Connecting You With AK Athletes Outside the 907

The Alaska Sports Blog provides daily posts on Alaska athletes doing great things at the professional, international and collegiate level outside the state. The blog was created to fill a void of coverage once Alaskans left the 907 area code. Since 2009 former Anchorage Daily News Sports Editor Van Williams has written more than 2,400 stories on over 300 Alaska athletes.

Click here to read more about Van Williams and the Alaska Sports Blog.

August 30, 2015

Jenna Arlow VolleyballSterling College volleyball player Jenna Arlow of Palmer is closing in on a major milestone.

The senior setter ranks fourth in school history with 2,333 career assists and could eclipse 3,000 before she’s finished.

She racked up 109 assists over the weekend at the OKWU Invitational in Oklahoma, where Sterling College went 4-0 to win the tournament title.

The Kansas team is 7-1 overall this year with the Alaskan running the show.

Arlow, of Palmer High fame, was selected by the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches to the Preseason All-KCAC Volleyball Team. She was a second team pick last year.

She ranks second in the conference this year with 256 assists and leads the league with 19 serving aces.

Arlow is also boasting a .560 attack percentage with 15 kills and one error on 25 hitting attempts. She is a career .240 hitter.

August 29, 2015

Allison Leigh VolleyballPalmer’s Allison Leigh had a season-best 10 blocks to go along with eight kills as Quinnipiac University beat Holy Cross in five sets.

It was the first win in three matches this year for the Bobcats, a NCAA D1 team in Hamden, Conn.

Leigh, of Colony High fame, had five solo blocks in the match and was selected to the Hampton Inn-vitatonal all-tournament team.

The middle hitter now has 23 total blocks in three matches and 286 for her career, which ranks second in school history.

The 6-foot-3 junior is also killing the ball.

She has racked up 28 kills compared to just five attack errors for a sparkling .348 hitting percentage.

Leigh is a career .237 hitter.

August 28, 2015

Janay DeLoach Soukup2A promising start had long jumper Janay DeLoach of Fairbanks in medal contention early at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.

She sat in third place after the first round, looking to bag another major medal to match her Olympic bronze and Worlds silver won in 2012.

But it never panned out.

DeLoach, of Eielson High fame, scratched on three of her final five attempts and faded to finish eighth out of 12 jumpers.

Her best effort of 21 feet, 8 inches was a foot off of her qualifying mark.

Fellow American Tianna Bartoletta won the gold with a jump of 23-4 on her final attempt.

August 27, 2015

Ariela Lewis soccer

Ariela Lewis

Ariela Lewis is back.

The Alabama State University forward from Anchorage is back to her scoring ways after coming back from a knee injury that cost her last season.

She scored and added an assist in a 3-2 loss to Troy in her second game since her return.

It was her first goal since Nov. 8, 2013.

“Having her back on the field and running confident is a big like having a new recruit that teams didn’t face last year,” ASU coach Jodie Smith told the school’s website.

Lewis, of course, isn’t some newbie. She’s one of best players in the Southwest Athletic Conference.

She was a Preseason All-SWAC Second Team pick despite not playing last season.

Lewis, of Dimond High fame, has accumulated 16 goals and 10 assists in 24 career games.

As a freshman she matched the school record by scoring in five consecutive games and her six-match point streak ranks No. 1 in school history.

August 26, 2015

Jeff Overbaugh football

Jeff Overbaugh

There is nothing flashy about San Diego State long snapper Jeff Overbaugh of Anchorage – unless perfection is your thing.

He is flawless on 354 career snap attempts on special teams.

He also has the perfect attitude in terms of taking nothing for granted and prepares for every play the same.

“I’m just proud to be a part of a team,” he told me. “Just like every other guy on our team I have a job to do and I try my best to execute my assignments to put my team in a better position to win football games.”

Overbaugh, of Service High fame, has converted all 135 snaps on PATs, 54 on field goals and 165 on punts in 39 games.

He is a senior this year and was named a preseason All-American by Phil Steele’s College Football Magazine. He was also named the top college football player from Alaska by College Football News.

The Psychology major is a Dean’s List student in the classroom. It’s a lot of hard work but the sacrifices are worth it.

“I was going to go to college anyway and now I get to play football while earning a degree,” he said. “As a student-athlete we are afforded many resources to help us improve on and off the field.

“The academic and athletic staff members put us in a terrific place to succeed. Beyond that I focus on time management and just embracing the repetitive nature of every week during the fall.”

San Diego State opens the season Sept. 5 at home against arch rival San Diego.

Look for the 6-foot-2, 240-pounder on the field during special teams. He wears jersey No. 60. He’ll be the one making a tough, thankless job look easy.

“I have found that executing your assignments and playing well is a good way to earn respect,” Overbaugh said.

August 25, 2015

Janay DeLoach track

Janay DeLoach

Janay DeLoach of Fairbanks is playing with house money.

The 29-year-old long jumper didn’t figure on qualifying for this year’s IAAF World Championships after an injury forced her to switch her takeoff leg.

So anything goes in Beijing, China.

“There’s nothing I can lose at this point because I’m already further than where I thought I’d be,” she told The Coloradoan. “I feel blessed, and I’m going to go with it.”

DeLoach, of Eielson High fame, didn’t plan to switch jumping legs until she broke her left ankle two years ago. She won an Olympic bronze medal and four U.S. National Championships jumping her left leg.

She had two surgeries and spent a ton of time training and rehabbing but the injury never fully healed and this year she made the commitment to jump solely off her right foot.

Then she shocked the world by jumping 6.95 meters to win the bronze medal at the USATF Championships in June.

It was significant because no woman has ever jumped 7 meters [22 feet, 11½] inches on each foot.

DeLoach is the closest.

“I had so much self-doubt at the beginning of the year,” she told me in June. “In all honesty you have your good days and you have your bad days, but it’s the bad days where you have to push through and keep your head up no matter what, even if you feel like ‘What’s the point?’ because I’ve realized at the end of the day I had it in me to still jump far with my right leg. I did what I had to do to get here and it’s all been worth it.”

Even on her right foot, DeLoach remains a medal contender this week as only four women in the world have jumped farther than the Alaskan.

The women’s long jump begins Wednesday with prelims with the finals Thursday.

August 24, 2015

Doron Perkins

Photo by Euroleague.net

Doron Perkins of Anchorage has played professional basketball is so many countries he’s started to double back.

The 32-year-old guard is headed back to Turkey, where he will play for Yesilgiresun Belediye of the first division. The league is part of the Euroleague series.

Perkins, of Bartlett High fame, previously played for Turkish power Besiktas two years ago. He averaged 11.1 points in 24 games.

The 6-foot-3 playmaker has extensive experience at the international level during his 10 seasons as a pro. He’s also played in Greece, Ukraine, China, Germany, Belgium, Japan, Israel, Italy and last year Russia.

His 55 Euroleague appearances are third most among Alaskans, trailing only Brad Oleson of North Pole and Trajan Langdon of Anchorage.

Perkins is an exceptional perimeter defender and he rebounds like a forward.

He has scored nearly 4,300 points as a pro. His career high is 28.

August 22, 2015

Jordan Clark track and field

Jordan Clarke

Jordan Clarke of Anchorage was good but not quite good enough in the shot put at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.

The 24-year-old former NCAA champion finished sixth in Group B and just missed qualifying for tonight’s finals.

His best mark of 65 feet, 3 inches was only a few inches short of matching the fifth-place finisher.

Clarke, of Bartlett High fame, finished 13th overall out of 31 of the best shot putters in the world.

Each competitor was granted only three attempts to qualify for the finals, and Clarke improved with each effort.

He qualified for the IAAF World Championships after winning a bronze medal with a PR of 70-6.5 at the USATF Championships in June in Eugene, Oregon.

Clarke was one of four Americans in to compete at Worlds but the only one not to advance to the finals.

Still, the rookie from Alaska has had a phenominal start to his professional career.

In addition to getting a PR and qualifying for Worlds, Clarke has also pocketed a pair of silver medals from the Diamond League series.

August 21, 2015

Whitney Williams tennis

Whitney Williams

Anchorage’s Whitney Williams ended the ITA Summer Circuit on a high note and should take plenty of momentum into the college tennis season.

The 19-year-old won four of six matches at the final stop of the series at Texas A&M, including a pair with doubles partner Erin Walker.

Williams and Walker are teammates at Abilene Christian University.

They reached the semifinals, where they dropped a tough 8-6 decision to the No. 2 seeded team.

In singles, she reached the Round of 16 before losing to No. 1 seed Katelyn Jackson in straight sets.

The ITA Summer Circuit provides college players the opportunity to compete in organized open events during the summer.

Williams, of South High fame, will be a sophomore at Abilene Christian.

Last year, she posted a 21-13 overall record, including a 11-7 doubles mark with Walker.

August 20, 2015

Shaquan Rhoaded basketball

Shaquan Rhoades

Shaquan Rhoades of Eagle River is on a journey to fulfill a promise he made to his mother, and he’s using basketball to get there.

The 6-foot-2 guard has signed with Angelo State University in Texas to play basketball and continue his postsecondary education.

“I chose ASU because it has all the necessities I need to reach my goals,” he told me. “I want to play professional basketball; that has been my dream since I was a kid. And I also want to get my degree that I promised my mom.”

Rhoades, of Eagle River High fame, played the last two seasons at New Mexico Military Institute, a JC program where he grew into a starting role and all-conference pick.

Last season he averaged 8.4 points and accumulated 45 assists and 75 rebounds.

“It feels good to accomplish what I’ve done so far. This next step will be the most challenging part, though, because I have a ways to go and it’ll be even tougher,” he said. “But it’s even more special because God continue to bless me by surrounding me with great people who helped me to this point.”

Rhoades will join an Angelo State program coming off a 28-6 season and trip to the NCAA D2 Sweet 16 for the first time in school history.

He fell in love with the San Angelo campus immediately.

“I got close with all of them [teammates, coaches] on my recruiting visit back in June, and it has been my home since,” he said. “Basketball is everything. It’s my inspiration. It has opened up doors for me year after year. It has paid for my college education for the past two years and will also pay for the next two years. I can’t ask for anything more.”

Rhoades will be missed at New Mexico Military Institute.

“This one is very special to me because he came in and really worked; really developed and he really cares about his teammates and his coaches and the program,” coach Sean Schooley told the NMMI Post.

“I’m extremely proud of ‘Soldier’ and everything he’s done on and off the court, and I can’t wait to see what he does at the next level.”

August 19, 2015

Kevin Rima basketball

Kevin Rima

The greatest rebounder in the history of the Northwest Nazarene University men’s basketball team is going pro.

Kevin Rima of Fairbanks has signed with CB Agustinos of Spain’s fourth division.

The 6-foot-7 post player will join a team that has won Group A in each of the last two seasons and was the Stage 4 runner-up last seaosn.

Rima, of Hutchison High fame, grabbed 643 rebounds in four seasons with NNU of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

He is first in school history and 12th in GNAC history. He is ninth in the conference with 257 offensive boards.

Rima also ranks second all-time at NNU and 14th in GNAC history with a .576 field-goal percentage [283-for-491].

August 18, 2015

Zoe Hickel hockey

Zoe Hickel

Somebody has to be first – why not Zoe Hickel?

The Anchorage hockey player and U.S. National Team member has agreed to play for the Boston Pride in the inaugural season of the National Women’s Hockey League.

Hickel is the first player from the U.S. National Team to sign with the new league.

“I just think this is all awesome. I’m really excited to be a part of something like this,” she said in a press release. “This is the start of our country going in a great direction for the development of women’s hockey.”

Hickel, of South High fame, is coming off a wonderful winter in which she led the University of Minnesota-Duluth in scoring and won a gold medal at Worlds with Team USA.

She led Duluth with 19-13—32 totals and was named All-WCHA.

“Zoe is so much fun to watch,” said Boston Pride general manager Hayley Moore said in a press release. “She’s as dynamic and skilled as they come.”

August 16, 2015

Corey Cogdell TrapshootingPalmer trap shooter Corey Cogdell worked a little overtime to earn another ISSF World Cup medal and stay on the track to appear in her third Olympics next summer.

The 28-year-old won bronze over the weekend after beating Italy’s Jessica Rossi 5-4 in a shoot-off.

Both shooters had hit 12 of 15 targets in regulation, forcing OT.

It was Cogdell’s sixth career ISSF World Cup medal and the second this season. She won gold at the Acapulco World Cup in March – a result that earned the U.S. an Olympic quota but did not guarantee her a spot on the team.

But who are we kidding; Cogdell remains one of the best shotgun shooters in the world and stands a strong chance of making the team.

She won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games and finished 11th at the 2012 London Games.

Cogdell has been a member of the U.S. National Team since 2006.

August 15, 2015

Zack Bowman FootballZack Bowman of Anchorage must have felt weird walking into Chicago’s Soldier Field the other night.

For six years between 2008 and 2013 he played for the Bears.

On Thursday, though, he arrived as a visiting player for the first time.

The 30-year-old defensive back is now with the Miami Dolphins after playing for the New York Giants last year.

Bowman, of Bartlett High fame, recorded four tackles and a pass deflection in a 27-10 loss to the Bears during Week 1 of NFL preseason action.

He has played in 89 career NFL games, including all 16 in each of the last two seasons, and ranks No. 2 among Alaskans with 12 interceptions and three touchdowns.

Bowman has picked off five passes over the last two years, returning one of them 43 yards in 2013 for his first career pick 6.

His other two touchdowns came in 2008 and 2012, both off recovered fumbles.

Bowman’s 12 interceptions trail only Reggie Tongue’s record 15. Tongue is also No. 1 among Alaskans with five NFL TDs.

August 14, 2015
Kali Trevithick soccer

Kali Trevithick

She was born in Alaska and spent the majority of her life here, but these days Kali Trevithick of Anchorage lives in California, where she plays soccer for an established club team as well as the U16 National team.

Missing her friends and family, and not enjoying life as a normal teenager, are all parts of the sacrifice she made for the golden opportunity to chase her dream on the pitch.

She has attended 10 youth national camps over the last two years and scored her first international goal playing with the U17 team in South Korea.

“I feel honored to play for my country,” Trevithick told me. “To me, hard work isn’t hard. My passion for the game and drive to be the best has got me where I am now.”

In Alaska, she got her start with local club teams for Cook Inlet Soccer Club and Alaska Rush in Anchorage and Matanuska Soccer Club in the Valley.

Then she got discovered and had to leave to state. Last year she lived in Washington. This year, California.

“I miss my friends and family,” Trevithick said. “I love Alaska. I refer to it as home and always will.”

She currently plays center mid for the San Diego Surf U16 team of the uber competitive Elite Clubs National League.

The competition is cutthroat. It demands toughness, sharpness and a tireless work ethic.

But Trevithick is up for the challenge.

“I have to work hard each camp and stay focused to make sure I get another chance,” she said. “The best part about playing for Team USA is getting to play with the best 24 players around the nation. This helps me to grow as a player and learn from them.”

August 13, 2015

Zach Lujan FootballHe is by far the most experienced and most deserving quarterback to start for the South Dakota State University football team, yet Zach Lujan of Anchorage has not been awarded the job.

The junior signal caller will have to beat out a handful of others at training camp in preparation for the season opener Sept. 5 at Kansas.

Lujan welcomes a quarterback competition, even though it should be his job to lose.

“I think competition brings out the best in people, in life and football,” he told argusleader.com. “I have no issue with proving myself.”

Confidence is a beautiful thing.

Lujan earned the right to feel good about his game at the NCAA D1 level after winning five of seven starts last season. He was thrust into the starting job in the season opener at Missouri when starter Austin Sumner went down.

All Lujan did was save the season [9-5] and play a pivotal role in helping South Dakota State make its third straight NCAA FCS playoff appearance.

On the season he played nine games and finished with 1943 yards on 147-241 passing and 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He threw three TDs in one game against Cal Poly and Missouri State.

“I gave myself a C+,” he said. “My understanding of the offense is head and shoulders above what it was last year. I feel it I had the knowledge I do now things would’ve been different.”

Lujan, of South High, also gained 15 pounds of muscle this offseason to improve his arm strength and durability.

He is primed to raise his level of play as well as the expectations of other quarterbacks around him.

“I’m ready to go. To be honest, I’ve never felt better,” Lujan said. “Everyone in there should prepare and expect to start, because as I found out last year, you never know when your number is going to be called.”

August 12, 2015

Aaliyah Lewis soccer

Aaliyah Lewis

After winning top player honors in the Southwestern Athletic Conference in each of the last two years, it should come as no surprise Aaliyah Lewis of Anchorage is the favorite this year.

The Alabama State University soccer star has been selected SWAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in a vote by league coaches and sports information directors.

“Carrying the burden of expectations just pushes me to try harder and be better,” Lewis told me. “The feeling of failure haunts me but I think that’s what pushes you to be your best.”

Lewis, of Dimond High fame, led the conference last year in seven different categories including points [45] and assists [11].

She remains Alabama State’s all-time scorer with 18 goals two years ago.

She has compiled career 35-18-88 totals in 42 games, making her a threat to score any time she touches the ball.

Lewis is also a target for opposing defenders, even wearing a bull’s-eye at times.

“Honestly sometimes I do wish I could fly under the radar and not have eyes on me,” she said. “It creates conflicts and, like I experienced last year, people really don’t like it when you’re in the limelight.”

At times, opposing players couldn’t stop her. So they tried to hurt her.

“The opposing team that caused my [ACL] injury and no regard for my safety and simply kept repeating to take me out and do it hard,” Lewis said.

Like a true champion, she takes it all in stride.

“Being able to do what I can and get recognized for it is nice,” she said. “It also gives a bit of representation out to Alaska and sort of gets our foot in the door, which I think is opening up more and more.”

August 11, 2015

Caleb Holley FootballThe world of professional sports is a cruel business and nothing is more cutthroat than the NFL, where most contracts are not guaranteed.

One day after Buffalo Bills receiver Caleb Holley of Anchorage was carted off the practice field with a leg injury, the 24-year-old was waived.

That’s just cold, man.

It’s just business, they say, not personal. But, damn.

Holley, of East High fame, is an undrafted free agent out of East Central University. Last year as a rookie he survived minicamp until the final cut and was invited to stick with the team as a member of the Bills practice squad.

The 6-foot-3 playmaker was gunning for a roster spot in Buffalo this year, looking to become the first Alaskan to play receiver in the NFL.

Then he got injured Monday and was carted off the field after reportedly tearing his right hamstring.

At East Central, Holley broke the school’s 35-year-old receiving record last season with 970 yards and nine touchdowns on 55 catches. He also set the single-game record with 224 yards on 14 receptions.

August 9, 2015

Jim BEven though much of his lifetime’s work with young nordic skiers happened in Alaska, Jim Burkholder’s reach of influence stretched all over the country.

It started in Gunnison, Colorado, where he left in 1961 his hometown of Anchorage for Western State College. He was a team manager and varsity skier and later an assistant coach.

Burkholder wound up coming back home to Alaska, where he went on to become a prominent high school, college and national coach. But the people of Western State never forgot him and in October they will honor Burkholder with the school’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I am honored and pleased to be receiving the award, but it may be a bit early for a lifetime award,” Burkholder told me. “I’m only 73.”

Burkholder, of West High fame, received his bachelor’s degree from Western State in 1966. Shortly after that he got into coaching and that’s when the real education began.

He was the Alaska Junior National coach in 1969 and 1971, was the first head ski and cross country running coach at UAA from 1972-76, was a coach of the U.S. Ski Team during their Swedish Tour in 1978, was an assistant coach on the U.S. Ski Team during the Falun and Homenkollin Games in 1980, was an assistant division coach for the U.S. National Team at Mt. St. Anne, Quebec in 1980 and was a team leader for the U.S. at the World Junior Ski Championships at Omskoldvik, Sweden in 1980.

While Burkholder has left an imprint on skiing in the coaching world, and his various ski officiating accomplishments, his work on the world-renowned nordic trails in Anchorage have made him a legend.

“I want to let you know that behind the titles and race results is a man who has spent and continues to spend thousands upon thousands of hours doing the little things that need to be done on a weekly or monthly basis to continue to build Anchorage into the skiing destination that it is today,” former Olympian Adam Verrier of Anchorage said in his nomination letter. “Western State Colorado University Department of Athletics should be very proud of graduates such as Jim Burkholder, for it is people like Mr. Burkholder who pass on the love of sport to younger generations and create opportunities for younger athletes to pursue their own goals and dreams.”

Burkholder was inducted into ASAA’s Alaska High School Hall of Fame in 2012.

He remains involved today. When he’s not volunteering at local races, working to repair a damaged trail or attending a meeting for some ski-related cause, you will find him skiing.

August 8, 2015

Brian Way baseball

Brian Way

When the Bellingham Bells begin the West Coast League playoffs on Tuesday they will have Brian Way of Sitka closing the door.

The 20-year-old has kept his job all season as closer, a feast-or-famine role that can make a lot of guys wilt under the pressure.

Way had stood tall, converting all eight save opportunities and winning all four decisions.

Overall, Way has recorded a 1.50 ERA in 18 appearances with 23 strikeouts in 24 innings.

The defending champion Bellingham Bells [32-20] won the West Division to secure one of four playoff berths in the wood-bat summer league in the Pacific Northwest.

“I think this team has just as good of a shot to win it all as anyone else,” Way told me.

Way, of Sitka High fame, will be a sophomore at Edmonds Community College in Washington.

Last college season he helped Edmonds make it to the NWAC playoffs. Before that he helped Sitka win the Alaska high school state title.

His winning makeup on the mound is off the charts. He commands the zone and tames hitters.

“Just being able to locate all my pitches and having the confidence to throw them in any count has helped,” he said.

August 7, 2015

Beau Kitteridge Ultimate Frisbee

Beau Kitteridge

Beau Kittredge of Fairbanks has led the San Jose Spiders back to championship weekend in the American Ultimate Disc League.

The defending champions are among the final four teams in contention for the sport’s ultimate prize.

Kittredge, of Lathrop High fame, was the league MVP last year and is having another player-of-the-year type of season.

He leads the West Division champion Spiders with 66 goals, 37 “hockey” assists and 24 deflections in 14 games. He is second with 348 completions and third with 33 traditional assists.

The semifinals are Saturday, featuring the Raleigh Flyers vs. Madison Radicals followed by San Jose vs. the Toronto Rush. The final is Sunday.

The AUDL’s championship weekend will take place at Avaya Stadium, the 18,000-seat home of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes.

All three games will be live streamed on ESPN3.

August 6, 2015

Sean Rash BowlingAnchorage’s Sean Rash has rolled two dozen 300 games and won prestigious awards like PBA Bowler of the Year.

Yet those accolades don’t compare to the joy he feels when helping the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The 32-year-old professional bowler took part in his third Make-A-Wish event this week in Hammond, Indiana, where Rash is competing in the PBA/PBA50 South Shore Doubles tournament.

Rash, an 8-time winner on the PBA Tour, is the favorite bowler of 11-year-old Solomon Wohrer of Ohio and it was his wish to meet Rash.

“Anytime you can make a young kid or an older person smile – that’s what the game is all about,” Rash told the Chicago Post-Tribune.

“Being chosen as the athlete to make a person’s wish come true is more than humbling … words can’t express how it feels.”

Little Solomon was diagnosed with bone cancer last year but after undergoing chemotherapy is free of cancer today.

Days like these that make Rash especially proud to be connected with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and he hopes his celebrity will shine a light on the wonderful work they do for children.

“These kids go through life-changing events day in and day out that none of us want to see anyone struggle with,” Rash said. “It isn’t anything you get used to or want to get used to.”

Rash, of Dimond High fame, is currently ranked 10th in the season points race after 15 events. He carries a 222 average.

August 4, 2015

ruthy2Big news out of Fairbanks as the state’s reigning high school girls basketball player of the year has reportedly picked a college.

West Valley’s Ruthy Hebard has committed to the University of Oregon, where she will become the fifth Alaska girls player of the year to play in the Pac-12.

The others were Soldotna’s Molly Tutor at Arizona State, Juneau’s Talisa Rhea at Oregon State and Anchorage’s Azella Perryman at Stanford and Natalie Jones at Arizona State.

Hebard helps make up a fab five lineup from Alaska.

The 6-foot-3 forward and honor-roll student is nationally ranked No. 8 at her position by the ESPNW100 and No. 54 in the national Class of 2016.

The do-it-all playmaker averaged 26 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocked shots as a junior in leading West Valley to the ASAA Class 4A state tournament championship game.

Her career high is 51 points against rival Lathrop.

Hebard is a two-time Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year and last year was voted the top player by the Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches. In 2014, she was invited to tryout for the U-17 U.S. National Team.

Oregon finished 13-17 last season under first-year head coach Kelly Graves, who previously led Gonzaga to the Elite 8 at the NCAA Tournament.

Hebard carries a 3.5 GPA.

She will make it official in November during the NCAA Early Signing Period.

August 3, 2015

Allie Ostrander running

Allie Ostrander

The hottest name in Alaska running is going international.

Allie Ostrander of Kenai has been selected to the U.S. Junior Mountain Running Team and will compete Sept. 19 at the world championships in Snowdonia, North Wales.

Ostrander, 18, is coming off a fabulous finish at July’s Mount Marathon in Seward in which she broke a race record and finished second to world-class star Emily Forsberg.

Ostrander will be joined on the junior national team by fellow three-time cross country state champion Levi Thomet of Kodiak.

Thomet holds the seventh-fastest time in the two-miler [8:45] for an American high school runner.

Levi Thomet running

Levi Thomet


“I’m confident this most recent crop of young runners is the stronger we’ve ever brought to the world championships,” U.S. coach Richard Bolt said in a press release. “I’m excited to watch them race in Wales and think they have an excellent chance to win both team and individual medals.”

Ostrander was a 6-time junior girls champion in Mount Marathon and this year broke by two seconds the previous race record held by Alaska Sports Hall of Famer Nancy Pease of 50 minutes, 30 seconds. That mark had stood for 25 years before Forsberg and Ostrander blew it up on Fourth of July.

Ostrander was the 2014 Nike Cross Country Nationals title and she is headed to Boise State University this fall.

The world championships alternate between uphill only and up-and-down courses every other year. This year’s race is the up and back.

The race features roughly 820 feet elevation gain per lap, which stretches two and a half miles.

August 1, 2015
Jake Heun Mixed Martial Arts

Anchorage’s Jake Heun was victorious tonight in the World Series of Fighting 22 MMA event in Las Vegas, defeating Davin Clark by submission in the final round.

Heun is better known for having a straightforward, striking style; he just assumes slug it out and see who is left standing.

But this fight went to the ground and ‘The Honey Bear’ eventually used an arm triangle choke hold to get Clark to tap out.

Heun has won six of his last eight fights and improved to 8-4 in his professional career.