Local swimmers make a splash

Eagle River’s John Heaphy won two individual events for the Eagle River boys, while Izzy Powers and Cheyenne Burke led a solid day for the Chugiak girls at the Chugiak/Bartlett Invitational Swimming and Diving Meet at Chugiak and Bartlett High.

Heaphy won the 200 yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke for the Wolves, who also got a second-place finish from Sam Horning in the 100 freestyle. Horning and Heaphy also joined Daniel Min and Kevin Fast to win the 200 freestyle relay.

The Eagle River High School riflery team recently received a grant for $3,586.62 from the Friends of the NRA Foundation. The grant money will be used for maintenance and repair of the team’s 0.177-caliber precision air rifles, targets, shooting backstop materials and replacement air cylinders.

The ERHS team consists of 18 athletes. High school riflery is a co-ed sport in which boys and girls compete alongside one another.

Chugiak began its Cook Inlet Conference championship defense with an emphatic statement Tuesday, racing past Service 27-0 to advance to Thursday’s semifinals against Dimond.

The Mustangs got three rushing touchdowns from senior quarterback Eva Palmer and another from sophomore Chasity Horn. Thursday’s game time had not been announced as of Tuesday night, but will likley be either 5 or 5:30 p.m. at Dimond.

Not this time.

Chugiak avenged a first-round upset to Service in last year’s playoffs with a dominant 63-27 win over the Cougars Friday night at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

“Our team is a family,” said Chugiak defensive lineman Matt Davis. “We’re one.”

After a wild first half that saw Chugiak give up a number of big plays while taking a 42-27 lead, Davis said the defense came together at halftime.

Nick Carl has been chasing Jacob Walsh his entire high school career. In the final race of the season, he finally caught him.

Carl broke the 2016 Eagle River grad’s two-year-old school record by two seconds Saturday, posting a time of 16 minutes, 24 seconds over five sun-splashed kilometers to place seventh in the Division I boys race at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Cross Country Running Championships at Bartlett High.

“It’s awesome,” said Wolves head coach Jacob Bera. “He’s had his eye on that all season.”

An estimated 700 kids showed up Thursday for the Beach Lake Jamboree, an annual cross country running event that’s often the first race a child in Anchorage ever runs.

“Getting kids active and just bring the whole community together is the purpose,” said organizer Caela Nielsen of Ravenwood Elementary.

Chugiak turned a highly anticipated showdown into just another romp as the No. 1 ranked Mustangs galloped to a 44-25 win over No. 2 Colony to win the Railbelt Conference and complete an undefeated regular season.

“This feels amazing, especially on our home field,” said Chugiak’s Ramal Maad, who ran for 59 yards and two touchdowns as the Mustangs secured the top seed in the Division I state playoffs, which start a week from Friday.

Chugiak and Eagle River dropped Cook Inlet Conference flag football games on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Service knocked off Eagle River 26-20 at the Wolves’ Den, while the Mustangs fell 25-6 at Dimond.

Eagle River hosts South on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. Chugiak’s next game is Friday, Sept. 29 at 5:30 p.m. against East at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

Chugiak overcame a big early deficit to run away with a lopsided Cook Inlet Conference volleyball win over Eagle River on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at Eagle River High.

The Mustangs trailed 10-4 in the first set before rallying to win 26-24, 25-15, 25-12 in front of a large, boisterous crowd at the Wolves’ Den.

Chugiak coach said she was happy with how her team settled into a rhythm after the early Wolves’ onslaught.

“They just started to slow down and follow the game plan,” Mason said.

Three Eagle River had a successful Kenai Peninsula road trip over the weekend.

Eagle River’s Sara Kennedy finished second in the women’s division of the Kenai River Marathon, a 26.2-mile race that makes a loop encompassing the Twin Cities of Kenai and Soldotna.

Joining Kennedy atop the leader boards Saturday were Eagle River’s Victoria Oxentenko, who was third in the half marathon, and Morgan Ekemo, who won the 5-kilometer race.