What are the readers saying? (Hall of Fame)

November 21, 2011
Alaska Sports Hall of Fame

Voting for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012 continues through the end of the month, but here are some emails submitted by readers:

Recommendation:Bill Spencer
Submitted by:Tom Corbin
Why:I have Known & Respected Bill Spencer since Service High School Opened in 1971 & Bill was a Student/Athlete there. I met Bill there when I went to work as a Teacher & Coach when the School Opened. Since Then – up through the Present – I have Observed, Coached & Trained with Bill Spencer.
Several Folks have Encouraged me to Write Your Committee to offer my Perceptions & Recollections of Billy.
• Member of the Very First State Championship Team (of Any Kind) from Service High (X-C Running 1972)
• Set the Junior Record @ Mt. Marathon Which – STILL – Stands – in 1973
• Broke the Senior Record @ Marathon in 1974 (@ 5 ft. 3 in. & 85 lb.s Has Held The Senior Record – Continuously – from 1974 Up to the Present
• 8 (EIGHT) Time Senior Mens Winner of Mt. Marathon
• Made the U.S. Cross-Country Ski Team Right Out of High School
• Qualified for the 1988 Olympic Games @ Calgary, Alberta in Cross-Country Skiing
• Former Record Holder of Bird Ridge & Crow Pass Crossing Race Records
• Successful Nordic Ski Coach @ UAA (10 Years), Montana State & University of Vermont
• Designed (with Jim Galanes) the Leikisch 7 & half K Loop @ Kincaid
• Designed the Spencer Loop which was Named After Him
• Designed Ski Trails @ Homer & assisted Ed Strabel design Trails @ his Place near Hatcher Pass
• For Years Pushed to get an Early Season Mountain Race up Government Peak (Now a Reality)
• Started & Continues to Direct the Knoya Ridge Mountain Race
• For Several Years Directed the Bird Ridge Mountain Race
• Member: Alaska Mountain Runners Board of Directors – since the Organizations Inception (Mid Ninties)
• Active as an Organizer & Participant in Local Orienteering Events
• Coach of Numerous All American Athletes in College including Erik Flora (Director of the Alaska Pacific Nordic Ski Center) & Toby Schwoerer – Who has the Second Fastest Senior Mens Time @ Mt. Marathon
Bill Spencer is an Intelligent, Quiet, Soft Spoken Individual. I have Worked with & Met Thousands of Young People in my Time with the Anchorage School District & McLaughlin Youth Center. Billy is the Most Unselfish & Hardest Working/Capable Athlete & Coaches & Individuals I have ever met.
Bill Has Excelled as an Athlete, Coach, Trail Designer, Race Director and Community Advocate.
He is Deserving of Serious Consideration by the Selection Committee for Induction into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.
He Has Accomplished – SO MUCH – in & For Alaska. Simply Put: Bill Spencer is Part of the History of Our State!

Recommendation:Bill Spencer
Submitted by:Tom Livingston
Why:Owns two Mt. Marathon records-most men’s wins and fastest time, member of U.S Olympic Nordic ski team, numerous Crow Creek Pass wins, UAA ski coach, US World Cup team member, twice champion US National Ski Orienteering, etc…. And he was even born in Alaska!

Recommendation:1988 Football State Championship
Submitted by:Tom Huffer Sr.
Why: With 1:30 to go in the game, Chugiak had the ball on Soldotna’s 30 yard line and behind 18-14. It was first down on SoHi’s 30 yard line with no time-outs. First, second and third passes were incomplete leaving Chugiak with a 4th down and 10 yards for the 1st down. Our quarterback called a short pass just to get a first down. It was well covered by a SoHi player who went up to knock it down and the ball was slightly tipped and landed in our running back’s hands who ran up the sideline for the winning touchdown – 20-18. It was a dramatic reception and referred to in the newspaper as a last ditch Hail Mary pass for the state championship.

Recommendation:Don Clary Jr.
Submitted by:Kris Mueller
Why:Without a doubt the Greatest Distance runner in Alaska history! Undefeated against Alaska Runner’s! Member of the World USA Cross Country team. NCAA Cross Country Champ! USA 5k Olympian LA 84! 28:34 10K in Alaska! No Runner in Alaska history comes close to his All Around running career, come on guys let’s get Don in there this year! University of Oregon Hall of Famer! Almost forgot! And that’s a small sampling of what the guy accomplished in his career! My Hero…!

Recommendation:Allen Spencer
Submitted by:Chris Prince
Why:This is the longest standing record on the ASAA Swimming and Diving website. This record was accomplished his Junior year. His Senior year he went on to school in California because there was better diving coaching. He went on to diving at Nebraska University. Allen was also the coach at UAA for a few years and one of his divers qualified for the NCAA Div II Championships. This is only a short bio of his accomplishments and if he is nominated I hope a more thorough bio can be done.

Recommendation:Open North American
Submitted by:Kathy Fitzgerald
WhyThe Open North American Championship Sled Dog Race (ONAC) – heading into its 67th consecutive year in 2012. The oldest, annually occurring sled dog race in the world! Conducted by the Alaska Dog Mushers Association, every year, since 1946 – without fail…. (Anchorage Fur Rondy only 62 years.) The ONAC has been the anchor event in Fairbanks for winter carnivals, for decades. It started as the Fairbanks Sled Dog Derby in the 1930’s. All winter carnival events, as well as many additional events that take place in the month of March, trace back to taking place that time of the year, BECAUSE of the race. Nowadays, because people were historically traveling to Fairbanks for the dog race, since their incorporation, both the Tanana Chiefs Conference, and Doyon Ltd., have conducted their annual shareholders meetings in Fairbanks, the third week in March, because that’s when they could expect the most participation. The estimated economic impact of this event for that weekend is $1.8M!!!

Recommendation:Nancy Jane Ramey Lethcoe
Submitted by:Steve Gruhn
Why:In 1956 she won an Olympic silver medal in the 100-meter butterfly. She set the world record in the 100-meter butterfly in 1958, broke her own record in 1959, and held that record until 1961. Since that time, she has, with her husband, published numerous books on Prince William Sound.

Recommendation:Nancy Pease
Submitted by:Bob Kean
Why:When you see the records that Nancy set stand up against all competitors each year, her achievements gain greater and greater status. I personally saw Nancy do something that I consider almost superhuman while not even breaking a sweat. I do not want this unassuming tremendous athlete to while away in the wings until somebody runs the race of their life under perfect conditions to take even one of her titles away. Probably need to add her impressive Bird Ridge wins and records. Her best time in that race will likely stand for a long time. Nancy’s records continue to withstand challenges, which makes her induction into the Hall of Fame all the more important.

Recommendation:Marcie Trent
Submitted by:Patricia Parsch
Why:Not only was Marcie an incredibly talented runner, she was a mentor to me and those who wanted to follow her on the trails. Considering that the running community was just beginning to develop years ago, Marcie was a true pioneer. She was a fearless individual with determination and motivation to continue running numerous marathons well into her later years. When asked to be interviewed about being an older athlete, she informed the interviewer that he should call back when she was 90! Longevity ran in her family and she was just warming up. As an athlete Marcie was a fierce competitor and it was difficult for those of us 20 years younger to maintain her pace on mountains. I feel she should not only be recognized for her athleticism and pioneer spirit, but remembered. If inducted into the AK Sports Hall of Fame her life would be honored so others could be inspired like I was thirty years ago.