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December 3, 2012 Press Release by Harlow Robinson
ALASKA SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ANNOUNCES CLASS OF 2013
ANCHORAGE - High School football coach Buck Nystrom and legendary Southeast Alaska basketball star Herb Didrickson headline the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013 that was announced at a press conference today. The Equinox Marathon was selected in the "Event" category and Chris Clark's storybook victory in the 2000 U.S. Olympic trials and Les Anderson's world record 97 pound King Salmon catch in 1985 were chosen for the "Moment" category.
The most successful head coach in Alaska high school football history, Buck Nystrom's name is synonymous with winning. During his 31-year career from 1975 to 2006, Nystrom won a record 150 games at Eielson and North Pole. His teams won 12 conference titles and two state championships.
A Southeast Alaska basketball star, Herb Didrickson was a dominant player for Sheldon Jackson Junior College in the 1940s. He went on to become a local legend for the Alaska Native Brotherhood team and became the first player inducted into the Gold Medal Tournament Hall of Fame in 1961. Called the "Jim Thorpe of Alaska sports".
Fairbanks Equinox Marathon
In 2012 the Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks celebrated its 50th running. When created in 1963 by the coach and members of the University of Alaska ski team, there were fewer than a dozen marathons in the United States. The Equinox quickly grew to more than 1,000 participants in the late 1960s, exceeding even the Boston Marathon at the time.
Les Anderson's World Record King Salmon
Fisherman Les Anderson of Soldotna is said to have put the Kenai River on the map in the spring of 1985 when he landed a 97.4-pound king salmon -- a world record. It was 58 inches long and 37 inches around. He fought the fish for 45 minutes.
Chris Clark's Olympic Marathon Trial Victory
In 2000, as a 37-year-old mother and wife, Chris Clark of Anchorage went from running on her treadmill to running the women's marathon for the United States at the Sydney Olympics. She got there with a stunning victory in the Olympic Trials, earning the country's only bid. In Australia, Clark finished in 2 hours, 31 minutes, 35 seconds, 19th in a field of 54.
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame will hold an induction ceremony in February, 2013 at the Anchorage Museum atrium from 7:30-9:00pm. The event will be free and open to the public.
"We are happy to welcome in the Class of 2013," said Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Executive Director Harlow Robinson. "It's a class as diverse as our state's sports history. This group represents greatness across eras of time, genres of sport and also across the vast geography of Alaska."
Over 1,700 people participated in the public voting process. The accumulative public vote total constituted one ballot equal to a selection panel member's ballot. "We saw strong public campaigns from different corners of the state," said Robinson. "At the end of the day some people will be disappointed that their candidate didn't get in, but it's encouraging that some many people are getting involved in the public process."
Several new individuals will appear on next year's public ballot as a result of strong representation as a "write-in" candidate in this year's public vote or due to appearing on a selection panel ballot for the first time this year. These candidates include record-setting mountain runner Nancy Pease, hockey legend Steve McSwain, multi-time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser, NBA champion Mario Chalmers, hoops legend Steve Frank, and Charlotte Bobcats Head Coach Mike Dunlap. They will join the existing candidates on next year's ballot.
Selection Panel: Bob Eley, sports editor, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (chairman); Beth Bragg, columnist and former sports editor, Anchorage Daily News; Lew Freedman, Chicago, former Anchorage Daily News sports editor and author of numerous books about Alaska sports; Mike Janecek, Palmer, longtime high school coach and athletics administrator; Danny Martin, sports writer, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner; Steve Nerland, Anchorage, American Legion baseball manager; Mike Sica, longtime Alaskan sports broadcaster and journalist, George Houston, longtime Juneau Douglas High School basketball coach. Results of Internet voting by the public constituted the panel's ninth vote.
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization established June, 2006. The mission of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame is to teach, to honor and to inspire. For additional information about the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, visit www.alaskasportshall.org, contact Harlow Robinson at 907.240.3684.
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