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Mike Nesper

Knowing the trail benefits those who attempt to tackle the grueling 24-mile Crow Pass Crossing.

After ascending 2,000 feet over the first four miles from the trailhead near Girdwood, racers descend into the valley, making their way toward the finish line at the Eagle River Nature Center.

In the valley, the trail is fraught with overgrown vegetation, which hides a racer’s feet as well as loose rocks and roots waiting for unsuspecting victims. Even veterans typically take a few spills each year.

That’s what made Christy Marvin’s performance Saturday all the more impressive. She torched the women’s field, winning her first Crow Pass race by more than 23 minutes.

It was a day for rookies...

Mike Nesper

South Post 4 barely made the American Legion state tournament, clinching the eighth and final spot with a win over Kodiak in the regular-season finale.

That’s all South wanted to do, make the tournament, said catcher Alec Valdez. Seeding doesn’t matter.

South made that axiom reality with an 11-6 win over top-seeded Wasilla Post 35 on Friday at Mulcahy Stadium.

Rankings proved meaningless for every team Friday – all four lower seeds pulled off upsets and advanced to Sunday’s winners bracket.

Among the teams that fell into the losers bracket were defending champion Chugiak Post 33. It lost to sixth-seeded Dimond Post 21, which plated six runs in the fourth inning en route to a 7-5 win...

Mike Nesper

American Legion baseball had a few changes this season.

Four AA teams -- Kodiak, Ketchikan, Palmer and a second Fairbanks squad -- were added. And a new format debuted -- the league broke into two, eight-team divisions.

Last year, Juneau fielded a team for the first time in more than a decade and Kodiak played at the junior varsity A level.

Postseason rules also changed this season.

The top three teams from each division and two wild card teams make the state tournament, which starts Friday at Mulcahy Stadium. Previously, every team made the playoffs...

Mike Nesper

Corbyn Jahn is having quite a summer.

The 2009 Colony High grad collected another footrace victory Saturday at the Alaska Men’s Run, finishing the five-mile course in 27 minutes, 29 seconds.

Jahn’s 2014 resume also includes a win at the 6-K Skinny Mini in May and victories in two 5-kilometer races last month in the Valley – the Race for Technology and the Bill Mitchell Race. He also placed third at the Bear Paw 5-K in Eagle River last week and was fourth in the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half Marathon.

“It’s been a good year,” Jahn said...

Mike Nesper

Everyone has childhood dreams. But few pursue theirs with the fervor Andrew Kurka does.

That’s what made Russia’s Paralympic Games in March so devastating for the 22-year-old Palmer man.

Kurka suffered compression fractures on his T-5 and T-6 vertebrae during a training run for the men’s sit-skiing downhill race in Sochi, ending his quest to be crowned best in the world.

The injury didn’t hold Kurka back for long.

Doctors cleared him to exercise six weeks after the crash and OK’d him for full competition last month, Kurka said Thursday, the same day he was named to the 2014-15 U.S. Paralympic alpine ski team...

Mike Nesper

Jamie Bodenstadt has reached 279 mph in his car.

And he wants to go faster.

Bodenstadt, of Fairbanks, is bringing his 6,000-horsepower dragster to Alaska Raceway Park for three days of racing in honor of the track's 50th anniversary. Action runs Friday through Sunday in the Butte.

Bodenstadt will be one of two drivers of nitro-powered altered vehicles. Longtime dragster Ricky Ruiz of Nevada will battle Bodenstadt to see who has the fastest car during the event dubbed Grudge Match of the Century.

Bodenstadt owns the current track record of 279 mph -- a speed he's hoping to top as he and Ruiz scorch down the quarter-mile track side-by-side...

Mike Nesper

PALMER -- Professional athletes Larry Brock, Greg Bell and Ryan Stewart have a unique requirement for their game-day attire -- to show some leg.

Donning kilts and knee-high socks, Brock, Bell and Stewart were among the pros who competed in Saturday's Alaska Scottish Highland Games at the Alaska State Fairgrounds. Although they compete professionally, they say most Highland Games pros don't earn a living from the sport.

"It's a part-time job-slash-hobby," said Stewart, a fifth-year pro who competes in about 15 events a year.

The event host pays for airfare and lodging for invited professionals, and there is some prize money, but mainly it's an athletic outlet, said Bell, a former football player at Western Washington's now-defunct program...

Mike Nesper

PALMER -- Professional athletes Larry Brock, Greg Bell and Ryan Stewart have a unique requirement for their game-day attire -- to show some leg.

Donning kilts and knee-high socks, Brock, Bell and Stewart were among the pros who competed in Saturday's Alaska Scottish Highland Games at the Alaska State Fairgrounds. Although they compete professionally, they say most Highland Games pros don't earn a living from the sport.

"It's a part-time job-slash-hobby," said Stewart, a fifth-year pro who competes in about 15 events a year.

The event host pays for airfare and lodging for invited professionals, and there is some prize money, but mainly it's an athletic outlet, said Bell, a former football player at Western Washington's now-defunct program...

Mike Nesper

When Matt Kenney sustained a traumatic brain injury during the 2012 Mount Marathon race, his prognosis was bleak.

It was unlikely he would survive, doctors told Kenney's wife, Gretchen.

He did.

Regaining the ability to walk and talk wasn't supposed to happen, either.

It did.

Not only is Kenney walking and talking, the Anchorage man is competing in Friday's Fourth of July race just two years after his horrific fall...

Mike Nesper

When Matt Kenney sustained a traumatic brain injury during the 2012 Mount Marathon race, his prognosis was bleak.

It was unlikely he would survive, doctors told Kenney’s wife, Gretchen.

He did.

Regaining the ability to walk and talk wasn’t supposed to happen, either.

It did.

Not only is Kenney walking and talking, the Anchorage man is competing in Friday’s Fourth of July race just two years after his horrific fall...

Mike Nesper

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