The Rewind: Chugiak softball snaps title drought and South baseball earns a three-peat

In high school sports, the spring seasons wrapped up with the softball and baseball state championships. In college sports news, several University of Alaska Anchorage student-athletes were recognized for their athletic and academic achievements. And on the national scene, a national champion runner shined in an international competition while an Alaska-born soccer standout had his world championship hopes extinguished at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Headlines and highlights

The Chugiak softball team showed resolve and resiliency, riding the arm of senior pitcher Karlee Transburg this past Saturday on its way to capturing its first Division I state championship since 2003, which was before any of the players were born. The Mustangs had to battle their way through the losers’ bracket and best CIC rival South Anchorage in back-to-back games to prevent the Wolverines from extending their consecutive title streak.

[Chugiak softball snaps 20-year state title drought by beating rival South when it counted the most]

In Division II softball action, Juneau-Douglas capped an incredibly resurgent season by claiming its second state championship in three years. The Crimson Bears weren’t able to defend their 2021 title last year after falling short of qualifying for the state tournament entirely but came back with a vengeance this year with a senior-heavy squad and beat Sitka for the eighth time this season to win the top prize.

The Division I baseball state championship tournament took place down in Sitka this past week and was also capped off with a thrilling title bout on Saturday with two-time defending champion South rallying in the bottom of the seventh and final inning to beat hillside rival Service 3-2 in walk-off fashion. It marked the Wolverines’ third straight state title, 10th win in a row to close out the season and their third time besting the Cougars this year.

[South rallies to top Service for 3rd straight Alaska high school baseball title]

In the Division II state baseball championship, Soldotna faced off with Kenai Central for the third time this year with each team having beaten the other once and the Stars broke the tie in dominant fashion with a 14-3 victory over the Kardinals to win their second straight title.


While the 2022-2023 seasons for all UAA athletics have come to a close, the honors for 10 track and field athletes kept rolling with the announcement of the College Sports Communicator’s 2023 Academic All-District Men’s and Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field Teams. It recognizes athletic and academic excellence and to be eligible for the team, student-athletes have to at least be in their second season of competition at their respective institution, carry a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and be a significant contributor to their team.

The list of honorees for the men includes Jacob Belanger (Journalism & Public Communications, 3.68 GPA), Coleman Nash (Finance, 4.0 GPA), Felix Robertson (Accounting, 3.6 GPA), Ries Tveit (Mechanical Engineering, 3.56 GPA), Joshua Wagner (Dietetics, 3.58 GPA)

For the women, the list of honorees consists of Kaitlyn Backman (Biological Sciences, 3.91 GPA), Blanca de Arvizu Sarrias (Engineering, 3.93 GPA), Carlotta Duenninger (Economics, 3.78 GPA), Leonie Flad (Dietetics, 3.53 GPA), Joei Vidad (Nursing, 3.86 GPA).

Alaska stars shining Outside

Anchorage’s Obed Vargas started and logged 55 minutes in the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s 2-0 loss to Uruguay in the semifinals of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Santiago Del Estero, Argentina, on Sunday, ending their hopes of winning a championship. It marked not only their first loss after winning their first four matches, it was their first time conceding a goal after all four of their wins came via shutout.

Eagle River’s Vanessa Aniteye also competed internationally at the IFAM Oordegem in Belgium where she placed fifth in her heat with a time of 53.95 seconds in the 400 meter race. The recent Seattle Pacific University graduate formerly of Chugiak High fame got to represent her home country of Germany and was .08 seconds faster than the second-place finisher in her heat.

Fairbanks’ Camron Herron made his second career appearance at the NCAA West Regional and the former West Valley star who is currently a junior at the University of Texas-Austin finished fifth in his heat and 28th overall in the 800 with a mark of 1:49.84.

Anchorage’s Santiago Gomez-Prosser made his first appearance at the NCAA West Regional and finished ninth in his heat and 17th overall in the 48-person field with a career-best mark of 13 minutes, 46.94 seconds, in the 5,000-meter race. The sophomore at Northern Arizona University who went to Dimond High shaved 4.52 seconds from his previous career best and was just five places or 6.63 seconds away from qualifying for the national meet.

Last week’s results


ASAA Division I state softball tournament

Thursday (Pool Play)

Pool A

Chugiak 10, Colony 2

Chugiak 15, Service 2

Service 10, Colony 8

Pool B

South Anchorage 10, West Valley 0

Bettye Davis East 21, West Valley 0


Bettye Davis East 4, South Anchorage 3


Opening round

South 16, Colony 0

Service 10, West Valley 2

Chugiak (bye)

Bettye Davis East (bye)

Winner’s bracket


South 11, Chugiak 3

Bettye Davis East 15, Service 0

Loser’s bracket

Colony 10, Service 2

Chugiak 17, West Valley 0


Winner’s bracket

South 6, Bettye Davis East 0

Loser’s bracket

Chugiak 16, Colony 1

Chugiak 11, East 7



Chugiak 9, South 8

Chugiak 8, South 3

ASAA Division II state softball tournament

Thursday (Pool Play)

Pool A

Juneau-Douglas 9, Kodiak 1


North Pole 22, Kodiak 4

North Pole 5, Juneau-Douglas 3

Pool B

Delta Junction 9, Sitka 1

Sitka 20, Kenai Central 8

Delta Junction 13, Kenai Central 0


Opening round

Kodiak 8, Sitka 6

Juneau-Douglas 9, Kenai Central 0

North Pole (bye)

Delta Junction (bye)

Winner’s bracket

North Pole 8, Kodiak 7

Juneau-Douglas 11, Delta Junction 3

Loser’s bracket

Sitka 9, Delta Junction 1

Kodiak 13, Kenai Central 5


Winner’s bracket

Juneau-Douglas 4, North Pole 1

Loser’s bracket

Sitka 9, Kodiak 1

Sitka 14, North Pole 13


Juneau-Douglas 6, Sitka 5

2023 Twilight 12K & 6K Results

Women’s 12K

1: Taylor Deal, Anchorage 44:56, 2: Abby Stemper, Anchorage 47:43, 3: Kaelan Dickinson, Anchorage 49:01, 4: Krista Inscho, Anchorage 50:05, 5: Mariah Burroughs, Anchorage 50:07, 6: Megan Murphy, Anchorage 50:42, 7: Hannah Souders, Anchorage 51:38, 8: Clair DeGeorge, Anchorage 51:52, 9: Carrie Setian, Anchorage 52:48, 10: Rebekah Butler, Anchorage 53:39

Men’s 12K

1: Gabe Martin, Anchorage 40:26, 2: Jake Moe, Anchorage 41:18, 3: Owen Marcotte, Anchorage 41:24, 4: Jerome Ross, Anchorage 41:28, 5: Ryan Cox, Anchorage 41:32, 6: Brian Kirchner, Anchorage 41:41, 7: Brady Burrough, Anchorage 41:55, 8: Ryan Beckett, Anchorage 42:18, 9: Michael Rabe, Anchorage 42:29, 10: Isaac Jamison, Anchorage 42:41

Non-Binary 12K

1: Eli Michael, Anchorage 1:08:56, 2: Ness Verigin, Anchorage 1:24:01

Wheelchair 12K

1: Corwyn Wilkey, Anchorage 1:13:49

Women’s 6K

1: Madison Labosky, Anchorage 22:53, 2: Molly Templin, Anchorage 23:27, 3: Karina Packer, Anchorage 24:58, 4: Elizabeth Page, Anchorage 25:44, 5: Rebecca Paradis, Wasilla 26:30, 6: Jennifer Page, Anchorage 26:36, 7: Taylor Lorenz, Anchorage 26:53, 8: Elisabeth Epstein, Anchorage 26:57, 9: Hannah Stepetin, Eagle River 27:08, 10: Tracy Serreyn, Lakeville, MN 27:34

Men’s 6K

1: Jared Gardiner, Anchorage 21:47, 2: Sam Lev, Phoenix, AZ 22:06, 3: Axel Kiskaddon, Anchorage 22:09, 4: Jeremy Serreyn, Eagle River 22:21, 5: Katahdin Staples, Anchorage 22:23, 6: Jorge Cortes, JBER 23:03, 7: Hiroki Hiraishi, Eagle River 23:11, 8: Paul Hentges, Anchorage 23:11, 9: Cory Walter, Albuquerque, NM 23:40, 10: Kyle Van Peursem, Anchorage 24:07

Non-Binary 6K

11: Joevahnta Usugan-Weddington, Fairbanks 35:01, 2: Mackenna Handeland, Eagle River 1:13:03

2023 Arctic Valley Run Results

12.6 Mile Women’s

1: Michelle Isaev, Anchorage 1:42:37, 2: Kamie Miller, Eagle River 1:43:29, 3: Meghan Adair, Palmer 1:49:05, 4: Katie Conway, Anchorage 1:50:48, 5: Rachel Henderson, Anchorage 2:02:06, 6: Eva Hall, Anchorage 2:02:37, 7: Teresa Comer, Eagle River 2:05:45, 8: Emma Corby, Eagle River 2:11:52, 9: Janel Day, Anchorage 2:17:01, 10: Julie Aloysius, Anchorage 2:26:56

12.6 Mile Men’s

1: Ben Gryski, Eagle River 1:38:47, 2: Nathaniel Moreau, Eagle River 1:42:06, 3: Leon Whitebuffalo, JBER 1:45:55, 4: Hunter Shay, JBER 1:55:06, 5: Nolen Neznek, Anchorage 1:56:32, 6: Patrick Donovan, JBER 1:56:50, 7: John Hall, Anchorage 2:01:00, 8: Roman Garay, JBER 2:01:33, 9: David Keown, JBER 2:03:37, 10: Brooks Bock, Anchorage 2:06:02

5 Mile Women’s

1: Kayle Blackmore, Portland, OR 12:24:00, 2: Meredyth Richards, Anchorage 15:02:00, 3: Charlotte Kotlarchuk, Eagle River 02:00, 4: Kristine Swain, Eagle River 24:00, 5: Hannah Toberman, Eagle River 1:17:00, 6: Lailah Watts, JBER 3:44:00, 7: Deann Denter, Eagle River 5:51:00, 8: Jade Statz, Anchorage 1:00:45, 9: Jennifer Cabanas, Anchorage 1:02:08, 10: Cassidy Bilskie, Chugiak 1:02:08

5 Mile Men’s

1: Leonid Isaev, Anchorage 37:16, 2: Salvador Villegas, JBER 38:13, 3: Zachery Bilskie, Chugiak 42:29, 4: Jason Panama, JBER 45:53, 5: Paul Ferland, Wasilla 46:39, 6: Dewayne Sellers, JBER 48:01, 7: Gerardo Garcia, JBER 48:05, 8: Jeremy Hawkins, JBER 48:50, 9: Steven Watts, JBER 52:01, 10: Law Henderson, Anchorage 54:48

2023 Government Peak Climb

Female Round Trip results

1: Christy Marvin 1:25:06,9; 2: Denali Strabel 1:29:06,3; 3: Shauna Severson 1:29:25,4; 4: Jenna Difolco 1:34:24,7; 5: Amy de Schweinitz 1:35:19,6

Female Fastest to Top results

1: Meg Inokuma, 0:55:24,5; 2: Milissa Lewis 1:06:07,9; 3: Krista Schnell 1:08:54,0; 4: Emily Erickson 1:11:49,5; 5: Justine Reese 1:12:30,2

Male Round Trip results

1: Coby Marvin 1:13:39,7; 2: Lars Arneson 1:15:09,3; 3: Joshua Taylor 1:19:27,1; 4: Taylor Turney 1:20:45,6; 5: Raven Spangler 1:24:25,7

Male Fastest to Top results

1: Ben Ward 0:54:52,5; 2: Kevin Rosenkranz 1:04:24,6; 3: Axel Kiskaddon 1:09:29,8; 4: Frank Witmer 1:09:55,2; 5: Johnson, Avi 1:12:24,5

Fast Forward

American Legion baseball

Service vs. South at Taylar Young Field, Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Since the rosters of teams in this league are determined by zones and zip codes, players from Saturday’s state high school title game will be facing off as teammates and possibly adversaries in this game.

Alaska Baseball League

Mat-Su Miners vs. Anchorage Glacier Pilots at Mulcahy Stadium, Saturday at 6 p.m.

The two-time defending ABL champion Glacier Pilots will host the Miners for the first time this season in a rematch of last year’s Top of the World Series championship game.

Alaska Run for Women

The annual fundraiser for breast cancer takes place at 8 a.m. this Saturday. It will start and finish on the UAA Campus near Cuddy Quad at 3400 Seawolf Drive in Anchorage.

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.