The Rewind: Records fall at NYO, South baseball begins title defense and Chugiak girls continue to dominate in track and field

Welcome to The Rewind, a weekly digest that puts a spotlight on the biggest stories and best performances from Alaska’s world of sports.

The 2023 Native Youth Olympic senior games featured some exciting action and record-breaking performances. On the high school scene, the 2023 baseball season got underway with reigning champion South rattling off three straight victories and the Chugiak girls track and field team maintained its strong start to the season. In college news, the University of Alaska Anchorage basketball programs announced some new recruits and a senior volleyball star received another prestigious honor while several local products shined bright on national stages.

Headlines and highlights

Youth athletes ranging from middle school to high school seniors converged on Anchorage this past week for the 2023 Native Youth Olympic senior games at the Alaska Airlines Center. Mt. Edgecumbe’s Colton Paul was the star of the show as he claimed at least one title on each of the three days of events and five in total.

[‘It’s just everything to me’: Mt. Edgecumbe’s Colton Paul honors his brother with NYO performance]

His best performance came in the scissor broad jump where he shattered the previous world record with a mark of 38 feet, 7 inches. In one of the more surprising turn of events, Anchorage eight-grader Muhammad Watson dominated the competition in the Eskimo stick pull to claim first place.

[Anchorage eighth-grader dominates stick pull and records fall at 2023 NYO games]

The 2023 high school baseball season finally got underway after a one-week weather delay and two-time defending state champion South is off to another strong title defense after winning its first three games that included a 3-2 win over two-time defending American Legion state champion Eagle River in the season-opener and a bit of a nail-biter against Dimond on Friday by the same 3-2 score.


“It’s always nice to beat Dimond because we’ve been rivals with them pretty much since little league,” senior infielder Ben Neuberger said.

The track and field season is now four weeks in and it’s clear which girls team is emerging as the cream of the crop and unsurprisingly, that team is the reigning Division I state champion Chugiak. The Mustangs galloped their way to a third consecutive top team scoring finish dating back to the ASD All School meet in their second straight quad meet last Thursday.

The Mustangs were fueled to victory by first-place finishes by Alliyah Fields in the 400 meter, Campbell Peterson in the 1600 meter, Ellen Kruchoski in the 100 meter hurdles, Audra Burrill in the 300 meter hurdles, Haleigh Vitt in the shot put and discus, and Emily Moore in the high jump. Their 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams came in first place as well.

Both the South boys and girls teams won their respective quads last Wednesday in a meet that featured Dimond, West and Service. Their girls team score was 150 with the next closest being the Lynx at 128.5 while the South boys edged out the Eagles 130-125.

On the prep soccer scene, three-time defending girls state champion Dimond and the Colony boys remain undefeated. The Lynx produced a pair of shutouts and outscored Eagle River and Bettye Davis East by a combined 22-0 score while the Knights had a couple of close battles with a pair of Fairbanks teams that included playing to a 1-1 draw with West Valley.

In college news, the UAA track and field team had several athletes produce top-10 performances at the Wildcat Invite on Saturday at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. They were highlighted by senior Collin Sample who joined the seven-meter club and now ranks fourth all time in program history thanks to a winning long jump of 22-11.75. Fellow senior Mikayla Mader won the high jump and recorded the ninth-best mark in program history by clearing 5-0.25.

Both the UAA basketball teams announced new additions to their 2023 recruiting classes. The men’s program signed Utah prep star Lyman Simmons to a national letter of intent and will continue playing with his Real Salt Lake Academy prep teammate Trey Evans who will also be a Seawolf.

“We are very excited to add a player of Lyman’s size and ability to our program,” head coach Rusty Osborne said in a statement. “He is a young man who has a bright future. We needed to add size and skill to our lineup, and we feel Lyman and (fellow signee) Sloan Lentfer accomplish that goal. They are both talented, and should really complement each other with different strengths.”

The women’s team are adding a pair of standout players from the same hometown as Oakland, California, products Kya Pearson and Erin Sellers are both becoming Seawolves. Pearson was one the top junior college prospects in the country who played at Laney College while Sellers is coming straight from the prep level where she starred at Oakland Technical High School.

The UAA ski team also got on the recruiting trail and announced a pair of signings for the 2023-2024 season on Monday. The Seawolves will be adding Beth Granstrom, who competed at the University of New Hampshire last year.

“I am excited to add Beth Granstrom to the roster for next season,” said assistant coach Trond Flagstad in a statement. “She is transferring to UAA after competing last year at the University of New Hampshire and will bring much needed depth to our women’s team. Beth brings several years of experience, skiing at a high level in Canada and lately on the Eastern college circuit.”

Garrett Siever will be a freshman and previously competed on Telemark Ski Club where he represented Canada at the 2023 World Junior Championship.

“I am thrilled to add Garrett Siever to the men’s roster for the 2023-24 season,” Flagstad said in a statement. “Garrett will join us as a freshman after competing for the Telemark Ski Club. I expect Garrett to have an immediate impact on our men’s squad already in his freshman season.”

Even though she graduated and had her season cut surprisingly short this past winter, UAA volleyball player Eve Stephens received yet another prestigious honor Sunday when she was named as the 2022-23 recipient of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Bill McKay Athlete of the Year award. The Palmer product had a sensational senior season in which she dominated on the court, led the Seawolves to a conference title and was also named Ron Lenz D2CCA National Player of the Year. She was also named a consensus First Team All-American, the unanimous Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year and the NCAA Div. II West Region Player of the Year.

In sled dog racing, the inaugural Delta Championship Series came to a close last weekend following the completion of the Campout Race. Kwethluk’s Raymond Alexie capped off a perfect season with yet another victory to become the first winner of the series.

Alaska stars shining Outside

Anchorage’s Jahzara O`Neil represented the Last Frontier well at the U17 Women’s Freestyle Wrestling Championships by coming in third place in the 69 kilogram weight division. In her final match, she won in a 8-2 decision over Indiana’s Elly Janovsky. The only match she lost came against second-place finisher, Sarah Henckel of Connecticut.

Anchorage’s Obed Vargas became the first Alaskan to record a point in an MLS match in more than a decade when he registered an assist on the Seattle Sounders’ only goal in the team’s 4-1 loss to the Portland Timbers this past Saturday. The last Alaskan to score a goal was Ely Allen in 2008 as a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy when he found the back of the net in a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rapids on June 7.


Anchorage’s Caleb Holley caught a pair of touchdowns for the Vegas Night Hawks in the team’s game against the Duke City Gladiators this past Friday in the Indoor Football League. The former Bettye Davis East star finished second on the team with five receptions for 49 yards and added another 11 yards on the ground to bring his scrimmage total to 60 yards on seven touches.

Last week’s results





Dimond 16, Eagle River 0

Wasilla 2, Chugiak 2

Kenai Central 2, Soldotna 0


Thunder Mountain 3, Juneau-Douglas 0


Houston 3, Kodiak 0

Homer 9, Reddington 0

Kenai Central 10, Palmer 0

Grace Christian 5, Ketchikan 3

Wheat Ridge 5, Thunder Mountain 0


Lathrop 1, Wasilla 0

Colony 3, West Valley 2

Soldotna 3, Houston 0

Kenai Central 2, Homer 1


Ketchikan 2, Grace Christian 0


Wasilla 3, West Valley 0

Homer 8, Houston 0

Wheat Ridge 7, Juneau-Douglas 0




South 3, Service 0


Chugiak 1, Wasilla 0


Colony 4, Chugiak 0

South 13, Bartlett 1


Service 2, West 2


Colony 1, West Valley 1

Lathrop 5, Wasilla 2


Colony 2, Lathrop 1



Dimond 26, East 1

Service 4, West 2


South 3,Eagle River 2


South 4, Chugiak 3

East 11, Bartlett 1


Chugiak 11, Eagle River 6


South 3, Dimond 2

Wasilla 15, Hutchison 0


Wasilla 22, Hutchison 0

Track and Field


Quad 1: Service, West, South, Dimond

Boys 100 Meters

1. Jack Fineman 11.57, West Anchorage

2. Ariel Sanchez 11.63, West Anchorage

3. Vance Harris 11.81, Dimond

Girls 100 Meters

1. Tamiyah Moses 13.38, Dimond

2. Sarah Dittman 13.45, Dimond

3. Fatou Sallah 13.75, West Anchorage

Boys 200 Meters

1. Malachi Coski 23.97, Dimond

2. Ethan Stiller 24.14, Dimond

3. Fafo Lefano 24.77, South Anchorage

Girls 200 Meters

1. Sarah Dittman 27.51, Dimond

2. Nora Simon 27.66, Service

3. Skylar Morris 28.04, South Anchorage

Boys 400 Meters

1. Murphy Kimball 52.40, West Anchorage

2. Caleb Lillo 53.33, South Anchorage

3. Mason Birch 53.60, South Anchorage

Girls 400 Meters

1. Zoe Witter 1:01.34, Service

2. Skylar Morris 1:01.89, South Anchorage

3. Sarah Dittman 1:03.19, Dimond

Boys 1600 Meters

1. Blake Hanley 4:43.18, West Anchorage

2. Jarrett Jackson 4:43.22, Dimond

3. Dash Dicang 4:43.44, Dimond

Girls 1600 Meters

1. Adria Wuerth 5:34.95, Service

2. Ava Murphy 5:39.18, South Anchorage

3. Nora McBride 5:40.82, Dimond

Boys 3200 Meters

1. Levi Knickerbocker 10:44.71, Service

2. Elias Oswald 10:45.12, Service

3. Jarrett Jackson 11:11.39, Dimond

Girls 3200 Meters

1. Emily Erickson 12:33.75, Dimond

2. Berit Meyers 12:44.95, West Anchorage

3. Kadence Barnett 13:30.19, West Anchorage

Boys 110m Hurdles

1. Isaiah Douyon 17.55, South Anchorage

2. Malachi Coski 17.63, Dimond

3. Fafo Lefano 17.68, South Anchorage

Girls 100m Hurdles

1. Makaylen King 17.77, South Anchorage

2. Lilian Kurth 19.75, Service

3. Elizabeth Michelsohn 19.87, South Anchorage

Boys 300m Hurdles

1. Kyan Caldarera 44.51, Service

2. Owen Umatum 44.90, West Anchorage

3. Eli Armstrong 46.47, South Anchorage

Girls 300m Hurdles

1. Makaylen King 50.98, South Anchorage

2. Malaetia Reupena 54.74, West Anchorage

3. Elena Snow 55.81, Dimond

Boys 4x100 Relay

1. West Anchorage 46.63

2. Service 47.66

3. Service 50.00

Girls 4x100 Relay

1. Dimond 55.07

2. Service 57.26

3. Dimond 58.17

Boys 4x400 Relay

1. West Anchorage, 3:40.28

2. Service 3:40.77

Girls 4x400 Relay

1. Service - A 4:52.81

Boys Shot Put

1. Sone Falealo 44′02.75, West Anchorage

2. Hayden Stack 37′09.00, Dimond

3. Logan Gagliardi 37′04.25, South Anchorage

Girls Shot Put

1. Faith Mata 35′01.25, West Anchorage

2. Norah Brown 34′03.75, West Anchorage

3. Serah Vaafuti 32′02.50, West Anchorage

Boys Discus

1. Sone Falealo 122′03.00, West Anchorage

2. Logan Gagliardi 118′11.00, South Anchorage

3. Carson Gamez 104′10.00, Service

Girls Discus

1. Mona Koko 88′09.00, West Anchorage

2. Meira Williams 85′03.00, West Anchorage

3. Liberty Lobe 84′00.00, South Anchorage

Boys High Jump

1. Malachi Casey 5′10.00, Dimond

2. Vance Harris 5′10.00, Dimond

3. Phoenix Perkins 5′10.00, Service

Girls High Jump

1. Delaney Fagerstrom 5′1.00, Dimond

2. Rachael White 5′0.00, South Anchorage

3. Lilah Johnson 4′10.00, Dimond

Boys Triple Jump

1. Isaiah Douyon 38′09.00, South Anchorage

2. Fafo Lefano 38′08.75, South Anchorage

3. Dylan Amy 38′02.25, Service

Girls Triple Jump

1. Maya Tirpack 30′09.50, South Anchorage

2. Jane Malouf 28′04.00, Service

3. Carissa O’Rourke 28′01.00, Dimond


Quad 2: Bartlett, Eagle River, Chugiak, East

Boys 100 Meters

1. Brian Morris 11.27, East Anchorage

2. Alan Szewczyk Jr 11.39, Eagle River

3. Elijah Williams 11.54, Chugiak

Girls 100 Meters

1. Gabrielle Okorodudu 13.44, Eagle River

2. Daeshawna Carr 14.22, East Anchorage

3. Melanie James 14.23, Chugiak

Boys 200 Meters

1. Brian Morris 22.64, East Anchorage

2. Deshawn Rushmeyer 23.12, East Anchorage

3. Elijah Williams 23.55, Chugiak

Girls 200 Meters

1. Gabrielle Okorodudu 27.97, Eagle River

2. Skyler Belmear 28.00, Chugiak

3. Ada Burrup 29.46, Chugiak

Boys 400 Meters

1. Jack Molloy 53.12, Eagle River

2. Murad Wright 53.55, East Anchorage

3. Makai Warren-Dowl 53.68, Chugiak

Girls 400 Meters

1. Alliyah Fields 1:01.23, Chugiak

2. Skyler Belmear 1:01.25, Chugiak

3. Addison Capozzi 1:02.98, Chugiak

Boys 1600 Meters

1. Henry Michener 4:44, Eagle River

2. Luke Shaw 4:52.60, Eagle River

3. Nathan Vander Lugt 4:53.18, Eagle River

Girls 1600 Meters

1. Campbell Peterson 5:15.21, Chugiak

2. Hannah Shaha 5:32.90, Chugiak

3. Petra Knox 5:34.83, Chugiak

Boys 3200 Meters

1. Henry Michener 10:33.55, Eagle River

2. Parker Larson 10:38.65, Chugiak

3. Luke Shaw 10:53.65, Eagle River

Girls 3200 Meters

1. Ava Trembath 12:34.39, Eagle River

2. Linnea Gray 13:14.00, Eagle River

3. Samantha Bushman 14:31.41, Bartlett

Boys 110m Hurdles

1. Alan Szewczyk Jr 14.84, Eagle River

2. Zuriel Guzman 17.21, Bartlett

3. Matthew Watson 18.19, Eagle River

Girls 100m Hurdles

1. Ellen Kruchoski 17.23, Chugiak

2. Magdalena Frydrychova 17.67, East Anchorage

3. Kyna Cornils 19.24, Bartlett

Boys 300m Hurdles

1. Alan Szewczyk Jr 41.15, Eagle River

2. Tajaun Jamestown 46.97, Bartlett

3. Matthew Watson 47.22, Eagle River

Girls 300m Hurdles

1. Audra Burrill 51.74, Chugiak

2. Ellen Kruchoski 53.83, Chugiak

3. Finley Moffett 58.43, Chugiak

Boys 4x100 Relay

1. East Anchorage 43.70

2. Chugiak 44.44

3. Chugiak 48.13

Girls 4x100 Relay

1. Chugiak 55.70

2. Bartlett 55.90

3. East 57.26

Boys 4x400 Relay

1. Chugiak 3:41.36

2. Bartlett 3:51.90

3. Chugiak - B 4:10.92

Girls 4x400 Relay

1. Chugiak 4:19.06

2. East 4:38.34

3. Bartlett 4:53.03

Boys Shot Put

1. Tristian Savelio 40′08.00, Bartlett

2. Puni Pa’u 40′03.50, East Anchorage

3. Niko Alailefaleula 38′07.00, Bartlett

Girls Shot Put

1. Haleigh Vitt 30′05.50, Chugiak

2. Isabella Pederson 28′03.50, Eagle River

3. Shayvon Williams 27′10.00, Chugiak

Boys Discus

1. Puni Pa’u 118′08.00, East Anchorage

2. Niko Alailefaleula 118′04.00, Bartlett

3. Anders Larsen 110′03.00, Chugiak

Girls Discus

1. Haleigh Vitt 92′06.00, Chugiak

2. Shayvon Williams 84′09.00, Chugiak

3. Sarah Stantus 81′10.00, Eagle River

Boys High Jump

1. Owen Johnson 5′4.00, Eagle River

2. Deshawn Rushmeyer 5′4.00, East Anchorage

3. Everett Lathrop 5′2.00, Eagle River

Girls High Jump

1. Emily Moore 4′8.00, Chugiak

2. Hannah Bodkin 4′6.00, Chugiak

3. Finley Moffett 4′4.00, Chugiak

Boys Triple Jump

1. A’lante Owens-Player 43′06.50, Bartlett

2. Tyler Drake 40′04.25, Bartlett

3. Jai Jordan 37′11.00, Bartlett

Girls Triple Jump

1. Gabrielle Okorodudu 32′10.75, Eagle River

2. Isabella Pederson 30′06.25, Eagle River

3. Yatzary Encarnacion 27′04.00, Bartlett

Fast Forward



South v Chugiak at Loretta French, Tuesday at 5:45 p.m.

The 2023 season is officially getting underway this week and the two-time defending Division I state champion Wolverines will play a trio of games, with the most compelling being against the Mustangs in a rematch of the last two state title games out in Chugiak.


Dimond at South (girls), Tuesday at 5 p.m.

The two rivals will square off for the first time this season and for the first time since they played in their third straight state championship match in a battle of the unbeatens. The Lynx will be looking to extend their impressive winning streak and dominant start to the season while the Wolverines will be trying to avoid their first loss of the season by notching their first victory over their conference foes since the 2021 season.

West at South (boys), Thursday at 7 p.m.

The two teams that faced off in last year’s Division I state championship game will square off on the pitch for the first time this season. Both of them are entering the week with just one loss on their respective records against the same opponent that came in non-conference bouts with undefeated Colony and they each will play a conference opponent on Tuesday ahead of their highly anticipated rematch.

Track and Field

Varsity Invite Meet at The Dome, Thursday 2:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.

The outdoor portion of the season will be delayed until the month of May due to outdoor track conditions. While the Anchorage Invite won’t be held this year, Anchorage teams and those still willing to make the trip to town will be back in The Dome sports complex on Thursday where athletes will be looking to see how much they’ve improved and how much further they need to push themselves.

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.