It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

Chugiak stormed through the Blue and Gold Fastpitch Softball Tournament at the Albrecht Fields in Anchorage over the weekend, rallying from an opening-round loss with four straight wins to claim the tournament championship.

The Mustangs started with a 3-2 loss to South in Thursday’s tournament opener. On Friday, Chugiak bounced back with a 2-1 win over Homer, then posted a 12-0 victory over Wasilla in the opening round of bracket play Saturday.

Chugiak and Eagle River will square off in a crosstown soccer rivalry Tuesday at the Wolves’ Den on Yosemite Drive.

The girls will play at 5 p.m. with the boys game scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Both games could have big implications for all four teams’ state playoff hopes. The top four teams in the Railbelt Conference qualify for state; as of Monday, the Chugiak boys (2-4-1) and Eagle River girls (1-5-1) held the Railbelt’s fourth playoff spot, with the Chugiak girls (0-5-2) in fifth and the Eagle River boys (0-6-1) in sixth.

Local soccer teams hosted Railbelt Conference rivals over the weekend with mixed results as the Eagle River girls and Chugiak boys each picked up wins and every local team came away with at least a point.

In boys games, Chugiak went 1-1-1 in three home games, tying Wasilla on April 30, losing to West Valley on May 3 and defeating Lathrop on May 4. Eagle River went 0-2-1, falling at home to West Valley, on the road at Colony and tying Lathrop at home.

Chugiak’s hot start to the high school baseball season continued with a 27-2 Cook Inlet Conference thrashing of Service on Saturday at Mulcahy Stadium.

Chugiak scored 13 runs in the first inning and nine in the third, piling up 19 hits and taking advantage of seven Service errors. Ian Frizelle went 6 for 6 with four RBIs for Chugiak, which got three hits each from Jacob Kosinski, Gus Lewis and Billy Smith. Frizelle also earned the win as a pitcher, giving up three hits and two earned runs in 4 ⅔ innings of the five-inning game.

Chugiak’s boys track and field team continued to show why they’re the team to beat this season with another impressive victory Saturday at the Anchorage Invitational meet at Dimond High.

The Mustangs racked up 129 points to outdistance second-place West Valley by 22.5 points.

A local cross-country ski star will coach one of the top junior nordic ski programs in the country — and it’s a team she’s already very familiar with.

2014 Chugiak High grad Sarissa Lammers has been named head coach for her hometown Alaska Nordic Racing, the Eagle River-based program announced in a press release sent by ANR program director Ja Dorris.

Lammers is a 2018 UAF grad who was an NCAA All-American for the Nanooks after a high school and club career that saw her named the 2014 Cook Inlet Conference and the Alaska State Skimeister.

The Knik Little League season got underway last week, with the first games played Friday and the league’s opening ceremonies held Saturday, May 4, at the league’s fields at Lions Park in Eagle River.

This year’s teams will wear patches honoring the late Lee Jordan, who helped found the league along with Dell Spellman and Tom Slanker in 1963. Jordan died this winter at the age of 88. Jordan’s sons, Steve and Ole, were on hand for Saturday’s ceremony and Steve Jordan threw out the league’s ceremonial first pitch.

Eagle River 17-year-old Michael Connelly won the 4-mile Turnagain Arm Trail Run Thursday for the second straight year in record time.

Connelly, a Chugiak High junior, clocked a time of 30 minutes and 45 seconds on the southbound course, which runs from the McHugh parking lot to the Rainbow trailhead. He finished nearly six minutes faster than Tony Slatonbarker (37:21) and 14-year-old Zachary Cheyette (39:27) and broke Brad Precosky’s 2009 record of 31:52 by more than a minute.

It’s easy to see why the FOCUS 5K is gaining a reputation as one of the happiest footraces around. Just look for the smiles.

“It’s a great event, great atmosphere — they even brought the sun out,” said Eagle River runner Ryan Bish after the third annual race in downtown Eagle River.

Chugiak and Eagle River will get their kicks Saturday, April 27, in a pair of Railbelt Conference soccer matches at Ed Blahous Field in Chugiak.

The girls match will be at 3 p.m., with the boys to follow.

In addition to the matches, the event will include music, free T-shirts at halftime and more.

“This is a great chance for the community to come together and watch our young talented athletes from both schools compete,” wrote Chugiak assistant Chris Dimmick in an email about the event.