Thanks for taking the time to write! By sharing your stories and knowledge you help preserve Alaska’s rich sports history and help significant people, moments and events get the recognition they deserve.
Public Recommendations are always welcome and can be submitted here.
This is a compilation of submissions received since 2006. They have generally NOT been fact-checked and thus are not guaranteed to be factually accurate. They have also not been updated to the current day, nor are they comprehensive of an individual’s accomplishments. Submissions have been edited (with deletions and some additions) for clarity, grammar, length and context. Some Editor Notes have been added where appropriate.
In the case of multiple entries for the same person, one was chosen and the names of the other people who submitted are listed. We have indicated any submissions that are currently on our candidates page or have become an Alaska Sports Hall of Fame inductee since the time of the recommendation.
Tui Alailefaleula (2018 by Nick Brodd)
Tui was a standout in track, basketball and football at Bartlett High School and competed as an offensive lineman at the University of Washington. He was signed by the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets (but never played). He returned to Alaska to play for the professional indoor football team the Alaska Wild and to coach football and basketball at Bartlett. Now he helps out with the little kids’ football team that his sons play on.
Tom Allison (2008 by Unknown)
A Su Valley High School graduate, Allison was an all-state basketball, track and baseball athlete. Later he was a professional baseball player with the New York Mets organization and director of Scouting for the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Editor’s Note: In 2015, Allison became the Vice President of Player Personnel for the Seattle Mariners overseeing all the team’s scouting.)
—Submission also received from Patrick Floyd in 2012
The “Flying Andersons” (2019 by Trudy Sobocienski)
My father, Ralph “Babe” Anderson and his brother Allan “Eep” Anderson ran the Iditarod Race in the early years. Together, they are known as the Flying Anderson’s. They went through every checkpoint together and in first place, except for Nome. They are Yupuk, Russian, and Norwegian. McGrath is the home of the Flying Anderson’s. There used to be two dental chairs in the Breakers Bar in Nome with signs that said, “Reserved for the Flying Anderson’s”. My Uncle passed on this last year. My father, Babe is healthy and lives in Arizona in the winter and in Nome, Alaska in the summer.
Myron Angstman (2017 by Beverly Hoffman)
He resurrected dog mushing in Southwestern Alaska. He is the grandfather of the Kuskokwim 300, a K300 Champion, and an Iditarod finisher. He made sure a new generation of dog drivers had opportunities to race. If it weren’t for Myron Angstman many of us in Southwestern Alaska would not have experienced the wonderful adventures of running dogs and racing in the many K300 sponsored events.
Jody Bailey (2012 by Unknown)
She became the only musher to complete the Iditarod and Yukon Quest as a rookie in the same year.
Jim Balamaci (2019 by Aaron P. Lautaret)
As Special Olympics Alaska enters its 50th year, no one has done more to promote sport and acceptance for people with disabilities in Alaska. By providing service of excellence to the athletes, families, volunteers and sponsors and by leading by example and teaching awareness and mutual respect Jim touched many lives and continues to do so even after his unexpected passing in February 2018. Jim started out as a Special Olympics Alaska volunteer in 1979, and coached in the 1980s. In 1996, he became the President/CEO of Special Olympics Alaska. Under his leadership, Alaska hosted the 2001 World Winter Games in Alaska, which raised the visibility of the Healthy Athletes Program and School Program. In 2014 Jim achieved one of his most important goals, Special Olympics Alaska Athlete Training Center and Campus with the help of his community, a 28,000-square-foot facility that includes a fitness center, indoor track, multipurpose sports court & classrooms for both athletes & volunteers.
Jens Beck (2012 by Ken Winterberger)
A perennial winner or top finisher in local and national triathlons. Jens finished 49th (out of 630 finishers) in the 2012 Xterra World Championships in Maui and was second in his age class.
Dorena Bingham *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2007 by Unknown)
The head coach of the East High girls’ basketball team, she has led her teams to multiple state championships. In addition, she provides opportunities for female athletes to play basketball in the Lower 48 each summer. This gives the athletes exposure to colleges around the country, which enables them to earn college scholarships.
Ed Blahous (2011 by Steve Simmons)
Coach Ed Blahous was a pioneer of Alaska high school soccer. Without his leadership, high school and club soccer would not be where it is today. Many Alaska players who’ve had the chance to play college soccer have benefited from this (including myself, as I played at Chugiak High School and now am the head men’s soccer coach at Oregon State University). His coaching principles have remained with me throughout my college coaching career.
Cedar Bourgeois (2010 by Dori Hollingsworth)
She won the women’s race at Mount Marathon seven consecutive years with some of the fastest times ever. She is a top contender in all mountain races in Alaska and even won a race in California.
Beth Bragg (2018 by Tina Tomsen)
Beth has been one of Alaska’s best sportswriters for decades and her writing brings precision, breadth, depth, and most of all HEART to her articles.
Ben Brent (2010 by Jim Hadlock)
He has won numerous world championships in powerlifting and won a world competition at the age of 70.
Holly Brooks *INDUCTED 2018 (2011 by Frank Witmer)
Just two seasons ago, Holly Brooks surprised the international nordic ski racing world, qualifying as a Winter Olympian while still a full-time coach with APU Nordic Ski Center. Holly has a remarkable and uncanny, totally natural and always positive, dynamic outreach beyond her years. She gives energetically and endlessly so much to the community and her ever-expanding network beyond. She motivates both young and old, advocates healthy habits, teaches positive values that matter, and inspires by role model. Her unique combination of talent and personal outreach almost trumps the fact that she is also such an accomplished nordic skier, runner, and sport ambassador.
Career highlights include being a 2010 Winter Olympian, 2011 World Championships participant, 2011 U.S. National Ski Champion, Tour of Anchorage winner in 2008 and 2009, and three-time Mount Marathon runner-up. She also received an Alaska Legislative Citation Award for Community Involvement in 2010.
John Brown *INDUCTED 2015 (2006 by David Dapcevich)
If memory serves me, he was the first American basketball player to start on four consecutive high school state championship teams in the top division in his state. He played for the Ketchikan Kings and was an awesome player and a fine gentleman.
Robert (Bobby) Wilber Brown (2018 by Ben Frantz)
Robert (Bobby) Brown was a student athlete at Mt. Edgecumbe High School from 1969-1971. He excelled in cross country running, basketball and track and field. By 1971 Bobby needed two lettermen jackets for all the medals bestowed upon him. Sadly, when flying to attend Sheldon Jackson College on Sept. 4, 1971, Bobby and three other young achievers from Barrow/Utqiagvik lost their lives on the devastating Alaska Airlines crash. I’ve always thought it would be an appropriate and worthy cause to recognize one of Alaska’s best student athletes, Robert (Bobby) Wilber Brown for his accomplishments at Mt. Edgecumbe High School.
Stan Brown *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2009 by Gary Brown)
He brought Pop Warner Football to Alaska in 1997. Pop Warner is a scholastic-based football and cheerleading program that has grown to 1,000 kids from the ages of 5-15 enrolling each year. Stan was born and raised in Alaska and always felt that sports and drama were tools for education that were missing from the education system in Alaska. Stan became a star athlete while wrestling for Arizona State University and contended for a spot on the 1980 Summer Olympics team. Stan went on to coach high school wrestling in the Anchorage area. His death in November of 2007 was a great loss.
— Submissions also received from Arron O’Callaghan, Michelle Laakso and Chad Smith
Red Boucher *INDUCTED 2009 (2008 by Unknown)
I lived in Alaska during the 1960s and 1970s and Red Boucher was directly responsible for providing Alaska residents a professional brand of baseball and introducing many future major league baseball players to Alaska.
Matt Carle *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2010 by Chuck Homan)
In 2006, Matt was named the top college hockey player and earned the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. That year he was also named the WCHA Player of the Year and the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year. He also helped Denver University win two NCAA championships. He was selected in the second round by the San Jose Sharks. In 2009-10, playing for the Philadelphia Flyers, Matt helped the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Finals. Matt has played for the U. S. National Team. Outside of Scotty Gomez, he has the best credentials of any Alaskan hockey player. (Editor’s Note: after 730 games in the NHL, Carle retired in 2016).
John Carpenter (2011 by Rick Boots)
John distinguished himself throughout his 25 years in Alaska sports broadcasting, leaving a lasting, positive, and meaningful impact throughout not just southcentral Alaska but the entire state.
John is the most recognized name in Alaska sports broadcast history.
According to Alaska Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame newsman John Tracy, Carpenter was a strong supporter of local teams and athletes and not afraid to point out inequities, unfairness and discrimination in local and national sports. His writing skills were exceptional, and his ability to inject the right amount of humor made his sportscasts entertaining even for those who weren’t sports fans.
Mario Chalmers *INDUCTED 2014 (2013 by Unknown)
I am very sad that my favorite all-time player Mario Charmers can’t get in to the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. He won two state titles, he won an NCAA National Title and now has 2 NBA Championship Titles and helped the Miami Heat win them both. I find it extremely sad that he can’t even get in the Hall of Fame. He has done more than Carlos Boozer ever did and Boozer was not even born in Alaska. That is the sad part. And Mario was Born in Alaska, and played for Alaska, but can’t get no love from his home state.
Fred Chmiel (2017 by Joey Garcia)
Chmiel, a 1989 graduate of Palmer High School, was an assistant coach for South Carolina University in when it won the 2017 NCAA Women’s NCAA Basketball Championship. He’s also served as a Division I assistant at Temple, Minnesota, Penn State and San Diego State. He was a standout point guard in Palmer and spent part of his college playing career at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Brush Christianson (2009 by Unknown)
He was a successful and longtime high school and University of Alaska Anchorage hockey coach. He coached at UAA from 1979-96, posted a 287-229-30 record and guided the team to the 1991 NCAA quarterfinals.
Callan Chythlook-Sifsof (2011 by Tiffany Zulkosky)
Callan has broken through several barriers in her young career. Most notably, she was the first Yup’ik/Inupiaq woman to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. She competed in snowboardcross event at the 2010 Winter Games and won a silver medal in the 2011 X Games. Callan’s commitment to sportsmanship, athletic excellence, and her career has set her up as a role model for young people in her age demographic, cultural group, and even other young Americans with a unique background. In a state often plagued by headlines of the challenges Alaska Native youth face in rural areas, Callan’s story proves that all things are possible. Although young, she is deserving of the recognition of her peers and colleagues in the sports community.
—Submission also received from Gloria Chythlook
Jordan Clarke (2017 by Mike Clarke)
A 2008 graduate of Bartlett High School, he is the state record holder for shot put and discus and led the nation in high school shot put in 2008. He earned a scholarship at Arizona State University, where he won four NCAA Division I National Championships (2 indoor, 2 outdoor) for shot put. He participated in two U.S. Olympic Trials (2012, 2016) and competed in the World Track & Field Championships in Beijing in 2015. He also has a tattoo of the state of Alaska on his shoulder.
Don Clary *INDUCTED 2016 (2011 by Jim Renkert)
Don Clary is the only Alaskan runner to run in the Olympics. As hard as it is to make an Olympic Team in skiing, it’s even harder in track and field. There are thousands more runners in the U.S. than skiers. I ran in races against Don in high school. I saw him set the Alaska high school mile and two-mile record in 1975. His two-mile record still stands (even with the metric 3200-meter conversion). There have been many high school runners that have tried but none have had the exceptional natural talent that Don was born with. And although naturally gifted Don never took it for granted and did the hard work that is required to become an Olympic runner. He respected the gift. A runner of Don’s caliber comes along in a small population base like Alaska maybe once in a lifetime, maybe once in a hundred years. I hope to see another Alaskan runner with Don’s pure raw talent, work ethic and success in my lifetime. I will not be surprised if I do not.
—Submission also received from Kris Mueller
Kelly Cobb (2018 by Jo Reid)
Kelly grew up playing soccer in Alaska for Anchorage Youth Soccer Club and Cook Inlet Soccer Club before she went on to play Division I soccer at Duke University. Kelly also played for the Under 18, U20, and U23 U.S. Women’s National Teams. She helped the U.S win the U20 World Cup in Japan in 2012.
Corey Cogdell *INDUCTED 2019 (2015 by Beth Bragg)
Cogdell is a two-time Olympian who is a contender to make the 2016 Rio team. She won trapshooting bronze at the 2008 Olympics. She’s a five-time medalist and two-time winner at national championships. She’s done a ton of outdoors TV shows and has a pretty high profile in the world of shooting sports. She currently ranks in the top 10 of the world rankings. (Editor’s Note: Cogdell is now a three-time Olympian and won bronze medals in 2008 and 2016).
Lawrence Coutermarsh (2018 by Chadwick Atwood)
Larry, of North Pole has completed the Sadler’s Ultra Challenges more times than anyone else. It is the longest wheelchair and handcycle event in the world (typically 357 miles) and often draws top international racers. Larry is also one of the few Alaskans to participate. Coutermarsh, 54, was born in New England and has been living in Alaska since 1983. He was injured while a U.S. Army Ranger in 1985. While he was in the hospital the founder of the Sadler’s Challenge told him about the race. Larry competed in his first race that July using a standard wheelchair. He placed third overall and has been racing ever since, including 1994 when the race was canceled and he rolled from Fairbanks to Anchorage on his own. This prompted a new sponsor to step in. Larry did the event in a wheelchair 14 times and then switched to riding a handcycle.
Nick Danger (2010 by Al Burke)
He is the only Alaskan ever to wrestle for the WWF at Sullivan Arena.
Grayson Davey (2018 by Lori Davey)
Grayson is 17 years old and has been competing on the men’s open team for trap this year. Grayson won the fall selection match and placed second in the spring selection match in 2018 to earn a spot on the men’s open trap team for USA Shooting. He has competed in World Cups in Guadalajara, Malta, Korea, and Tucson; the World Championships in Korea; and the Championships of the Americas Guadalajara. He won a team silver medal in the World Championships and CAT games, and gold for mixed pairs. He has a qualifying score for the 2020 Olympics.
Brad Davis (2008 by Unknown)
Brad spent two years with the Alaska Northern Knights basketball team. He later played several seasons with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, where he became the first player to have his jersey number retired. He is also a television analyst for the Dallas Mavericks.
Scott Davis *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2015 by Peggy Erkeneff)
He’s been racing for 40 years, with wins on two wheels, three wheels and sleds. Davis is best known as an iconic Iron Dog champion, with seven wins and 21 top-three finishes. Competing for the first time in 1984, Davis placed second and only missed one raced in the next thirty years. Davis has also won numerous challenging snowmachine competitions from Kotzebue to Valdez. Before he was a favorite at the Iron Dog, Davis competed on two and three wheels in Alaska, California and Washington, with more than 20 state championships in multiple classes. His first motorcycle race in 1972 fueled a lifelong competitive focus, and a first state championship in 1975 on his motorcycle. Eight indoor championships on motorcycles and three wheelers set the stage for a racing career spanning decades and a passion for motorsports in all weather conditions. In 2015, Davis and his partner AJ Bartel finished second in the 2,000-mile Iron Dog. He holds a record seven championships – in 1985, 1989, 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2007.
—Submissions also received from Craig Beitinger, Regina Daniels and Troy Jarvis
Janay DeLoach *INDUCTED 2016 (2011 by Wayland Mitchell)
In my 48 years of being involved with track and field, Janay is one of the most unique young ladies whom I’ve seen. She came from a high school (Eielson) that didn’t even have a long jump pit, and had to go 25 miles and back each way for four years to work out at another high school in Fairbanks. At Eielson she broke the 17-year-old Alaska high school long jump record and received a scholarship to Colorado State University for long jumping. She was the first CSU long jumper to break the 20-foot barrier with a leap of 20-1.75.
(The nomination continues with a long list of her college accomplishments plus sixth place at World Championships and qualifying for the Summer Olympics).
Don Dennis (2007 by Unknown)
Don Dennis, the general manager of the Fairbanks Goldpanners since 1967, is often overlooked in the formation of the Alaska Baseball League. With the exception of the Goldpanners, he was directly involved with the creation of every single ABL team and deserves proper credit for making the ABL what it is.
Herb Didrickson *INDUCTED 2013 (2010 by Gil Truitt)
Herb starred at Sheldon Jackson High School from 1944-46, Sheldon Jackson Jr. College from 1947-48 and Sitka ANB from 1949-64. Then he excelled in Old-timers/Senior Citizens competitions locally, regionally and nationally from 1965-90. He is a lifelong Sitkan. He chose to attend Sheldon Jackson Junior College despite many offers from big-time NCAA basketball institutions. He was the quickest ball player I have seen anywhere and possessed unbelievable quick hands, long arms and unbelievable jumping ability. He was a terror on defense and was feared by everyone. His defensive skills were as well-known, and respected, as his tremendous scoring punch. Knowledgeable basketball critics agree that he could have made the starting line-up, and perhaps All-American status, of any team in the country. He was performing feats before they became fashionable in the college and pro ranks. Feats such as being the receiver of “alley oop” passes, tipping in missed shots and grabbing hold of the rim from a flat-footed position. He was capable of dunking but did not because it was against the rules at the time. He was the best in track and field (especially distance running) and was a baseball star. He officiated basketball 15 years and was in demand at Southeast Regionals as well as state-wide tournaments and playoffs. When it came to sportsmanship, he was tops. He is today the greatest Alaska basketball ambassador.
—Submissions also received from Ernest F. Leask, Sr., Cliff Tagaban, David Dapcevich, and Rich Mattson
Moctar Diouf (2006 by Aurora Hauke)
Moctar has coached his youth soccer team to two state championships and in 2006 was named U.S. Soccer Region IV Adidas Boys Coach of the Year. In addition, Moctar donates his time to refereeing youth and adult soccer games in Juneau while working and attending school full-time.
Shannon Donley *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2010 by G.B. Brunner)
She won the Gold Nugget Triathlon seven times, the Eagle River Triathlon four times, the Fireweed 400 cycling race twice and the Crow Pass Crossing. She’s also a U.S. National age-group champion and once placed fifth in her age group at the World Championships in Switzerland.
—Submission also received by Gillian Brubaker in 2012
Pam Dreyer *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2011 by Bob Dreyer)
She was the first Alaskan, man or woman, to win an Olympic medal in ice hockey. The bronze medal came at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy. Before that, she a successful student-athlete at Chugiak High School and at Brown University. She led the nation as a sophomore goalie at Brown in save percentage and was on the NCAA runner-up team. She earned the MVP award at the World Hockey Championships in Nova Scotia, Canada. She continues to be a role model for other Alaskans having achieved success in high school, college and now in private industry. She continues to motivate young athletes by coaching and giving motivational talks to them and others.
– Submission also received from Mark Rowley
Marcus Dunbar *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2012 by Joe Alward)
Without a doubt, Marcus Dunbar’s 10 victories (in 11 tries) at the Heart Run 5K was a remarkable feat the likes of which may never be repeated. From 1989 through 2000, no athlete put as much into dominating a single road racing event as he did at the Heart Run. To earn victories and set a course record four times is incredible. Many of the best runners in Alaska took their best shot at beating him but could not.
(Editor’s Note: Dunbar’s 1995 record of 14:39 still stands in 2018. Before his Heart Run dominance, he competed at the University of Oregon and ran a mile in 4:00.58. Later he coached track and cross country at Kodiak High School and guided the team to several state championships).
—Submission also received from Jennifer Fogle-Smith
Carter Eaton (2019 Mari Eaton)
Carter is a nationally ranked water-skier. Not an easy thing to accomplish being a kid growing up in Alaska and playing comp hockey all winter. This year he was one of only 7 kids across the nation invited to compete in the Jr. Pro Am. He made the podium this year with a third place finish at USA Waterski Nationals competition. The only Alaskan ever to place at slalom skiing in his age group. He has brought a lot of attention to Alaska excelling in this sport as most people did not even know you could ski here. Since there are no competitions to ski in Alaska, Carter must fly out for every tournament and still managed to graduate with honors from South High School last year. He is currently competing on the waterski team at ASU.
Karl Eid (2008 by Unknown)
He was instrumental in getting the ski jumping hill at Hillside built, as well as organizing events and working on the effort to bring the Winter Olympics to Anchorage.
Egil Ellis *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2011 by Helen Lundberg)
Sprint musher Egil Ellis of Willow has the new record of 11 wins at the Open North American Championship. Famous George Attla won it eight. Egil’s victories have come in a very short time frame — 13 years. In the two years that he did not win he finished second. Egil also has five victories at the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous and 12 victories at the Tok Race of Champions.
—Submissions also received from Vesa-Pekka Lehtomaki and Rick Musil.
Audun Endestad *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2006 by Hal Stanley)
Audun Endestad was born in Norway and came to the United States in his early 20s. He dominated U.S. cross country ski racing for more than 20 years. He was made a U.S. citizen by an act of Congress to be a member of the U.S. Olympic Team at Sarajevo in 1984, where he placed 18th in the 50-kilometer event. He swept all U.S. National Championships in Anchorage in 1990. Audun moved to Fairbanks about 15 years ago and continued to excel at ski racing into his 50s. He has been a coach for more than 20 years and holds an annual ski camp in Fairbanks that draws racers from as far away as Sweden. He is also an unbelievable outdoorsman, hunter, and explorer of Alaska. Finally, he is an exemplary man with the kindness, humor, ethics, and friendliness that makes him an outstanding representative of his sport, country, state, and city.
—Submission also received from Kim Troxel
John Estle (2006 by Hal Stanley)
John Estle is probably one of the most respected coaches of cross country ski racing in the world. He has coached the U.S. National Team and helped with Olympic and World Cup competitions. He has been instrumental in making Birch Hill in Fairbanks a world-class ski venue. He coached the University of Alaska Fairbanks team and continued to be an important contributor to their program. He is also a gentleman with his great friendliness, sense of humor, ethical life, and mentorship to many fine young people.
Roger “Ramjet” Evans (2010 by Bari Hite)
Roger has lived his entire life in Alaska and continues to build recreational facilities in the state. Roger was a young skiing enthusiast who has inspired generations of youngsters and others to pursue outdoor sporting interests. Roger was recognized and honored at the Salt Lake City “pre-Olympics” and is still regarded as one of the legends of freestyle skiing.
John Faeo *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2010 by Craig Beitinger)
It’s crazy that John Faeo, a seven-time Iron Dog champion who has won nearly every snowmachine race in Alaska, isn’t in the Hall of Fame.
—Submissions also received from Barbara Yount and Cindy Harsh
Casey Flair (2010 by Joy Hunter)
Casey was the first high school football All-American (wide receiver) from Alaska in 2003. He was a member of the most successful passing combination in Alaska football history with quarterback Derek Laws. He was a four-year letter winner at UNLV, where he was a record-setting and all-conference receiver. He was also a multi-sport standout in high school and member of 2003 East Anchorage state championship football team.
Rosey Fletcher *INDUCTED 2010 (2008 by Unknown)
Rosey Fletcher won almost a dozen World Cup races. This seems to be beyond Alaska comprehension. Rosey was one of the pioneers of her sport at the highest international level. Until her retirement, she always was the most powerful and fastest boarder in terms of pure speed. She narrowly missed gold in the Olympics (she was leading at one point), but an Olympic medal is more luck than the World Cup. Rosey also is a warm, charismatic, adventuresome, and wonderful person. She’s come up with some ideas that have brought great joy to many Alaskans. Given a better understanding of Rosey’s accomplishments, there isn’t anyone from Alaska at her level, and it’s inappropriate that she was not in the first class chosen to the Hall. The high profile of snowboarding internationally and in the ski community for no other reason should elevate her accomplishments compared to the other sports which happen to be more geographically limited. Her accomplishments were huge and truly Alaskan in scale. Rosey’s unique contributions in her articles to the Alaska Daily News while she was on the World Cup and to the Slush Cup at Alyeska (a community tradition) readily come to mind. I think she was the original point person and innovator for the Slush Cup.
Joe Floyd *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2006 by Doug Letch)
Joe Floyd was a legendary Kodiak High School coach and athletic director who put Kodiak sports on the map and remains the town’s biggest sports fan. Kodiak’s holiday basketball tourney and track are named for Joe, who is known and respected throughout the state.
Robert Foster (2018 by Rebecca Jones)
Rob scored a Kodiak High School record 78 points in a basketball game despite sitting out the last quarter. He was also a track star. He went on to coach Kodiak High School basketball for many years as well as Little Dribblers for over 10 years. Rob came from a difficult home life, found his way through athletics and thus helped the lives of other aspiring athletes.
John Fredrickson (2016 by Anthony Robertiello)
Unbeknownst to many, from 1987 to 1990 Alaska Pacific University had a collegiate wrestling program. It is the only college wrestling program ever in Alaska. In 1987 and 1988, John Fredrickson won the NAIA National Wrestling Championship in the 177-pound weight division. He is the only Alaskan wrestler to have won a national wrestling championship for an Alaskan university. Fredrickson remained active with wrestling after his college career, coaching first at APU and later at Dimond High School.
Glenn Frick (2014 by Dawn)
Glenn is a legend in the Juneau running community. He ran the Klondike Relay every year from 1983-2013 and holds age-group records at the Crow Pass Crossing (4:30 at age 72) and Equinox Marathon (4:13 at age 73). He died of cancer in 2014 at age 75.
Albert Gerke (2009 by Keith Gerke)
As a high school freshman, Albert helped put the Barrow Whalers football team on the map. National media attention was directed their way due to a fundraiser that provided them a new field. He is a gifted athlete and leader but does not overbear his teammates. He is a team player.
Dick Griffith (2018 by Pat Irwin)
Dick has many firsts and is the oldest person to paddle Lava Falls (the biggest rapids on the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon) at 89 years young. He is a pioneer of packrafting and completed the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic 17 times, including at age 81. He is also the subject of the book and documentary Canyons & Ice.
Alicia Hall (2012 by Henry Tomingas)
Alicia has shown she can compete on a national level in the sport of equestrian show jumping. That an Alaska self-trained rider could compete against the well-funded and trained equestrian show jumper horses and riders was astounding to professionals in the sport. Her rise to the top level began at age 15 with a top 10 finish in the Jumper National Championships. She later won a silver medal at the 2010 USEF Pony Jumper National Championships in Lexington, Kentucky. In 2011 Alicia stayed in Alaska to begin to teach Alaska riders to compete on a national level. Her goal is to take an Alaska Team to compete in the national competitions in Kentucky.
Tara Hamilton (2008 by Unknown)
She was a four-time Nordic skiing Skimeister from Service High School.
Jeannie Hebert-Truax *INDUCTED 2014 (2010 by Steven Imoe)
She is a pioneer of women’s basketball in the state of Alaska. After a dominating career at Monroe Catholic High School, she became one of the first female basketball players from Alaska to play Division I basketball. She played at the University of Miami, where she is now in the ACC Hall of Fame for her performance as a point guard there. She brought her talents back to Alaska where she has coached Wasilla High School to a large number of Northern Lights Conference titles and a state title in 2006.
Wes Hamrick (2008 by Unknown)
Wes is founder of Mat-Su Motor Mushers, co-founder Alaska State Snowmobile Assn., co-founder of Big Lake Multi use trail system, and much more.
Ellen Hannan (2018 by Mark Stopha)
Ellen was a multi-sport star at West Anchorage High School in the mid-1970s when female athletics was in its infancy. She played basketball at UAF and was inducted into the school’s athletics Hall of Fame in 2012 as the second-ranking scorer in school history. In a time before the three-pointer, she scored 2,048 points. She still holds the career record for most rebounds with 1,013 and had a scoring average of 22.1 points per game. Ellen was nominated to the All-Northwest Empire League Team as a junior and senior. Ellen spent 25 years as a school teacher in Craig and coached the girls’ basketball program there. Ellen has also been a volunteer hunter education instructor for 30 years on Prince of Wales Island.
Nick Hanson, aka The Eskimo Ninja (2016 by Unknown)
Nick lives in the remote village of Unalakleet and competes in the American Ninja competition that is televised nationally on NBC. He is an inspiration to young and elderly people and takes time to work with children to keep them occupied instead of getting into trouble.
Cristy Hickel (2019 by Tamara Miller)
Coach Hickel is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met and her life’s goal is to help our youth succeed. -She has 35 years coaching and directing youth hockey programs -3 Olympics -directing and coaching -She is the SPYDER program director with over 15,000 kids running through her programs (coaching and organizing) Soccer, Skiing, Conditioning, -She has 20 years of hockey coaching/ directing and has placed over 215 girls in college programs over the last 7 years -2 national USA Hockey titles, 2 runner ups etc… 9 national appearances -D1 Alpine Ski Racer on full ride scholarship for UAA -B.Ed, Master of Science, Master of Education Professional Firefighter AFD -AED, EMT-D -UAA Humanitarian Award Winner -Alumni of Distinction -Level 5 Master USA Hockey Coach, -CEP Instructor (USA Coaches Education Program) -Both her daughters are Pro Hockey players and Scholarship NCAA D1 College Hockey players (National team and 2 world Championships).
Bobby Hill *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2016 by Linda Jo Belsito)
I have had the honor of coaching Special Olympics powerlifters and they are outstanding athletes. Bobby Hill has reached levels of this sport that are outstanding. He has the support, coaches, and focus to succeed and should be recognized.
Virgil Hooe *INDUCTED 2018 (2008 by Unknown)
Virgil Hooe has a lifetime achievement of shaping the lives of thousands of young people through the sport of volleyball. Virgil IS volleyball in Alaska at every level and the individuals that have gone through his programs are scattered worldwide sharing life skills through the sport they learned to love. It is one thing to impact yourself and it is another to impact the world.
—Submission also received from Jacki Tibbetts
George Houston (2012 by Unknown)
In his 30 years of coaching high school basketball in Alaska, he won two state championships as an assistant and one as a head coach. He also won a state championship as a player in Juneau. (Editor’s Note: After 34 years, Houston retired from high school coaching with a record of 278-85).
Carol Hull *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2009 by Cheryl Turner)
Carol deserves Hall of Fame consideration for her Native Youth Olympics contributions.
Carl Huntington (2012 by Unknown)
He is the only person to win the Iditarod, Fur Rondy and Open North American sled dog races.
Betty Ivanoff Menard (2019 by Bernie Henrie)
Betty was the first Alaska Native woman to summit Mount Denali on August 13, 1971. Since then Betty has gone to continue climbing even to this day. Additionally, she served in the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group and was on the trip when Col. Norman Vaughn took his second Antarctica trip. She participated for years in the Mountaineering Club of Alaska. She is an outstanding woman.
Bernard Jackson (2008 by Unknown)
He has been an outstanding member of the Alaska sports community for many years as a basketball and football referee and officiating administrator.
Michael Jensen (2010 by Marvin Adams)
He is legendary in the Gold Medal Tournament that has been running for more than 60 years in Southeast Alaska. He was MVP in many of the games he played. Ask anyone in Southeast Alaska in Gold Medal sports about Mike Jensen and they will know him.
Carrie Jerger (2018 by Kathy Freeman)
Carrie continues to teach the art and sport of baton twirling to youth in Alaska, and directed the non-profit Alaskanette Baton Corps for more than 40 years. She taught several thousands of young people twirling skills in school workshops, recreational programs, masters classes and Alaskanette twirling classes. She choreographed award- and competition-winning routines and stage productions. She trained three dozen certified coaches and a dozen certified judges in Alaska. Carrie led the corps in performing across Alaska, nationally and internationally. She was inducted into the United States Twirling Association Hall of Fame in 2003.
John “Ironman” Johnson (2008 by Craig Medred)
Where’s Ironman Johnson? Anyone called ironman by Scotty Allen and Leonard Seppala ought to be a slam dunk.
David Johnston (2018 by Jack Timm)
David is an ultrarunner from Willow and has dominated the Susitna 100-mile race and the 300-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational. He has also been instrumental in the Willow Running Company.
Merrick Johnston (2010 by Gloria Chythlook)
She is the youngest female to summit Denali at age 12 in 1995. She is a Dartmouth graduate, scientist, avid skier, runner, dog musher and outdoorswoman.
Ephriam Kalmakoff (2010 by John Smith)
He was an orphan at the Jessie Lee home in Seward when at age 14 he became the youngest winner of Mount Marathon. He held the race record of 52:35 for 29 years until Sven Johansson broke it in 1957.
Doug Keil *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2010 by Moses Tcheripanoff)
He is a Paralympics Alpine skiing gold medalist and co-founder of the Challenge Alaska wheelchair and handcycle race.
Alev Kelter (2018 by Dan Rufner)
Alev has competed on the U.S. National Team in three different sports. She played on the Under 17 U.S. women’s soccer team and the U20 U.S. women’s hockey team. She played both soccer and hockey for the University of Wisconsin. After she didn’t make the U.S. Hockey Olympic team she received a tryout for the U.S. National Rugby team. She made the team, became a force in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, and is now rated as one of the top women’s rugby players in the world.
Dale McClements Kephart (2009 by Unknown)
After growing up in Canada and moving to Seattle, she competed in gymnastics at the 1964 Summer Olympic in Tokyo. She later was an assistant coach, head coach, judge and choreographer at the Summer Olympics. She was inducted into the U.S. Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1994. She eventually moved to Alaska and coached high school gymnastics there for 14 years.
Ralph Goodwin Kincaid (2010 by Mary Kincaid)
My grandfather wasn’t an athlete but believed in the talents of young people. He moved to Alaska in 1939 when my father was 1 year old and acquired land in southwest Anchorage for his homestead (now Kincaid Park and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport). In 1951, he helped start Little League baseball in Anchorage and with the resources of his construction company built several ball fields. He died in 1953. In 1968, the city renamed the remaining land in Kincaid Park in his honor. The park means a great deal to many sports fans who utilize it year-round.
Jeff King *INDUCTED 2017 (2010 by Pat Brighton)
Jeff King, a four-time Iditarod champion and fierce competitor, has consistently come up with ideas that have been adopted by the mushing community. He has helped create widespread interest in the Iditarod and sled dog racing.
Mike King (2017 by Chris Stephens)
Mike’s biggest accomplishment was winning the 1974 World Freestyle Mogul Skiing Championships. In 1967-68, he was on the Alaska Division Junior National Ski Team and rose to the U.S. Alpine C Team with four World Cup starts. In 1994 and 1995 he was the USSA National Masters Alpine Combined Ski Champion. He began coaching at Arctic Valley in 1973 and has since been involved in ski coaching. In 2011, he was honored by the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame as one of the founders of freestyle skiing. Mike is an honored world champion who has brought distinction and pride to Alaska.
Tim Kissner (2010 by Unknown)
Tim graduated from Juneau Douglas in 1989 before playing for Oregon State and professionally in the Prairie League. He currently is the Pacific Rim Scouting Coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Kaarin Knudson (2011 by David Knudson)
Kaarin earned eight letters at the University of Oregon in cross country and track between 1994-99 and competed at the NCAA Championships eight times. She was an All American twice, in 1997 for the track 800-meter and in 1999 for the indoor mile. She was the NCAA Oregon Female Athlete of the year in 1999. She was a five-time state champion in track and cross country at Dimond High School.
Mark Landvik (2018 by Mitch Brooks)
Mark, of Juneau, has been one of the best big mountain freestyle snowboarders for more than a decade. He has been featured in the biggest and best snowboarding movies as a professional snowboarder. He has traveled the world heli-boarding some of the biggest peaks while being filmed for feature video parts. He is Alaska’s golden boy snowboarder. He has been an innovator in big mountain freestyle snowboarding. Although he now resides in Washington state he maintains strong connections to his home state.
Jordan Laughlin (2019 by Chris Tomsen)
Jordan is running today in the woods of Oslo, Norway representing the USA as 1 of 5 top US Orienteers at the “WOC19” Jordan is a past national collegiate orienteering champion running for the USMA Orienteering Club at West Point NY ( Class of 2011 graduate). Currently running for Team USA in Oslo at the World Orienteering Championships. ( 14-16 Aug 2019). Other national, regional, club accomplishments. A ‘O’ course designer and meet director whose GIS and terrain visualization skills make him a valuable Army Intelligence Officer as well as tactical woods-runner. Past coaching of his cadet orienteering team as well as coaching a US World Youth Jr Team in Finland. THIS IS A FIRST DRAFT… watch Jordan run!
Wally Leask *INDUCTED 2009 (2007 by Gil Truitt)
Wally attended Sheldon Jackson in 1936 and was captain of the basketball team in 1937. Wally attended University of Washington from 1940-1943. He was in starting lineup from his sophomore yearand was the team captain his senior year. He was a very good shooter from outside the key for both high school and college. He was a very good playmaker, passer, and ballhandler. During Wally’s senior year, University of Washington went to the basketball finals on the East Coast. Just prior to the tournament, Wally had to get his pre-induction physical for the armed forces. He was not able to attend the tournament. Washington’s coach at the time was “Uncle” Hec Edmundson. He wrote in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that Washington would have won had Wally Leask been there. Edmondson said that Wally Leask was the best player he coached during his 26 years with UW. Wally served in the US Army Corps from 1943-46. He was a fighter pilot during World War II, in the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations. After the war he was offered to play for the original Harlem Globetrotters and the Minneapolis Lakers, with the famed George Mikan. He opted to play for the Seattle Athletics, a new pro team on the West Coast. Wally Leask was born on April 30, 1921, in Metlakatla, Alaska, a small Alaska Native village in Southeastern Alaska. He died July 21, 2004.
—Submission also received from Harold Donnelly, Jr.
Dolly Lefever *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2009 by Unknown)
She is the first and only Alaskan woman to climb the Seven Summits, all non-guided, and the first to ski from Anchorage to Nome in the 1980s.
Peter Lekisch (2010 by Bob Voris)
Peter became the first 60-year-old to complete the most difficult cycling race on earth, the Race Across America in 2001. Since then Peter has given back to the cycling community by founding the Fireweed 400. It is by far the most popular cycling event in the state. (Editor’s Note: Lekisch died unexpectedly in 2013 due to heart surgery complications).
Nancy Jane Ramey Lethcoe (2011 by Steve Gruhn)
While a high school student on Mercer Island, Wash., she won a silver medal in the 100-meter butterfly at the 1956 Summer Olympics at age 16. She set the world record in the 100-meter butterfly in 1958, broke her own record in 1959, and held that record until 1961. She later married Jim Lethcoe. The couple moved to Alaska and have published numerous books about Prince William Sound.
Patricia Lillian and Claralene Williams (2006 by Representative Berta Gardiner)
Claralene Williams and Patricia Lillian have made an enormous contribution to Alaska women’s softball and were recently honored with legislative citations. Patricia Lillian is also being inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in November.
Hilary Lindh *INDUCTED 2009 (2008 by Barbara Lindh)
She is one of the few Alaska athletes that competed on the world stage and won an event and received a silver Olympic medal in the other.
Tom Lloyd (2008 by Unknown)
He was the leader of the Sourdough Expedition, a group of four gold miners who are believed to have reached the North Summit of Denali in 1910, where they planted a spruce pole at 19,470 feet. This is arguably among the greatest feats in mountaineering.
Sheryl Loan (By Unknown)
She is the premier female bicyclist in the state and also set the 50-59 age record of 59:23 for Mt. Marathon on her first run in 2012.
Dick Lobdell (2013 by Joe Alston)
He was Alaska’s premier play-by-play announcer and for 40 years worked the radio waves for teams including the Fairbanks Goldpanners, Anchorage Northern Knights, UAA Seawolves and Anchorage Glacier Pilots. Lobdell was elected to the Alaska Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1995. He died at age 76 in 2014.
–Submission also received from Kelly Thompson
Lance Mackey *INDUCTED 2010 (2008 by Unknown)
His single accomplishment of winning both the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod in the same year is incredible and worthy of induction.
Dannielle Malchoff (2010 by Unknown)
Danielle was a multi-medalist in NYO, WEIO, and Arctic Winter Games for Team Alaska.
Steve Macswain *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2017 by Jeremiah Bartz)
Steve Macswain is one of Alaska’s greatest hockey figures one of the first to make a real impact at the next level. After recording a mind-boggling 104 points for the East Anchorage Thunderbirds in 1981-82, he became the first non-Minnesotan to skate for the University of Minnesota. As a Gopher, he recorded 146 points in four seasons. He then played five seasons in Europe and two more in minor league hockey Outside before capping his career with five years on the Anchorage Aces.
—Submissions also received from Jennifer Anderson, Rich Ketterman, CJ Watson, Nick Flores and Susan and Randy Hinton.
Jim Mahaffey *ASHOF CANDIDATE (By John Estle)
Please think about a suitable way to honor “founders” of sports in which Alaskans can compete at the very highest level. This would include sports like cross country skiing, alpine skiing, mushing, hockey, and others. What I regard as “founders” are people like Jim Mahaffey in cross country skiing. Jim started coaching in Alaska at UAF, then at AMU. He brought the level of the sport in this state to the point where four or five of the skiers on the 1972 Olympic Team were skiers who had grown up in Alaska and who skied for Jim at AMU. In developing a very high level of athlete, he raised the level of competition in the state to where Alaska was as strong as any region of the country – and stronger than most, a position that Alaska has maintained in the 40+ years since. Besides developing skiers, he was instrumental in developing trails that were up to current standards, he was a race official who was critically responsible for increasing the quality of organization of ski events throughout the state, and was a resource utilized by John Miles in bringing cross country skiing and biathlon to the villages of the Bering Strait School District. In addition, he has served as a resource for advice, wisdom and experience for many coaches and athletes for as long as he has been in Alaska.
The path to excellence traveled by the cross country skiers who have been inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame (and into the Alaska Cross Country Ski Hall of Fame) was packed and groomed by a small number of people, among whom Jim was one of the most significant, if not the most significant.
It is only fitting for those key people, the “founders” of the sport in Alaska, to be given proper credit, either through inclusion in the HoF or by some special recognition.
I’m sure there are other people in other sports who have done for their sport what Jim Mahaffey has done for cross country skiing. I would love to see either a “founders” category added to the current HoF categories, or some other suitable honor for these people. The founders of sport in Alaska are getting old (Jim is 85+, I believe) and won’t be with us for too many more years. Just in the past three years a number of people in the sport of cross country skiing who had a huge impact on the sport nationally have passed away – and no one recorded their memories. It is important to recognize these people while there are still enough of us around who are somewhat younger, but are still old enough to remember their contributions.
—Submission also received from Judy and Tiger Demers
Dennis Mattingly *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2018 by Adolph Pantoja)
Dennis was a key figure in the Alaska Baseball League: he started the Anchorage Bucs team in 1980 and was the general manager for 30 years (despite battling cancer for the final 16 years of his life). Under his management, Dennis saw 60 players later play Major League Baseball. He was an awesome coach, a man of inspiration, a devoted man of God, and always had the pride of baseball and Alaska through him in every category of life. In every encounter with him personally, I was instantly filled with inspiration and respect for what a devoted man he was. He deserves the honor of being in the hall of fame for all of his hard work into the baseball team and the love he had for everyone around him. The people of Anchorage were impacted by his diligence and love for the game.
—Submissions also received by Mike Marchant, Jeremiah Bartz, and Cassidy Gillis
Dr. John McCall (2008 by Unknown)
Dr. John McCall was a World War II veteran, graduate of the University of Fairbanks, head of the Geology Department at University of Alaska Fairbanks, glacier expert, expert mountain climber, skier and coach of the UAF ski team. In May 1954, he was one of a small team of volunteers that ascended to the 11,000-foot level of Mt. McKinley to rescue an injured climber. No helicopters could reach that altitude so the team had to hike into the area. George Argus spent a week alone in a tent before the rescuers reached him. Even today, the feat is been described as the most daring rescue on Mt. McKinley. McCall Glacier in Alaska is named after him, VFW Post is named after him, Mount McCall in the Brooks Range is named after him. He also led expeditions up Mount Hess and Mount Deborah. McCall died seven months after the 1954 rescue on Mt. McKinley from polio.
Gerard McConnell (2011 by Shoji Satake)
Gerard was not only a great mountaineer but a better human being. He was the first Irishman to summit K2 and made multiple ascents on Denali and Everest. In his first successful attempt on Denali, he was awarded the Denali Pin. As a resident of Alaska, he was well known within the Alaska climbing and Irish communities. During the K2 tragedy that took his life, Ger refused to descend and attempted to help rescue other stranded climbers. The Gerard McDonnell Memorial Fund sponsors the children of the high-altitude porters who died in the K2 tragedy.
Dick McCormick (2010 by Richard Franklin)
Dick McCormick coached the first Alaska high school state basketball champions, the Lathrop Malemutes, in 1959 two months after statehood was attained. His team was the underdogs in both the Western Alaska Championship tournament and the state tournament. Coach McCormick was an outstanding coach, teacher and leader emphasizing team work, conditioning and never giving up.
—Submission also received by Bobby Williams
Roger McKinnon (2010 by Bob Downes)
Roger, as everyone in Fairbanks hockey circles knows, is the godfather of hockey in the Interior. He has coached at every level, has run a sports store devoted to hockey and has been the driving force behind countless young men and women playing in college and even the professional ranks. His devotion and hard work have been a huge asset to the development of hockey in Fairbanks and Anchorage.
Gabe McMahon (2018 by Matt Kinney)
Gabe is the only Alaskan to win three NCAA team wrestling titles. At the University of Iowa from 1998-2001, he recorded 92 wins and was a four-time qualifier for the NCAA Championships. In 2001, he was an All-American and placed sixth nationally at 174 pounds. Gabe was also a three-time state individual champion at Palmer High School and was state runner-up as a freshman at Glennallen High School.
Dick Mize *INDUCTED 2015 (2011 by Unknown)
Teach — From his days with the Anchorage School District, Dick Mize coached cross country skiing to our youth on limited and inadequate trails. Over the years he has been instrumental in helping develop the trail system we enjoy today.
Honor — Dick represented our country as an Olympic biathlete.
Inspire — While his competitive racing days are long past, Dick’s active lifestyle and steadfast volunteerism are an inspiration to all who know him.
—Submission also received from Don Hopwood
Ron Mohr (2010 by Ken Sifford)
He is a bowler, active in the state and nation. Voted Senior Bowler of the Year last year for the PBA national tour. (Editor’s Note: As of October 2017, Mohr has nine senior-level PBA tournament victories and four Player of the Year awards — two for age 50+ and two for age 60+. He was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 2018.)
Jessica Moore *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2017 by Jeremiah Bartz)
Jessica is the most successful women’s basketball player in Alaska history. She helped Division I Connecticut win three NCAA titles. She played in 145 career games and still ranks among the top Huskies in career field goal percentage. Moore, a 6-foot-3 center, was selected in the first round of the WNBA draft and played nine years in the league. Her Indiana Fever squad advanced to the 2009 WNBA Finals. At Colony High School, Moore was a two-time Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year and helped the Knights win a state title. She also helped Colony win a state title in volleyball and earned a state championship in the track and field triple jump.
—Submissions also received by Don Witzel and Patrick Floyd
David Morris (2010 by Patrick Lovely)
Morris was born and raised in Alaska and graduated Chugiak High School in 1988. He set the men’s American record (since broken) at the 1999 Chicago Marathon in 2:09:32. His personal best in the half marathon is 1:01:07 (Las Vegas 1995), which is easily the fastest ever by an Alaskan. At the University of Montana in 1992, he was the indoor champ in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters. In 1993, he was the indoor champ in the mile with a 4:12 and the 5,000. His outdoor season in 1993 was outstanding with triple championships in the 1500 in 3:51, in the 5,000 in a 14:17 and in the 10,000 in 29:11. Later he was twice the Frontier Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year at Carroll College in Montana.
Kris Mueller (2011 by Unknown)
He had a 2:19 marathon personal best, competed at the 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials, ran three sub-3-minute 10Ks, was a 3-time college All-American and was inducted into the Linfield College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.
Lauren Murphy (2019 by Jared Mazurek)
Lauren has had one of the biggest success stories I’ve ever heard of in combat sports. Lauren is currently ranked 8th in the UFC Flyweight division. Her story is well known for overcoming a past of substance abuse to becoming a world class athlete, competing against Olympic medalists. Here is a post she put on social media a week ago. “#FBF July 2009 When this picture was taken (Editor’s Note: the picture referenced is not picture here, but one on her Facebook post), I had never heard of jiu jitsu. I’d never seen a UFC. I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day and drank a lot. I was not an athlete. 1 year after this photo was taken, I was 1-0 as a pro. 1 year after that, I was 4-0, and I stopped drinking. 1 year after that, I was 5-0, and I signed with Invicta. I had been training a grand total of about 2 1/2 years. And 1 year after signing with Invicta, I fought for the Invicta bantamweight championship and won via TKO to become the first Invicta bantamweight champion, 8-0 as a professional with 6 TKO finishes. 6 months later I made my UFC debut against Sara McMann.”
Tim Neale (2011 by B. Campbell)
Since the 1970s, Tim has participated in a variety of sports — mountaineering, cross-country skiing, orienteering, mountain and road bike racing, and trail running to name a few. He’s been a driving force for some of the iconic events and organizations we now enjoy — Crow Pass Crossing, Bird Ridge Hill Climb (since renamed in Bob Spurr’s memory), and Alaska Mountaineering Club and participated for more than 30 years at Mount Marathon. For decades he has worked to educate and share his love of sport. He was also the race director of the World Masters Cross Country ski races. (Editor’s Note: Neale died in 2016).
Michael “Squeaks” O’Connor (2009 by Willie Cork)
In the field of motorcycle flat-track, snowmachine, motorcycle ice and sprint car racing, “Squeaks” O’Connor stands above all others. A resident of Anchorage since the mid-1960s and a businessman who took many young men under his wing, he still enjoys recreational riding and restores vintage Kawasaki motorcycles. He continues to be a living legend in the racing community.
Jim Oksoktaruk (2017 by Keith Conger)
Representing the tiny Inupiat village of White Mountain, Jim Oksuktaruk defied all odds by becoming a junior national cross country ski champion. Jim was a product of the ski machine created by Alaska Cross Country Skiing Hall of Fame member John Miles and local White Mountain coach Eric Morris. Their system also produced national-caliber athletes Paul Lincoln and Helen Amaktoolik (Spindler). But it was “Jimmy O” that transcended all. On March 22, 1986, in Royal Gorge, Calif., Jim put up the speediest 7-kilometer Junior II category split in the three-person classic relay. His time helped the Alaska team (with Max Rabinowitz and Robert Braham) capture first place. Two days later, Jim achieved individual gold with a time of 13:09 in the classic 5K interval start race, 13 seconds faster than the runner-up. He finished the competition with four medals: individual gold, individual bronze and two relay golds. Oksoktaruk was also the 1989 Alaska High School Skimeister and led West Anchorage High School to the state title. He remains the only Alaska Native with these skiing accomplishments.
— Submission also received from John Miles
Steve Page (2010 by Anson Renshaw)
In the early 1970s, Steve was perhaps one of the best basketball players ever in Alaska. I have heard incredible stories of this legend over the years. He passed away several years ago from a heart attack. His obituary is in the ADN archives.
Nancy Pease *INDUCTED 2015 (2012 by Thomas Pease)
I nominate Nancy Pease for her impressive athletic performances in Alaskan competitions, for her little known athletic accomplishments outside Alaska, for her many contributions made to the athletic community outside of racing, and for her continued high level of athleticism that serves to inspire those around her. First, she holds race records in three major wilderness/mountain races: Mt. Marathon, Crow Pass and Bird Ridge. These records have never been seriously threatened since they were set, and some have withstood challenges for over 20 years. Her race performances in skiing are less well known but equally impressive. She captained the Dartmouth cross-country ski team and was NCAA champion in the 5 kilometer classic event her senior year (1982). She was named to the U.S. Development ski team briefly, and she missed qualifying for the World Cup ski team in 1983 by a single place. This was at a time when no organized training and coaching opportunities were available for post-collegiate skiers who did not hold a permanent spot on the U.S. team.
—Submissions also received from Bob Kean, Janice Tower, Robin Holm, Brian Looney and Bill Spencer
Dayna Pendergraft (2010 by Jenny Baker)
Dayna is president of the Rage City Rollergirls. She has helped lead her travel team to runner-up in the B Division at the Battle for the Coast Tournament and fourth in the B division at Iowa’s Rollin’ Along the River Tournament. She is a leader, coach, team captain and aspiring marathon runner. Her athletic abilities are an inspiration to her entire league.
Wade Pier (2018 by Dave Delgado)
Wade Pier is a member of the AK Awesome Snow Sculptors team that has won the Fur Rondy snow sculptures contest numerous times. Wade, along with Jesse Mellor and Matty Lloyd, have participated in the national snow sculpture contest in Lake Geneva, Wis., several times. Wade has multiple sclerosis and still is able to help sculpt and creatively plan the sculptures.
Randy Pitney (2019 by Bruce Bowler)
Known as the architect of the modern UAF rifle team. Randy’s career spans all aspects of the sport from athlete, coach to leader. As an All-American in 1970, to coach of the UAF rifle team 1985-2001, leading the team to national championships in 1994 & 99, 2000 & 01. Randy lead 29 individuals to All-American on 102 occasions, 5 individual national champions and 5 Olympian’s awarded 3 gold, 2 sliver and 1 bronze medals. Inducted to the UAF Hall of fame 2008. Selected Collegiate Coach of the Year twice 1992 & 98. He served as the Athletic Director at UAF 1999-2002. He guided the Arctic Winter Games, BOD 20 years 1995-2015, 17 years as president. He chaired NCAA Rifle Committee for 6 years. Today, Randy is a coach and coach mentor continuing to guild athletes and coaches bringing a wealth of experience to younger generations. Randy has a lasting impact on the rifle sports both nationally and internationally. He is referred to as the, “Best coach in the sport” by Olympic gold medalists.
—Submissions also received from Jamie Corkish and Melissa Mulloy-Mecozzi
Preston Pollard (2009 by Unknown)
Preston, of Anchorage, has been a skateboarder since age 7 and has been sponsored since age 14. He also does motivational speaking and demonstrations in Alaska and the Lower 48.
Tad Pollock (2010 by Amanda Vanderwood)
Tad was the Hertz Athlete of the Year for Alaska in 1980. He was an outstanding athlete that excelled in basketball at Tri Valley High School in Healy and if his life were not cut short at 19 I am sure he would have been a professional basketball player.
Sean Rash (2011 by Unknown)
Sean Rash, from Anchorage, is a pro bowler who is highly rated in the world standings of bowling as well as in the United States. (Editor’s Note: Rash now resides in Illinois. As of 2017, he had 12 victories on the PBA Tour).
Heidi Reynolds (2010 by John Farnan)
Heidi was a swimmer from Juneau-Douglas High School who swam four years for Purdue University and was once named the Purdue Athlete of the Year.
Talisa Rhea (2018 by Sue Beckerman)
Talisa helped guide the Juneau Douglas High School basketball team to the state title as a sophomore in 2005. Her teams also played in the title game her freshman and senior years. Talisa garnered All-Tournament honors all four years at the state tournament. She was named the Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year in 2007. She was a four-year varsity player in both basketball and soccer. Talisa then played basketball for Oregon State University for three years. She broke the OSU single-game record for most made 3-pointers in a game. She finished her college career at Seattle University and then played professionally in Poland. She is currently working in the front office for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. Throughout her career Talisa has been a great role model for young athletes in how she carries herself on and off the field of play.
—Submissions also received from Lesslie Knight and Sally Walker
Reilly Richey (2006 by Karen Lawfer)
While Coach Reilly Richey played high school and college football in California, his biggest impact was guiding student athletes and building Juneau football to accomplish great milestones. Coach Richey built the Juneau Douglas High School football program while battling Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. He died in March 2005. Never did he complain about his personal challenges; instead he inspired all to be the best person they could be. Coach Richey inspired players not only on the field but in the fundraising they had to complete BEFORE they could gear up as a Crimson Bear (the team received no funding from the Juneau School District). In October 2005, Juneau Douglas won the large schools’ state championship. Coach Richey was instrumental in that championship. He inspired, coached, cajoled, lobbied, and nagged all of Juneau to do what it takes to build a successful football program. His vision took years and he did it all for the athletes.
Libby Riddles *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2008 by Unknown)
Libby was the first woman to win the Iditarod. She did it in fine fashion and has been a great national spokesperson for the race and the sport of mushing.
Vern Robateau (2012 by Tom Rollman)
Vern was All-State basketball player at Chugiak High School and a four-year standout at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is the UAA all-time leader in games played (124) and games won (90). He went on to play professionally in Australia and New Zealand.
Geoff Roes *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2010 by Gary Snyder)
He is setting a new standard both locally and nationally in distance running races and is a two-time Ultrarunner of the Year in 2009 and 2010. He was the first person to break 3 hours at the Crow Pass Crossing and won that race four times. (Editor’s Note: Roes no longer races competitively but his Crow Pass record of 2:54 from 2010 still stands).
Ward Romans (2018 by Patrick Romans)
Ward coached the 3A Nikiski girls to eight state titles in basketball and a handful of runner- ups.
Joe Runyan (2008 by Unknown)
His Iditarod coverage is educational, interesting and fun to listen to and he brings the “armchair mushers” into his world. Joe gives a real sense of being on the trail when he writes or speaks, so much so that you can’t help but fall in love with the magic of the Iditarod. He has been on the trail, behind the camera, written books, been a mushing consultant along with other things in order to be there for this race and its fans. He has dedicated his life to The Last Great Race.
Kenny Sailors *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2013 by Mike)
I met Kenny Sailors when he coached the Angoon High School girls basketball team about 20 years ago. His more “high profile” accomplishments were with Wyoming and the Boston Celtics — although you had to pry it out of him. I believe he’s been an Alaska hunting guide for decades. He is a good man, humble and hardworking. I’m not sure how his tremendous national success translates at the ASHOF level.
Jessica Schultz (2019 by Michael Tencza)
Jessica began curling in Anchorage with her family at a young age, but made the difficult decision to move to the lower 48 in order to compete against the best curlers and in some of the best facilities in the country on a regular basis. Her incredible fitness, skill level, and dedication to the sport resulted in an impressive career: 2 semi-finalist finishes in the US Junior National Championship, 1 first place finish in the US Mixed Doubles National Championship, 2 runner up and 3 first place finishes in the US National Championship, and a silver medal at a World Championship. The pinnacle of her competitive career was when she played for Team USA at the 2006 and 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Jessica has returned to Anchorage and taken a break from competitive curling, but her love for the sport has resulted in several outreach efforts in communities across AK to grow the game at the grass roots level. Her efforts and achievements make her a worthy candidate based on the ASHOF criteria.
– Submissions also received by Heather Alley, Kate Dueber, William Foster, Steve Lambert, Sarah Smith, Laurie Cummings, Torgeir Robinson, Ty Schommer, Courtney Evans, John Seigle, and Donna Newman
Charles Scott (2019 by Matt Irinaga)
Charles Scott has been a teacher, administrator and leader in the Fairbanks school district for over 40 years. He also runs the International Karate Association affiliate in Fairbanks and has been doing so since the 1970’s. He has literally influenced and mentored thousands of people through his school of martial arts. The martial arts he teaches is based on traditional Japanese karate but he also teaches jiu jitsu, aikido, iaido, tai chi, and kung fu. Outside the dojo he is a reserved and mild mannered person whom the school district has tapped as high school principal and was recently asked to come out of retirement to serve as a resource aid at West Valley HS. His influence on students is profound and the respect he garners comes from decades of working with kids and young adults. Many of the members of the dojo – now adults are former students of Hanshi and share stories of his positive influence on them, a true testament of his character as many bring their kids to the dojo. Hanshi Scott’s talent and dedication to ALL martial arts earned him induction into the US Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2007.
–Submission also received from Amber McDonough
Truby Shaw (2008 by Unknown)
His football teams at West Anchorage and Dimond won state high school championships and he spent more than 20 years coaching at these two schools.
Richard “Dick” Shellhorn (2018 by Mike Craig)
Dick lives in Cordova and has officiated high school and youth basketball for more than 40 years throughout the state. He also has radio broadcast many games for Cordova and other high schools bringing the games to life for family, friends, and community members. Dick has also written countless newspaper articles about those games and other community activities.
Mary Shields (2015 by Candy Kroupa)
In 1974, Mary was the first woman to finish the Iditarod. She paved the way for every other woman who would run the Iditarod. Many others get credit for finishing, but there can be only one pioneer. She’s still driving dogs and giving tours out of her home in Fairbanks.
Bobby D. Smith (2008 by Unknown)
If you ask anyone associated with rodeos who the best bull rider in Alaska is, 90 percent of the time you will hear the name Bobby D. Smith. Bobby was born in Texas in 1959 and came to Alaska with his family in 1977. He competed in rodeos until 1998 and amassed seven state championships. While his feats are awesome there is one detail that makes this cowboy even more amazing. Bobby is legally blind and deaf. He was born deaf and has worn hearing aids his whole life. In his 20s he developed the debilitating disease retinitis pigmentosa. It has progressed and now he is almost completely blind. In spite of his handicaps, before and since his retirement Bobby Smith has been a tremendous influence in the sport of rodeo.
Dennis Sorenson (2008 by Unknown)
He is the winningest high school hockey coach in Alaska and a four-time top scorer for UAA (1980-84) along with being All-American in 1984.
Bonnie Sosa (2011 by Richard Wenrich)
Bonny Sosa, along with her husband Sam Young, were instrumental in starting the Healthy Futures program operating in our schools. The program encourages young people to eat healthy and be physically active. The programs she started before her untimely death from brain cancer are one of the prime reasons for the tremendous growth in the Tuesday Night Race Series, which was renamed in her honor a few years ago. Even before Health Futures she was active in local running events and was a driving force in bringing the World Mountain Running Trophy to Alaska.
Allen Spencer (2011 by Chris Prince)
He has the longest standing record on the ASAA swimming and diving website. This record was accomplished in 1982, his junior year at Chugiak High School. His senior year he went to school in California for better diving coaching. Then he dove at the University of Nebraska. Allen was also the coach at UAA for a few years and one of his divers qualified for the NCAA Division II Championships. This is only a short bio of his accomplishments. (Editor’s Note: Spencer’s high school diving record was broken in 2016).
Bill Spencer *INDUCTED 2012 (2011 by Tom Corbin)
Bill has excelled as an athlete, coach, trail designer, race director and community advocate.
• Member of the first championship team from Service High School (cross country running 1972)
• Set the junior record at Mount Marathon in 1973 which still stands
• Broke the senior record at Mount Marathon in 1974
• 8-time men’s winner of Mount Marathon
• Made the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team straight out of high school
• Qualified for the 1988 Olympic Games in cross country skiing
• Former record holder of Bird Ridge and Crow Pass Crossing
• Successful Nordic ski coach at UAA (10 Years), Montana State and University of Vermont
• Designed (with Jim Galanes) the Lekisch Loop at Kincaid Park
• Designed the Spencer Loop which was named after him
• Designed ski trails in Homer and assisted Ed Strabel to design trails in Palmer
• Started and continues to direct the Knoya Ridge Hill Climb
• Former director of the Bird Ridge Hill Climb
• Member of the Alaska Mountain Runners Board of Directors
• Active as an organizer and participant in local orienteering events
—Submission also received by Mitch Flagg
Matthew Stalnik (2008 by Unknown)
After a stellar high school career as a soccer goalie, his accomplishments include holding school records for saves in a season and shutouts in a season at NCAA Division II Upper Iowa University in 2005 and also performing well at Wenatchee Valley College in 2006 and Evergreen State College in 2007. He also played on the Denver Dynamite professional indoor soccer team.
Ted Stevens *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2010 by George Lowe)
Senator Stevens’ legacy in United States sports is unparalleled. Stevens was only one of eight members of the House and Senate to support American athletes during the Moscow boycott. He is the father of the United States Olympic Committee. He received the highest honors from both the USOC and the International Olympic Committee. Stevens helped secure the funding for the 2002 Salt Lake Games. He helped create and fund the Challenger Center in Girdwood for disabled athletes. He helped fight for Title IX so that girls and women would have equal opportunity in sports. When he was Chairman of the Appropriations Committee he put emphasis on Boys & Girls clubs and added at least 10 in Alaska. I’m not sure there is anyone who has done more for sports in the United States.
—Submissions also received from Donna de Varona, Leslie Wright and Barbara Schuhmann
Len Story (2016 by Mike Story)
Len won the Arctic Man Snowmachine Race five times (Len drove snowmachine teamed with skier Eric Heil). He was also recognized by Baseball America as the 2016 Youth Baseball Coach of the Year.
Alice Strick (2011 by Unknown)
Alice Strick broke a 23-year-old record in the one-foot high kick and is a world record holder in the event. She also co-holds the world record in the two-foot high kick.
Bernard Sturgulewski (2017 by Roe Sturgulewski)
To find any shred of college football history in Alaska requires going back to the Ice Bowl, an annual game held between teams from Alaska Fairbanks and Ladd Air Force Base from 1949-1952. A pair of sportswriters dreamed up the game, which was held on New Year’s Day alongside more traditional contests such as the Rose Bowl. Sturgulewski served as a player-coach for Fairbanks in at least the initial Ice Bowl. As expected, the conditions made it impossible for either team to generate offense, and the Ice Bowl ended in a 0-0 tie in both 1949 and 1951. Fairbanks scored the first Ice Bowl points in 1950 en route to a 3-0 win, while Ladd got revenge in the final edition of the game with a 47-0 beatdown. While little information is known about the Ice Bowl series outside of the final scores, it remains an important part of Alaska college sports history.
Brynn Sulte (2018 by Thomas Hipsher)
Brynn is the 2015 and 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year in volleyball at Dimond High School. She led Dimond to the State 4A championship for the second year in a row. Brynn was named to the All-State and All-Region Teams and was also named the All State Outstanding 4A Hitter for the 2016 season. She is an academic standout at Dimond with a weighted 4.04 GPA. She will attend the U.S. Air Force Academy in the summer of 2017 and play for their D-I volleyball team.
Rick Swenson *INDUCTED 2008 (2007 by Unknown)
No Rick Swenson…no real hall of fame.
Kristen Thorsness *INDUCTED 2007 (2006 by Stan Olsen)
In 1984, Kristen Thorsness became the first Alaskan to win a gold medal, doing so at the Los Angeles Olympics in the Women’s 8, the premier rowing even at any regatta. She has continued rowing competitively in masters regattas and is extremely supportive of all three Alaska rowing clubs.
Joe Tompkins (2010 by Charles Bingham)
He was the first person to win an officially sanctioned Disabled World Cup ski event when he won a two-run downhill in Breckenridge, Colo., in December 1999. Joe, of Juneau, is a monoskier (sit-skier) who has competed in three Paralympics and been a member of the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team.
Ma’o Tosi and Peter Bullock (2008 by Unknown)
They not only have excelled in sports but have shown commitments to the community and in the schools of Alaska. They come into my mind when I think of Alaskan Ro-Models!!
Marcie Trent *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2010 by Steve Waldron)
Marcie arrived in Anchorage in 1946 to start a new life of homesteading and raising a family. Her running career began in 1968 at age 50. By the time of her death at age 77, she had set numerous state, national and world records. She held national age group division records in the ultra (50 miles), marathon (26.2 miles), 10K, 8K, 3K, 1 mile, 1 hour, 3,000 meter, 1,500 meter, and 800 meter runs.
Her specialty and passion was the marathon. At one point in her career, she simultaneously held six separate national age-group records. In at least eight marathons and one ultra race during her 50s and 60s, she not only finished first in her age group but was the fastest woman in the entire race.
Marcie set a division record in the Equinox Marathon, one of the most challenging courses in the country at the time. At Pikes Peak in 1974, she ran the grueling course at age 57 and set a new course record for women of all ages. Marcie was also the first woman over 50 to qualify for the Boston Marathon and completed the course in 3:27 in 1975 at age 58.
She ran nine miles a day in the summer and six miles a day in the winter for years without missing a day. During her 27-year running career, she logged more than 77,000 miles.
In 1967, along with her second husband, John Trent, and several other Alaskan running pioneers, Marcie co-founded the Pulsators Running Club, whose motto was “Run and Rejoice.” Together they also helped establish the Mayors, Glacier, and Resurrection Pass marathons and numerous other shorter distance races.
Marcie and her son Larry died in the summer of 1995 while running the trails of the Chugach mountains, victims of a bear attack.
As a pioneer in the running movement, Marcie Trent left behind a rich legacy and to this day is fondly remembered and respected by an Alaskan running community that was inspired by her example of as a role model and her spirit of camaraderie. Above all, she was admired and loved for her kindness, passion, tenacity, commitment and determination under the most challenging of circumstances in a most extreme environment.
—Submissions also received from Anne Gonzalez, Dick Mize, Linda Hickman, Yael Hickok, Tony Knowles, Patricia Parsch, Brenda Klas, Val Tobin, Sharon Wilson and Carla Beam
Kerry Weiland (2017 by Jeremiah Bartz)
The Palmer High School graduate and two-time All-American at Division I Wisconsin earned a silver medal with the U.S. women’s hockey team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Weiland, a defenseman, also won gold medals at the 2008 and 2009 World Championships.
Paul White, Jr. (2006 by Carla Casulucan)
Paul White, Jr. graduated from Mt. Edgecumbe high school in 1959 and is a basketball legend in Alaska. He was the first All-American from the state of Alaska and is one of only a few Native Alaskans (Tlingit) to have been selected for that distinguished honor. In 1961 White played for the Amateur Athletic Union (the forerunner to the minor league basketball’s CBA) out of Aberdeen, Wash. He was later placed in the Mt. Edgecumbe Hall of Fame and in 1985 was inducted to the Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Basketball Tournament Hall of Fame.
Larry Whitmore (2018 by Brian Chronister)
Larry is the only Alaskan high school coach in the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame. From 1973-91, he won 23 state track and field championships (boys and girls combined) and coached Bartlett to the 1986 basketball state title. He is beloved to this day by former students.
Seth Wickersham (2018 by Wright Thompson)
A native of Anchorage, Seth is one of the greatest living sportswriters (primarily for ESPN and ESPN The Magazine) and the best writer to ever cover the NFL. He is a vocal and proud Alaskan who spreads the proud gospel of his state whenever he gets a chance.
Lael Wilcox (2018 by Sage Cohen)
Lael is among the best female ultra endurance bicycle racers in the world. The Anchorage native has won events as long as 4,400 miles, set women’s records and challenged the top men. She has biked more than 100,000 miles in 30 countries in the past 10 years. She also co-founded GRIT (Girls Riding Into Tomorrow) in Anchorage, a bike mentorship program for middle school girls.
Dean Williams (2010 by Unknown)
Dean was a longtime tennis champion, recreation advocate, and volunteer in Juneau.
John S. Watkins and Carol Bartholomew (2006 by John Watkins II)
In the 1960-1961 rifle shooting season at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, John S. Watkins and Carol Bartholomew became the first man and woman Collegiate All American Athletes to come from the state of Alaska. While it’s not the most popular sport,I don’t see how you can leave the first ones to make it out of the hall. Please consider the inclusion of them both.
Don Winchester (2019 by Mike Dennis)
Don has been involved in sports in Alaska since 1969. He has raised more money and started more leagues for youth than anyone alive. Anyone who knows Don understands the time and effort he has spent in starting YMCA basketball, The Dimond Alumni Field, turf at all the high schools. Abbott-O-Rabbit, legion baseball, etc. There is lots more.
Kevin Winford (2009 by Chris “CrazyKlegs”)
Kevin is a Bartlett High school standout and the 2008 Alaska Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year. He also has a scholarship to Eastern Washington University and is doing well.
Don Witzel (2017 by Jeremiah Bartz)
Don Witzel is among the greatest high school girls’ basketball coaches Alaska has ever seen. He earned eight region titles, four state championships and 308 total victories before retiring in 2009 after 15 years of leading the Colony Knights. Only Wasilla head coach Jeannie Hebert-Truax has more career victories.
Roxy Wright *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2017 by Louis Gigliotti)
Roxy won the Fur Rondy three times in a row then went up to Fairbanks for the Open North American and won three years in a row. After 20 years of retirement, she came back as a grandmother at age 66 and beat Buddy Streeper in the Rondy then went up to Fairbanks and beat him there. No other woman has ever won Fur Rondy. I read all the names in the Hall of Fame and no woman has ever done as good as Roxy.
—Submission also received from Bobby Lee
Aliy Zirkle *ASHOF CANDIDATE (2018 by Holly Freeman)
She is an elite athlete who models the highest level of sportsmanship and grit, is consummate in her care for her dogs, and has proven herself in the challenging world of sled dog racing. She has won the Yukon Quest and placed runner-up three times at the Iditarod. She is a beloved good will ambassador in Alaska.
—Submission also received from Claudia Kruse
1925 – Serum Run *ASHOF MOMENT CANDIDATE (2016 by Marguerite Kaiser)
This amazing run is responsible for all Iditarod races and the lifestyles of all mushers as well as saving so many lives in Nome in 1925.
1966 – Joee Redington Jr. win Fur Rondy in 1966 (2019 by Joe Redington)
He was the first and only winner of the Fur Rondy from the US Army and was also the youngest winner of the race at age 23, a record he held for over 30 years.
1968 – Ketchikan High wins 4th straight basketball championship (2009 by Unknown)
In 1968, Ketchikan High School won its fourth consecutive Alaska state high school basketball championship.
1979 – Joe Redington Summits Denali by dog team (2012 by Unknown)
In 1979, Joe Redington summited Denali by dog team accompanied by Susan Butcher, Ray Genet and Rod Stapleton.
1980 – Kuskokwim 300 First Running (2010 by Don Reardon)
Without that initial race in 1980 and the hard work that followed establishing the race as the premiere mid-distance race in the world, the K-300 would not exist and people in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta wouldn’t have the mushing community it has today.
1981 – Elliott Sampson’s Upset Victory *INDUCTED 2010 (2007 by Unknown)
Noorvik runner Elliott Sampson’s cross-country victory, which I’d argue is a bigger “Hoosiers” story than Monroe beating East or Kodiak beating East in hoops, should be considered.
1982 – East Anchorage HS sets 4×400 record (2016 by Patty Ortiz 2016)
The boys’ 4 X400 Relay state record of 3:23.6 has been standing since it was set in 1982 by Keith Singleton, Tony Stephens, Craig Perham and Ken Brownsberger of East High. This is the longest relay record in Alaska. The 4X400 record has been a goal to beat and an inspiration for Alaskan runners for years.
1986 – Don Clary defeats Alberto Salazer at Alaska 10K Classic (2012 by Unknown)
Don Clary defeated 1984 Olympian and 1982 Boston Marathon champion Alberto Salazar in the 1986 Alaska 10K Classic in a time of 29:26.
1986 – Klawock Reaches Basketball Championship Game (2010 by Sonnie Anderson)
Many people do not know that Klawock High School was a part of Prince of Wales High School along with Craig until 1982. In 1982, Klawock and Craig separated and Klawock got to realize a dream of having its own high school. In four short years, Klawock High School reached the 1986 state championship against Koliganek before falling 29-26. It is commendable for them to bring such pride to their community and school.
1987 – Sydne Vogel wins World Junior Figure Skating Championship in 1997 (2015 by Beth Bragg)
This really was a shocker in the world of figure skating, as Vogel defeated two Russians at the 1997 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in South Korea. This was her second major title, as Vogel also defeated Tara Lipinski, the overwhelming favorite, at the 1995 U.S. Junior Championships. Her success touched off a short-lived but impressive surge in the sport in Anchorage, where Vogel was born and raised.
1988 – Chugiak’s “Heave You Wouldn’t Believe” *ASHOF MOMENT CANDIDATE (2011 by Tom Huffer)
With barely a minute left in the game, Chugiak trailed Soldotna 18-14 and had a 4th down needing 10 yards to stay alive. The Chugiak quarterback called a short pass just to get a first down. It was well covered by a SoHi player who went up to knock it down and tipped the ball slightly. It landed in the hands of Chugiak’s running back who ran up the sideline for the winning touchdown.
1989 – Palmer High Football Team Declines Invitation (2010 by David Fuller)
Up until 1989 the Alaska High School football championship game was an invitational event instead of a true playoff. The top two teams in the Cook Inlet Conference invited the top two teams from the Railbelt and Northern Lights Conferences to play for the championship and consolation. When Palmer declined the consolation invitation in the fall of 1989 it set the entire system on its ear. This illustrated the inequality of the invitational process and the need for a playoff system that gave all teams an equal opportunity.
1989 – Alyeska hosts World Junior Alpine Skiing Championships (2009 by Unknown)
Alyeska hosted the 1989 World Junior Alpine Skiing Championships, at which Tommy Moe won the Super-G and Combined gold medals.
1989 – Crossing of the Bering Strait by Kayak (2019 by Martin Leonard)
The event marked an international effort to break down the barriers for Alaskans and Russians, especially for Native Peoples on both sides of the Strait, that were created by the Cold War with the then Soviet Union. The event created an international and local buzz on both sides of the Strait that continues to today. Cross border cultural exchange, international cooperation and high adventure marked this event. This year marks the 30-year reunion of the event. Award winning documentary ‘A Curtain of Ice’ documented the adventure and exchange.
1992 – Unalakleet Wins Consecutive State Basketball Titles in Different Divisions (2009 by Unknown)
Unalakleet High School won the state basketball championship in Division 2A in 1992 after taking the crown in Division 1A in 1991.
1997 – Hilary Lindh wins World Championship Title *ASHOF MOMENT CANDIDATE (2010 by Charles Bingham)
When I interviewed her, Hilary said she was more proud of her world championship downhill gold medal from 1997 in Italy than her Olympic silver medal in 1992. She had considered retirement before that season and then become the only American medalist at those World Championships.
1999 – David Morris sets U.S. Marathon record *ASHOF MOMENT CANDIDATE (2009 by Unknown)
Relatively unknown to Americans because he trained and competed in Japan, Morris, a Chugiak High School graduate, set the U.S. Marathon record (since broken) by running 2:09:32 to finish fourth at the 1999 Chicago Marathon.
2001 – Special Olympics World Games Comes to Anchorage in 2001 *INDUCTED 2016 (2011 by Unknown)
The 2001 Special Olympics World Winter games was one of the largest events in Alaska. There were more than 1,800 athletes from 80 countries participating in seven Olympic-type sports. There were more than 5,000 volunteers and the event was proclaimed by the founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver as one of the best games ever.
2004 – David Thomas wins Sportsmanship and All-Around Awards at NYO (2009 by Unknown)
David Thomas won both the sportsmanship and all-around awards at Native Youth Olympics for the second straight year in 2004.
2005 – Matt Carle wins second straight NCAA hockey championship (2008 by Unknown)
Matt Carle, a defenseman, helped Denver University beat North Dakota 4-1 for the 2005 NCAA Hockey Championship. The previous year, Carle was on the ice to help kill a 5-on-3 power play and seal a 1-0 win over Maine.
2010 – Service High School cross country achieves perfect regionals score (2018 by Luke Kiskaddon)
Only one cross country team, the 2010 Service High School boys’ squad, has ever accomplished a “Perfect Score” at the regional championships. The Cougar runners finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th to attain a perfect score of 15 points. A cross country perfect score is extremely rare in championship events as it requires a team’s #5 runner to beat all of the other teams #1 runners.
Alaska Ski for Women *ASHOF EVENT CANDIDATE (2010 by Ann Mize)
Sally Burkholder and I created the Ski for Women in 1997. Our goal was to get more women out for the local races already held. We were overwhelmed with the fantastic turnout of more than 1,000 women of all ages! The event continues each year on Super Bowl Sunday. All proceeds go to various local women’s causes.
Arctic Man Ski and Sno-Go Classic *ASHOF EVENT CANDIDATE (2018 by Jack Timm)
Over its 32-year history of riding, skiing, and partying, the Arctic Man Ski and Sno-Go Classic has become a welcome “Spring Break” in Alaska. Attendees come from all over the state and even beyond to watch and play. In spite of its uniquely Alaskan beginnings (or because of them) it has grown into a serious sporting event with world class competitors. Event director Howie Thies has worked hard to provide positive impact on the sports of skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling with his development of partnerships and sponsorships that provide an annual purse of more than $100,000 to competitors including U.S. National Team members and adaptive skiers.
Big Lake Lions Mud Volleyball Tournament (2019 By Jaime)
For over 30 years, the Big Lake Lions Club has been hosting a unique volleyball tournament, the volleyball courts are knee deep in the mud. In the time since inception, the event has grown substantially. In recent years it has grown to over 70 teams consisting of 10 players each, in double elimination bracket play – that’s over 150 games in one day. The event is an annual fundraiser for the Big Lake Lions club, with the proceeds going directly back into the community. Items the funds allow the club to participate in are vision screening and eye glasses for those in need, aiding individuals with diabetic needs, operating the recreation center/hockey rink that hosts free skating 2 times a week during the winter months, holiday food baskets, and any other needs that arise in our community.
Equinox Marathon *INDUCTED 2013 (2012 by Matias Saari)
The Equinox Marathon of Fairbanks celebrated its 50th running on Sept. 15. 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 Equinox set itself apart with a challenging, trail-oriented course and the inclusion of women and hundreds of schoolchildren, most of them hikers. Today the Equinox still thrives and this year a record 825 entrants crossed the finish line. Stan Justice’s record of 2:41:30 is one of Alaska’s most impressive records and has never been seriously challenged since he set it in 1984. Other historic moments include the late Marcie Trent winning at age 58 in 1976 and 12-year-old Mara Rabinowitz shattering the women’s record in 1979.
—Submission also received from Steve Bainbridge
Fur Rondy Grad Prix (2008 by Unknown)
How about we nominate the Fur Rondy Gran Prix? you know, the oldest street race in America.
Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race *ASHOF EVENT CANDIDATE (Dana Diehl in 2018)
The Kuskokwim 300 has a 40-year history of sustaining the tradition of dog mushing in Western Alaska. The K-300 is the world’s premier mid-distance race, with a purse that is second to only the Iditarod. Not only do they host the Kuskokwim 300 but also the Bogus Creek 150 and the Akiak Dash the same weekend. The K-300 is keeping a traditional Alaska Native sport alive, contributing to the local economy, and creating a healthy, social event for the region.
— Submissions also received by: Albert Ostrowski, Mark Nordman, Pam Aviza, Hsin-l Russell, Casey McDonald, Ellen King, Reg Peratrovich, Elizabeth Hoffman, Timothy Failor, John Dixon, Katharina Sommer, Donna Quante, Zachary Brown, April Blevins, Grant Fairbanks, Heather Blackbirn, Jodi Bailey, Alexander Shantz, Natalie Alexie, Paula Blazer, Lauro, Jacob Witkop, Joar Ulsom, Shawna Williams, Sean Williams, Kyle Burke, Robert Sabo, Kay Lawson, Dalarie Peters, Jody Michaeli, Stephanie Butte, Lauren Reimers, Dawn Beckwell, Bill Henery, Elizabeth Hoffman, Naomi Chuckwuk, Justine Webb, Kit Walsh, Jessica Klejka, Madelene Richard, Anne Kosacheff, Anne Habza, Jon Cochrane, Buddy Kutch, Pete Kaiser, Colin McDonald, Chuck Herman, Russell Lamont, Jr., Jason Mackey, Angela Harris, Myron Angstman, Madelene Richard.
Lonnie O’Connor Iditarod Basketball Tournament (2018 by Don Stiles)
For nearly 50 years, this event held during the Iditarod Sled dog race has provided competitive competition for adult basketball players and fans from across Alaska. In the early years as many as 64 teams participated in this annual event at one location. The week-long event provides an activity that ushers in the spring and a break from the long winters of Western Alaska. Basketball is a popular sport among villages throughout Alaska this event is often the final tournament for many teams after a long winter. The event helps provide a festive atmosphere for Iditarod fans that is often referred as the Mardi Gras of the north. the Lonnie O’Connor Iditarod Basketball Classic is deserving of recognition. The event is named after the founder, the late Lonnie O’Connor who brought prominence to the event through his vision and ability to bring people together. The tradition is carried on by his daughter Kimberly Gooden of Nome.
Open North American Championship Sled Dog Race *ASHOF EVENT CANDIDATE (2011 by Kathy Fitzgerald)
The Open North American Championship Sled Dog Race (ONAC) heads into its 67th consecutive year in 2012. It’s the oldest annually occurring sled dog race in the world and has been conducted by the Alaska Dog Mushers Association since 1946 without fail. (Anchorage Fur Rondy is only 62 years old.) The ONAC has been the anchor event in Fairbanks for winter carnivals for decades. It started as the Fairbanks Sled Dog Derby in the 1930s. ONAC features many of the world’s top sprint mushers. The estimated economic impact for that weekend is $1.8M!
Region V High School Basketball Tournament (2018 by Michael Kelly)
The Region V High School Basketball Tournament in Southeast has been going on forever. (I’m 57 and the tournament has been going on longer than I am old). All the towns’ basketball teams (boys and girls) pep bands, cheerleaders, drill teams, and fans and parents converge on the host town for five days of basketball, cheerleading competition, drill team competition and music of all the pep bands. Lasting friendships for life have been built from everyone attending this tournament.
Sadler’s Alaska Challenge *ASHOF EVENT CANDIDATE (2009 By Unknown)
Sadler’s is the longest and toughest wheelchair and handcycle race in the world for people with physical disabilities.