Sports

College notebook: UAA’s Joshua Wagner receives GNAC Track Athlete of the Year honors and an Anchorage Wolverines forward commits to DI college

After an incredibly strong finish to the regular season that he followed up with even stronger performances in the postseason, UAA’s Joshua Wagner was named the 2022 GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

The sophomore hurdled his way into both the program and conference record books in the 110-meter hurdles by winning the GNAC Championships in a time of 14.15 seconds. It topped the previous conference record of 14.19 seconds set in 2016 by Travis Milbrandt of Western Washington.

He also won the GNAC title in the 400-meter hurdles, was named the Male Track Athlete of the Meet and earned the Performance of the Meet award for his record run in the 110-meter hurdles.

Wagner lowered the team record he set in the 110-meter hurdles to 14.00 in the preliminaries at the Division II Championships and went on to place ninth in the finals with a time of 14.38 seconds. His season-best mark ranked sixth in all of Division II this season.

“Josh is a great example of what our program is about,” said UAA track and field head coach Ryan McWilliams in a statement. “He approaches his training like a craft, focuses on the process, and competes as hard as he can in everything he does. He is a great talent, but hard work and determination are the characteristics that define him and his accomplishments. I know he is going to continue to break more barriers in the future.”

Wolverines’ Bischoff commits to Division I hockey program

The Anchorage Wolverines made it to the 2022 Robertson Cup Final in their inaugural season with the help of forward Hunter Bischoff. Now Bischoff will try to help the Augustana University men’s hockey team become an instant success in its first year at the Division I level.

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“I chose Augustana because it checked all my boxes,” Bischoff said in a statement. “It’s close to home, a good academic school, and I like the idea of building something new similar to the Wolverines.”

Augustana is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is about a six and a half hour drive from where the Grand Rapids, Minnesota, native was born and raised.

Bischoff was a consistent performer for the Wolverines during the regular season and took his game to the next level in the postseason as key contributor during their deep playoff run. He finished with 13 goals and 23 assists and added another five goals and two assists in 10 playoff games.

UAA women’s basketball gets Division I reinforcements

The Seawolves added another talented player to their recruiting class with the transfer announcement of Anaiah Moore by head coach Ryan McCarthy on Friday. The 5-foot-5 guard signed a scholarship agreement to play at UAA after spending her first two seasons at Division I University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 2018-20 before taking the last two seasons off due to COVID-19 concerns.

She appeared in 28 career games coming off the bench as a freshman and sophomore and will have two years of eligibility left to play take the court with the Seawolves.

“We’re extremely excited to add Anaiah to this high-level recruiting class,” said McCarthy in a statement. “She is an elite athlete with superior floor vision and natural point-guard instincts. She had her best games against the highest-level competition, which is why I truly believe her best basketball is ahead of her. We don’t often see her kind of explosiveness, so we’re looking forward to seeing her in our system.”

UAF volleyball adds seven newcomers

UAF head coach Brian Scott announced the incoming recruiting class for the 2022 season and it features three transfers and four incoming freshmen. The transfers include former Seattle University and Florida Southwestern State middle blocker Johnasia Michelle Carr, former Hutchinson Community College middle blocker Kristina Head, former Florida A&M libero Jessa Long.

The freshmen contingent consists of right-side hitters Ella Bines and Elena Guc, setter/hitter Cynphany Henderson, and outside hitter Kelli Wright.

Interim UAA Athletic Director hired in permanent role

After serving on an interim basis for the past seven months, UAA has formally named Ryan Swartwood as the school’s Athletic Director. He was named interim director after the passing of former Athletic Director Greg Myford in November 2021 and previously served as Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations since 2018.

“Ryan took the helm and helped lead UAA through a period of transition that was crucial for the future of Seawolf Athletics,” said UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell in a statement. “He has done an incredible job supporting and advocating for our student-athletes through a global pandemic, leadership changes and unprecedented philanthropic campaigns. I know he will continue to provide steady leadership and mentorship as UAA Athletics continues its success and enters a new chapter of stability.”

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

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