Sports

South holds off Chugiak

Emilee Groth won her No. 1 girls singles match against Mya Robinson to lead Chugiak in 7-2 high school tennis loss to South Thursday at Chugiak.

Francis Wanek and Bethany Kesler also posted a victory for the Mustangs, rallying to beat Lochlan Mullen and Abbie Hemry 10-2 in a tiebreaker. Mullen and Hemry won the first set in a tiebreaker before Wanek and Kesler rallied to take the second without losing a game.

Chugiak’s next match is at home against Eagle River on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Lynx nip Mustangs

Chugiak’s Hyrum Nelson and Eagle River’s Emily Walsh each took second place Saturday to lead local finishers at the last-second Mustang Smokin’ Stampede high school cross country races at Chugiak High.

South’s Ava Earl won the varsity girls race in 18 minutes, 19 seconds on a flat, fast 5-kilometer layout. Walsh finished second in 18:37, with Chugiak’s Adrianna Proffitt third in 18:53. Service’s Alexander Maurer pulled away from Nelson late in the race to win in 15:40. Nelson finished in 15:49 with Anchorage Christian’s Tristian Merchant third in 16:20.

Heavy smoke in the Anchorage area has local sports teams scrambling.

The smoke from the Swan Lake wildfire on the Kenai Peninsula forced the Anchorage School District to cancel all outdoorathletic practices and games Friday. Indoor events — including the Chugiak Invitational volleyball tournament — will go aheadas planned.

The Eagle River football game originally scheduled for 7 p.m. at Houston High has been rescheduled to 2 p.m. Saturday,smoke dependant. A final decision on the game will be made early Saturday morning, said Wolves coach Brad Myers.

It’s only the first day of school, but Alaska’s unpredictable weather has already caused its first cancellations of the year.

Due to heavy smoke from Southcentral wildfires, the Anchorage School District has cancelled all outdoor after-school activities for Tuesday, Sept. 20.

The cancellations impacted tennis matches that were scheduled to be held at West, South and Chugiak High as well as Begich Middle School. The district said activities could be moved indoors if possible and was leaving those decisions to individual schools and programs.

Michelle Murray is swimming in silver.

The Eagle River woman claimed the $10,000 first prize for winning the 64th Annual Seward Silver Slamon Derby, which ended Saturday. Murray caught her 15.99-pound salmon on Aug. 11 while fishing aboard the Joe Legacy. For winning the derby she also took home 15.99 pounds in Kaladi Brothers Coffee.

Eagle River’s Kamie Miller didn’t exactly have a lazy Sunday morning.

Miller won the women’s division in the United Physical Therapy 49-kilometer ultra marathon at the Anchorage Run Fest Sunday in Anchorage. The 40-year-old completed the 30.4-mile course in 4 hours, 4 minutes and 46 seconds to win the women’s race by more than 10 minutes over second-place Lee Beem of Sanford, Florida.

On a warm, windy and cloudless day at the Wolves’ Den, Eagle River head coach Brad Myers was still able to find a silver lining to his team’s 42-14 non conference football loss to Lathrop Saturday afternoon.

“We didn’t quit,” Myers said after his ERHS head coaching debut.

The Wolves fell behind 21-0 after the first half but scored two late touchdowns to earn some much-needed confidence heading into next week.

“We were starting to click in the second half,” he said.

Chugiak’s Hyrum Nelson and Eagle River’s Emily Walsh opened the high school cross country running season with victories Friday at the “Battle of the Bridge” dual meet that saw the crosstown rivals split team titles.

Nelson outran teammate Max Beiergrohslein by 23 seconds, finishing the 3-kilometer layout at the Beach Lake Trails in 9 minutes, 56 seconds. Chugiak swept the top four individual spots to claim the team victory, with Jacob Lestina taking third and Will Gerlach fourth. Michael Olson was the top Eagle River finisher in fifth, followed by Alex Carl in sixth.

Nothing went right last year for the Chugiak Mustangs. This year the team is hoping it can do no wrong.

“Our energy has been awesome,” said second-year head coach Ryan Landers after a practice last week at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium. “Kids are buying into it, kids are flying around the field, they’re having fun out there and competing every day.”

Last year’s version of the Eagle River football team wasn’t the same old Wolves. This year’s won’t be, either.

Long a doormat of Alaska football, Eagle River had its best season in program history in 2018, going 7-3 overall and reaching the Division II state championship game. The Wolves set numerous team records and defeated crosstown rival Chugiak for the first time.

But gone are many of last year’s stars, including the team’s all-state quarterback, Division II Coach of the Year Bob Adkins and — hopefully — any memories from the team’s forgettable past.

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