Chugiak-Eagle River Star

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A brown bear killed a 44-year-old hiker deep in the South Fork Eagle River Valley and mauled a member of a search party looking for him on Wednesday, Anchorage police said.

Michael Soltis’ body was found in the same area near the end of Hiland Road — a winding, 9-mile-long route into the South Fork Eagle River Valley — where a brown bear also attacked a man searching for the missing Eagle River civil engineer Wednesday morning.

“It appears the brown bear was protecting the body when it attacked a member of the search party,” APD said.

Chugiak swept the varsity and junior varsity titles at 170 pounds at the Lancer Smith Memorial Tournament in Palmer last weekend.

Dawson Budke won the varsity title and Joey Lerch, who also wrestles for the varsity at 182 pounds, won the JV title at 170. Benjamin Hamilton of Eagle River won the JV title at 195 pounds.

Eagle River’s top finishers at the tournament were Austin Kraft and Grant Burningham both taking fifth at 113 and 138 pounds, respectively.

Chugiak was 13th in the team standings with 51 and Eagle River was 16th with 41.

Led by Zachary Krajnik, Chugiak blanked Dimond and Anchorage West last week.

Krajnik tallied a hat trick in the Mustangs’ 5-0 win against West on Nov. 18 and had a goal and two assists in their 4-0 victory over Dimond on Nov. 16.

John Hammer, Luke Momblow and Andrew Beckett also had goals for Chugiak against Dimond.

Brady Lindberg added the other two goals for Chugiak against West.

Chugiak hosted Wasilla Nov. 21 before it will resume action following the Thanksgiving holiday Nov. 29 vs. South in Anchorage.

Eagle River 5, Dimond 2

The Chugiak Lady Mustangs continued their season-long winning streak last Saturday with another commanding team win as they enter the state championships as a favorite at Bartlett on Oct. 1.

Placing four in the top 11 and its five scorers in the top 17 yielded a score of 41 to easily outpace Service’s 66 and West’s 70 to take their second straight Cook Inlet Conference championship.

The Chugiak varsity girls — with no seniors — haven’t lost a meet all season, dating back to an opening-week win in a duel against Eagle River.

Last year’s large schools runners-up are heading back to the playoffs from the Railbelt Conference.

Chugiak (4-3, 2-1) smashed Wasilla 48-12 in their last regular season home game to clinch a playoff spot with the Mustangs’ third win a row and second straight week scoring 48 points.

Since dropping a 35-33 heartbreaker at Lathrop when they got behind 28-0, Chugiak has reeled off its win streak by outscoring West Valley, Kenai Central and Wasilla by a combined 129-23.

Christopher Kirk of Eagle River won a pair of extreme races this month, with he and Annie Connely of Chugiak taking the under-19 titles at the 50K Rut Race in Montana.

Kirk won the Alyeska Climbathon on Sept. 10 and the 50K Rut Race in Montana on Sept. 4.

The Alyeska Climbathon is a multi-lap, all day event held on the North Face Trail at Alyeska Ski Resort. Climbers run/speed hike/walk up the approximately 2.2 mile hiking trail ascending 2,000 vertical feet from the Hotel Alyeska To the top terminal of the Alyeska Aerial Tram.

The 2016 swimming and diving season got its official start at Bartlett High with the Big 8 meet featuring teams from the Cook Inlet Conference.

No team scores were kept, and neither Chugiak nor Eagle River took any relay wins, but a few local athletes managed individual titles.

Cheynne Burke of Chugiak won the girls 100-yard backstroke, with Nyah Reid and Katherine Horning of Eagle River taking fourth and fifth. Burke also added a runner-up finish in the 100-yard freestyle.

Chugiak got off to a rough start to the season against Dimond after losing a 14-6 lead in the fourth quarter to the Lynx.

The Mustangs (0-1) lost the nonconference opener against their former Cook Inlet Conference foe, who scored 15 points in the final frame including a touchdown with less than two minutes remaining.

Much as they did in their 2015 title game loss to West Anchorage, turnovers hurt the Mustangs with six in the game with two coming in the waning moments on interceptions as they tried to rally back.

Chugiak’s run at defending its Amercian Legion state title ended at the hands of the Service Cougars last Thursday in a 5-4 defeat.

The Post 33 Mustangs held a 3-0 lead after the first frame, but Cougar relief pitcher Raliegh Pigg allowed a total of three hits over eight innings of work to keep the Post 28 team alive in the tournament. Service eventually took runner-up to Kenai Post 20 in the title game.