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Southeast Sports Roundup

Posted: August 29, 2013 - 11:08pm
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The Midnight Suns U16 traveling baseball team.  PHOTO COURTESY MIDNIGHT SUNS
The Midnight Suns U16 traveling baseball team.

One athlete 10 events - Thunder Mountain High School graduate (2013) Nick Bursell is still training in the Juneau area before heading off to attend Western Washington University in Bellingham where he hopes to compete for the Vikings as a Track & Field decathlon athlete. Traditional decathlon events include the 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 meters, 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1500 meters. Older brother Zachary Bursell runs cross country and distance events for the Vikings.

Ironmen (and woman) - Four Juneau-familiar athletes had strong showings at the 31st annual Ironman Canada 2013. Tom Thompson, Jim Ustasiewski, Reed Stoopes and Jamie Bursell competed among the

The race course started with a 2.4-mile swim over two loops in Alta Lake followed by a lakeside transition into a 112-mile bike course that is compared to routes at Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman Coeur d’Alen. The bikers traveled the Sea-to-Sky Highway and climbed into the Callaghan Valley, site of the Nordic skiing events of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Last was a two-loop, 26.2 mile run along Valley Trail past Lost Lake and Green Lake with a return through Whistler Village and finishing at the Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Thompson posted an 11 hour, 24 minute and 11 second finish (Swim 1:12:11, Bike 6:09:49, Run 3:51:32) for 33rd in his age division and 493rd overall; Bursell finished in 13:19:10 (B 1:17:47, S 6:37:40, R 5:12:37) for 26th in division and 1198th overall; Ustasiewski finished in 13:19:11 (B 1:28:13, S 6:51:50, R 4:45:54) for 101st in his division and 1199th overall; and Stoops finished in 14:29:43 (B 1:37:58, S 7:21:39, R 5:12:37) for 8th in his division and 1553rd overall.

Top overall finisher was Trevor Wurtele from Canada in 08:39:33 (S :54:27, B 4:46:51, R 2:54:31). Top female was Uli Bromme of USA in 9:28:13 (S 1:03:02, B 5:13:51, R 3:06:53) for 12th overall.

Go GSC! - A report from Glacier Swim Club coach Scott Griffith recently identified three members of the GSC who were selected to the Alaska All-Star team where they competed at the Western Age Group (14 & younger) Zone Championships Aug 6 - 12 in Roseville, CA. There were 20 athletes selected to the 2013 team. The Western Zone meet is made up of all-star teams from 16 local swim committees, usually an entire state.

Bergen Davis led all Alaskans with top 8 finishes in all his events (11/12 boys). Bergen broke the Alaska State Records in the 11/12 boys 50 back, 100 back, 200 back, and 200 breast. He also broke the Zone meet record in the 200 back. Davis place 1st in the 200 back, 50 breast, and 100 breast; 2nd in the 100 back; and 3rd in the 50 back and 200 breast.

Mia Ruffin placed 10th in 13/14 girls 100 breast, 14th in 200 breast, 14th in 100 fly. Gabi Kito was the other GSC swimmer. Team Alaska got 12th place overall.

In the weeks prior a group of nine GSC members traveled to Missoula, Montana for the Quad LSC Long-Course Championships, July 5-7. The meet was limited to local swim committees of Montana, Alaska, Snake River (Idaho) and Inland Empire (Eastern Washington). This was the first year this meet has been held and was designed to give the swimmers from the four smaller LSC the opportunity to compete against one another. Missoula Aquatic Club captured the team title with 2104 points. GSC placed 11th (out of 22 teams) with 370 points.

The nine GSC team members who competed included: Cierra Kelly, Sophia Kaekle, Rielly Walsh, Mia Ruffin, Gabi Kito, Natalie Cosgrove, Cameron Howard, Claire Norman and Kaia Quinto. They had a handful of time improvements, 50-percent best times, and won 16 medals.

Twist It! - Juneau’s Midnight Suns Baseball 16U Travel Team recently competed at the first annual Sitka Invitational Tournament hosted by the Sitka Baseball Club at Sitka’s Moller Field. The three-team field featured Anchorage, Juneau and Sitka. Ketchikan and a team from Washington pulled out of the tourney. The Midnight Suns roster included Michael Cesar, Finn Collins, Jacob Dale, Antonio DeAssis, Erik Kelly, Alex Muir, Jake Tanner, Zeb Storie, Bryce Swofford and Kasey Watts. Spencer Storie was manager and Dave Cesar coach.

Juneau started the tournament with two come from behind wins in the last inning. Michael Cesar 1-3, 1 BB got the game winning hit with two outs in the first game against Anchorage, hitting in Jake Tanner who reached base with a single. Tanner finished the game 3-4, double, triple, 3 R, and 2 RBI. Zeb Storie 1-2, 2 R. Kasey Watts 1-4, 1 R, 2 RBI. Jacob Dale 1-3, 1 R, 2 RBI. Antonio DeAsis 1-3, 1 RBI. The second game had the same out come with the Midnights Suns 16U team once again coming back in the bottom of the 7th down one run against host team Sitka. Erik Kelley 1-1, 2 BB, 1 R started the inning with a walk, Finn Collins reached on an error, Antonio DeAsis 1-2, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 1 R bunted one over the pitchers head scoring Kelley. Then the next pitch went to the backstop as Collins took advantage of this scoring the winning run. Michael Cesar led the offence going 2-2, 1 BB, 1 RBI Kasey Watts 1-3. Jacob Dale started on the mound the 1st game and Zeb Storie started the 2nd.

Jump serve & spike – Alaska Anchorage volleyball coach Chris Green announced the final addition to his team’s roster recently as Juneau native Chelsea Peterson has joined the 2013 Seawolves.

A 5-8 outside hitter/defensive specialist, Peterson led the Crimson Bears to ASAA Class 4A State Tournament berths as a junior and senior, making the All-Tournament Team in both 2011 and 2012. She was also a two-time all-tourney honoree at the regional level after helping JDHS to consecutive Region V titles.

“Chelsea had an excellent high school career and has a very good skill set, especially for someone who –because of geography – did not have the opportunity to play club volleyball,” Green said. “She has already proven to be a good teammate and we are happy she chose to become a Seawolf.”

The Seawolves have seven returners from last year’s 16-10 team and seven newcomers.

Miller and Norvell - JDHS grads Jesse Miller (2012) and Tal Norvell (2013) are ready to begin the cross country season at UAA and UAF, respectively.

The UAF men’s and women’s cross country programs are stock full of new talent but 10th-year head coach Scott Jerome will rely on veteran leadership to guide these youthful squads into the 2013 racing season.

The men’s roster is made up of a mixture of rookies to seniors and the likes of senior Tux Seims (Homer, Alaska/Civil Engineering), junior Kenneth Brewer (Chugiak, Alaska/Biological Sciences) and redshirt sophomore Ross MacDougall (Astoria, Ore./Foreign Language) will be relied on to lead the harriers this season.

Freshmen Mitch Burgess (Temecula, Calif./Petroleum Engineering), Tal Norvell (Douglas, Alaska/Film) and Keegan Rankin (El Paso, Texas/Geological Engineering) are notable freshmen expected to make strides on the trails this year.

On the women’s side, senior Alyson McPhetres (Chugiak, Alaska/Foreign Language and Geological Engineering) is the lone senior and will be the leader of the women’s team that has nine incoming freshmen. Of the new faces, Dorothy O’Donnell (Fairbanks, Alaska/Elementary Education) and Kali Striker (Midlothian, Va./Biological Sciences) will play key roles in growing the future of the women’s program.

The Nanooks reported to campus last week and had their first practice, along with other training sessions. This Friday, the student-athletes will head to Ester to run up Ester Dome in their annual training exercise that the coaching staff will look for aerobic power and how they perform on a course. Unlike most any race during the season, the Ester Dome race is a five-kilometer uphill battle.

“We’re really going to find out who is fit and who did their homework over the summer,” Jerome said. “So far, based on the 3,000, it looks like we have the beginnings of a legit cross country team. We need to follow through with our training [this year], make sure they’re doing what they need to do in the offseason so we don’t start at square one come next year.”

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference released the 2013 preseason coaches’ poll Tuesday afternoon and the men were selected eighth while the women were slated ninth, which is primarily based on last year’s conference finish and the amount of newcomers. But Jerome and the Nanooks don’t take this poll seriously because in the end, they only have control over themselves.

“We preach every day that we can only control our actions and we can’t control other people and what they do and what they think,” Jerome said when asked about preseason rankings. “We can certainly control our thoughts and our actions, so we’re going to go out and train, compete and just let the chips fall.”

UAF opens the season Sept. 5 and 7 when it hosts GNAC foes Montana State Billings and Seattle Pacific for the Alaska Cross Country Classic, which will be ran at West Ridge Trails on campus.

Both Alaska Anchorage cross country teams have been picked to repeat as Great Northwest Athletic Conference champions as the league announced its 2013 preseason coaches’ poll Tuesday.

The UAAA Seawolves will be seeking their fourth straight men’s team championship and fifth consecutive women’s title Oct. 26 when the GNAC hosts its 13th annual championship races at the Ash Creek Preserve Cross Country course in Monmouth, Ore.

Additionally, both Seawolf teams were picked to finish second in the U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association preseason regional ranking. Leading UAA is Chico State, after sweeping the region last season.

Both Seawolf teams won titles with record-low team scores last October at WOU. The UAA men won with a score of 23, while the Seawolf women nearly missed a perfect score of 15, tallying 16 points. UAA finished third on the women’s side and sixth in the men’s race at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships.

The UAA men received every first-place vote in the poll, and all but one in the women’s poll. Western Washington earned a No. 2 ranking in the men’s poll and Simon Fraser, which received one first-place vote, finished second in the women’s poll.

Among the seven returning runners on the women’s team, the Seawolves feature defending GNAC individual champion Susan Tanui, along with all-conference athletes Ivy O’Guinn, Sarah Freistone and Susan Bick. For the men, All-GNAC placers Dylan Anthony and Isaac Kangogo are among six returning letter winners.

The Seawolves open the season this Saturday, Aug. 31, with a head-to-head matchup against host Brigham Young-Hawaii in Laie, Hawaii.

Great Northwest Athletics Conference 2013 Cross Country Coaches’ Polls

MEN - 1. Alaska Anchorage; 2. Western Washington; 3. Western Oregon; 4. Montana State Billings; 5. Simon Fraser; 6. Seattle Pacific; 7. Northwest Nazarene; 8. Alaska Fairbanks; 9. Central Washington; 10. Saint Martin’s.

WOMEN - 1. Alaska Anchorage; 2. Simon Fraser; 3. Seattle Pacific; 4. Western Washington; 5. Central Washington; 6. Northwest Nazarene; 7. Western Oregon; 8. Montana State Billings; 9. Alaska Fairbanks; 10. Saint Martin’s.

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