Class of ’13 induction tonight [Hall of Fame]

February 26, 2013
Alaska Sports Hall of Fame

Tonight is the night.

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame will hold an induction ceremony tonight at the Anchorage Museum atrium from 7:30 to 9 p.m. 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.”

High School football coach Buck Nystrom and legendary Southeast Alaska basketball star Herb Didrickson headline the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013. 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 People:
Buck Nystrom

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.

Herb Didrickson
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. He is called the “Jim Thorpe of Alaska sports.”

The Event:
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.

The Moments:
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.