A handful of area athletes have finalized their plans for the fall.

National Letter of Intent signings were held at Chugiak and Eagle River High Schools recently, with representatives from a cross-section of local sports.

At Chugiak High, senior Liam Baez-Terry was the guest of honor at a ceremony April 26 in the CHS library. Baez-Terry will run cross-country at Montana State University-Northern, an NAIA school in Havre, Montana.

Originally from Bethel, Baez-Terry said the small-town feel of the campus drew him in.

Eagle River picked up a peninsula sweep over the weekend, taking a doubleheader from Homer on Friday, April 27 and knocking off Kenai Central Saturday, April 28.

Avery Brown and Alina Cook each picked up wins against Homer in Friday’s doubleheader, which the Wolves won 10-4 and 5-2. On Saturday, Keegan Sharpe pitched the Wolves to a 15-0 thrashing of the Kardinals in Kenai.

Mustangs roll past Bartlett

There wasn’t much sun, but there was plenty of fun at the second annual FOCUS Inc. 5-kilometer run in Eagle River.

“This is awesome,” said Eagle River’s Karen Kirk, who turned in the winning time in the women’s division on a cloudy but rain-free Saturday morning that featured plenty of awesomeness for everybody.

The event packed free coffee, a bouncy house, a DJ, free massage, rescue dogs, a fun run and a visit from the governor into a short section of Regency Drive in downtown Eagle River.

Ice fishing tents dotted the infield at Service High School, where athletes and coaches battled to keep from freezing in the always challenging springtime track and field conditions.

“I’d love to say we’re Alaskans and we need to be tough, but you worry about quads, you worry about hamstrings,” said Chugiak head coach Melissa Hall.

Along with the portable pop-up tents, athletes bundled inside winter parkas and sleeping bags to ward off the cold. Coaches like Hall said they continually stress the importance of keeping warm during early season outdoor meets.

One man’s journey toward autism awareness is helping raise the profile of an Eagle River organization whose mission isn’t always clearly understood.

“They’ve really helped walk me through the process in general of understanding what autism was,” said Michael Harlow, whose two children are on the autism spectrum.

Harlow’s wife first noticed their children having difficulty keeping up with their peers when it came to verbal communication. However, he was initially resistant to the diagnosis.

Chugiak pulled out a home soccer sweep Friday, April 20 over its biggest rivals, knocking off Eagle River in a pair of games at Ed Blahous Field.

The CHS boys opened the chilly evening with a 2-1 win, getting the game-winner late in the second half on a strike by Josh Rolston. Chugiak took a 1-0 lead just five minutes into the game on a goal by junior Cameron Peck. The Wolves equalized early in the second half on a goal by Emery Thornton before Rolston put the Mustangs in front for good.

Some of the most visible students on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus are speaking out against sexual assault.

“We’re using our voices for a good cause,” said Sarissa Lammers, a senior Nordic skier and mechanical engineering major.

A 2014 Chugiak High grad, Lammers recently helped organize a public service campaign in which UAF athletes posed for photos in their uniforms while holding signs with slogans such as “It’s On Us” and “No More.”


Eagle River splits on opening day

Eagle River opened its prep softball season with a Saturday split at the Albrecht Fields in Anchorage.

In the season-opener, the Wolves got a walk-off double from Zosia Krupa, whose double scored Avery Brown. Brown figured prominently in the decision, throwing a complete game to earn the victory.

Chugiak High junior Daniel Bausch finished fifth Saturday in the 40th annual Alaska Heart Run in Anchorage. 

Bausch, 17, completed the 5-kilometer course around the UAA campus in 16 minutes, 11 seconds to finish 48 seconds behind winner Edwin "the Black Panther" Kangogo. A 22-year-old All-American who runs for UAA, Kangogo beat U.S. Olympic Nordic skier Erik Bjornsen, 26, by two seconds. 

The wait was worth it for the high school baseball teams at Chugiak and Eagle River High, which each opened the weather-delayed prep season with victories.

On Monday, the Mustangs knocked off South 10-8 in a nonleague game at Bartlett High, where icy conditions around the stadium forced a three-day delay to the start of the season. Mason Pearce broke open a tie game in the top of the seventh inning, driving in Christian Cambridge and Brian Wing for the go-ahead runs.