The Rewind: Alaskan wrestler earns spot on Team USA World Championship team and pair of Alaska residents take Mayor’s Marathon wins

In summer baseball action, the American Legion and Alaska Baseball League worlds collided in the annual Legion All-Stars game. In college sports news, the University of Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team announced the signing of a new recruit and a standout distance runner received a prestigious honor for the second year in a row. On the national scene, an Alaskan wrestler made the Team USA World team with another major tournament title. Plus, a pair of Alaska residents won the 2023 Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage.

Headlines and highlights

The Alaska American Legion and Alaska Baseball League collided off this past Thursday when the College Coaches Camp Legion All-Stars faced off with the Anchorage Bucs in a thriller that went down to the wire at Mulcahy Stadium. The band of high school-aged standouts from the Last Frontier bested the team comprised of college players from across the country 6-5 for a rare win in the annual All-Star game series.

The UAA women’s basketball team bolstered its 2023-24 roster with another top junior-college recruit Thursday with the announcement that versatile forward Nessa Walsh has signed a scholarship agreement to join the Seawolves. She was a two-time NJCAA All-Region IV honoree at Oakton College in Des Plaines, Illinois, and led the Owls to back-to-back regional title games as well as a combined 49-12 record over that span.

“We are very excited to sign such a well-rounded player like Nessa,” Seawolves head coach Ryan McCarthy said in a statement. “She fits in nicely with our program because her length and skill set allow her to play just about any position on the floor. Nessa sees the game at a slower speed than a lot of players, and her ability to make plays on both ends of the floor is going to be exciting to see in our system.”

UAA track and field standout distance runner Cole Nash had another stellar year as a sophomore in 2022-2023 season and was just as exemplary in the classroom. His dominant performances in his sport coupled with his perfect 4.0 earned the honor of being named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s 2022-23 Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row.

“I am very honored to receive this award considering all of the incredible qualified student-athletes across the GNAC,” Nash said in a statement. “I am very grateful to be chosen for this honor.”

Former Seawolves track and field athlete Mariah Burroughs of Wasilla was the first woman to cross the finish line at the 2023 Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon in a time of 3 hours, 14 minutes, 28 seconds, which was nearly four minutes faster than runner-up April Nelson of Anchorage.


“It made me want to be competitive again, it gives me a really good outlook, and is a great coping skill,” Burroughs said. “I work in mental health so I like to work out a lot and be outside.”

[Alaska’s Mariah Burroughs pulls away from the pack to win 2023 Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon]

The men’s full and half marathon were won by a pair of former college teammates who still enjoy competing in endurance distance running and were glad that they could take in the Alaskan scenery on their way to first place finishes.

Christopher Brenk, who is originally from Clarendon Hills, Illinois, but currently lives in Sitka, won the full marathon in a time of 2 hours, 35 minutes, 7 seconds. Sam Stresemann, who is in Alaska visiting his fellow St. Olaf College alumnus, won the half marathon with a mark of 1:21:48.

“It was (Chris’) idea,” Stresemann said. “I was just coming up here for a vacation and he proposed the idea that we should just double it back in the marathon and half marathon.”

[Friends and former college teammates win half and full marathons at Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon]

The Anchorage Wolverines had a pair of players announce their commitments to play at NCAA Division III programs last week. Forward Kyle Bauer is committed to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for the 2023-24 season and goaltender Eino Rissanen committed to the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.

Galena’s Kyle Malamute was the winner of the 2023 Yukon 800 over the weekend. The boat race runs 800 river miles on the Chena, Tanana and Yukon Rivers from Fairbanks to Galena. Malamute, with crew members Patrick Captain and Gary Folger, finished the race in 13 hours, 22 minutes, 12 seconds, with his Wake ‘Em Up boat No. 15. His split times were 6:37:26 downriver and 6:44:46 upriver.

“Their experience is priceless,” Malamute wrote on Facebook. “We were thrown many obstacles, mainly Mother Nature and these guys were never phased.”

Alaska stars shining Outside

Shungnak’s Spencer Woods continued his impressive year on the mat by winning the men’s Greco-Roman 82-kg division crown at Final X tournament in Newark, New Jersey on June 10. The former Kotzebue High standout wrestler defeated fellow Army World Class Athlete Program teammate Ryan Epps in a three-match duel to earn a spot on the Team USA World Championship team.

“We had nine guys on our team go into Final X so that itself is showing strength in numbers with our program and it’s honestly an awesome thing to be a part of,” Woods said. “At our level, everyone knows that if you want to be the best, you have to be in Final X. We’re all professionals and it’s family but at the same time, we have world aspirations.”

Just making the U.S. World team isn’t enough for him. Woods is focused on winning a world medal during the competition in September in Belgrade, Serbia.

“It’s nice and you have to celebrate those wins along the way but it feels like I’m on the right track,” Woods said. “I’m wrestling where I want to be and I’m in the right place to do it.”

[Alaska wrestler Spencer Woods proves ‘7th time is the charm’ with win over two-time Olympian]

Anchorage’s Clarice Ruhlin-Hicks joined Nash as another athlete with Alaska ties to be named 2022-23 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year last week. The recent Western Washington University graduate maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA as a senior and is the first rower to win the conference’s top student-athlete award.

Ketchikan’s Isaac Updike produced a personal best performance in his final steeplechase race before the USA Track & Field National Championships next month. The 31-year-old finished second in the Meeting International Nikaia de Nice 2023 in Nice, France, with a mark of 8:17.47, which was just behind former Olympic and world champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya who won with a time of 8:17.16.

Last week’s results

American Legion



Camp All Stars 6, Bucs 5


Chugiak 19, Bartlett 2

South 8, Wasilla 4

Palmer 25, AK Wild 10

West 14, Ketchikan 2



Service 8, Dimond 1

Juneau 12, East 2

Juneau 13, East 3

South 10, Chugiak 6

Kenai 4, Eagle River 2

Eagle River 10, Kenai 0

West 9, Ketchikan 5

Ketchikan 3, West 0

Palmer 7, AK Wild 0

Palmer 19, AK Wild 9


AK Wild 7, Palmer 5


Service 17, Bartlett 0

Dimond 13, South 3

Eagle River 3, Chugiak 1

Wasilla 5, Kenai 4

Kenai 13, Wasilla 2

West 13, Ketchikan 5


Alaska Baseball League


Glacier Pilots 4, Oilers 2

Miners 12, Bucs 4

Kingsmen 6, Chinooks 1


Chinooks 8, Oilers 5

Bucs v Glacier Pilots


Bucs 12, Chinooks 0

Oilers 5, Glacier Pilots 3


Oilers 15, Miners 1


Bucs 7, Oilers 6

Miners 2, Chinooks 0


Bucs 8, Miners 4


Miners 7, Bucs 6

Chinooks 6, Pilots 5

Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon


Men’s full marathon overall

1. Christopher Brenk 2:35:07, Sitka; 2.Chris Osiensky 2:42:37, Anchorage; 3. David Proffitt 2:43:29, Littleton CO; 4. Brandon Hough 2:44:58, Yellow Springs OH; 5. Eric Linn 2:44:59, Warsaw IN; 6. Wesley McQuillin 2:49:08, Anchorage; 7. Mason Phillips 2:50:43 Gunnison CO; 8. Peter Jaros 2:52:05, Homewood IL; 9. Justin Zanotti 2:52:49, Chesterfield, MI; 10. Isaac Jamison 2:54:24, Anchorage.

Men’s half marathon overall

1. Samuel Stresemann 1:21:48, Boulder CO; 2. Laine Walker 1:22:52, Trussville AL; 3. Mackie Derrick 1:25:24, Anchorage; 4. Chris Setzler 1:25:54, Harvard IL; 5. Matthew Walton 1:26:54, London LND; 6. Wesley Swain 1:27:39, San Antonio TX; 7. Curtis Cornelius 1:28:34, Tucson AZ; 8. Jared Gardiner 1:29:06, Anchorage; 9. Ryan Olberding 1:29:52, Anchorage; 10. Jack Swofford 1:30:20, Fairbanks.

Women’s full marathon overall

1. Mariah Burroughs 3:14:27, Anchorage; 2. April Nelson 3:17:59, Anchorage; Madison Labosky 3:18:37, Anchorage; 4. Krista Inscho 3:19:17, Anchorage; 5. Rosie Whittington-Evans 3:21:18, Palmer; 6.Gwen Jacobson 3:22:26, Rochester MN; 7. Colleen Bolling 3:24:24, Anchorage; 8. Kelsey Ripp 3:25:43, Anchorage; 9. Gabrielle Panzo 3:26:09, Washington DC; 10. Riley Burroughs 3:30:56, Anchorage.

Women’s half marathon overall

1. Autumn Ray 1:22:48, Tucson AZ; 2. Ashlee Weller 1:30:31, Anchorage; 3. Megan Kahn 1:33:06, Loveland OH; 4. Sarah Cosgrave 1:32:49 Anchorage; 5. Amanda Cherok 1:39:45, Homer AK; 6. Emma Sweeney 1:40:29, Rockford MI; 7. Lucy Swygman 1:40:47, Girdwood; 8. Heather Hassett 1:40:54, Anchorage; 9. Regina Fiacco 1:41:03, Anchorage; 10. Delaney Preston 1:41:12, Anchorage.

Female 5-Miler

1. Ryann Smith, Gillette, WY 30:48, 2. Rachel Fairbanks, Anchorage, 33:15, 3. Rachel Crawford, Anchorage, 33:31, 4. Michele Kay, Lebanon, CT 38:03, 5. Carrie Epton, Beaverton, OR 39:10, 6. Jennifer Dady, Overland Park, KS 39:53, 7. Bella Broullire, De Pere, WI 40:31, 8. Stephanie Terpening, San Francisco, CA 40:51, 9. Suzanne Ward, Anchorage, 41:04, 10. Veronica Griffith, Eagle River, 41:19.

Male 5-Miler

1. Pedro Ochoa, Homer, 27:13, 2. Zac Campbell, Anchorage, 29:13, 3. Brian Buschelman, Eagle River, 32:28, 4. Brad Hillwig, Anchorage, 32:41, 5. Doug Robeson, Hayward, CA 33:44, 6. Jameson Kordik, JBER, 36:00, 7. Brian Kanen, Anchorage, 36:17, 8. Jeremy Lieb, Anchorage, 36:25, 9. Dylan Denter, Fairbanks, 37:17, 10. Salvador Villegas, JBER, 37:37,

Bird Ridge Hill Climb Results


Men’s Full Climb

1. Lars Arneson, Anchorage, 40:39 2. Walker Hall, Winthrop, WA 41:31 3. Tracen Knopp, Palmer, 42:20 4. Michael Earnhart, Eagle River, 42:51 5. Galen Hecht, Anchorage, 42:57 6. Gus Schumacher, Anchorage, 43:32 7. Taylor Turney, Anchorage, 43:54 8. Ethan Howe, Anchorage, 45:10 9. Vebjorn Flagstad, Anchorage, 45:12 10. David Ryland, Anchorage, 45:42.

Women’s Full Climb

1. Meg Inokuma, Palmer, 47:16 2. Denali Strabel, Palmer, 51:32 3. Sophie Wright, Palmer, 51:54 4. Jessica Vetsch, Anchorage, 52:04 5. Jenna DiFolco, Anchorage, 52:13 6. Mia Stiassny, Girdwood, 52:39 7. Heather Arneson, Anchorage, 52:42 8. Shauna Severson, Eagle River, 53:32 9. Viviana Mina, Eagle River, AL 53:58 10. Samantha Longacre, Anchorage, 54:00.

Jack’s Run Boys

1. Finn Dudley, Anchorage, 24:20 2. Axel Kiskaddon, Anchorage, 26:11 3. Logan Williams, Anchorage, 26:15 4. Avery Seeman, Anchorage, 26:48 5. Chace Hardy, Eagle River, 28:48

Jack’s Run Girls

1. Niva Flagstad, Anchorage, 31:42 2. Maria Witmer, Anchorage, 35:14 3. Ruby Willman, Anchorage, 36:55 4. Savannah Barnard, Anchorage, 42:47 5. Margaret Adams, Anchorage, 45:23

Fast Forward

American Legion baseball

Alaska 529 Midseason Classic at Mulcahy Stadium, Thursday-Saturday

The annual midseason tournament that features teams from posts around the Last Frontier as well as around the country will take place in town later this week and run through the weekend. The two out-of-state Legion teams competing are Lower Columbia from Kelso, Washington, and the Eugene Challengers from Eugene, Oregon.

Alaska Baseball League

Mat-Su Miners v. Anchorage Glacier Pilots at Mulcahy Stadium, Wednesday 6 p.m.

With American Legion taking over the home stadium of the two Anchorage ball clubs for most of the week, the only ABL action in town this week will be the third meeting of the season between the two teams that faced off in last year’s Top of the World Series championship game.

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.