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Alaska sports notebook: UAA basketball announces return of Da’Zhon Wyche; Lars Arneson breaks record in Matanuska Peak Challenge

Da’Shon Wyche, West basketball

The return of one of the best high school basketball players to come out of the state of Alaska in the last decade was formally announced by University of Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball coach Rusty Osborne on Tuesday.

Former West Anchorage standout point guard Da’Zhon Wyche had announced months ago he planned to come back to play for his hometown college team in his last year of eligibility but now it’s official.

[Alaska sports notebook: Local hoops star Da’Zhon Wyche is coming home for senior season; Coleman Nash named GNAC track athlete of the week]

The deadly sharp shooter from behind the arc has been a prolific scorer in college while at both Laramie County College and the University of Texas-Tyler. He was named the Alaska 4A Player of Year of both the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons and led the Eagles to a state title as junior.

“We are excited to welcome Da’Zhon home for his final season of eligibility,” said Osborne. “He has had a tremendous career so far at Laramie County and under coach Louis Wilson at UT Tyler, and will bring immediate high-level D-II experience to our lineup. His ability to get others involved — in addition to scoring at a high level — will be very valuable. ‘D’ is an elite shooter and passer, but also does a great job of running the offense and protecting the basketball. Our staff is looking forward to helping him have a rewarding final season.”

Anchorage’s Lars Arneson shattered record for Matanuska Peak Challenge

Anchorage’s Lars Arneson conquered the arduous Matanuska Peak Challenge in an impressive record time of two hours, 53 minutes. He became just the fourth person to complete the 14-mile, out-and-back course with a 10,000-foot vertical gain in under three hours. The win in the event was his second, with the first coming in 2017.

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The other three sub-three hour finishers include Ben Marvin, Lyon Kopsack and previous record-holder Eric Strabel, who set it a decade ago in 2012 when he finished the course in 2:55:43. Arneson is a former collegiate and high school endurance athlete that competed for UAF and Cook Inlet Academy in nordic skiing and cross-country running.

Anchorage’s Will Ross breaks record at Soggy Bottom 100

This past weekend was quite the busy and historic couple of days for endurance athletes around the state. Will Ross set the record in the Soggy Bottom 100 mountain bike race. The Anchorage resident joined the likes of Arneson and Christy Marvin, who won the Crow Pass Crossing for the seventh time and set a women’s record.

Ross endured the elements that made the over 100-mile course cold, wet and muddy to finish in a record time of 8:28:39 and win the race for a third time. The previous two records were set in 2017 and 2014 on days that were warmer and dry. The race is run on the Resurrection Pass Trail system, including the Devil’s Creek Trail.

Seawolves volleyball ranked among best in conference in preseason poll

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released Wednesday and the UAA volleyball team was ranked third. After finishing 19-12 overall 2021-2022 and earning a NCAA Tournament berth, the Seawolves received 74 points in voting by the league’s head coaches. They finished behind defending champion Western Washington, which received a league-high 98 points and Central Washington, which earned 89 points.

The Seawolves kick off their season with an exhibition match against the Seawolf Alumni on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Alaska Airlines Center with free admission and parking. The regular season will officially begin with matches in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Aug. 19-20 and their home opener is set for the Seawolf Invitational from Aug. 25-27 at the Alaska Airlines Center.


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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