Star staff report

Chugiak and Eagle River completed their Cook Inlet Conference baseball seasons on the outside of the state playoff picture.

The Wolves finished in the bottom four teams during the regular season and weren’t eligible for state, while the Mustangs fell 12-2 to South in the first round of the CIC postseason and were eliminated from a chance to reach the state title game for the third straight year.

Qualifiers to the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Track and Field Championships have been announced via the Alaska School Activities Association website. The defending state Class 4A champion Chugiak girls have 12 qualifiers, led by junior Emma Nelson, who qualified in four individual events. The Chugiak boys will send nine individuals to the meet, the Eagle River boys qualified five, and the Eagle River girls qualified three.

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.

UPDATE (Tuesday, May 23): State track and field meet qualifiers have been posted. Click here to see which local athletes made the meet.

Original story:

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.

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.

Chugiak kept its hopes of reaching a third straight high school state championship game alive with a 9-5 win over West Monday at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

The win improved the Mustangs to 4-3 in the Cook Inlet Conference, clinching the eight-team league’s fourth and final conference tournament berth. The top two teams in the CIC tourney will advance to state.

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.