Israel Hale of Kotzebue, Carol Seppilu of Nome and Keegan Messing of Girdwood have been named as finalists for the 2020 Trajan Langdon Award by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
The Trajan Langdon Award is given to a person or group of people who have demonstrated leadership, integrity and sportsmanship during the past year and positively influenced and inspired others to be better sportsmen or sportswomen. The award dates to 2012.
Israel Hale, Kotzebue – Hale became the first double-leg amputee ever to participate in the Iron Dog race. No amputee had ever competed in the Iron Dog — much less a double amputee without prosthetics. He made history with his brother Joseph. They were the first-place team in the recreational class of the 1,000-plus mile snowmachine race.
Carol Seppilu, Nome – The ultramarathon runner has overcome personal adversity through running. A suicide survivor, Seppilu continues to treat her own depression by staying active and maintaining a connection to nature by participating in ultramarathon races like the Black Canyon 100K.
Keegan Messing, Girdwood – The figure skater stole the show at the Autumn Classic International in Canada, winning the bronze medal and displaying true sportsmanship in the awards ceremony. After he saw there was no flag display during the national anthem of Japan, Messing held up the Japanese flag for gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Days later, his younger brother Paxon was killed in a road accident. Messing opted to compete again a few weeks later and set a personal scoring best in the short program of Skate America.
Here is a list of past Trajan Langdon Award winners:
2019: Andy Beardsley and Larsen Klingel
2018: DaJonee Hale
2017: Damen Bell-Holter
2016: Laci Effenberger
2015: Aliy Zirkle
2014: Marko Cheseto
2013: Paul Tandy
2012: Chugiak High School football team
This is one of four Directors’ Awards handed out by the seven-person committee that makes up the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
Here is a list of 2020 finalists for each of the four awards:
Joe Floyd Award – Milo Griffin, Cristy Hickel, Ed Strabel
Trajan Langdon Award – Israel Hale, Carol Seppilu, Keegan Messing
Women’s Pride of Alaska Award – Will be announced Saturday
Men’s Pride of Alaska Award – Will be announced Sunday
Directors’ Award winners will be announced June 24.
2020 Trajan Langdon Award
Also Receiving Votes
Kikkan Randall’s NYC Marathon – Just one year after her final round of chemotherapy for stage 2 breast cancer, the five-time Olympian from Anchorage clocked a time in the New York City Marathon of 2 hours, 55 minutes, 12 seconds in her 26.2-mile debut to easily beat her three-hour goal.
Ben Schultz and Rob Whitney – The Anchorage firefighters trained together for Mount Marathon in Seward. Two years after Schultz nearly died after falling 75 feet from a ladder of a fire truck, he worked his way to the top of Mount Marathon with the help of Whitney, an accomplished mountain runner.
Lael Wilcox – Wilcox, of Anchorage, has inspired both boys and girls and men and women by pursuing a lifestyle of adventure and activity. She has faced her fair share of disappointing and even unfair treatment as a woman dominating ultra-endurance cycling events that have traditionally been the province of men only.
Fred Moore – The Seward native finished his record 50th consecutive Mount Marathon. The 79-year-old runner has competed in the Fourth of July mountain race every year since 1970.