The Rewind: Anchorage’s Obed Vargas named to U.S. U-20 national soccer team, South boys soccer team continues to surge and UAA track athletes shine at GNAC championships

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

In high school sports, the defending Division I champion boys soccer team stayed hot while teams across multiple sports saw their win streaks snapped. In college sports news, the University of Alaska Anchorage track and field team had champions crowned and records fall at the conference championships while a pair of other UAA programs added to their 2023 recruiting classes. And on the national scene, several Alaska-born players made history and received prestigious honors.

Headlines and highlights

The reigning Division I champion South Anchorage boys soccer team had its toughest two-match test of the regular season this past week and passed with flying colors. On Tuesday, the Wolverines completed a season sweep and they closed out the week by hosting and beating previously undefeated Colony. The consecutive victories over the Eagles and Knights extended their winning streak to nine matches in a row, avenged their lone loss of the season and all but wrapped up the CIC title tilt with two matches left to play.

[South High boys soccer stays hot, avenging season’s sole loss by defeating Colony]

While the South and Dimond girls soccer teams also kept their respective winning streaks alive, in prep softball and baseball action, the top-ranked teams fell from the ranks of the unbeaten but responded well and still sit atop their respective standings.

The two-time defending state champion South softball team suffered its first defeat of the season with a 7-4 loss to Bettye Davis East on Saturday. However, the Wolverines rattled off five straight victories after the loss to start a new win streak that included back-to-back wins against the Thunderbirds to avenge their humbling defeat and end the day on a heater.

The Service baseball team came into last week with a perfect 8-0 record but was upset by Dimond on Monday. The Cougars bounced back in a big way by winning their next two games, the second of which came against two-time defending champion South in the first game of a doubleheader. It marked their first victory over the Wolverines since 2018 and even though their hillside rivals came back and captured the second game, Service (10-2) remains on top of the conference standings since it didn’t count as a league game.


On the college scene, the UAA track and field field team had another strong showing for the third weekend in a row except this time, it came at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships and saw a trio of Seawolves capture titles.

Junior Joshua Wagner repeated as the 110-meter hurdles champion with a time of 14.58 and fellow junior Kevin Angarita earned GNAC Male Performance of the Meet honors after clocking in at 47.59 in the 400. That mark ranks second all-time at UAA, third all-time in GNAC history and was four hundredths of a second off the GNAC meet record. Senior Enrique Campbell followed up a program record-breaking provisional qualifying performance by winning the 100 meters with a mark of 10.51. He also came in fourth in the 200 with a time of 21.74.

The UAA women’s basketball program added another junior college star to its 2023-2024 recruiting class with the announcement of junior-college All-American AJ Allard signing a scholarship agreement to join the Seawolves.

The 5-foot-11 guard/forward was named an NJCAA First Team All-American and the Region 10 Player of the Year last season after leading Richard Bland College to the NJCAA DII national title game in the program’s inaugural season. She averaged 19.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.3 blocks per game, shot 59 percent from the field and converted 68 percent on free throws.

“We are beyond excited to sign a player of AJ’s caliber,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy in a statement. “She is a very dynamic athlete who can literally play any position on the floor. She can handle and pass the ball like a guard, and can athletically make plays near the rim like a post. I love her spirit and think she is going to make an immediate impact here.”

The Anchorage Wolverines promoted from within and stayed local to find their next head coach with the hiring of Eagle River’s Nick Walters on Friday. The former Chugiak grad will replace Anchorage’s Evan Trupp as the third bench boss in the franchise’s third year of existence. He was on last year’s staff and comes with more than a decade of combined hockey coaching experience at the prep, collegiate and junior levels.

[Anchorage Wolverines hire Eagle River’s Nick Walters as next head coach]

Alaska stars shining Outside

Anchorage’s Obed Vargas was named to the United States roster for the 2023 FIFA Under-20 World Cup this past Wednesday. The tournament will take place this summer in Argentina and he joins a short list of Alaskans who have been named to a U.S. national soccer team.

At 17 years old, he is already the fourth youngest player in Major League Soccer as a midfielder for the Seattle Sounders and he is also now the youngest player on the U.S. FIFA Under-20 World Cup roster. Another notable Alaskan receive this honor was Kelly Cobb of Chugiak fame who was a member of multiple U.S. Women’s National teams and helped lead the U.S. to a U-20 World Cup title in Japan back in 2012.

Anchorage’s Tyree Wilson officially signed his rookie contract Friday after he became the highest drafted Alaska-born player in the history of the NFL when he was selected No. 7 overall by the Las Vegas Raiders in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. According to, his contract is four years and worth just over $25 million fully guaranteed which ranks him the 37th highest paid edge defender out of 248 qualifying players at his position.

[3 NFL rookies with Alaska roots are living their dreams and proud of where they come from]

Over half a dozen swimmers from the Central Peninsula Swimmers brought home medals from U.S. Masters Spring Nationals. All seven medalists were members of the Top of the World Swimming (TOWS) team and included Kendra Ashwell, Carolann Barum, Johna Beech, Angie Brennan, Danny McIntosh, Lucas Petersen and Michelle Turinsky. They competed in a combined 36 events over the four-day swim meet from April 27-30 in Irvine, California at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center.

Ashwell and Brennan each won a medal while Petersen won three and joined Alaska swimmers David Keddington, Leo Lemelson and Dirk Craft in setting an Alaska state record for the Age Group: 35-Mixed Men 200Y Medley Relay with the time of: 1:43.83.

Eagle River’s Alev Kelter became the second American woman on the Team USA Rugby team to reach the century mark in converted tries Saturday. The two-time Olympian and three-time World Cup veteran recorded the 100th of her career in the team’s 31-0 triumph over Poland at the World Rugby Sevens Series in Toulouse, France.

Last week’s results






Redington 4, Palmer 1


South 6, West 0

Dimond 12, Bartlett 0

Service 9, East 0

Colony 3, Eagle River 0



Ketchikan 0, Thunder Mountain 0 (tie)


Colony 8, Homer 0

Service 4, Bartlett 0


Wasilla 3, Homer 0

Chugiak 3, Eagle River 0


Wasilla 9, Kodiak 1

Lathrop 4, West Valley 1

South 2, Colony 0

West 4, Bartlett 0


Service 1, East 0



Palmer 9, Redington 0


South 3, West 1


Bartlett 4, Dimond 2

Service 1, East 0

Juneau-Douglas 8, Thunder Mountain 0


Ketchikan 6, Bartlett 0


Service 3, Bartlett 0

Colony 2, Homer 0

Palmer 1, Ketchikan 0


Ketchikan 2, Grace Christian 1


South 1, Colony 0

West 4, Bartlett 0



Chugiak 14, Bartlett 0

Dimond 4, Service 3

Soldotna 19, Redington 1


Colony 8, Chugiak 7

Eagle River 8, West 3

Wasilla 19, Houston 6

Lathrop 12, Monroe Catholic 2


Colony 10, East 0

Soldotna 12, Homer 0

North Pole 4, West Valley 2


Chugiak 7, West 2

Service 10, Bartlett 0

Wasilla 18, Homer 6

Soldotna 11, Palmer 4

West Valley 16, Lathrop 2


Colony 11, West 0

Eagle River 8, East 2

South 13, Dimond 3

Wasilla 15, Kenai Central 0

Redington 11, Grace Christian 1


Eagle River 7, Dimond 4

Eagle River 10, Dimond 4

Wasilla 4, Soldotna 2

West Valley 5, North Pole 3

Service 7, South 6

Chugiak 12, East 0

South 8, Service 2



Dimond 18, West 3

Chugiak 11, Eagle River 0

South 14, Bartlett 0

South 7, Dimond 6

Service 11, West 1


Bartlett 10, Service 7

South 7, Bartlett 0

South 22, Service 3


South 7, Eagle River 0

South 5, Dimond 4

Chugiak 14, Dimond 2

Chugiak 14, Eagle River 0


Dimond 8, Eagle River 1

Dimond 3, East 1

Track and Field


Last Chance Meet

Boys 100 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Beckett Stolp 11.50, West Anchorage

2. Cody Tirpack 11.55, South Anchorage

3. Elijah Williams 11.63, Chugiak

Girls 100 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Tamiyah Moses 13.42, Dimond

2. Elizabeth Michelsohn 13.77, South Anchorage

3. Fatou Sallah 13.85, West Anchorage

Boys 200 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Anders Larsen 23.72, Chugiak

2. Cody Tirpack 23.73, South Anchorage

3. Jabari Johnson 24.38, Chugiak

Girls 200 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Samantha Legate 28.84, West Anchorage

2. Fatou Sallah 29.16, West Anchorage

3. Evangeline Newkirk 29.46, Eagle River

Boys 400 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Preston Maes 53.79, Service

2. Thomas Tunney 54.29, South Anchorage

3. Jevin Lim 54.34, Service

Girls 400 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Ruthie Richardson 1:04.17, Service

2. Ava Murphy 1:04.53, South Anchorage

3. Emilia Zych 1:05.73, Service

Boys 800 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Jarrett Jackson 2:02.72, Dimond

2. Blaise Boyer 2:05.86, South Anchorage

3. Rowan Robinson 2:06.34, South Anchorage

Girls 800 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Elliana Zock 2:25.17, South Anchorage

2. Addison Capozzi 2:27.22, Chugiak

3. Ava Murphy 2:33.09, South Anchorage

Boys 1600 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Max Johnsen 4:45.52, Dimond

2. Owen Young 4:50.41, South Anchorage

3. Mason Card 4:51.45, South Anchorage

Girls 1600 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Alliyah Fields 5:34.15, Chugiak

2. Robyn Miller 5:45.31, South Anchorage

3. Berit Meyers 5:47.55, West Anchorage

Boys 3200 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Nathan Vander Lugt 10:38.53, Eagle River

2. Maximilian Erickson 11:05.27, West Anchorage

3. Ruben Rhodes 11:11.44, West Anchorage

Girls 3200 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Emily Moore 12:29.23, Chugiak

2. Zoe Rodgers 13:31.22, West Anchorage

3. Sawa Miyauchi 15:35.55, Eagle River

Boys 110m Hurdles - 39″ Varsity - Finals

1. Fafo Lefano 17.53, South Anchorage

2. Vernon Lindemuth 17.67, West Anchorage

3. Owen Umatum 18.11, West Anchorage

Girls 100m Hurdles - 33″ Varsity - Finals

1. Karsen Beaglee 17.51, West Anchorage

2. Mcjhmiel Tizon 18.53, West Anchorage

3. Malaetia Reupena-tuaio 18.87, West Anchorage

Boys 300m Hurdles - 36″ Varsity - Finals

1. Fafo Lefano 46.32, South Anchorage

2. Kyan Caldarera 47.02, Service

3. Owen Umatum 47.03, West Anchorage

Girls 300m Hurdles - 30″ Varsity - Finals

1. Karsen Beaglee 49.94, West Anchorage

2. Ellen Kruchoski 53.55, Chugiak

3. Samantha Jensen 54.05, Chugiak

Boys Shot Put - Varsity - Finals

1. Sone Falealo 41′10.50, West Anchorage

2. Puni Pa’u 39′04.00, East Anchorage

3. Mathias VaiVai 38′09.00, East Anchorage

Girls Shot Put - Varsity - Finals

1. Norah Brown 31′00.50, West Anchorage

2. Serah Vaafuti 30′09.75, West Anchorage

3. Liberty Lobe 29′11.00, South Anchorage

Boys Discus Varsity - Finals

1. Sone Falealo 136′11.00, West Anchorage

2. Puni Pa’u 114′10.00, East Anchorage

3. Rocco Whited 113′02.00, South Anchorage

Girls Discus Varsity - Finals

1. Norah Brown 100′05.00, West Anchorage

2. Mona Koko 94′02.00, West Anchorage

3. Liberty Lobe 87′10.00, South Anchorage

Boys Triple Jump Varsity - Finals

1. A’lante Owens-Player 43′11.75, Bartlett

2. Anders Larsen 40′08.00, Chugiak

3. Murphy Dykstra 37′04.25, West Anchorage

Girls Triple Jump Varsity - Finals

1. Gabrielle Okorodudu 35′02.75, Eagle River

2. Samantha Jensen 32′09.50, Chugiak

3. Avrey Campbell 32′08.25, Dimond

Boys Long Jump Varsity - Finals

1. Willie Zamora 19′06.50, West Anchorage

2. Kaleb Fautanu 18′01.25, Dimond

3. Elijah Williams 17′08.50, Chugiak

Girls Long Jump Varsity - Finals

1. Gabrielle Okorodudu 16′05.50, Eagle River

2. Milan Eisenmayer 15′00.25, Eagle River

3. Delaney Fagerstrom 14′11.50, Dimond

Fast Forward



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

The top two teams in the state for the past half decade face off for the second and final time this season ahead of next week’s state tournament with the conference title on the line. The undefeated Wolverines haven’t slowed down since defeating their rivals last month and will be looking to complete a series sweep. The three-time defending champion Lynx haven’t dropped a game since having their 35-game win streak snapped and will be looking for retribution.


South vs. Chugiak at Albrecht Field 1, Saturday at 11 a.m.

State championship rematches and potential previews will continue to be the theme to close out the week. The two-time reigning state champion Wolverines will take on the two-time runner-up Mustangs for the second and final time during the regular season ahead of the state tournament at the beginning of June.

Track and Field

Region IV Championships at Dimond, Friday and Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The 2023 postseason will get underway across the state this weekend and the top sprinters, endurance runners, throwers, hurdlers, and jumpers from around Anchorage as well as the Eagle River and Chugiak communities will compete for a chance to punch their tickets to the state championships the following week.


Heart Run/Walk at Alaska Airlines Center, Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

The annual friendly competition and fundraiser for the American Heart Association will take place this weekend. Many of the participants are either honoring someone who has experienced heart disease or stroke or are survivors themselves.

Gold Nugget Triathlon at Bartlett High/Pena Park, Sunday at 9 a.m.

The following day, the annual event “dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls through athletics” takes place and allows female endurance athletes to show what they can do.

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.