Welcome to The Rewind, a weekly digest that puts a spotlight on the biggest stories and best performances from Alaska’s world of sports.
On the high school scene, the 2023 track and field season hit top gear over the weekend and the soccer season was in its third week of action with impressive performances from athletes in both sports. On the rink, the Anchorage Wolverines saw their NAHL playoff hopes extinguished in a weekend series. On the college scene, the University of Alaska Anchorage landed a big fish from its own backyard on the recruiting trail while several local products shined bright on national stages.
Headlines and highlights
Athletes from virtually every high school track and field team from the Anchorage School District converged on The Dome on Saturday for the All Schools Meet and thanks to several impressive performances, the Chugiak girls and Bettye Davis East Anchorage boys teams finished with the highest team scores by a wide margin.
The Mustangs had a whopping 11 top-three finishes across the eight events and their first-place finishers included distance runners Campbell Peterson with a mark of 2:24.58 in the 800 meters and Allison Macy with a mark of 12:12.23 in the 3,200 meters. Chugiak’s 4x400 relay team finished first as well with a mark of 4:11.07.
Senior sprinter Brian Morris won the boys 200-meter finals with a mark of 22.36 and helped lead the Thunderbirds to victories in the 4x100 (44.10) and 4x400 (3:35.37). Throwers Puni Pa’u (133′09) and Mathias VaiVai (126′07) finished first and second in the boys varsity discus finals.
The UAA men’s basketball program landed one of the top recruits and graduating seniors in the state when it announced signing of prep star and 3A Player of the Year Sloan Lentfer of Grace Christian High School last Tuesday.
The Anchorage Wolverines took the ice at their home rink for the final time this season in a two-game series against the Kenai River Brown Bears over the weekend. After falling 3-1 on Friday, they treated a jam-packed Ben Boeke Ice Arena crowd to an overtime thriller on Saturday night and emerged victorious 2-1.
“The fans have been amazing all year,” Wolverines head coach Evan Trupp said. “Every night they’re behind us and they’re loud. A lot of places in our league don’t have this environment and it’s truly home ice advantage.”
With the win, they were able to clinch the Club 49 Championship Cup, which is given to the team with the most wins against in-state opponents. They are 6-4 against the Brown Bears and 7-5 against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs with one final road series remaining with the Brown Bears.
Alaska stars shining Outside
Anchorage’s Jeremy Swayman helped the Boston Bruins make history on Sunday night while making some of his own in the team’s 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. The win set a single-season NHL record of 63 for a season. For Swayman, who prevented 34 shots from reaching the back of the net for his 23rd career win, it matched his career best that he set last season. It also marked his seventh straight victory, which is the second-longest of his pro career by one since he rattled off eight straight wins last year.
Juneau’s PJ Foy recorded the fastest time by an Alaskan of his age in six events and finished with the most points among boys at Western Zone Senior Championships in Seattle, Washington, last weekend. The Thunder Mountain junior finished first in five of seven individual A finals and broke six Alaska state records in his age group between the freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly by the end of the four-day meet.
His 211 points were the most among 301 boys from Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Utah, California, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho and New Mexico. Back in early November, the 17-year-old overcame illness and set a state record in the 100 butterfly to claim his fourth state title in the last two years.
A pair of former Anchorage prep basketball stars and Gatorade Players of the Year from Dimond recently received first team All-American honors. After leading the University of Utah women’s team to a Sweet 16 berth and being named Pac-12 Player of the Year, Alissa Pili earned NCAA Division I second-team honors. Following an outstanding season in which he averaged 16.5 points per game and led the College of Southern Idaho men’s team to 29 straight victories, Isaiah Moses was voted to the NJCAA Division I First Team.
Wasilla’s Valley Thunder became the 12th youth team in state history to capture a national championship with their 2-1 triumph over the Jr. Sun Devils of Arizona in the USA Hockey’s Tier II 16U 2A national championship in Amherst, N.Y., last Monday. Redington High School sophomore Daniel Matveev, who competes at the prep level for powerhouse Houston, also brought home the tournament scoring title after he recorded seven goals and seven assists in six games.
The Valley Thunder’s 14U 2A Valley team nearly had a title within its grasp as well but fell 2-1 in a shootout to the Vegas Jr. Golden Knights in the finals on the same day nearly across the country in Denver, Colorado. Their lone goal came from Tavian Mukaabya with an assist going to Gabriel Lamm.
Last week’s results
South 12, Bartlett 0
Chugiak 1, Service 0
Wasilla 8, Grace Christian 0
Dimond 9, Colony 1
South 0, Palmer 0 (tie)
Colony 5, West 0
Colony 4, Palmer 0
Colony 4, Dimond 0
Prep track and field
ASD All Schools Meet
Boys 200 Meters Varsity
1. Brian Morris 22.36, East Anchorage
2. Marquez Nevitte 23.28, Bartlett
3. Deshawn Rushmeyer 23.30, East Anchorage
Girls 200 Meters Varsity
1. Olyvia Mamae 25.98, East Anchorage
2. Sarah Dittman 27.07, Dimond
3. Skyler Belmear 27.73, Chugiak
Boys Varsity 800 Meters
1. Jack Molloy 2:02.14, Eagle River
2. Max Johnsen 2:03.21, Dimond
3. Dash Dicang 2:03.64, Dimond
Girls Varsity 800 Meters
1. Campbell Peterson 2:24.58, Chugiak
2. Petra Knox 2:26.02, Chugiak
3. Adria Wuerth 2:30.61, Service
Boys Varsity 3200 Meters
1. Henry Michener 10:08.75, Eagle River
2. Blaise Boyer 10:13.74, South Anchorage
3. Julio Ramirez 10:25.13, East Anchorage
Girls Varsity 3200 Meters
1. Allison Macy 12:12.23, Chugiak
2. Alliyah Fields 12:16.06, Chugiak
3. Ava Trembath 12:20.52, Eagle River
Boys Varsity 300m Hurdles
Finals - 36″
1. Kyan Caldarera 44.18, Service
2. Fafo Lefano 44.79, South Anchorage
3. Isaiah Douyon 45.85, South Anchorage
Girls Varsity 300m Hurdles
Finals - 30″
1. Makaylen King 51.67, South Anchorage
2. Audra Burrill 53.30, Chugiak
3. Hannah Stepetin 54.50, Chugiak
Boys Varsity 4x100 Relay
1. East Anchorage 44.10
2. Chugiak 46.00
3. Bartlett 46.17
Girls Varsity 4x100 Relay
1. Service 53.48
2. East Anchorage 54.20
3. Dimond 54.35
Boys Varsity 4x400 Relay
1. East Anchorage 3:35.37
2. Chugiak 3:38.17
3. Service 3:38.74
Girls Varsity 4x400 Relay
1. Chugiak 4:11.07
2. Service 4:21.29
3. Chugiak 4:28.66
Boys Varsity Discus
Finals - 1.6kg
1. Puni Pa’u 133′09.00, East Anchorage
2. Mathias VaiVai 126′07.00, East Anchorage
3. Sone Falealo 122′09.00, West Anchorage
Girls Varsity Discus
Finals - 1kg
1. Norah Brown102′09.00, West Anchorage
2. Haleigh Vitt 101′05.00, Chugiak
3. Karsen Beaglee 96′09.00, West Anchorage
Boys Varsity Triple Jump
1. A’lante Owens-Player 43′07.00, Bartlett
2. Anders Larsen 41′03.00, Chugiak
3. Tyler Drake 39′06.00, Bartlett
Womens Varsity Triple Jump
1. Gabrielle Okorodudu 33′05.75, Eagle River
2. Makaylen King 32′10.50, South Anchorage
3. Samantha Jensen 31′09.00, Chugiak
Kenai River Brown Bears 3, Anchorage Wolverines 1
Anchorage Wolverines 2, Kenai River Brown Bears 1 (OT)
Service v. South (girls) at The Dome, Tuesday at 2:50 p.m.
The southside rivals face off for the first time this season as the Cougars hit a tough two-game stretch in search of their first win of the season. Up first will be a match with the three-time runner-up Wolverines. The following day, Service plays three-time defending champion Dimond on Wednesday back at The Dome at the same time.
Track and Field
Quad 1, Friday at 3-9 p.m. and Quad 2, Saturday at 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
All eight of the ASD track and field teams will be back in action this week but unlike last weekend at the All Schools Meet, it won’t be all at once on the same day. They’ll be split up into two quads -- first featuring West, Eagle River, Chugiak and South on Friday and the then Bartlett, Service, Dimond and East.