GCLL Minors All-Stars on a roll

Two wins in two days at District play in Anchorage
GCLL Minors All-Star Bryson Echiverri.

Juneau’s Gastineau Channel Little League Minors Division All-Stars are taking Anchorage by storm, winning their first two games at the District 1 Tournament and looking to be one of the top teams in the state.


On Wednesday Bryson Echiverri went 3-3 at the plate, including two singles in the first inning as Juneau batted around the order on their way to a mercy-rule 12-1 win over Abbott-O-Rabbit.

Echiverri scored in the first on a single by Cody Requa. Christian Ludeman homered in the first inning as well. Garrett Gleaton singled in a run, as did Steffan Jones. Juneau scored six runs in the first inning.

Juneau got three more runs in the second inning as Requa and Ludeman both singled and Oliver Mendoza brought them home. Mendoza would score on a Nathan Renkes hit.

Juneau added two more runs in the third as Austin McCurley, Echiverri and Requa loaded the bases. McCurley tagged and scored on a fly ball and Echiverri stole home.

Juneau’s last run came in the fourth as Isaiah Nelson walked and scored on a ground ball by Steffen Jones.

Brock McCormick got the win for Juneau, pitching two innings and striking out 2 batters and fielding two ground balls on the mound for put outs.

Jones pitched the third inning, allowing three hits but no runs.

Echiverri pitched the fourth inning, striking out two batters and walking two, and allowing no hits to end the game.

This was Juneau’s second run-shortened game as they blasted Knik Gray on Tuesday 13-0.

Against Knik Gray, Juneau used three pitchers for the no-hitter win.

Ludeman, McCormick and Echiverri totaled 8 strikeouts and 4 walks.

Ludeman dominated with two innings of hitless ball, striking out 5 batters and walking 2 while throwing 36 pitches (23 strikes). McCormick struck out 1 and walked 1 in one inning of relief and Echiverri struck out two and walked 1 in the fourth and final inning.

Ludeman (3-3), Mendoza (2-2), and Gleaton (1-1) each had 2 RBI. Echiverri went 3-4 with 1 RBI. Requa, McCormick, Dobson, Jones, Dobson, and Nelson all had 1 RBI.

Juneau faces Dimond-West today and Palmer tomorrow in their bracket. Knik Gray had defeated AOR 9-4 and Dimond-West stopped Palmer 4-2. AOR had beaten Dimond 8-6.

The other bracket saw Knik Blue routing Anchorage Military 20-5 and blasting Nunaka Valley 23-4. Nunaka beat Polar 5-4 and City View defeated Polar 19-4.

The top four teams from each bracket advance to a single elimination tournament.

Swix named title sponsor of American Birkebeiner Ski Events

Ski industry leader signs with North America’s largest ski race

Hayward, WI - The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation is proud to announce a two-year commitment from Swix Sport USA as title sponsor of the American Birkebeiner cross country ski events, starting February 20-23, 2014, and including sole title sponsorship of the American Birkebeiner’s 50K Skate Race on February 22. The American Birkebeiner is the largest ski race in North American and the third largest in the world. Swix Sport Group is the world’s leading supplier of ski wax, the market leader for ski poles, and a leading supplier of sportswear and accessories—serving alpine, ski jumping, and cross country skiing.

“For years we have been working on becoming the title sponsor of the American Birkebeiner, the premier Nordic race in North America, and it has all come together,” said Steven Poulin, President and CEO, Swix Sport USA, in a press release. “Our commitment to the event includes co-branding a collection of Birkie® Technical Apparel, a full merchandizing program, an exclusive Swix Concept Area within the Birkie Expo, and outfitting Birkie volunteer race chiefs, just a few creative means of building a long-lasting relationship with the organization.”

The Birkie, now gearing up for its 41st annual event in 2014, is still growing and attracting skiers from 48 states and 21 countries. The draw for Swix and other sponsors is that beyond this milestone event every February, the Birkie has an active following for its year-round events, programs, education, and outreach, which provides exposure for sponsor products and services year round as well.

“We are very excited about this partnership with Swix,” said Ben Popp, Executive Director, American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, in the release. “It is an exceptional company and very forward thinking. We both see great potential for new ways to support our skiers and grow the reach of the sport.”

Susan Kendrick, Marketing/PR Director, American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation stated that the global presence of Swix and their focus on elite and citizen skiers alike, and range of products and services make Swix a great match for the Birkie.

“We’re all looking forward to working together,” Kendrick said. “This relationship is a great addition to the Birkie’s offering of year-round outdoor recreation, health, and fitness.”

The Birkie is a year-round lifestyle choice for thousands of outdoor fitness enthusiasts of all levels. From its signature ski race--the legendary American Birkebeiner--The Birkie has grown into an exciting array of fitness and recreational opportunities. The 88-kilometer Birkie Trail system attracts skiers, runners, bikers, trekkers, and hikers, from casual day-trippers to elite, international superstars. Located in Hayward and Cable, Wisconsin, the Birkie is now an outdoor sports mecca, a series of great races, a fitness destination, and a lifestyle.

The Swix Sport Group is the world’s leading supplier of ski wax under the brands Swix and Toko. Further, the company is also the market leader for ski poles under the brand name Swix. The company is a significant supplier within textiles for the sporting goods industry under the brand names Swix, Bavac, Ulvang and Lundhags. The mother company, Swix sport AS, is situated in Oslo and at Lillehammer. The pole production is located in Lithuania. The Norwegian daughter company Original AS is the leading supplier of team wear in Scandinavia through the brands Kalas and Swix.

Fairbanks native Turman picked as UAF assistant ski coach

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Head coach Scott Jerome announced Wednesday that he has selected former Northern Michigan skier Christina Turman as the men’s and women’s skiing program’s next assistant coach and she will assume her official duties on Aug. 5.

A Fairbanks native, Turman comes to the program after spending the previous year as head coach at West Valley High School. In her year there, she led the boys’ skiing team to its first state title in two decades. She was also a coach for Team Alaska at the 2013 Junior National Championship, which was held in Fairbanks. Turman will be accompanying a national development group as a coach later this month down in Michigan.

“Growing up in Fairbanks, the Nanooks were always a part of my life,” Turman said. “My mother skied here and then I skied against the Nanooks [at Northern Michigan].

She continued, “I love coaching. It makes me come alive. I’m passionate about the sport and teaching the sport to help others achieve their goals. I’m a competitor so I’m excited to coach at a program like Alaska. I’m sure we’ll have great results and I want to contribute to that.”

Turman, formerly Gillis, was a two-time NCAA qualifier while skiing for the Wildcats in Marquette, Mich. She became the Central Collegiate Ski Association regional champion as a redshirt junior in 2010 and also turned in a handful of top-10 finishes in sprint races at U.S. Nationals.

“She has the background we’re looking for,” Jerome said. “She’s been an NCAA skier and a cross country runner at a Division II institution. She’s been through the ringer as a student-athlete and she’s from Fairbanks. When she talks to recruits, even though she didn’t go to Alaska, she can talk to them intelligently about growing up in Fairbanks and what it’s like in the cold and the dark.”

Skiing has been in Turman’s blood since an early age, as she started on skis at the age of two. Her mother, Karin (Evaldsson) Gillis, was a Nordic skier for Alaska in the 1980’s.

“Being a coach at the collegiate level is a dream job for me but you have to take into account who you’re coaching with,” Turman said. “Not only was I able to step up to a collegiate coaching position but I also get to coach work under Scott Jerome. He’s a very knowledgeable coach and a great guy, so I look forward to working with him and learning from him.”

“She was coached by Sten Fjeldheim (NMU head coach), who I worked with for three years,” Jerome said. “He’s an excellent teacher so I am sure she will bring exceptional technical skills to the program. We’re a co-ed team, so having a female coach will be great for our women’s program.”

UAA gymnasts add 2014 trio

ANCHORAGE – Gymnastics head coach Paul Stoklos added three talented newcomers to his 2014 roster on Tuesday, announcing that Natalia Joyce, Nicole Larkin and Brice Mizell have signed National Letters of Intent to compete for the Seawolves.

The trio will join eight returnees from last year’s squad that broke 17 school records, including team season averages on vault, bars, beam and overall.

“All three of these young women bring great all-around skill sets, and will blend with our returners to give us improved depth on every apparatus,” said Stoklos, who will begin his 30th season at the helm this January.

Joyce placed seventh in the all-around at the 2013 Region 7 Junior Olympics meet, advancing to JO Nationals, where she placed 31st. She hails from the same hometown as former Seawolf standout Lauren Agostino (2006-07, 08-09), Virginia Beach, Va., where she competed at the club level for Excalibur Gymnastics.

“An injury following 2012 regionals kept her from being noticed by a lot of bigger schools, so we are extremely excited about adding someone with her skill level,” said Stoklos. “She is especially strong on bars and floor.”

Larkin, from Kennewick, Wash., placed third in the all-around at the Region 2 JO meet in both 2012 and 2013, following with top-50 performances at JO Nationals both times. She competed at the club level for Mid-Columbia Gymnastics Academy.

“Nicole is a rapidly improving gymnast with tons of energy,” Stolkos said. “Right now she projects to help us most on bars and beam.”

Mizell, from Mill City, Ore., placed eighth in the Region 2 all-around competition in 2013 and went on to place 17th at the National Invitational Tournament. Competing for The Athletic Edge, Mizell was also sixth in the all-around at 2012 regionals and made the JO Nationals, where she finished 48th.

“Brice was very much under the radar with a great deal of potential,” Stoklos said. “As a coaching staff we are excited to work with her on her ever-expanding skill set.”

UAF to face more swim teams

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Head coach Scott Lemley released the Alaska women’s swimming schedule for the 2013-14 competition season, highlighted by its annual trip to the Husky Invitational, three dual-meet home weekends and a winter break trek to California, where the Nanooks will face six different squads.

“We’re excited to be swimming against more teams in our conference this year,” Lemley said. “The biggest change in our competition schedule is our trip to Southern California in January.”

The year kicks off Oct. 12 with the annual Blue-Gold Pentathlon, in which each Nanook will compete in 100-yard races of the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle and individual medley, as well as the 200 medley relay.

On Oct. 25 and 26, Alaska welcomes Biola to Fairbanks for a pair of dual meets to officially open the season. Two weekends later, on Nov. 8 and 9, the ‘Nooks host Division I opponent Loyola Marymount at the Patty Center Pool. The 2013 calendar year wraps up Dec. 6-8 in Federal Way, Wash., as Alaska will again participate in the Husky Invitational, which is entering its 65th year.

Normally, the Nanooks spend early January at elevation in Flagstaff, Ariz., but this coming year, they will instead travel to California to train at outdoor facilities, which most of their conference opponents are well-versed in competing at.

“Our conference championship has been held in an outdoor pool the last two years ever since our normal venue at Belmont Plaza was condemned,” Lemley said. “That put us at a competitive disadvantage since the vast majority of the schools in our conference train outdoors year round. Next season we’re not only going to be swimming against six teams when we’re in Southern California (three of which are Division I teams) but we’ll be training outdoors to prepare for our conference meet.”

Alaska opens up 2014 on Jan. 3 as it will face Pepperdine and LMU in Malibu in a tri-meet. The following afternoon, it will take on Biola and Fresno Pacific at a familiar venue in La Mirada, where the previous two PCSC Championships have been held. On Jan. 11, the training trip concludes with a quad meet in Bakersfield against Cal State Bakersfield, LMU and UC San Diego.

The final tune-up meets prior to the conference championship are Jan. 24 and 25 when the Nanooks are back at the Patty for a pair of duals against California Baptist. The 2014 PCSC Championship is set for Feb. 5-8 at the East Los Angeles College Aquatics Complex in Monterey Park, Calif.

Following conference, the Nanooks will look to add to their list of All-America swims at the 2014 NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championship, which will be held March 12-15 at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio.


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