The wait was worth it for the high school baseball teams at Chugiak and Eagle River High, which each opened the weather-delayed prep season with victories.
On Monday, the Mustangs knocked off South 10-8 in a nonleague game at Bartlett High, where icy conditions around the stadium forced a three-day delay to the start of the season. Mason Pearce broke open a tie game in the top of the seventh inning, driving in Christian Cambridge and Brian Wing for the go-ahead runs.
The Chugiak senior cleared a height of 5 feet, 8.75 inches to break Cathy Ballensky’s 1992 school record in the high jump to place second Saturday at the prestigious Oregon Relays at Hayward Field in Eugene.
“She just killed it,” said Chugiak coach Melissa Hall after the team returned to Alaska from the meet, which included some of the top athletes in the country.
Eagle River’s Pam Dreyer completed a wetter Boston Marathon than most Monday, running the 26.2-mile course in a personal best 3 hours, 31 minutes and 18 seconds to place 2,012th in the women’s division.
“The 122nd Boston Marathon is a dream come true for this retired hockey player who loathed running any distance during my playing days,” Dreyer (@pkdreyer) wrote in an Instagram post after the race.
A 1999 Chugiak High graduate, the 36-year-old Dreyer is a former U.S. Olympic women’s hockey goalie who won a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
It’s a good thing the daylight hours are getting longer these days, because someone shot the lights out Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
In the finale of a star-studded weekend, players put on a stunning offensive display as two teams made up of some of the best senior basketball players in Alaska combined to score 217 points in 40 frenzied minutes of play at the boys Class 3A/4A Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches Senior All-Star Game.
Eagle River’s Kelsey Griffin returned from injury in trimphant fashion, helping the Australia women’s national basketball team to a 113-53 win over Mozambique on April 6 in the opening round of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
A naturalized Australian citizen, Griffin had been sidelined for several months with a hip injury, according to an account in the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame blog. She scored six points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished five assists in 19 minutes against Mozambique.
The start of the high school track and field season is always a slippery season. With outdoor tracks still covered in snow and ice, coaches have to scramble to get in workouts and figure out where their athletes will work best as the spring wears on.
“This year it seems we’re pretty far behind the others,” said Eagle River coach Matt Turner, who said his school’s track likely won’t be usable for at least another week or more.
“We’re never going to get out there,” Turner quipped.
Wrestling often comes in last to mainstream sports in most places, and not just in alphabetical lists. The crowds, funding and press coverage tend to trail more popular sports like hockey and football.
But in Chugiak and Eagle River, wrestling boasts a rich history and a thriving community rooted in the Chugach Eagles Wrestling Club, which has cultivated a line of Alaska state champions and Division I collegiate wrestlers dating back a quarter of a century.
Having just finished fourth in the state tournament with an impressive 66-47 win against West Anchorage in the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska 4A Girls Basketball State Championships, sixth-year Chugiak coach Ryan Hales has reason to be optimistic for the future with his family of young athletes.
Sophomore and all-tournament selection Chasity Horn stayed hot throughout the tournament, finishing with 20 points against the Eagles last Saturday, which followed a career-high 30 against Ketchikan to reach the consolation bracket final.