Class of 2010 announced (Hall of Fame)

November 30, 2009

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2010 on Monday afternoon—and the Mackey family stole the show.

Groundbreaking dog mushing champion Lance Mackey highlighted the four individuals honored and his dad Dick Mackey‘s memorable one-second victory in the 1978 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was one of two moments that made the cut.

Lance Mackey, 39, is the only person to win the 1,100-mile Iditarod and 1,000-mile Yukon Quest races in the same year—and he’s done it twice. Overall, he’s won the Quest four times and the Iditarod three.

In 2001, Mackey was diagnosed with throat cancer. Yet he continued to do what he loves most, driving dogs. Today he is considered cancer free. He’s also considered the one of the greatest mushers of all-time.

Dick Mackey’s narrow victory in 1978 over five-time champion Rick Swenson remains the tightest finish in the Iditarod’s storied history. With 50 yards left in the race, both men were off their sleds and running alongside their dogs. Mackey collapsed once his lead dog crossed the line in Nome, whereas Swenson led his entire team over the line to set up a controversial ending.

The other individuals named to the Class of 2010 were Native Games champion Reggie Joule, Olympic snowboarding bronze medalist Rosey Fletcher and legendary mountaineer and photographer Bradford Washburn.

Joule, 57, is one the most celebrated figures in the history of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics and Native Youth Olympics. Today he is a member of the Alaska House of Representatives.

A multiple-time champion, Joule, of Kotzebue, set records in the 1970s in graceful and athletic events such as the one-foot and two-foot high kick. He also won 10 gold medals in the blanket toss.

Fletcher, 34, became the first Alaskan to win an Olympic medal in snowboarding when she finished third in the women’s parallel giant slalom at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy .

A three-time Olympian, Fletcher grew up in Girdwood, where she fell in love with the slopes at Alyeska Resort. In addition to her Olympic bronze medal, she has won two silver medals at the world championships.

Bradford, who died at age 96 in 2007, was an accomplished mountaineer, photographer and mapmaker dating back to the 1920s.

As a climber, he was the first person to ascend many Alaska peaks, including Mount Crillon, Mount Sanford, Mount Hayes, Mount Dickey and the West Buttress route on Mount McKinley.

He was probably best known for his work with making maps, most notably of Mount McKinley and Mount Everest. He also founded the modern Boston Museum of Science.

The other moment celebrated by the Hall was Noorvik’s Elliott Sampson’s upset victory in the 1981 Alaska high school cross-country running meet. It’s still considered one of the biggest shockers in Alaska sports history because he knocked off the fastest kids from the big city back when the race was open to all classifications.

The 100-year-old Midnight Sun Baseball Classic in Fairbanks, the game that begins at 10:30 p.m. and is played without artificial lights, was the Hall’s honored event.

There will be an induction ceremony in February in Anchorage.