Congrats to this week’s winner!

Lydia Jacoby

June 18th, 2021

Seward’s Lydia Jacoby became the first swimmer from Alaska to qualify for the Olympics, recording a sizzling second-place finish in the 100-meter breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic Trials. The 17-year-old came from behind to nearly catch defending Olympic gold medalist Lilly King, who posted the world’s fastest time of the year in 1:04.79. Jacoby now has the world’s second-best time of 1:05.28. Jacoby, who was by far the youngest swimmer in the finals, improved on her own national age-group record.

 

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Alaska Athlete of the Week is selected each Friday with the winner announced every Saturday at 11 a.m. on the Sports Guys on CBS Sports 590AM and 96.7FM and Monday morning on our Facebook page. Have a candidate in mind? Email us at info@alaskasportshall.org.

Past Winners

Jonny Homza

June 11th, 2021

Jonnny Homza, of South Anchorage HS fame, hit two homers in a game for the Fort Wayne TinCaps in High-A Central League action to extend his hitting streak to 13 games as of June 5.  The leadoff hitter has raised his season batting average 115 points, from .140 to .255, since May 22 thanks to this hot streak. He’s batting .353 on 18-of-51 hitting across the last 13 games with three home runs and 16 RBIs.

Johnny Meszaros

June 4th, 2021

Anchorage’s Johnny Meszaros  became the 16th Alaskan to pitch at the professional level after he made his debut with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers , an affiliate of the Houston Astros’s.  The 27-year-old was a MLB draft pick out of high school who opted to go to college and then saw his career derailed by elbow injuries.  He was out of baseball for several years before making a comeback.

 

 

 

Travante Williams

May 28th, 2021

After dishing off a career-high 10 assists to highlight Sporting Lisbon’s 74-72 win over FC Porto in Game 1, Anchorage’s Travante Williams followed up with a 20-point, 8-rebound, 5-assist effort in Game 2.  The Mt. Edgecumbe High graduate leads the team in scoring at 17.3 points per game. The 6-foot-4 small forward’s resume includes a 50-point game, player-of-the-year awards in two countries (Georgia, Portugal), three defensive player-of-the-year awards and three championships in the Portuguese League.

Keith Johnson

May 21st, 2021

Anchorage’s Keith Johnson joined some of the biggest names in soccer in being selected one of 20 finalists for the National Soccer Hall of Fame. The two-time Paralympian from Alaska is listed alongside legendary names David Beckham, Hope Solo and Thierry Henry.  Johnson was a fixture on the U.S. Paralympic National Team at goalkeeper for more than a dozen years between 2003 and 2016. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was young, Johnson didn’t let that stop the former East High T-bird varsity player from enjoying the game he loves.

Obed Vargas

May 14th, 2021

Anchorage soccer player Obed Vargas turned in an outstanding professional soccer debut for the Tacoma Defiance of the United Soccer League. Vargas started in his first game and at age 15, was the youngest player on the field.  The midfielder clocked 66 minutes in the 1-1 tie with LA Galaxy 2.. A former standout for Cook Inlet Soccer Club, Vargas left Alaska at age 13 to play for the Seattle Sounders academy for two seasons before signing professionally with Seattle’s 2 Team.

Sheryl Loan

May 7th, 2021

Anchorage cyclist Sheryl Loan placed third in the Bike for Women to continue her astonishing streak of never finishing outside the overall top three in the race. Loan, who now races in the 60-64 age-group, clocked a time of 24:26, finishing third among the all-female field of 399 cyclists to make it 18 straight races finishing on the podium. The 10-time Bike for Women champ just missed her own 60-64 age-group record of 23:51.8 set in 2019.

Isaac Updike

April 30th, 2021

Ketchikan’s Isaac Updike stunned the reigning steeplechase national champion at the Oregon Relays at historic Hayward Field in Eugene. The Alaskan clocked a personal-best 8:17.74 – the world’s fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase time this year and qualified for the Olympic trials. He shaved seven seconds off his PR and took down reigning U.S. champ Hillary Bor, who was third. His time of 8:17.74 is the fastest for an Alaskan and not since Don Clary’s 8:26.8 in 1979 had an Alaskan gone so fast in the event.

Brody Jessee

April 23rd, 2021

Brody Jessee of Anchorage recorded his first two college saves for Gonzaga University, pitching two shutout innings in each game. The freshman right-hander has been a big boost to the Zags’ bullpen and was recently promoted from middle reliever to closer. The former South Wolverines star protected a 2-1 win over Saint Mary’s by throwing two clean innings. In a 3-0 win over Washington, Jessee sealed the deal with a pair of scoreless frames after entering with two runners on base and no outs in the 8th inning.

Lydia Jacoby

April 16th, 2021

Seward swimmer Lydia Jacoby turned in a historic time in the 100-meter breaststroke, placing second in a field featuring professional swimmers, finishing behind only world-record holder Lilly King of Indiana. The 17-year-old clocked a time of 1:06.38 to lower her personal best by 1.17 seconds and now ranks second in the country this year.  She is looking to become the first Alaskan to swim in the Olympics and has already qualified for the Olympic Trials.  Her time ranks No. 5 all-time in 17-to-18 age group history.

Jeremy Swayman

April 9th, 2021

Anchorage’s Jeremy Swayman had a memorable NHL debut with the Boston Bruins, turning aside 40 shots in a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers to become the third Alaska goalie to play in the NHL and the 17th Alaskan to log ice time in the world’s premier hockey league. The 22-year-old rookie He made 22 consecutive saves to end the game and earn the game’s second of three stars. Two days later the South High grad built on his impressive debut with a 31 save effort in a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals.

Nolan Walker

April 2nd, 2021

Hockey player Nolan Walker registered a stellar performance at the NCAA Division I Tournament. The Anchorage skater scored four points in two games at the Northeast Regional to help St. Cloud State advance to the Frozen Four for only the second time in school history. Walker, a junior forward, scored a goal in a 4-1 upset win over Boston College in the regional finale. He ranks fourth on his team in scoring this season with 22 points on nine goals and 13 assists.

Sayvia Sellers

March 26th, 2021

Anchorage basketball player Sayvia Sellers was named Alaska Athlete of the Week after her spectacular performance in leading Anchorage Christian Schools to the 3A state championship. The sophomore guard scored 41 points for the Lady Lions in an opening-round route, connecting on seven 3-pointers. Sellers, who was recently named first-team all-state, followed her high-scoring effort up with two brilliant all-around games, logging 9 steals, 8 assists to go with 15 points against Kotzebue and 13 points, 6 steals, 6 assists in the championship game against Sitka.

Dallas Seavey

March 19th, 2021

Talkeetna musher Dallas Seavey captured his fifth championship in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, joining racing legend Rick Swenson as the race’s winningest musher. Seavey reached the Deshka Landing finish line at 5:08 a.m., completing the shortened race in 7 days, 14 hours, 8 minutes and 57 seconds. He and his team finished just over 3 hours ahead of runner-up Aaron Burmeister. It was Seavey’s 5th Iditarod victory 12 attempts.

Sydnee Kimber

March 12th, 2021

Sitka’s Sydnee Kimber won her second straight National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championship in impressive fashion. The All-American junior at McKendree University  won the 191-pound championship after pinning each of her four opponents in the first round. She finished the season 17-0  in becoming a back-to-back national champion. The Mt. Edgecumbe High graduate will advance to next month’s Olympic Trials.

Michael Earnhart

March 5th, 2021

Michael Earnhart of Chugiak turned in a dominating performance at the ASAA state cross-country skiing championships. The Chugiak High School standout outpaced a competitive field  to win all three races during the three day event to help the Mustangs to second place in the team standings. His efforts earned him the boys Skimeister award, given to the state’s top high school skier.

Faith Widman

February 26th, 2021

Cross country runner Faith Widman of Fairbanks posted her second straight victory to start the NAIA season. The Oregon Tech University junior cross-country runner won the Lane Community College Invitational over the weekend in impressive fashion, posting a 35-second win in the women’s 5-K field.  The West Valley High grad clocked a time in 18:37.7. At the Bushnell Invitational three weeks ago Widman went even faster, crossing in 18:23.3. These are the first two wins for the Alaskan in 15 career starts.

Richie Diehl

February 19th, 2021

Aniak musher Richie Diehl won the Kuskokwim 300, a race he grew up watching and dreaming of winning. Diehl, 35, posted a time of 36 hours, 8 minutes and took a 43-minute win over his good friend, Pete Kaiser, a five-time champion from Bethel who finished second. His victory came two weeks after a win in Bethel’s Bogus Creek 150. Diehl finished 3rd in his last two Kusko 300 efforts.

Agatha Andrews

February 12th, 2021

Akiak’s Agatha Andrews defended her No. 1 national wrestling ranking in style by winning the Grand View Open title in Des Moines, Iowa. She pinned all three opponents, including the fourth ranked wrestler in the championship match. A Mt. Edgecombe graduate, the University of Jamestown star sits atop the NAIA rankings in the 191-pound weight class. Andrews, a junior, is a two-time WCWA All-American who last year advanced all the way to the national finals in her weight class.

 

Brandon Huffman

February 5th, 2021

Anchorage’s Brandon Huffman was named Alaska Athlete of the Week after being voted  both the Ohio Valley Conference’s Player of the Week and Newcomer of the Week as a Jacksonville State University basketball player. The 6-foot-10 senior had  36-point, 8-dunk, 12-rebound performance in a weekend sweep of Morgan State and Austin Peay. Huffman, of West High fame, is now averaging a career-best 10.4 points per game in 16 games with the NCAA D1 team in Alabama.

Nolan Walker

January 29th, 2021

Anchorage’s Nolan Walker ripped off four goals on four shots to highlight an 8-2 win over Miami of Ohio in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The St. Cloud State junior forward is the most accurate sniper in college hockey, leading all D1 skaters with a 38.9 scoring percentage. Walker also furnished an assist to give him his first career five-point night. His effort ties an NCHC record for most goals and most points in a game. With the scoring effort Walker surpassed the 50-point career benchmark in his 84th game for St. Cloud State.

Levi and Caleb Hopkins

January 22nd, 2021

Levi and Caleb Hopkins had an impressive showing in college wrestling. The Palmer brothers are featured in the starting lineup for D1 Campbell University and both of them went 2-0 as the Camels swept a college tri-meet. Caleb picked up two bonus-point wins by pin and major decision at 184 pounds. His younger brother Levi posted back-to-back 5-1 decisions at 197 to earn his first wins at the college level. Levi and Caleb each won wrestling state championships for Colony High School.

Hailey Williams

January 15th, 2021

Delta Junction sprinter Hailey Williams shined in her debut for Duke University. Facing fellow Atlantic Coast Conference runners from Clemson and Georgia Tech, the Duke University freshman finished second in the 60-meter dash in her college debut. The Alaska sprinter clocked a time of 7.72 seconds as Duke swept the top three places. In high school, the Delta Junction Husky was a seven-time state champion and the winner of the 2020 Alaska Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

Gus Schumacher

January 8th, 2021

Anchorage’s Gus Schumacher turned in a spectacular World Cup ski performance, finishing 8th in the 15k Stage 6 of the Tour de Ski in Italy. In what was the best race of the year for American men’s Nordic ski racing, Schumacher stayed in range early on and then strategically worked his way through the lead pack during the final third of the race. Starting from his position in 33rd, the former world junior champion climbed to as high as 5th place before crossing in a career World Cup best 8th.

Trevor Dunbar

January 1st, 2021

Kodiak’s Trevor Dunbar was hired by the University of California Berkeley as a new assistant coach for cross country and distance running.  The 29-year-old’s running career is the stuff of legends. His success ranges from seven-time prep champion to junior national champion to eight-time NCAA All-American to the professional ranks. Dunbar has added a new chapter: college coach.

 

Jeremiah Bailey

December 25th, 2020

Fairbanks basketball player Jeremiah Bailey pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds and scoring 12 points for D1 University of the Pacific in a 92-64 route of Westmont. The senior guard did his damage in just 26 minutes, giving him a double-double in back-to-back games. The Monroe Catholic High graduate opened the season with a career-high 25-point effort and is now averaging a team-best 14.8 points per game through the first four and a career-best 8.5 rebounds per game.

Rosie Brennan

December 18th, 2020

Alaska Pacific University skier Rosie Brennan became only the second American after Alaskan Sadie Bjiornsen to wear the yellow bib as the overall World Cup leader after a spectacular weekend performance in the Swiss Alps.  She also joins Kikkan Randall as the lone Americans to win back-to-back World Cup races. The 2018 Olympian from Anchorage recorded victories in the freestyle sprint and the 10-K freestyle to earn her place as the World Cup series leader across all three disciples: overall, sprint and distance.

DaJonee Hale

December 11th, 2020

DaJonee Hale bagged a double-double with 12 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for Bamberg in a 55-52 in the Geman professional basketball league. The 5-foot-8 playmaker from Anchorage leads her team in scoring at 13 points per game and ranks second in rebounds at 8 per game. Hale, of Houston High fame, has career highs of 30 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as a pro. She was the 2018 NAIA National Player of the Year for Central Methodist University and led the nation in scoring at 28.8 points per game.

JT Thor

December 4th, 2020

Playing in only his second college basketball game, Anchorage hoops standout  JT Thor scored in double figures against the No. 1 team in college basketball. The Auburn University freshman scored 11 points and added three rebounds, two assists and one steal in a loss to Gonzaga.  The 6-foot-10 power forward, who moved out of state after his sophomore year at West Anchorage High School, did not start playing basketball until the 7th grade. Thor is ranked by ESPN as the 45th best player nationally in the freshman class.

Jo Reid

November 27th, 2020

Jo Reid of Anchorage overcame quad injuries to both legs to win the women’s American FootGolf League National Championships. The 45-year-old soccer coach fired a 54-hole total of 216 to beat Oklahoma’s Laura Parker by five shots. This was Reid’s second national title after winning last year in Virginia and marks the fifth straight year she has finished first or second in the event.

Lydia Jacoby

November 20th, 2020

Seward’s Lydia Jacoby had an eye-popping performance at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships. She turned in a blistering time of 1:07.57 in the 100-meter breaststroke, which now ranks her No. 2 all-time among American girls 15-16 years old, only .52 seconds behind the national record of 1:07.05 set in 2000. The 16-year-old moved up four spots on the all-time list, bettering her previous PR of 1:08.12 set last year at the USA Swimming National Junior Championships.

Hunter Sulte

November 13th, 2020

Teenage soccer prodigy Hunter Sulte from Anchorage agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Portland Timbers, making him only the 2nd Alaskan to sign a MLS contract. Sulte, 18, has been a part of the Timbers Academy since 2016 when he left Alaska as a Mears Middle School seventh grader to pursue his dream of playing professional soccer. The 6-foot-7 senior turned down a scholarship offer from defending NCAA College Cup champion Georgetown University, opting to begin his pro career with the Timbers.

Jack Bartlett

November 6th, 2020

Anchorage native Jack Bartlett set national powerlifting records for his age and weight. A former Mears Middle School and Bowman Elementary student now living in Bend, Oregon, the 16-year-old lifted 578lbs in the squat and 314lbs in the bench press competing in the 125kg class. The junior only recently got into competitive weight lifting with motivation from his football coach. Bartlett took two Oregon state powerlifting titles earlier this fall.

Skyler Coleman and Ja’Sem Atonio

October 30th, 2020

Dimond High School’s Skyler Coleman and East High School’s Ja’Sem Atonio were each outstanding in leading their respective football teams to championship seasons. Atonio put on a brilliant passing display in leading the Thunderbirds to a 41-0 victory over Bartlett to cap a perfect season, completing 15 of 20 passes for 238 yards and four touchdowns. Coleman rushed for 104 yards, caught three passes for 43 yards and a touchdown, and threw a touchdown pass in Dimond’s 22-0 victory over West Anchorage. Coleman and Atonio were respectively named the girls and boys CIC offensive players of the year.

Clair DeGeorge

October 23rd, 2020

Clair DeGeorge of Anchorage was invited to the U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team Evaluation Camp. The 21-year-old was among 53 players invited – the only one from Alaska. DeGeorge is a senior forward at NCAA D1 Bemidji State University, where she is approaching the school’s top 10 for all-time points and assists. She grew up playing for the Alaska All-Stars and has been in the USA Hockey player pool since the Under-18 level.

Presley Piliati

October 16th, 2020

Anchorage football player Presley Piliati anchored a devastating defense in a 23-3 win that moved Dickinson State University to 5-0 for the first time since 2010. The senior defensive lineman and East High graduate made a season-high seven tackles and added his first sack of the season to overwhelm Dakota State in the North Star Athletic Association battle.

 

Josh Rolston and Tristian Merchant

October 9th, 2020

Two high school athletes who turned in historic performances share Alaska Athlete of the Week honors. Anchorage Christian School senior Tristian Merchant ran the fastest ever cross country time for an Alaska high school runner when he clocked 14:41 at the Region III championships in Palmer. Chugiak High senior Josh Rolston kicked the longest field goal in Alaska high school football history, splitting the uprights on a 56-yard bomb in a loss to the East T-birds.

Bill Balog

October 2nd, 2020

North Pole sprint car driver Bill Balog was crowned king of the Interstate Racing Association’s sprint car points series for a record 10th time.  Known as the ‘North Pole Nightmare’, Balog closed out this season in style by winning the 30-lap main event for winged 410s on a lightning quick half-mile dirt track in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Balog, 40, is believed to be the most successful sprint car driver from Alaska. He grew up racing motorcross and snowmachines before turning his attention to sprint cars in 2000.

Tessa Lindberg

September 25th, 2020

Tessa Lindberg orchestrated a game-winning drive late in the final minute to power the West Valley Wolfpack to a 21-20 flag football win over North Pole in Fairbanks. The senior quarterback threw a long touchdown to make the score 20-18. Lindberg then connected on a 25-yard three-point conversion for the game-winning score. For the game, she passed for three touchdowns and nearly 150 yards and added 20 yards on the ground.

 

 

September 19th, 2020

Eric Opland

Bubacar Touray

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame will not be recognizing an Alaska Athlete of the Week this week in response to the loss of two shining stars of Alaska sports. We’d like to take this moment to pay respect to the memory of soccer stalwart Bubacar “Buba” Touray and backcountry ski legend Eric “The Viking” Opland, who both left us unexpectedly and far too soon this past week.  They will both be dearly missed.

 

Carlos Boozer

September 11th, 2020

After leaving Duke University following his junior season for a career in the NBA, Juneau native and Alaska Sports Hall of Fame inductee Carlos Boozer returned to complete his college degree 19 years later. The JDHS Crimson Bears graduate took online classes over the past two summers to complete the three classes needed to earn his Sociology degree. The Olympian and multi-time NBA All Star said finishing what he starts has always been important, and that he also wanted his parents to be proud of him.

Scott Patterson

September 4th, 2020

Scott Patterson of Anchorage shattered his own record at the 8th Kesugi Ridge Traverse. The 28-year-old Olympic skier completed the rugged 30-mile course from Little Coal Creek to Byers Lake in Denali State Park in 4 hours, 19 minutes and 39 seconds. That knocked more than 18 minutes off the record he set on a rainy and frigid day in 2015.  Race conditions were much better on Saturday — the trail was mostly dry and the weather was warm but not hot — and Patterson took full advantage.

Jarren Littell

August 28th, 2020

In his first high school start, quarterback/kicker Jarren Littell of Fairbanks threw four touchdowns to four different receivers in Lathrop High School’s 57-0 win over the West Valley Wolfpack. Jarren completed 8 of 11 for 146 yards and no interceptions. The junior has now thrown a touchdown pass in all three years in a varsity contest.  The Malamute standout was also exceptional with his foot, converting all seven extra point kicks and averaging 53 yards per kickoff.

Zoe Hickel

August 21st, 2020

Former professional hockey player and Team USA gold medalist Zoe Hickel was named to the Ohio State University women’s hockey team coaching staff. Hickel played at Minnesota Duluth before embarking on a decorated playing career, winning championships in the National Women’s Hockey League with the Boston Pride and the Canadian Women’s Hockey League with the Calgary Inferno as well as two World Championship gold medals with Team USA.

Hatcher Manning

August 14th, 2020

Alaska Timbers soccer standout Hatcher Manning bagged three goals in back-to-back victories of 2-1 and 3-0 over the Fairbanks Soccer Club to clinch the United Premier Soccer League Last Frontier Division championship.  Playing mostly against older players, the 17-year old Service High School senior’s stellar play from the midfield over the weekend earned him national recognition as he was one of four players nominated for UPSL Player of the Week.  Hatcher was the only junior nominated for Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year this past spring.

Sam Hooper

August 7th, 2020

Wilderness racer Sam Hooper of Denali Park hiked and packrafted over 150 miles alone on ATV trails, along caribou routes, over tundra, through swamps, and down rivers to win the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic. The former Denali National Park backcountry ranger struggled with nausea and “trench foot.” He completed the trek from near Cantwell to the Sheep Mountain Lodge on the Glenn Highway in 86 hours and 5 minutes. Hooper, 32,  finished the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic nearly a day quicker than the next group.

Jack Opinsky

July 31st, 2020

West High School senior Jack Opinsky hit a two-run single that provided a 3-2 walk-off victory over Wasilla in the championship game of the Alliance Baseball State Tournament. The Eagles scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and final inning capped by Opinsky’s frozen rope into the outfield. The head coach’s son, Opinsky was named the tourney Gold Glove Award winner. But it was his big hit that gave West High School its first state title since 1977 and gave his father, who is a battling a brain tumor, a “proud dad” moment for the history books.

LelandWilson

July 24th, 2020

Leland Wilson, an 18-year-old left-handed pitcher for the Anchorage’s West Eagles, tossed a 2-hit shutout with 16 strikeouts in a 3-0 win over defending state champion Juneau on the first day of the Alliance Baseball League State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium. The flamethrower fanned seven in the first three innings and struck out the side in the seventh and final inning. The 2020 Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year, Leland is headed to NCAA D1 Texas Tech this fall.

Derrick Wilson

July 17th, 2020

Anchorage basketball player Derrick Wilson helped the Golden Eagles win The Basketball Tournament’s $1 million grand prize. The team of Marquette alumni bested a 24-team field loaded with former NBA and college players in the winner-take-all tournament in Columbus, Ohio. Wilson, of East High fame, is coming off a sensational season in Sweden, where he averaged a career-best 19.8 points per game. At Marquette, the 6-foot-1 guard was more of a facilitator and he again played that role with the Golden Eagles. The Alaskan was on the squad last year that lost the TBT championship game.

Abigail Ante and Mark McMahan

July 10th, 2020

Anchorage golfers Abigail Ante and Mark McMahan are separated by 44 years of age but both won their first state match-play championships. Abigail, 15, went 2-1 in the round-robin semifinals. She then tied for 3rd the next week in the Alaska Women’s Amateur championship. McMahan, 59, won all five matches to claim the senior men’s title 43 years after making his state amateur debut as a teenager in Fairbanks.

Aaron Thrasher

July 3rd, 2020

Anchorage endurance cyclist Aaron Thrasher won the Kenai 250 bike race after he tied for second place in both 2019 and 2017 and took third in 2018. He completed the 265 mile course in 26 hours, 43 minutes.  Much of the self-supported race is on single track trails, and climbs 30,000 feet of elevation. It travels from Hope to Seward and back on routes including the Resurrection Pass, Russian Lakes, Lost Lake and Johnson Pass trails as well as some paved roads that connect them.

Lauren Murphy

June 26th, 2020

UFC fighter Lauren Murphy from Eagle River outboxed her opponent with supreme striking skills to win by unanimous decision in a match shown on ESPN.  Lauren defeated 24-fight winner Roxanne Modafferi in a battle between top-10 flyweight contenders.  The Chugiak High grad is 7th ranked in the world and improved her professional record to 13-4 after three straight wins.  Her win keeps alive her hopes at a title shot in the flyweight division.

Tristan Sayre and Noah Ottum

June 19th, 2020

Colorado School of Mines wrestler Noah Ottum and University of Alaska Fairbanks skier Tristan Sayre were both named to the COSIDA Academic All-America team. A South Anchorage High School graduate, Ottum graduated in May with a B.S. in engineering physics.  A graduate of West Valley High School in Fairbanks, Sayre closed out the 2019-20 ski season boasting a 3.92 cumulative GPA and a perfect 4.00 GPA in his graduate studies at UAF, majoring in civil engineering.

Reggie Drummond and Julian McPhail

June 12th, 2020

Mat-Su Valley football standouts Reggie Drummond and Julian McPhail helped lead and maintain a peaceful protest in Palmer to bring attention to racial injustice. Drummond, a recently graduated Wasilla Warriors running back and linebacker, was a speaker at a gathering organized by local teenagers that attracted over 2,000 people of all racial backgrounds. McPhail, a 2019 graduate who starred for the Colony Knights, played a key role in welcoming different political groups to the event and encouraging them to join together peacefully. Drummond will be playing football at Dakota State University this fall. McPhail is entering his sophomore season as a defensive back for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Haley Finch

June 5th, 2020

13-year old Haley Finch of Anchorage  completed the most miles out of over 3,000 people in the 2020 Healthy Futures 100 Miles in May Challenge, logging 887.9 miles of activity over the month of May. With COVID-19 causing much of normal life to be canceled, the middle school student put her focus into the statewide event which allows participants to convert all activities to miles.  Using a structured routine she placed ahead of household names like Kikkan Randall and Allie Ostrander.

Tyson Flaharty, Janice Tower, Lael Wilcox

May 29th, 2020

Endurance cyclists Janice Tower, Tyson Flaharty and Lael Wilcox rode to the “Top of the World” over Memorial Day weekend and are the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Athletes of the Week. Participating in the Giddy Up Challenge, also known as “Everesting”, each cyclist rode the equivalent of from sea level to the top of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak at 29,029 feet, all in different parts of the state.  Janice was in Anchorage, Lael at Hatcher Pass, and Tyson in Fairbanks.


Tristian Merchant

May 22nd, 2020

Even without the benefit of a high school track season, Anchorage’s Tristian Merchant managed to create a title-worthy performance. The ACS incoming senior broke the nine-minute benchmark in the 3,200 meters at an unofficial time trail with friends. Merchant is believed to be just the fourth high school runner from Alaska to break the nine-minute mark, crossing the line in 8:59.07. He joined Don Clary (1974), Trevor Dunbar (2009) and Levi Thomet (2015) in the exclusive club.

Pauline Tufi

May 15th,  2020

Pauline Tufi hit more home runs and collected more RBI than any other Alaskan softball player at the NCAA Division 1 level. The West Anchorage High School legend was recently recognized for her hitting and pitching prowess as one of 10 players voted to the Louisiana Tech all-decade team in an online poll. Tufi hit 35 homers and drove in 154 runs from 2014-17, which ranks second all-time at LaTech. She was also a three-time all-Conference USA selection and holds the school’s single-season record for pitching saves with six in 2015.

Travante Williams

May 8th,  2020

Travante was named MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the Portuguese League.  The 6-foot-4 small forward had a fabulous first year with Sporting Lisbon, helping the team go 21-1 before COVID-19 ended the season early. The Anchorge Native and Mt. Edgecumbe High School  graduate averaged 17.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 19 games – all career highs while in Portugal. His 2.2 steals matched his career average. This is his second MVP award in four seasons as a pro, with the first coming in the Georgian League.

Daishen Nix

May 1st,  2020

The Anchorage native decided not to play basketball at UCLA as previously planned and join the NBA G League professional pathway program, a new program that prepares elite high school players for the NBA draft. His choice sent shock waves throughout the college basketball world.  The 6-foot-5 Nix is a consensus five-star high school recruit and ranked as one of the top high school point guards in the country.  Even though Nix played high school basketball in Las Vegas he considers himself an Alaskan and regularly wore Alaska gear under his high school  jersey.

Ava Earl

April 24th,  2020

With high school spring sports canceled, the South High running and skiing standout decided to get proactive.  A junior from Girdwood, Ava signed up for the Healthy Futures 100 Miles in May Challenge, which created a “bonus” month in April, and put the challenge out to other high schoolers around the state Her team, Ava’s Domination Squad has 37 members and has logged 4,792 miles of activity, first among all 163 teams entered.  And her outreach efforts led to dozens of high school teams and hundreds of students across Alaska racking up huge miles while enjoying a friendly competition.

Ruthy Hebard

April 17th,  2020

The Fairbanks hoops standout became the only the  fourth Alaskan to be drafted in the WNBA after being selected by the Chicago Sky with the 8th pick of the 2020 draft.   The West Valley graduate was recently named the McCain Award winner as the nation’s top power forward and was selected first-team All American .  She leaves the University of Oregon as only the second Alaskan to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her collegiate career.

Morgan Hill

April 10th,  2020

Anchorage’s Morgan Hill was selected for her performance off the field of play. Now that her stellar college softball career at the University of Missouri-St. Louis has ended, the former East High standout will continue to play a starring role in the next chapter of her life. The 23-year-old next month will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and is eager to begin a career on the front lines in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Patrick McMahon

April 3rd,  2020

The Colony High School  basketball standout was named Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches 4A Player of the Year.  Patrick drew attention throughout the year with his highlight reel dunks and overall offensively ability, but his coach attributed his work on the defensive side of the court to him becoming a more well-rounded player and one of Alaska’s top basketball talents in recent years.  A junior, Patrick has committed to playing at D1 Montana State after high school. 

Destiny Reimers

March 27th,  2020

The Anchorage Christian School hoops standout was recently named the Gatorade Alaska Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Destiny averaged 18 points, 8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.9 steals per game in leading ACS to a 21-1 record. She also has a 3.98 grade point average and has committed to playing on scholarship for the University of Alaska Fairbanks this fall.

Jeremy Swayman

March 20th,  2020

The University of Maine Men’s Hockey junior netminder led the NCAA with 1,099 saves and finished with three shutouts in his last five starts in becoming the winner of the 68th Walter Brown Award, which is presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England. The Walter Brown Award is the nation’s oldest nationally recognized college hockey honor. Jeremy is the first Alaskan since Ty Conklin in 2001 to win the award.

Sydnee Kimber

March 13th,  2020

The Sitka wrestler capped her sensational sophomore season by winning two national titles – one on her own and one with McKendree University.  The 191-pounder went 3-0 in her weight class and did not allow a point, outscoring her opponents 24-0 at the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships. Kimber, of Mt. Edgecumbe fame, won two matches by pin and the other by technical fall.

Gus Schumacher

March 6th,  2020

The Anchorage skier wiped away decades of frustration for the US Ski Team by becoming the first American male to win a World Junior Championship. Gus used a killer kick over the final two kilometers to come from behind and snag the gold medal in the 10-K classic race in Germany by 4.5 seconds. The Service High grad’s gold at the U20 international competition is the first medal ever by an American male at World Juniors.

Jessica Yeaton

February 28th,  2020

Jessica won the American Birkebeiner in dominating fashion after breaking away from the lead pack and skiing the final 20 kilometers solo. The APU Nordic Ski Team member and 2018 Olympian finished in 2 hours, 13 minutes, 20 seconds, to beat Finland’s Riitta-Liisa Roponen, a five-time Olympian, by 41 seconds. Jessica topped a field of 766 women in the 50-kilometer freestyle event regarded as the biggest cross-country ski race in North America. The South Anchorage High School graduate became the 6th Alaskan to win the “Birkie”.

Andrew Kurka

February 21st,  2020

Andrew Kurka, of Palmer, won three of six races at the Para Alpine Skiing World Cup in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia. In the sit ski downhill competition, the two-time Winter Paralympic Games medalist crashed in the first two competition, but completed the course to win on the third day. He also won a Super-G race Feb. 16 and a Giant Slalom event Feb. 19.

Max Germain

February 14th ,  2020

Max Germain of Anchorage shocked the biathlon world with a bronze medal at the recent IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Switzerland. In the youth sprint at the IBU Championships the previous two years he had placed 74th and 66th. But at the 7.5-kilometer sprint the 18 year old won the bronze medal after skiing strong and missing just one of his rifle shots. A total of 106 athletes from countries around the globe participated.

Ruthy Hebard

February 7th ,  2020

Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the No. 3 Oregon women’s basketball team made history with a 74-56 victory over No. 4 UConn. The Ducks handed UConn its first home loss since 2013 and most lopsided loss ever at Gampel Pavilion, where the Huskies have gone 296-8 since the 1993-94 season. The 6-foot-4 senior produced more points in the paint than the entire UConn team. The West Valley High grad has 10 double-doubles in 22 games this season.

Isaiah Moses

January 31st ,  2020

The Dimond High senior turned in a stellar performance in the The Alaska Airlines Classic, capped off by a thrilling 42 point performance in a 70-63 loss to Trinity International School from Las Vegas in the championship game. The 6-foot guard shot 16-of-32 from the field and 7-of-8 from the line for the game and finished as the tournament scoring leader with 90 points in three games.

Alissa Pili

January 24th,  2020

The Anchorage basketball player piled up 19 points to go with a career-high 17 rebounds and converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 29 seconds left to push the  USC Trojans to a 70-68 victory over No. 7 UCLA in double overtime. The Dimond High grad collected collected six points and four rebounds in the second OT, anchoring USC’s first win over a top-10 opponent since 2017.  Alissa’s performance earned her Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Week honors.

Sydnee Kimber

January 17th,  2020

The Sitka wrestler had the match of her life, carrying a shutout into the final minute and upsetting the No. 1-ranked wrestler in her weight class at the NCAA D2 National Duals. Her victory was vital in helping the McKendree University Bearcats secure its second straight national championship.  The No. 2-ranked wrestler earned a 10-2 decision over No. 1 Emily Cue of Simon Fraser at 191 pounds in the final match of the night, tying the team score at 19-19 and forcing a tiebreaker to determine the title. The defeat of Cue avenged the only loss that the Mt. Edgecumbe High School grad has against a collegiate opponent this year.

Finnigan Donley

January 10th,  2020

The Anchorage downhill skier won the giant slalom and finished fourth overall and third among Americans in the slalom race at the Western Regional technical series in Washington.  His performance secured his berth on the U.S. team traveling to Italy next month to compete with the top junior skiers in the world at the Alpe Cimbra Children’s Cup.   The West High freshman is the first Alaskan to qualify for the event in 13 years.

 

 

Gus Schumacher

January 3rd,  2020

The Anchorage skier won his first Senior National Championship title in his debut national championship race. Just 19 years old, the Service High School grad won the men’s 1.5-kilometer freestyle sprint in 3:02.95 against a deep field that included several Olympians. Gus followed this spectacular effort with a 2nd place finish in the 15K interval start freestyle.

Hayden Lieb

December 27th, 2019

The Bethel High School wrestler won a historic fourth individual state championship. His win capped an undefeated season and made him one of only 16 Alaska high school athletes in history to pull off a four-peat. Hayden won titles at 160 pounds as a senior and junior, at 145 pounds as a sophomore and at 132 pounds as a freshman. He signed a letter of intent to wrestle at NCAA Division I Wyoming next year.

 

 

Taylor Turney

December 20th, 2019

Taylor had never raced an ultramarathon, let alone one with 60 obstacles but he crushed the Spartan Ultra 50K in Los Olivos, California, taking the victory in 5 hours, 24 minutes and 50 seconds over 50 kilometers (31 miles). The Service High School graduate caught the frontrunner at about mile 21 and never looked back, winning by more than four minutes.

 

 

 

Megan Youngren

December 13th, 2019

Megan punched her ticket to the US Olympic Marathon Trials by finishing the California International Marathon in 2 hours, 43 minutes and 52 seconds to eclipse the required 2 hours, 45 minutes by 68 seconds. The impressive performance vaulted the 28-year old Soldotna runner into fourth place on the Alaska all-time fastest women’s marathons list.

Sadie Maubet Bjornsen

December 6th, 2019

The U.S. Ski Team member from Anchorage became the first American woman to wear the yellow bib that goes to the overall leader of the World Cup. Maubet Bjornsen placed third in the season-opening 1.4-kilometer classic sprint on November 29, as she lunged to edge Norway’s Ane Appelkvist by .01 seconds. She followed that up a day later with fourth place in the 10-kilometer interval start classic race, missing another podium by just 1.3 seconds. Those were enough to boost her to the top of the World Cup overall standings.

Kelsey Griffin

November 29th, 2019

Kelsey reached a major milestone in spectacular fashion.  The veteran 6-foot-2 forward from Eagle River scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the UC Capitals to an 84-66 win over the Perth Lynx in Australia in the WNBL.  Griffin of Chugiak High fame, has no amassed 4,017 career points since turning pro in 2010 and is believed to be the highest scoring women’s pro basketball player from Alaska.

Spencer Woods

November 22nd, 2019

Spencer Woods of Shungnak qualified for the Olympic Trials in Greco-Roman wrestling by winning the silver medal at 170 pounds at the Bill Farrell Memorial in New York City. Woods, of Kotzebue High fame, is a former standout at the University of Maryland. Woods won four matches by a combined 24-6 score and was the top American in his weight. Earlier this month, Woods won a gold medal at the Malar Cupen in Sweden.

Ruthy Hebard

November 15th, 2019

Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks helped No. 1-ranked University of Oregon hand the American senior national team its first loss to a college team in 20 years after a 93-86 exhibition win in Eugene, Oregon. The West Valley grad bagged 18 points and 11 rebounds against Team USA, which included WNBA all-stars like Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Sylvia Fowles. Following the historic win, Hebard scored 40 points and grabbed 27 rebounds over two wins to start the regular season and became the 4th woman in school history to reach the 1,000 career rebound mark.

Kikkan Randall

November 8th, 2019

Running her first marathon, Kikkan Randall finished 51st among more than 22,000 women in 2 hours, 55 minutes and 12 seconds at the New York City Marathon. The five-time Olympian and 2018 gold medalist’s result ranks Randall as the 11th fastest Alaskan female ever. Randall attended the NYC Marathon last year as a spectator but was unable to participate as planned because she was undergoing treatment for stage 2 breast cancer. She has since finished her treatment and says she feels great.

Jeremy Swayman

November 1st, 2019

The Maine Black Bears goaltender turned aside 31 of 32 shots in a 2-1 road win over Vermont in the Hockey East conference. The junior from Anchorage ranks third in the country with 202 saves in six games. He has a 4-2 record with career-best 2.20 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage.

 

Owen Mulhaney

October 25th, 2019

Owen Mulhaney ran for 174 yards and three touchdowns and set a school single-season rushing record as the Houston Hawks completed an undefeated season and won their first state championship by downing Barrow 41-8 in the Division III football championship.

 

Marko Cheseto

October 18th, 2019

Six months after setting the double-amputee marathon world record in Boston (02:42:24), former UAA runner Marko Chesto rewrote the record book by finishing the Chicago Marathon in 2:37:23, breaking his old record by five minutes. Marko attributes his faster time to nutrition and training volume. Cheseto signed with Nike recently as an adaptive athlete. “I didn’t anticipate I’d be sponsored by Nike,” said Cheseto in regards to when he started running marathons.

 

Alev Kelter

October 11th, 2019

Eagle River’s Alev Kelter powered Team USA to a gold medal with three straight strong scoring games on the final day of a World Rugby Sevens series tournament. The 28-year-old playmaker tallied 27 of the team’s 74 total points in Team USA’s wins over Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Kelter’s  30 tournament appearances is most in USA Women’s rugby sevens history.

Elijah Lilio

October 4th, 2019

The Bartlett High School Golden Bears running back scored five touchdowns and rushed for 345 yards on 34 carries in a 58-35 Senior Day victory over the Wasilla Warriors. Lilio capped off his outstanding performance with a 52-yard game-sealing touchdown run in which he broke several tackles.

 

Aaron Fletcher

September 27th, 2019

The Anchorage runner shattered the Equinox Marathon record, Alaska’s longest standing running record, on a cold muddy course in Fairbanks. The win is the latest in a string of impressive achievements for the former South Anchorage Wolverines and BYU Cougars standout who will be competing in the US Olympic marathon trials in February 2020.

 

Mikey Connelly

September 20th, 2019

Mikey won the Alyeska Climbathon and became the first person to complete 13 trips up the mountain’s North Face trail in less than 10 hours. The win was the third straight for the 17-year-old mountain running prodigy from Eagle River.

 

 

Suzanne Ray

September 13th, 2019

One of the Alaska’s top runners in the ’80s and ’90s Ray set the 65-69 age-group national record by running 12,850 meters in an hour, breaking the previous U.S. record of 11,795 meters set in 2017.

 

 

Kayla Sims

September 6th, 2019

Using her 5th year of collegiate eligibility after an All-American volleyball career at The Master’s University, the multi-sport standout netted two goals in a 2-1 win over Kansas Wesleyan. The South Anchorage Wolverines graduate now has two goals and two assists for a team-best six points through the first five games.

 

Sean Rash

August 30th, 2019

The Anchorage professional bowler beat three consecutive opponents in the stepladder finals to win the PBA Wolf Open in Aurora, Illinois. The 14-year veteran now has 14 career PBA titles.

 

Chad Trammell

August 23rd, 2019

The Anchorage endurance athlete recently finished 2nd in the Leadville 100 in Colorado – one the most famous and grueling ultramarathons in the world.