Sports

The most successful sports team in Eagle River High School is back in the state tournament for the first time in more than a decade.

The Wolves softball team knocked off defending state champion South on Thursday in the Cook Inlet Conference Tournament to earn one of the CIC’s four automatic berths at state for the first time since 2007. Senior Alina Cook pitched a complete game in the 2-1 win, which advanced the Wolves into a Saturday semifinal showdown against East. There, the T-birds were the better team, handing the Wolves and starter Avery Brown a 4-2 loss.

Chugiak senior Emma Nelson broke the state record in the high jump by more than two inches Friday on the first day of the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Division I Track and Field Championships at Machetanz Field in Palmer.

Nelson cleared the bar at 5-feet, 9-inches on her second attempt to break the record of 5 feet, 6.5 inches set by Wasilla’s Ceil Dunleavy in 2016.

“I’m really excited,” the Oregon State-bound senior said after winning the event.

Eagle River advanced to the state high school softball tournament with a 2-1 win over defending state champion South on Thursday at the Cook Inlet Conference Softball Tournament at the Albrecht Fields in Anchorage.

Alina Cook pitched a complete game for the Wolves, who face East at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the tournament semifinals at Albrecht.

The win kept Eagle River undefeated in the tournament; the Wolves knocked off Chugiak 4-2 in Wednesday’s first-round match-up after the tournament start was delayed a day by rain.

Chugiak galloped into the state baseball tournament in dramatic fashion Saturday.

The Mustangs scored four runs in the 11th inning to knock off top-seeded South and clinch the Cook Inlet Conference title at Mulcahy Stadium.

The Mustangs used two walks and singles from Ian Frizelle, DJ Davis, Braden Shackelford and Jacob Kosinski to break things open in the top of the final inning, and Justin Nevells pitched a scoreless bottom half to secure the win.

Led by a statement performance by one of the state’s best long distance runners, the Chugiak boys track and field team did something it hasn’t done in a long time.

The Mustangs won the Cook Inlet Conference boys team title for the first time 1996, outrunning defending champion Bartlett behind a triple win from junior Daniel Bausch.

Local girls hockey players have a team to call their own. Now all they need is a name.

The Mustang Hockey Association is re-branding its revived girls hockey program with something more in keeping with the times.

“We wanted these players to stand out and have a distinct logo,” said MHA girls hockey coordinator Angela Unruh.

Digging in the dirt is usually a dog’s job, but on Saturday in Chugiak a handful of human volunteers took tools into their own paws to help out their canine friends.

“I like to get dirty,” volunteer Melissa Rigas said, a dirt-covered pickaxe resting at her side.

Rigas and a half-dozen others were drawn to the nonprofit’s 2.5-acre property off Birchwood Loop for a simple reason.

“It’s all for the dogs,” she said.

Chugiak’s Brooklynn Gould swept the hurdles events Saturday to give the Mustangs a pair of individual victories at the Palmer Invite at a windy Machetanz Field in Palmer.

Eagle River lefthander Braden Olmstead pitched the first true no-hitter of the Cook Inlet Conference baseball season, a tidy, 70-pitch performance in a 1-0 victory over Dimond.

“He was clearly on his game,” said Wolves coach Harlie Bodine, whose team improved to 3-3 after dropping its first three games of the season.

The win was made possible by Brendan Miles’ walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday at Mulcahy Stadium. The hit by Miles drove in Sterling Retzlaff, who ripped a leadoff triple.

Chugiak opened the Cook Inlet Conference baseball season with wins in three of its first four games, scoring three straight wins over Service, Eagle River and East after a season-opening loss to South.

Sam Hall gave up three hits in 5 1/3 innings on May 8 at Mulcahy Stadium to pace the Mustangs’ 12-0 win over East. Justin Nevells went 3-for-5 with a trio of RBIs.

The Mustangs fell 7-2 to the Wolverines in the May 1 opener, then hammered Service 11-0 on May 3 behind a six inning one-hitter from Billy Smith.

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