UAA Athletics

UAA notebook: Gymnastics team makes final fundraising push, hockey adds DI transfer and 16 skiers receive honors

While the UAA men’s hockey program already raised the necessary funds for its reinstatement, the gymnastics team has a little ways to go to reach its goal. The Seawolves must raise $150,000 by June 30 for permanent reinstatement by the university and are asking the community to assist them in their “Stick the Landing” campaign.

Following the 2020-21 school year, the University of Alaska Board of Regents voted to eliminate hockey, gymnastics and alpine skiing from UAA athletics to reduce the university’s overall budget. However, the regents offered the eliminated programs an opportunity for reinstatement if supporters could raise enough funds to cover two years of operating expenses.

For the gymnastics program, the amount needed is $888,000. Alpine skiing and hockey have reached their goals and have been reinstated. The gymnastics program raised enough funds for one year of operation and the regents conditionally reinstated the program for this year. Permanent reinstatement is contingent upon the remaining half of the funds being raised by June 2022.

The team has already raised $78,000 and in its final fundraising effort, it will need to come up with the remaining amount in order to reach the two-year funding requirement. With less than 80 days until the deadline, supporters are imploring the community to help the team reach its goal. The team has set up a site to help the fundraising process.

Seawolves hockey adds DI transfer

When the University of Alaska Anchorage men’s hockey team takes the ice this fall for the first time since being reinstated, it will do so with some reinforcements from the Division I level. Head coach Matt Shasby announced that Adam Tisdale will be transferring from Sacred Heart (Connecticut) to play with the Seawolves for the 2022-2023 season.

“Adam plays down the middle in the center position and comes to us with a wealth of experience in college hockey,” said Shasby in a release. “Having one of our grad transfers filling that center role is going to be big for us. His skill set will allow us to use him in every situation, including special teams.”

The 5-foot-9, 171-pound forward joins the Seawolves after a career that included four-years playing at the colligate level and nearly 200 games in juniors. Tisdale is a native of Cochrane, Alberta, where he spent two seasons from 2018-20 at Clarkson and recorded 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 59 games.

After transferring to Sacred Heart, he appeared in 37 games in two seasons from 2020-22 and finished with eight points (two goals, six assists). He played approximately 172 games in juniors between his time with the Canmore Eagles (AJHL) and Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) and tallied 124 points (50 goals, 74 assists).

Several Seawolves receive academic and athletic acknowledgements

The UAA ski team had 16 student-athletes earn NCAA Ski Team honors from the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association.

In order to qualify for the team, skiers must have a 3.5 grade-point average, which is tied for the highest GPA requirement of any coaches association academic team nationally. They must also participate at one of the three regional championships.

Seawolves who earned the award: Ashleigh Alexander, Tuva Bygrave, Karly Coyne, Hunter Eid, Tuva Granoeien, Alyssa Hill, Nicole Mah, Kristina Natalenko, Leon Nikic, Didrik Nilsen, Magnus Noroey, Pascale Paradis, Espen Persen, Jan Ronner, Olav Sanderberg and J.C. Schoonmaker.

Several Seawolves run to qualifying finishes and set new program records

The UAA track and field teams had multiple student-athletes set several national qualifying marks and set a pair of program records at the Bryan Clay Invite in Azusa, California.

Enrique Campbell beat his previous personal-best of 11.12 in the 100 by running 10.59 for a school record that ranks eighth all-time in GNAC history. The previous school record belonged to Oshane Hilton, who ran a 10.65 in 2018.

Joshua Wagner lowered his own school record in the 110 hurdles to 14.22. The finish tied him for 16th in Division II and ranks second all-time in GNAC history. He also ran a personal-best time of 22.09 in the 200, which is the ninth-fastest time ever at UAA.

In his first collegiate 10,000 on the track, Coleman Nash looked like a natural in the event with a time of 29:24.40. His time ranks fourth both all-time at UAA and in the GNAC record book. The Seawolves now have the top-four, and seven of the top-10 times in the men’s 10,000 in the GNAC.

“Great days of action down here,” said head coach Ryan McWilliams in a release from the school. “We are starting to compete with a lot of confidence and it shows with multiple personal bests set by different athletes and two new school records. We will look to close out the weekend tomorrow with a few more of those types of performances.”

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.