Randall, Dunbar and Strabel among 2014 Directors’ Awards class
Runners and skiers headline the list of names for the 2014 Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Directors’ Awards.
The recipients were selected by the ASHOF board of directors based on consideration for their contributions, actions and achievements in sports over the past year or recent years. They will be recognized along with the Class of 2014 inductees during the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Anchorage Museum on Wednesday, March 19th at 7:30pm.
The 2014 Winners:
Joe Floyd Award–For Significant and Lasting Contribution to Alaska through Sports.
Dick Mize: Dick Mize came to Alaska to serve at Fort Richardson, discovered biathlon and then competed in the 1960 Olympics. He was a longtime local teacher and principal as well as cross-country running and skiing coach at Dimond High School. A pioneer for Nordic skiing and biathlon in Alaska, he helped design and construct local trails such as Kincaid Park and Hillside. A World Masters ski champion, Mize, remains involved in the local ski scene, both as a racer and a volunteer, and can still be spotted on his namesake loop at Kincaid.
Trajan Langdon Award—For Leadership, Sportsmanship and Inspiration.
Marko Cheseto: Marko Cheseto inspired many through his record-setting performances as a distance runner for the University of Alaska Anchorage. But the Kenyan has inspired even more people by what he’s done after disappearing into the winter woods for 55 hours in late-2011, an ordeal that resulted in the amputation of both his feet. Thrust into the limelight, he thereafter has worked hard to overcome depression and spoke openly about the topic. Cheseto earned a degree in nutrition, entered graduate school and became a graduate assistant coach for the UAA cross country team. Wearing special prostheses, he has also returned to running competitions and aspires to compete in the 2016 Paralympics.
Pride of Alaska Award ––For Consistent Excellence in Athletic Competition.
(Female) Kikkan Randall: Kikkan Randall continues to make American cross country skiing history. A four-time Olympian, in 2013 she joined Jessie Diggins to win the team sprint and become America’s first Nordic skiing world champions. In another milestone, Randall seized the first discipline title by topping the overall World Cup sprint standings in 2012, a feat she repeated the next year. In 2013, she was also third in the overall World Cup standings, the best ever by a U.S. woman. Randall tacked on two more World Cup wins and two second-place finishes early in the 2013-14 season. Beyond her athletic accomplishments, Randall is an ambassador for Fast and Female, an organization dedicated to empowering young women through sport and Healthy Futures, a program that encourages Alaska’s youth to be more active.
(Male) Eric Strabel and Trevor Dunbar: The duo of Eric Strabel and Trevor Dunbar set new standards for Alaska running over the past few years, one on the track, one off. On July 4th, 2013, Eric Strabel claimed the most revered of Alaskan running records, breaking Bill Spencer’s 32-year-old mark at the Mount Marathon Race. A year earlier the Palmer native set a record in the arduous Matanuska Peak Challenge and defended his title there in 2013. Strabel also became one of only two runners to break 3 hours at the Crow Pass Crossing. During his record-setting stretch, Strabel has won nearly every major trail or mountain race in the state. In 2013 Kodiak’s Trevor Dunbar became the first Alaskan to run a sub 4-minute mile. The accomplishment came five years after he first garnered national attention as a high-schooler by running a 9:01 3,200-meter race in the snow. Dunbar then continued with an All-American career first at the University of Portland and now at the University of Oregon. Dunbar also placed 11th at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 5,000 meters.
Director’s Award recipients will be recognized on a plaque at the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame gallery at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International airport. For additional information about the Directors’ Awards and previous winners visit http://alaskasports.wpengine.com/honor/directors-awards/.
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors are Eric Ohlson (President), Jim Balamaci (Vice President), Chris Myers (Treasurer/Secretary), Matt Carle, Chuck Homan, Reggie Joule, Nina Kemppel, Gina Luckey, Jason Metrokin and Rick Mystrom. Harlow Robinson is the Executive Director.