The Rewind: Wolverines advance to NAHL semifinals, UAA track and field stars claim GNAC titles, and south-side high schools continue to dominate

May 14—Welcome to The Rewind, a weekly digest that puts a spotlight on the biggest stories and best performances from Alaska's world of sports.

This past week featured several notable individual and team performances across the Alaska sports landscape at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. The latest slate of games from 2024 baseball and soccer regular seasons saw the same trio of teams stay unbeaten in their respective sports. On the college scene, the University of Alaska Anchorage track and field team had two of its brightest stars claim GNAC outdoor championship titles. Outside the state, several Alaskans had impressive performances and career achievements worth recognizing and celebrating.

Headlines and highlights

Another week has gone by in the high school baseball season and top-seeded Service remains undefeated after racking up four consecutive victories this past week including three shutouts to improve to 13-0-1. The Cougars outscored their opponents a combined 36-2 with their toughest test coming last Wednesday when they edged out Dimond 1-0 on a night that saw heavy snowfall by the final two innings. The only team to score on them this past week was West but the Eagles still wound up falling 7-2. After coming up short of snapping a 20-plus year title drought in the state finals last year, the Cougars are fiercely determined to get the job down this year.

"They've been motivated for three years now," Service head coach Willie Paul said. "Last year was a heartbreaker, but you get there, you experience it and then you move on to the next year with even more fire in your gut."

[Trying to snap a title drought, Service baseball is on a mission years in the making]

Heading to the final week of the 2024 high school soccer season, the South Anchorage girls soccer team has still yet to lose or even play to a tie. The Wolverines improved to 12-0 after notching a pair of victories over Bartlett and East, both of which were shutouts and extended their consecutive games without allowing a goal to nine straight.

"It's nice to be able to keep the streak going but also be able to work well as a team together, and keep moving forward and look forward to the next game," junior goalkeeper Skylar Lind said.

[Total team effort has been the key to South girls soccer's dominance this season]

Meanwhile, on the boys side, the Wolverines male counterparts and classmates also stayed among the ranks of the unbeaten this past week with back-to-back wins including a 7-1 blowout of the Thunderbirds and a 9-0 shutout the Golden Bears to improve to 13-0-1.

On the college scene, UAA track and field stars, junior Cole Nash and freshman Joshua Caleb, each won Great Northwest Athletic Conference titles on the final day of the Outdoor Track and Field Championships this past Saturday. Nash reclaimed the top spot in the 5,000 after winning it in 2022 by running a first-place time of 14:38.37, marking the ninth time a Seawolf has won the men's event at the GNAC Championships. Caleb established new conference and program records for the second time in two days by winning the 100 in a time of 10.28, the second-fastest all-time mark in the GNAC.

[This UAA freshman is tearing through the track and field record book]

Other Seawolves who performed well at the GNAC championships included freshman Liv Heite, who finished second in the 100 hurdles (14.28) and fourth in the 400 hurdles (1:04.17), graduate student Mikayla Mader who finished fifth in the 100 hurdles (14.61) and sophomore Mette Van der Meer who finished sixth (14.63). In the women's 5,000, freshman Alexandra Otto finished second (18:00.13) and sophomore Jordan Strausbaugh placed fifth (18:19.86) while senior Kevin Angarita finished third in the 400 (48.94) and fifth in the 200 (21.78). Senior Michael Zapherson ran a 3:54.37 in the 1,500 to finish third and freshman Zach Kohler came in sixth in 3:56.90. The men's 4x400 relay finished third in a time of 3:19.77 and the women finished fourth the event.

On the recruiting trail, the UAA men's hockey team announced the signing of Anchorage's Tanner Edwards as part of a eight-man recruiting class for the 2024-2025 season. He played three seasons at Minnesota State from 2021-24, scoring two goals and one assist in 21 games and helped the Mavericks win a pair of CCHA Championships in 2022 and 2023. He teams appeared is NCAA Tournament twice including a national runner-up finish in 2022. He spent two years with Fairbanks Ice Dogs from 2017-19, where he scored 13 goals and 32 assists in 70 games.

Further north on the recruiting trail, the UAF Nordic ski teams added a pair of high school teammates to their incoming recruiting class with the announcement of West Anchorage's Blake Hanley and Cole Flowers committing to compete for the Nanooks. The two former Eagles were members of the back-to-back state championship high school squads and also competed and shined nationally as members of the Alaska Winter Stars club team.

"We have been watching Cole's development closely over the past two seasons, and we are thrilled to help him continue to grow and develop over the coming years!" UAF assistant ski coach Ben Buck said in a statement. "Cole is one of the top skiers to come out of Alaska in recent years, and we are very excited to be keeping talent like his in the state. A Junior Nationals runner-up in the sprint and a member of the National Training Group, Cole has proven himself ready to take the next step in his career and go toe-to-toe with the big dogs. We look forward to seeing what he achieves wearing the blue and gold!"

"Blake was one of the top athletes in the state during the cross country season this fall, finishing third-overall in the most competitive division at the Alaskan State Championships," UAF assistant ski coach Conrad Haber said in a statement. "We have had tremendous success with the dual athletes in the past and I'm excited about the possibilities that lie ahead with such a hard-working and talented athlete."

The Anchorage Wolverines advanced to the Final Four of the Robertson Cup playoffs for the second time in the past three years after pulling off a best-of-five series sweep of the Wisconsin Windigo with a 3-0 victory this past Friday. All three goals were scored by different players but forward Cole Christian still finished as the team's leading scorer after recording a goal and an assist.

"We knew it was going to be a challenge and I couldn't be more proud of the guys," Anchorage head coach Nick Walters said. "I could just sense how dialed in they were. They were ready to go and I could tell right from the morning skate."

The No. 4 seeded Wolverines will take on the No. 1 seeded Lone Star Brahmas on Friday and Saturday at 1:30 p.m. AKDT in the Fogerty Arena in Blaine, Minnesota. They could potentially play a third game on Sunday at noon if necessary.

[Wolverines shut out Windigo 3-0 to clinch NAHL Midwest Division finals series]

Alaska stars shining Outside

While the Boston Bruins are facing elimination in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Anchorage's Jeremy Swayman is far from the main culprit as he has continued to play at an elite level throughout the postseason. He set a new career playoff high with 38 saves to help lead the team to a 5-1 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 1 last Monday and tied that record on Sunday. Unfortunately for the Bruins, it came in a narrow 3-2 loss. The Bruins have been outshot a staggering 107-50 during their three-game skid and head into Tuesday's road game needing a victory to save their fading championship hopes alive.

Anchorage's Alissa Pili made her WNBA preseason debut over the past week and half, recording a combined 12 points and four rebounds in two exhibition contests for Minnesota Lynx. The former Dimond multi-sport star recorded her first double-digit scoring game as a pro last Wednesday night in a 83-77 win over the Washington Mystics in which she went 3-of-8 from the field and 3-of-3 from the free throw line for 10 points. She will make her regular season debut close to home on Tuesday night when the Lynx travel to Washington face the Seattle Storm.

[From Lynx to Lynx: Alissa Pili's basketball journey comes full circle in a place that 'was meant to be']

Anchorage's Mac Swanson and the Fargo Force are just one win away from securing the United States Hockey League Clark Cup championship. Days after receiving First-Team All-USHL and both Forward and Player of the Year honors, he recorded at empty net goal and assisted on two others in the team's 6-3 win over the Dubuque Fighting Saints on Saturday night to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Swanson led the nation's top junior circuit led with 51 assists and finished third in points with 77 and also furnished 26 goals in 55 games. In the postseason, he leads the league in scoring with five goals and 11 assists for a total of 16 points having scored in all but one of the 10 playoff games. The next highest scorer in total points is Fighting Saints forward Juraj Pekarcik with nine.

Kenai's Allie Ostrander followed up her 2024 Olympic trial qualifying performance in her return to the steeplechase two weeks ago by doing even better Saturday at the Sound Running's Track Fest in Los Angeles. Her mark of 9:32.87 seconds for the 3,000-meter event was not only good enough to earn her fourth place honors but it was also 4.78 seconds faster than the time of 9:37.65 she recorded earlier this month at Stanford University's Payton Jordan Invitational. The steeplechase was her main event in college where she earned three national titles but this marked just her first time competing in it in three years. The Olympic Trials take place from June 21-30 in Eugene, Oregon where Ostrander will be looking to improve upon her personal best of 9:26:96 she set at the 2021 Trials when she came in eighth place.

Anchorage's Alapese Matautia helped the Portland State University softball team punch its ticket to the Big Sky Conference championship game this past Saturday by recording her first career home run at the Division I level and delivering a two-out RBI single in a 9-7 won over the University of Northern Colorado. Unfortunately the Vikings would fall to the Bears 9-5 after despite pushing the title tilt to 10 innings, ending the season and championship hopes for the former Bartlett Golden Bear and her team.

Ketchikan's Isaac Updike recorded the second-fastest steeplechase outdoor season debut in his career and sixth-fastest time in the even of his career overall this past Friday. The 32-year-old Olympic hopeful came in ninth in the Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar after clocking in at 8:20.86.

Fast Forward



Dimond vs. South, Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. (girls)

The top two teams in the state will take each other on for the second and final time during the regular season. The Lynx are the only team that has scored on the undefeated Wolverines this season and which was over a month ago and will be seeking to avenge their lone loss of the season.

South at West, Saturday at noon (boys)

The Eagles are the only team standing between the Wolverines and finishing with an undefeated regular season record. The two CIC powers will square off in the finale that could have potential playoff seeding implications.


Service vs. Chugiak, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Mulcahy Stadium

Two of the top teams in the Cook Inlet Conference will face off for the third time this season in this early week clash. The Mustangs are the only team that has scored double-digit runs against the undefeated Cougars and nearly handed them their first defeat the last time they played but it ultimately resulted in a 11-11 tie.


Anchorage Wolverines v. Lone Star Brahmas, Friday and Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Fogerty Arena in Blaine, Minnesota

The fourth-seeded Wolverines will be trying to advance to the Robertson Cup finals for the second time in franchise history and three years when they take on the top-seeded Lone Star Brahmas this weekend down in Blaine, Minnesota puck drop times of 1:30 p.m. Alaska Standard Time both day and there could potentially play a third game on Sunday at noon if necessary.

Last week's results




Palmer 11, Redington 9


South 8, West 1

Bartlett 10, Wasilla 9

Soldotna 13, Homer 3

Dimond 10, West 2

Wasilla 15, Eagle River 0


Palmer 21, Houston 4

South 4, Dimond 1

Chugiak 18, West 1

Homer 0, Kenai Central 0

Easy 5, Dimond 0


Kenai Central 20, Redington 5

Kenai Central 16, Redington 2


Dimond 9, Service 1

Homer 22, Palmer 8

Colony 6, Service 3


South 5, Dimond 4

East 9, Colony 2

Colony 6, West 5

Colony 6, Dimond 4

South 2, Colony 1

Soldotna 14, Palmer 1

Boys Soccer


Soldotna 2, Homer 0

Palmer 13, Redington 0


Kenai Central 7, Nikiski 0

Grace Christian 7, Redington 0

Soldotna 2, Homer 0

Colony 2, Chugiak 0

Wasilla 2, Eagle River 0

South 7, East 1

Service 3, West 2

Dimond 7, Bartlett 1


Palmer 6, Grace Christian 0


Soldotna 3, Palmer 1

Homer 9, Redington 0

Kenai Central 6, Houston 0

Kodiak 3, Grace Christian 1


Kodiak 4, Grace Christian 1

Soldotna 7, Houston 0

Palmer 2, Kenai Central 2

Colony 4, Eagle River 0

South 9, Bartlett 0

West 9, East 0


Wasilla 7, Kodiak 0

Colony 2, Dimond 1

Houston 7, Nikiski 1

Palmer 4, Homer 0

Soldotna 2, Kenai Central 1

Girls Soccer


Palmer 3, Redington 2

Soldotna 2, Homer 0


Kenai Central 7, Nikiski 0

Grace Christian 4, Redington 0

Wasilla 3, Eagle River 0

Soldotna 0, Homer 0 (tie)

Colony 4, Chugiak 0

Service 3, West 0

Dimond 9, Bartlett 0

South 7, East 0


Palmer 2, Grace Christian 2


Soldotna 5, Palmer 0

Homer 6, Redington 0

Grace Christian 6, Kodiak 0

Kenai Central 12, Houston 0


Nikiski 8, Redington 1

Soldotna 7, Houston 0

Colony 1, Eagle River 0

Kenai Central 4, Palmer 0

South 12, Bartlett 0

Grace Christian 4, Kodiak 0


Wasilla 12, Kodiak 0

Houston 2, Nikiski 1

Dimond 9, Colony 0

Kenai Central 2, Soldotna 0

Homer 3, Palmer o



Chugiak 8, West 2

Soldotna 12, Homer 6

Eagle River 14, East 0

Eagle River 14, East 0


South 8, Dimond 1

Soldotna 8, Kenai Central 0

Chugiak 19, Wasilla 9

Service 16, Bartlett 0


Eagle River 9, West 0

Houston 9, Grace Christian 4

Service 1, Dimond 0


Chugiak 15, Bartlett 0

Palmer 11, Homer 1

South 1, East 0


South 13, Wasilla 6

Homer 5, Kodiak 4

Soldotna 15, Grace Christian 0

Kenai Central 16, Palmer 5

Eagle River 11, Lathrop 0

Service 7, West 2


Service 12, Lathrop 0

Palmer 15, Soldotna 13

Chugiak 12, Dimond 0

South 5, Eagle River 4

Bartlett 6, East 3

Soldotna 16, Kodiak 1

South 7, East 5



Anchorage Wolverines 3, Wisconsin Windigo 0

Love A Nurse Run 2024

Male 5k Overall

1. David Shaw, Eagle River, 20:24; 2. Tucker Nakken, Eagle River, 21:49; 3. Garrett Dibble, Anchorage, 22:22; 4. Corbyn Navas, Anchorage, 22:28; 5. Avi Dashow, Anchorage, 22:29; 6. Evan Fried, Anchorage, 23:01; 7. Van Butler, Anchorage, 23:42; 8. Regan Sarwas, Anchorage, 23:45; 9. Eric Mooring, Anchorage, 26:11; 10. Lela Denton, Anchorage, 26:35.

Female 5k Overall

1. Michelle Isaev, Anchorage, 21:57; 2. Katelinn Satterfield, JBER, 23:40; 3. Denise Jones, Anchorage, 24:10; 4. Ashley Shaw, Eagle River, 25:23; 5. Kari Skinner, Anchorage, 25:38; 6. Peja Skinner, Anchorage, 25:38; 7. Monica Gaupp, Eagle River, 25:56; 8. Elayna Tunney, Anchorage, 25:57; 9. Yoe Isbell, Eagle River, 26:00; 10. Graeme Hopewell, Anchorage, 26:03.