Seawolf Athletics keep busy over winter break

Lauren Cuddihy is a member of the UAA track and field team.

Between fall and spring semester, most students were able to go home, relax and enjoy four weeks off. However, UAA athletes were still hard at work in the midst of the training and competition.

Of the eight different teams known to UAA athletics, seven of these teams were actively in-season or right on the cusp of their season starting.

Men’s Basketball

Over the course of the break, the men’s basketball team was able to participate in six different games, two in December and four in January.

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Of these games, the Seawolves didn’t see as much success as they would have hoped. Their first weekend away took them to Oregon to duel Western Oregon and Concordia-Portland. While UAA did see a win against Concordia (59-55), they also experienced a substantial loss against WOU with a final score of 50-82.

With hope that home games would bring more success, the Seawolves played at the Alaska Airlines Center on Jan. 4 and Jan. 6. Both loses, to Saint Martin’s and Seattle Pacific, were not as drastic as the first loss of the break, at 66-71 and 54-57, respectively.

The final weekend of games took the Seawolves back to Washington on Jan. 11 and Idaho on Jan. 13. UAA saw a close overtime loss against Central Washington, with a close finish at 71-72. That loss was followed by another OT game that lead the Seawolves to finish with a score of 78-79 against Seattle Pacific.

Currently, the Seawolves are sitting at ninth in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference holding a record of three wins and five loses. They only have 12 regular season games left until GNAC Championships, but as of now, their next challenge will be against Simon Fraser and Western Washington over the week of Jan. 18.

Women’s Basketball

Similar to the men’s team, women’s basketball played in seven games over the course of the four-week break. Five of them were away games in California, British Colombia, Washington and Montana while the two most recent games were played at the Alaska Airlines Center.

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Tennae Voliva sneaks past a Nanook guard during their meet in Fairbanks on Dec. 9. The Seawolves only saw one loss, to Sonoma State, over the winter break. Photo credit: Paul McCarthy

In contrast to the men, the women’s team was able to see more success over the break, with six wins and one loss.

The only loss that the Seawolves saw was on Dec. 19 against Sonoma State. The loss damaged their previous 10-game win streak, with a final score of 58-68.

The rest of the break gave the Seawolves a plethora of wins against Notre Dame de Namur (87-76), Simon Fraser (84-79), Western Washington (64-54), Montana State Billings (81-60), Western Oregon (85-53) and Concordia University (76-68).

After the end of the winter break, the success that UAA saw kept them at No. 1 in GNAC with a conference record of 8-0 and an overall record of 15-1.

Hockey

The third sport to continue with in-season competition for UAA was the hockey team, having competed against three different teams in six games.

Of the three teams, Bemidji State, Minnesota State and Alabama-Huntsville, UAA was fortunate enough to play two of them with a home advantage at the Sullivan Arena.

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Alex Jackstadt, with an assist from Mason Anderson, celebrates a goal against Alabama-Hunstville along with teammate David Trinkberger on Jan. 13 at the Sullivan Arena. The Seawolves found their first win of the year against the Chargers. Photo credit: Skip Hickey

The beginning of the break took the Seawolves to Minnesota where they suffered back-to-back loses against Bemidji State, with a substantial score difference the first day of 1-5.

This continued with the Seawolves taking on Minnesota State over the Jan. 5 and 6 weekend. Both games resulted in a loss to the No. 8 nationally-ranked Mavericks, ending 2-5 and 1-4.

The final winter break games concluded at the Sullivan Arena against Alabama-Huntsville on Jan. 12-13. UAA finished with one loss (2-4) and one win (2-1), the first win they have had since Nov. 18.

The Seawolves sit at the bottom of the men’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association rankings, 3 points behind Lake Superior State, and will compete again at Bowling Green,Ohio on Jan. 19 and 20.

Skiing

Although skiing officially began in November with the Alaska Nordic Cup, the competition didn’t pick up until Jan. 2 with the start of the U.S. Cross-Country Nationals that took place over four days at Kincaid Park.

Hailey Swirbul impressed the crowds by winning the junior women’s 10K freestyle race, which slated her for eighth overall and third among her conference competition.

For the men, Toomas Kollo placed sixth against all conference competitors in the 15K freestyle race.

The competition continued as the Seawolves traveled down to Montana for the slalom and picked up the distance classic and classic sprint at Kincaid Park for the Montana State Invitational on Jan. 6-8 and Jan. 13.

The Seawolves were able to finish with a total score of 309 which put them in sixth place out of a total of 10 teams.

To finish off the break, UAA competed in the Utah Invitational in Huntsville, Utah on Jan.11-13.

After the alpine portion of the meet was completed, UAA sat at No. 7 out of eight teams, with a score of 176, trailing behind Denver at No. 1 with a score of 329.

Gymnastics

The UAA gymnastics team spent the break training after the results of their intrasquad Green and Gold meet. They competed against Cortland on Friday, Jan. 12 and Sunday, Jan. 14. The team defeated Cortland on Jan. 12, 188.825 to 182.675, and again on Jan. 14, 190.975 to 183.2.

Track and Field

As the team with the latest start in UAA athletics. The track and field team only get a brief glimpse of their indoor season over the weekend of Jan. 12-13.

In addition to their debut at University of Washington, the Seawolves were also able to get back into their normal training facility, The Dome, a year after the initial collapse.

The men’s and women’s team traveled to Seattle, Washington to compete in the University of Washington Indoor Preview meet.

The Seawolves track and field team had several accomplishments. Sophomore Christopher Brake cleared a third-best in UAA history for high jump of 6-feet-8.75-inches and a triple jump of 45 feet 5.25 inches, both of which rank are top marks in D-II.

In addition, sophomore transfer Oshane Hylton and senior Darrion Gray both performed well enough in the 60 meters to advance to finals, initially scoring a tie in the preliminaries at 7.04 seconds.