchorage

2. Jieaya Siatini, 107-5, Mountain City Christian

3. Alexia Pike, 103-5, Redington

4. Josephine Mata, 100-9, West Anchorage

5. Shayvon Williams, 99-3, Chugiak

Shot Put Varsity — Finals

1. Leileanah Toleafoa, 41′ 3.25, West Anchorage

2. Jieaya Siatini, 37′ 2, Mountain City Christian

3. Abby Pettit, 35′ 8.75, Palmer

4. Liberty Lobe, 34′ 8, South Anchorage

5. Meg Roberts, 34′ 5.5, Soldotna

High Jump Varsity — Finals

1. Hannah Bodkin, 4-10, Chugiak

2. Avery Johnson, 4-10, Palmer

3. Kayla Cagle, 4-8, South Anchorage

4. Jessie Wentworth, 4-8, Su Valley

5. Nevaeh Watkins, 4-6, Dimond

High Jump Pentathlon — Finals

1. Emily Moore. 4-8, Chugiak

2. Rylee McIntosh, 4-6, Colony

3. Makaylen King, 4-6, South Anchorage

4. Ellie VanDeventer, 4-4, Tri-Valley

5. Hope Jackson, 4-0, Grace Christian

Long Jump Varsity — Finals

1. Sarah Dittman, 16-5, Dimond

2. Izzy Kizer 16-3.25, Valdez

3. Gabrielle Okorodudu, 16-1.5, Eagle River

4. Samantha Jensen, 15-1, Chugiak

5. Isabella Pederson, 15-1, Eagle River


100 Meters Varsity — Finals

1. Semaj Walker, 11.10, Chugiak

2. Beckett Stolp, 11.26, West Anchorage

3. Marquez Nevitte, 11.35, Bartlett

4. Murad Wright, 11.36, East Anchorage

5. Tyce Escott, 11.46, Soldotna

100 Meters Pentathlon — Finals

1. Wilder Dillingham, 11.18, Juneau-Douglas

2. Tyler Drake, 11.58, Bartlett

3. Manuel Silva, 11.89, Kodiak

4. Cordell Randall, 12.08, Tri-Valley

5. Wyatt Faircloth, 12.19, Soldotna

400 Meters Varsity — Finals

1. Curtis Beck, 50.29, West Valley

2. Ethan Stiller, 50.70, Dimond

3. Murad Wright, 51.57, East Anchorage

4. Reubin Williams, 51.61, Service

5. Lukas Underhile, 51.91, Mountain City Christian

800 Meters Varsity — Finals

1. Colton Merriner, 1:59.95, Grace Christian

2. Owen Hayes, 2:00.49, Chugiak

3. Luke Shaw, 2:01.09, Eagle River

4. Elias Litzow, 2:01.09, Kodiak

5. Dash Dicang, 2:01.28, Dimond

800 Meters Pentathlon — Finals

1. Wilder Dillingham, 2:04.92, Juneau-Douglas

2. Manuel Silva, 2:16.26, Kodiak

3. Cordell Randall, 2:19.14, Tri-Valley

4. Matthew Watson, 2:21.74, Eagle River

5. Tyler Drake, 2:26.01, Bartlett

3,200 Meters Varsity — Finals

1. Elias Litzow, 9:58.21, Kodiak

2. Simon Nelson, 10:03.37, Grace Christian

3. Owen Hayes, 10:04.97, Chugiak

4. Edgar Jesus Vera Al, 10:09.13, Juneau-Douglas

5. Parker Larson, 10:15.06, Chugiak

110m Hurdles Varsity — Finals

1. Alan Szewczyk Jr., 15.04, Eagle River

2. Tyler Drake, 15.53, Bartlett

3. Fafo Lefano, 16.10, South Anchorage

4. Isaiah Douyon, 16.80, South Anchorage

5. William Klein, 16.89, Soldotna

300m Hurdles Varsity — Finals

1. Alan Szewczyk Jr., 39.78, Eagle River

2. Fafo Lefano, 43.07, South Anchorage

3. Makai Warren-Dowl, 44.08, Chugiak

4. Gabriel Almeida, 44.18, Soldotna

5. Malachi Coski, 45.51, Dimond

300m Hurdles Pentathlon — Finals

1. Wilder Dillingham, 41.37, Juneau-Douglas

2. Tyler Drake, 42.05, Bartlett

3. Manuel Silva, 43.49, Kodiak

4. Matthew Watson, 44.16, Eagle River

5. Wyatt Faircloth, 45.53, Soldotna

4x100 Relay Varsity — Finals

1. Bartlett — A, 44.40

2. Chugiak — A, 44.47

3. West Anchorage — A, 44.60

4. South Anchorage — A, 45.24

5. Soldotna — A, 45.61

Sprint Medley Relay 800m Varsity — Finals

1. Chugiak — A, 1:36.87

2. Bartlett — A, 1:38.77

3. West Valley — A, 1:39.08

4. East Anchorage — A, 1:39.78

5. Soldotna — A, 1:40.06

Distance Medley Relay

1. South Anchorage — A, 10:59.85

2. Kodiak — A, 11:37.19

3. Juneau-Douglas, 11:40.46

4. West Anchorage — A, 11:47.74

5. Service — A, 11:53.96

Shot Put Pentathlon — Finals

1. Wilder Dillingham, 34-0, Juneau-Douglas

2. Matthew Watson, 32-8, Eagle River

3. Wyatt Faircloth, 32-5, Soldotna

4. Tyler Drake, 29-10.25, Bartlett

5. Manuel Silva 29-2.5, Kodiak

Shot Put Varsity — Finals

1. Deuce Alailefaleula, 52-8.5, Bartlett

2. Truit McCaughey, 49-4, Nikiski

3. George Lane, 49-0, East Anchorage

4. Sone Falealo, 48-4.25, West Anchorage

5. Kevin Steger, 48-0, Soldotna

Discus Varsity — Finals

1. Sone Falealo, 150′ 6, West Anchorage

2. Deuce Alailefaleula , 141′ 7, Bartlett

3. Kevin Steger, 132′ 0, Soldotna

4. Benjemin Holladay, 124′ 6, Colony

5. Kent Maramba, 123′ 10, Kodiak

High Jump Varsity — Finals

1. Alex Emers, 6-0, West Valley

2. Phoenix Perkins, 5-8, Service

3. Trevor Jamison, 5-6, Colony

4. Marlin Burns, 5-6, Bartlett

5. Akeem Sulaiman, 5-4, East Anchorage

High Jump Pentathlon — Finals

1. Matthew Watson, 5-5, Eagle River

2. Wilder Dillingham, 5-4, Juneau-Douglas

3. Tyler Drake, 5-2, Bartlett

4. Manuel Silva, 5-2, Kodiak

5. Wyatt Faircloth, 5-0, Soldotna

Long Jump Varsity — Finals

1. A'Lante Owens-Player, 20-3.25, Bartlett

2. Marquez Nevitte, 19-8, Bartlett

3. Niko Alvarado, 19-6.75, North Pole

4. Devin Cooper, 19-2.5, North Pole

5. Akeem Sulaiman, 18-11.5, East Anchorage

Mixed 4x1652 Relay Varsity — Finals

1. West Anchorage — A, 21:54.00

2. Chugiak — A, 21:56.14

3. East Anchorage — A, 23:07.48

4. Juneau-Douglas — A, 23:18.95

5. Service — A, 23:39.00

Mixed Swedish 100-200-300-400m Varsity — Finals

1. Dimond — A, 2:15.90

2. Tri-Valley — A, 2:21.64

3. West Anchorage — A, 2:24.51

4. East Anchorage — A, 2:24.70

5. Soldotna — A, 2:25.02