Local coaches are feeling a bit more complete, thanks to the showings make by incoming freshmen during the Mini (Me) Meet, held Friday and Saturday at the Anchorage Dome. And while the meet was unofficial, not requiring athletes to secure the requisite 10 practices usually mandated, Chugiak Coach Melissa Hall and Eagle River Coach Matt Turner were able to get baseline times for this season’s athletes.
It’s the second-busiest time in the high school sports calendar, with Eagle River and Chugiak High activities offices feeling the crunch. Three sports began March 9, the first day of last week’s Spring Break, and athletes had to have all their materials and forms on file prior to the weeklong hiatus as track and field, along with boys and girls soccer, began. High school baseball and softball begins this week.
The Birchwood Christian Warriors boys and girls varsity teams ended their 2014-2015 basketball season during the 1A conference tournament held at Lumen Christi last week. The boys team went 1-2, while the girls failed to notch a victory in their two-game stand.
Jimmy Lanier, son of Iditarod finishers Jim Lanier and Anna Bonarenko, placed second in last weekend’s 130-mile Jr. Iditarod. Like the senior race, the start was moved with the new trail running along Denali Highway, from three miles east of Cantwell to Alpine Creek Lodge and back.
Last week’s Region IV basketball tournament played as anticipated, with all four of the conference’s first- and second-ranked teams moving on to the upcoming state tournament, held March 19-21 at the Sullivan Arena.
Seventy-eight dog teams, including locals Jim Lanier of Chugiak and Philip Walters of Eagle River endured a sloppy start to this year’s Iditarod during the Ceremonial Start on March 7. The 11-mile trek commenced from Anchorage’s Fourth Avenue, down Cordova Street, then on bike trails before ending on the dog trails near Campbell Airstrip.
Mustangs girls basketball coach Ryan Hales said all teams come into the Region IV Tournament on equal footing. Play began March 2 to usher in March Madness, Alaska style. “We’re all 0-0 now,” he said Sunday. Lady Mustangs finished league play in third place, with two losses each to East and Dimond for a 10-4 season record. They were scheduled to enter the tourney against Service on March 3.
Athletes from the eight Anchorage high schools gathered for the Winter Regional cheerleading competition held at Dimond High Feb. 18. The state title will be held at South Anchorage High, March 17. The Chugiak Mustangs, coached by Breanna Lowe, had two squads in the competition – a competition co-ed and varsity basketball squad, as did Eagle River, taking part in the varsity basketball and competition divisions.
This year’s Nordic season ended Saturday with a steady downpour of rain on the rapidly-declining snowpack of West Anchorage’s Kincaid Park. The girls race began at noon, and the boys events at 1:30 p.m. Conditions deteriorated as the day progressed.
Snow conditions, while not ideal, have been adequate for skiing, said second-year Chugiak High ski coach Cody Priest. “Every since it’s snowed, we’ve been able to ski everyday,” said Priest, who was tabbed Co-Coach of the Year by his Region IV peers.