UAA Athletics

College sports notebook: Three from UAA track earn all-region; Nanooks hockey signs six from juniors

UAA's Elena Cano

Three UAA track and field athletes have been named to the U.S. Track & Field Coaches Association’s NCAA DII All-West Region Team.

Elena Cano, Coleman Nash and Joshua Wagner all qualified for the honor by finishing in the top five in an event at the regional meet. Cano, a senior, was the Great Northwest Athletic Conference champion in the heptathlon in the spring. Nash, a sophomore, won the 5,000- and 10,000-meter races at the GNAC conference meet. Also a sophomore, Wagner won both hurdle events at the meet.

UAF hockey announces six signees

The UAF men’s hockey team replenished some of its ranks with a six-man signing class of former junior players that is compiled of three defensemen, two forwards and a goalie.

Kyle Gaffney spent the previous two seasons with the Aberdeen Wings in the North American Hockey League, Will Hilfiker spent the past two years with the Bonnyville Pontiacs in the Alberta Junior Hockey League and Ricards Landmanis spent the previous two seasons with the Collingwood Blues in the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Lassi Lehti spent last season spliting between the El Paso Rhinos and the Minot Minotauros in the NAHL and A.J. Macaulay spent five seasons with the Bonnyville Pontiacs in the AJHL.

Zachary Power split the 2021-22 season with two teams in two separate leagues which included the London Nationals of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League to start the year before joining the Steinbach Pistons in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

Seawolves bring in another transfer

The UAA men’s basketball team continued to add to its 2022-2023 recruiting crop when head coach Rusty Osborne announced the transfer and scholarship signing agreement of Lachlan Viney.

The 6-foot-2 and 170-pound guard spent two seasons at a fellow NCAA D II West Region program in Hawaii Pacific where he averaged 7.3 points and 1.7 assists in 36 career games. The native of Melbourne, Australia will become the 11th player from the country to play for the program and the first since Jack Macdonald (2017-20) who also hailed from his hometown.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lachlan to Seawolf Nation after an impressive start to his career at Hawaii Pacific,” said Osborne in a statement. “He has already proven to be an outstanding player in the West Region, and will add experience and versatility to our backcourt. Lach will be one of the fastest players in the region and can really get ‘downhill’ to the rim in both the half and full court. His ability to attack the paint will really complement those on the floor with him. In addition, he is tough and has great defensive instincts.”

UAF men’s basketball adds another recruit

Last week, the Nanooks announced Ethan Martin as the fifth signee to head coach Greg Sparling’s recruiting class for the 2022-2023 season. The 6-foot point guard from Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington averaged 23.8 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, 2.6 assists per game and 1.4 steals per game as a senior, all of which led his team.

“Ethan is going to be a great addition to the Nanook family in all areas,” said Sparling in a statement. “He has many connections to the program as his coach at Arlington High School has been familiar with myself and coach Jesse Brown for years. Also, one of Ethan’s teachers is a University of Alaska Fairbanks alum, so we’re happy that Ethan chose to become a Nanook. He is going to be a computer science engineer during his time at UAF. On the court he works extremely hard and will be a great addition to building a successful culture.”

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.