Beth Bragg

Years from now when people pore over photos from the 2015 state cross-country championships, they may have a hard time getting a clear picture of the day’s proceedings. “Is my face dirty?” West High sophomore Molly Gellert said before stepping in front of a TV camera for an interview after her victory in the Class 4A girls race. Of course it was. Everyone who raced at Bartlett High on Saturday was dirty. Last week’s snow, now melted, turned trails into goo and the subsequent rain left pools of water on the course. Everywhere you looked, coaches and parents were telling kids to turn their backs to cameras and cell phones so they could capture images of the glorious mess. But muddy legs and muddy faces were just part of the story. The day saw the end of the longest winning streak in Alaska...Beth Bragg
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For their latest volleyball victory, the undefeated and nationally ranked Seawolves put on a defensive clinic. So did Seattle Pacific. And that turned Thursday night’s match into a taut, it-ain’t-over-till-it’s-over battle. Sure, UAA swept the Falcons, 25-13, 25-21, 26-24 to win its 13th straight...
Beth Bragg,Loren Holmes
For their latest volleyball victory, the undefeated and nationally ranked Seawolves put on a defensive clinic. So did Seattle Pacific. And that turned Thursday night’s match into a taut, it-ain’t-over-till-it’s-over battle. Sure, UAA swept the Falcons, 25-13, 25-21, 26-24 to win its 13th straight match, matching the longest winning streak in program history. But both teams played such scrappy and heads-up defense that many points came after long rallies during which diggers frustrated hitters. Attacks that seemed fated to become blistering kills instead were saved by sprawling Seawolves and Falcons. The teams combined for a mind-blowing 134 digs – 72 for UAA, 62 for SPU – and many were spectacular. There were enough pancakes – diving saves made when a hand flattened to the floor keeps the...Beth Bragg
The Fairbanks Goldpanners are going solo next summer, and the rest of the Alaska Baseball League isn’t too happy about it. In an email to other league members, the Goldpanners said they will play as an independent next summer rather than as a member of the six-team league, which also includes two teams in Anchorage, one in Chugiak, one in Palmer and one in Kenai. “We feel it’s unfortunate and they’re shafting us as a league,” said Shawn Maltby, general manager of the Anchorage Bucs. Maltby said he and the general managers from the Anchorage Glacier Pilots, Mat-Su Miners, Peninsula Oilers and Chugiak Chinooks will discuss options for the coming season in a conference call a week from Thursday. The conversation may also determine whether the Goldpanners will be allowed back in the league...Beth Bragg
Ty Jordan had plenty of company Saturday on the muddy Bartlett High trails, where he had to outduel three guys to earn his third straight Cook Inlet Conference individual championship. He’ll have lots of company again next week when he returns to Bartlett for the state championships, and he’s thrilled about it, because the company he’ll keep won’t be the breathing-down-his-neck variety. It’ll be the-gang’s-all-here kind of company. For the first time in his high school career, Jordan will be joined at the state championships by both of Chugiak teams. “It’s what I wanted this year,” said Jordan, who last year was the only boy to represent the Mustangs at state. Jordan and the rest of the boys team will go to the state championships as the third-place team from the Cook Inlet Conference...Beth Bragg
Ethan Falaniko, Bartlett High’s touchdown machine, headed to Fairbanks this weekend with some impressive credentials: * Most rushing touchdowns in the nation (23). * Fourth-leading rusher in the nation (1,364 yards). Falaniko, a senior running back for the Golden Bears, is among the most productive offensive players in high school football this season, according to, an online provider of high school sports statistics. Heading into Friday’s nonconference game against West Valley, Falaniko boasts per-game averages of 227.3 yards, 23.3 points and nearly four touchdowns, according to MaxPreps. Imposing numbers, all of them. But a couple of critical caveats are necessary: * Falaniko has played at least one more game than the majority of the national leaders in either category *...Beth Bragg
A record crowd welcomed home the UAA volleyball team, which returned to the Alaska Airlines Center on Thursday night after a prolonged absence. The Seawolves responded by sending their fans home early. UAA dispatched Montana State-Billings in three sets to remain undefeated, beating the Yellowjackets 25-11, 25-10, 25-13 in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference match that lasted all of 70 minutes. Buoyed by a crowd that included dozens of girls she played against in high school not that long ago, redshirt freshman Leah Swiss played one of the finest matches of her young but already stellar career. She served six aces and led the Seawolves in kills with nine and digs with 10. “We were all excited to play at home again, so that was a good motivation,” Swiss said. “It was awesome having...Beth Bragg
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The Barrow High School football team practices as a crew from NFL Network records the scene on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Cathy Parker Field in Barrow. The eight-episode series "Football Town: Barrow, Alaska" premiered on the network Tuesday as the players were practicing, but the team had...
Erik Hill,Beth Bragg
With a 6 a.m. flight to catch Wednesday in Fairbanks, the UAA volleyball team was prepared for an early morning wake-up call. Not as expected was the wake-up call delivered Tuesday night by the Nanooks of UAF. The underdog Nanooks surprised UAA with a first-set win, but the 11th-ranked and undefeated Seawolves roared back to grab a 24-26, 25-11, 25-12, 25-15 win in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference match. UAA posted a season-best attack percentage of .410 to move to 11-0, the best start in program history, surpassing the 10-0 mark registered by the 1988 team. But even with the perfect record, the Seawolves won’t feel invincible later this week when they play their first home match in nearly three weeks. “After tonight’s Game 1 loss, that keeps us from feeling that way,” UAA coach...Beth Bragg
The offense was a bit of a no-show for the 12th-ranked UAA volleyball team Saturday night, but no matter. Some well-timed kills from Leah Swiss and solid passing and serving lifted the Seawolves to their 10th straight victory that equals the best start in program history. UAA beat a tough Concordia University team 25-23, 25-21, 25-18 in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference match in Portland, Oregon. Both teams were 9-0 coming into the match, and Concordia (9-1 overall, 1-1 GNAC) came out strong. The Cavaliers jumped to leads of 5-1 and 12-5 in the first set and was leading 23-21 when Swiss sparked a huge comeback for the Seawolves. A bad serve by Concordia made it 23-22, and then Swiss came through with two huge kills to give UAA a 24-23 lead. A hitting error by Concordia lifted the...Beth Bragg