Alaska sports digest for March 1

sports@adn.comMarch 1, 2013 

FOOTBALL

Aumavae joins Jets

Junior Aumavae, a 2004 Palmer High graduate, was one of three Arena Football League players to sign with the NFL's New York Jets on Friday.

The 6-foot-3, 310-pound nose tackle has played for the Tampa Bay Storm and Green Bay Blizzard of the Arena Football League.



UAA TRACK & FIELD

Friess, Chelimo honored

UAA's Micah Chelimo and Michael Friess were each honored with big awards Friday, when Chelimo was named West Region athlete of the year and Friess named West Region women's coach of the year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for the NCAA Division II indoor track & field season.

Chelimo owns a season-best and Great Northwest Athletic Conference record in the 5,000 meters, posting 13 minutes, 51.19 seconds. The junior from Kenya will also run in the 3,000 meters and the distance medley relay at the NCAA meet.

Friess, in his 23rd season with UAA, led the UAA women to a GNAC title in its first season of indoor competition. Five UAA women earned entry to the to the NCAA Championships and the Seawolves have been ranked as high as 12 in the nation.



ENDURANCE SPORTS

Johnston tops Iditarod runner

David Johnston arrived in McGrath on Friday morning to win the running division in the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational from Knik Lake to McGrath.

Johnston clocked 4 days, 19 hours, 13 minutes, about four hours shy of Steve Reifenstuhl's 2005 record of 4 days, 15 hours. He finished 20th overall, behind 19 bikers.

Still, favorable weather and trail conditions helped Johnston cut four days off his time from last year, when difficult trail conditions slowed all the athletes.



SNOWBOARDING

Stassel 11th

Amid snowy conditions Friday in Vail, Colo., Anchorage's Ryan Stassel finished 11th in the slopestyle snowboarding final at the Burton U.S. Snowboarding Championships.

Stassel accumulated a three-run score of 730.6. Canada's Mark McMorris won the event with 1,000, and Norway's Torstein Horgmo was second with 942.3. Snowfall was so heavy, the women's final scheduled to follow the men's was cancelled.

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