Birchwood Christian senior Collin Becker won the 400 meters and was named the Region II Athlete of the Year Saturday at the Region II Track and Field Championships at Su Valley High School in Talkeetna.

With a pair of thoroughbreds leading the way, a determined Chugiak girls track and field team galloped away with the Region IV championship Saturday for the second straight year.

“I’m thrilled,” said Chugiak coach Melissa Hall, whose team will try to defend its 2016 state championship at the state meet May 25-26 in Palmer.

Eagle River’s Larry Daugherty will have to wait to become the first person to summit Mt. Everest and complete the Iditarod in the same year.

The Eagle River radiation oncologist was foiled in his attempt to reach the top of the 29,029-foot mountain on Wednesday when strong winds near the summit forced his team to turn back just 400 feet shy of their goal.

Alexis McKinnon’s path to college soccer took a detour when the Chugiak High senior suffered a knee injury last season. But with the help of family and friends, McKinnon said she’s once again ready to lace up the cleats.

“It’s finally happening,” an emotional McKinnon said during a National Letter of Intent signing held Wednesday, May 10 in the Chugiak library.

With the biggest meets of the season looming, the Chugiak girls track and field team is hitting its stride.

The defending state champions dominated the 23-team Palmer Invitational Friday and Saturday, winning the girls’ team title by a whopping 65 points at Palmer’s Machetanz Field. West Valley was second with 94 points, while third-place Dimond was the closest Cook Inlet Conference team to the Mustangs with 83 points.

After watching his team gallop past a pair of Cook Inlet Conference foes over the weekend, Chugiak softball coach Jim Huber said the Mustangs appear to be coming alive at the right time.

“There’s always room for improvement, but I’m really pleased with the last week, week-and-a-half,” he said after the Mustangs picked up a 14-9 CIC win over Bartlett Saturday at Bartlett.

The win was Chugiak’s third straight conference victory, its fifth victory in the last seven games and pushed its record to .500 for the season.

With a pair of nonconfernce tournament wins under their belts, the Eagle River softball team has been making a bit of noise this season. But the Wolves’ bats were dead silent Friday as Chugiak pitcher Kyle Seagroves led the rival Mustangs to a pair of Cook Inlet Conference wins at the Knik Little League fields in Eagle River.

Eagle River kept its state tournament hopes alive Saturday while Chugiak’s were dealt a blow on a blustery day at Mulcahy Stadium.

The Wolves — who opened the year with four straight Cook Inlet Conference losses — won their second straight game and improved to 2-4 in the CIC with a 3-1 win over West. Bradyn Olmstead threw a gem for Eagle River, scattering four hits over six scoreless innings to earn the win. Olmstead also had one of four hits for the Wolves, who will face East in the regular season finale Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Bartlett.

Strained by a snowy winter and shortened spring, one high school soccer team has reached its breaking point.

A scheduled Cook Inlet Conference match between Eagle River and South Anchorage will go down in the books as a 1-0 forfeit in favor of the Wolverines after Eagle River coach Steve Johnson decided his team needed a break.

Chugiak’s boys and Eagle River’s girls got the last word Thursday on the pitch.

The Mustangs opened the doubleheader at the Wolves’ Den with a 2-0 Cook Inlet Conference boys soccer victory over the Wolves to split the season series, while the Lady Wolves completed a season sweep of the Mustangs in the evening with a 1-0 CIC triumph .

“I feel like our team has come a long way,” said Eagle River’s Ahston McClaskey, who converted the game-winner off a Nicole Bedwell pass on a play started by Abby Johnson early in the second half of a scoreless girls’ game.


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