Kriegmont, Merchant, Sulte are finalists for boys Pride of Alaska
Two-sport star Cooper Kreigmont of Juneau, remarkable runner Tristian Merchant of Anchorage and soccer prodigy Hunter Sulte of Anchorage were selected by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors as finalists for the 2020 boys Pride of Alaska Youth Award.
These three rising stars beat out a crowded and competitive field of high school standouts that included some of the state’s best football, basketball and downhill skiing talent.
The winner will be announced Tuesday, May 4 at 2 p.m. on Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Facebook Live, co-hosted by Alaska News Source and featuring Anchorage sportscaster Patrick Enslow and Hall of Fame Executive Director Harlow Robinson.
Kriegmont excelled in football and basketball for the Crimson Bears, earning all-state honors in both sports.
A dual-threat quarterback, he once accounted for five touchdowns in a football game.
On the hardwood, he pumped in a career-high 42 points and averaged 23 points and eight rebounds for his senior season.
Kriegmont will walk-on on the basketball team at the University of Montana.
He’s also a man of the community, working as a student aide in his high school’s special education department, reading books to elementary school children, collecting food for those in need.
He’s also helped raise money and awareness for Cancer Connection and Helping Hands nonprofits.
Merchant has made a habit of collecting Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year awards – twice winning for cross country running and once for track.
He made history by clocking what is believed to be the fastest 5-K time for an Alaska high school runner in 14:41 at the Region III championships.
He won the Alaska D2 state title three years in a row and broke 9 minutes in the 3200-meter run.
He will compete in track and cross country at powerhouse Northern Arizona University.
Sulte is an 18-year-old goalkeeper who agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Portland Timbers, making him the first Alaskan to sign a Homegrown Player contract with a Major League Soccer team.
He turned down a scholarship offer from reigning NCAA champion Georgetown University in favor of a pro contract.
Honorable mention went to football players Ja’Sem Atonio, Shaun Conwell Jr., Tolupo Falaniko and Josh Rolston; skier Finnigan Donley and CIC hoops MVP Hasaan Herrington.
Since 2012, the Pride of Alaska Award has been given to an athlete or athletes, team or coach who have not only excelled in sports in the past year or recent years, but have done so with integrity and sportsmanship and been a positive role model.
The youth award was created in 2018.
2020: Hayden Lieb/Aeyden Concepcion (co-winners)
2019: Jersey Truesdell
2018: Gus Schumacher