Leman inducted into LeTourneau University Hall of Fame
But Anchorage’s Nicole Leman changed that.
The greatest cross-country runner in school history was one of two athletes honored recently by the NCAA D3 in Longview, Texas.
Leman, of Grace Christian fame, is one of only two athletes in LeTourneau history to qualify for the national championships in any sport.
She originally came to LeTourneau to play volleyball before joining the cross-country team prior to the 2010 season. By 2012, she was arguably the top female runner in program history. In her senior season, she became the first runner in school history to win the individual title at the American Southwest Championships.
Among her accolades were five first-place finishes and three ASC Runner of the Week awards. She was also named to the Academic All-ASC Team in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Leman also earned the ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Award in 2012. Nicole was also named the Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year for cross-country in that same season. Following the 2012-13 season, she was named LeTourneau Scholar-Athlete and Student-Athlete of the Year.
Following graduation, she helped coach Grace Christian to boys and girls state cross country championships in 2013 and in 2014 ran a 50-mile race from Cooper
Landing to Hope.
Leman was an active volunteer in many community engagement activities throughout her time at LeTourneau. She served on student mission trips to Mexico, Utah and Austria and researched wheelchair design for third-world use and went on a mission trip to Kenya to confirm her findings.
She tragically passed away on December 9, 2015 from a fall while hiking in a mountainous region and traversing the face of a challenging slope in Rabbit Pass at Matukituki Waterfall near Wanaka, New Zealand.
She was the youngest child of former Alaska Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman and his wife Carolyn. The parents along with their son Joseph were in attendance to accept the Hall of Fame plaque and share in the celebration of Nicole’s accomplishments and legacy.