Clary, DeLoach headline 2016 Hall of Fame ceremony

July 29, 2016

Arguably Alaska’s greatest runner and the state’s best track and field athlete both went to the Olympics, and now they are headed to the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.

Don Clary and Janay DeLoach will headline the Class of 2016 induction ceremony tonight at Ted Stevens International Airport along with two moments and an event.

The Class of 2016 also includes the moment Anchorage’s Matt Carle won the celebrated Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s best player in 2006 and when the Special Olympics World Winter Games came to Anchorage in 2001.

The 40-year-old plus Native Youth Olympics was inducted as the event.

Don Clary
Don ClaryAn icon in cleats, Clary was the first Alaska runner to qualify for the Olympics when he competed at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

He advanced to the Olympic semifinals in the 5,000 meters, a moment that is nominated for Alaska Sports Hall of Fame consideration. He qualified by finishing third at the Olympic Trials. Four years earlier he was fifth.

Clary also ran in the 1983 Pan American Games and placed fifth in the 5K race.

In 1986, Clary beat former Boston Marathon winner Alberto Salazar to win the Alaska 10K Classic. The next year he set the course record of 28:35 – a mark that still stands today.

In college, Clary was a four-time NCAA All-American at the University of Oregon and member of school’s 1977 cross country team that captured the national championship. He was also a Pac-10 champion.

At East Anchorage High School, he won two state cross country titles and set an Alaska prep record in the two-mile run [9:04.04] that has stood for nearly 40 years.

Janay DeLoach track

Janay DeLoach

The greatest track and field athlete in Alaska history, DeLoach is one of the most successful long jumpers on the planet with four US championships, a Worlds silver medal and an Olympic bronze medal from the 2012 Games.

A broken left ankle in 2013 forced her to abandon her traditional takeoff and switch to using her right leg. She still qualified for the World Championships and became first woman to jump 6.95 meters off either leg.

In 2014, DeLoach qualified for Worlds in the 60-meter hurdles after a second-place finish at the US Championships. That year she won hurdles races at the Millrose Games and Boston Grand Prix.

She was a 4-time NCAA All-American at Colorado State University.

At Eielson High School near Fairbanks, DeLoach was a 4-time long jump state champion and still holds the Alaska state record of 19-5.

Moment[s]

Matt Carle

Matt Carle

When Anchorage’s Matt Carle won the Hobey Baker Award in 2006 as college hockey’s best player he became the only Alaskan and first University of Denver player to do so.

Carle, a junior defenseman, led the nation in assists [42] that season and was No. 1 among defensemen in points [53].

He also was selected the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year — a first in league history.

The 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games invigorated Anchorage with the largest international sporting event ever staged in Alaska.

More than 1,800 Special Olympians competed in seven different events at venues throughout the city.

Event
NYOThe Native Youth Olympics started in 1971 and features a variety of traditional Native games that test an athlete’s strength, courage and discipline.

Native games had long been a custom in rural Alaska before the NYO competition was founded by a group of Anchorage teachers organized by Sarah Hanuske, a coordinator for the state’s boarding home program.

The idea of creating a statewide competition was to give the relocated students living with strangers in Anchorage a taste of home because prior to NYO they had no real connection with where they came from during the school year.

The inaugural NYO featured a dozen and took one afternoon and featured 100 students.

Now it reaches out to more than 2,000 kids, making it so large NYO created a junior and senior competition lasting three days each.