November 30, 2022

We received nearly 800 public votes during November. Thanks to all that participated!

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame selection panel  convenes on December 4th, 2022 to review the results of the public vote and cast their own ballots. Following the selection panel meeting, the people, moments, and event to make up the Class of 2023 will be determined and announced to the public on December 5th.

Look for an announcement on the afternoon of December 5th on this website.

Visit here for information on the selection process.

The last selection occurred in November, 2019. The new class of inductees was named at that time but the ceremony to induct the group was postponed until April, 2022 due to Covid-19 safety considerations.

The Class of 2023 is scheduled to be inducted at 6pm, Thursday, April 27th, at the Anchorage Museum Atrium.

April 22, 2022

Given college hockey’s freshly-minted national champion, Matt Carle couldn’t help but feel like a bit of a warm-up act Thursday on a night belonging to him and a galaxy of Alaska sports greats.

Carle’s younger brother David coached the University of Denver to its record-tying NCAA Division I title less than two weeks ago.

“For sure, it was quite awesome to watch,” Matt Carle said minutes before the 2022 Alaska Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony commenced. “I’ve done some other interviews, and I don’t know if there’s another coach to come out of Alaska to win a national championship.

“It’s another first for Alaska, and great for our family.”

Recent events notwithstanding, Matt Carle did more than his fair share to deserve inclusion in the Hall’s 14th celebration of all things Alaska sports at the Anchorage Museum. Carle scored an Alaska first when he won the 2006 Hobey Baker Award, the Heisman Trophy of college hockey, and went on to play 857 games in the NHL.

He and female running pioneer Marcie Waldron Trent took their rightful place among 39 other Alaska luminaries as the Hall’s Class of 2022. They were joined by the Fairbanks Outboard Association’s Yukon 800 Marathon boat race and UAA hockey’s 1991 upset of powerhouse Boston College at the NCAA Championships.

The event emceed by legendary Alaska broadcaster Kurt Haider also featured the Hall of Fame Directors’ awards. Those went to Olympic swimming sensation Lydia Jacoby, college hockey national champion Clair DeGeorge, professional soccer star Obed Vargas, Nordic skier Scott Patterson, Point Lay youth basketball role model Jeremy Lane, Nordic skier and brutal accident survivor Hannah Halverson and retired sports editor extraordinaire Beth Bragg.

“Things are heading in the right direction (for sports in the state),” Patterson said during his acceptance. “We’ve got a bright future ahead of us.”

Matt Carle proved an example of just how superb the state’s past has been as well. He won two NCAA national titles with Denver (2005, 2006), scored 328 points in his 12 NHL seasons as the first Last Frontier defenseman to play in the world’s top league. He was named to the 2007 NHL All-Rookie team and twice played in the Stanley Cup Final as a conference champion.

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame inductee Matt Carle talks with guests at tonight’s ceremony. Photo by Matt Nevala/Alaska Sports Report

Carle’s accomplished rink resume is arguably second in Alaska only to two-time Stanley Cup winner and Hall of Famer Scott Gomez, who Carle said, “won two trophies that dwarf anything I’ve done.”

It’s been a memorable journey for a kid who played Cook Inlet Conference hockey for Service as a high school freshman. Carle also spent countless hours playing street hockey in his South Anchorage neighborhood and learning the game while on the city’s outdoor rinks.

“You’re always trying to get better, and always knew someone was coming so you never got comfortable,” Carle said. “My ultimate goal was to play college hockey and I grew up watching the (UAA) Seawolves, and it had a big impact.”

Education also played a significant role in helping make Carle great.

“Colleges are always going to first look at a kid who is a really good student and mediocre hockey player over a real good player but terrible student,” he said. “For me, being a student was always first and foremost.”

Carle said a memorable hat rests on his Hobey Baker inside his home office back in Minnesota. He also said DU possesses a version of the award down in Colorado.

“I’ve yet to ask my brother what he’s done with it,” Matt said. “He’s probably put it in a basement somewhere.”

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors member Matt Carle (left) greets Hall of Fame inductee Matt Carle (right). Photo by Matt Nevala/Alaska Sports Report

 

MARCIE WALDRON TRENT

The white-haired Trent, who weighed about 100 pounds and stood barely 5 feet tall, was a huge inspiration to the Alaskan running community after picking up the sport at age 50.

She grew up on a farm in Nampa, Idaho, and moved to Anchorage in 1945, where she and husband Roger Waldron obtained a 160-acre homestead near the present-day Tudor and Lake Otis roads. She began running in the late 1960s and among her accomplishments were once holding nine national age-group records ranging from 800 meters to an ultramarathon, and five age world records for a female marathoner in her 60s.

Marcie Waldron Trent

Trent won Fairbanks’ Equinox Marathon three times and remains its oldest champion at age 58. She also won the famous Pikes Peak Marathon at age 57 and is believed to be the first woman ever over the age of 50 to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Marcie completed 59 marathons and 11 ultramarathons and logged more than 71,000 lifetime miles in her life. Trent was inducted into the USA Track & Field Masters Hall of Fame in 2001.

Marcie and John Trent, her second husband, also formed the Pulsators Running Club, likely Alaska’s first such organization. “For Marcie, the motto of the Pulsators Running Club was ‘Run and Rejoice,’” Alex Monterrosa said.

And rejoice she did, whether it was running on the trails she was so passionate about, organizing races, giving advice to aspiring runners, running in sub-zero temperatures, or completing marathons in Japan, Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts and elsewhere.

In 1995, Trent, age 77, and her son Larry Waldron were killed by a bear while running in Chugach State Park. Their funeral drew more than 500 mourners, including Gov. Tony Knowles. The Trent/Waldron Half Marathon and 10K continues to this day in their memory.

Marcie Waldron Trent with son Steve Waldron.

 

LET’S BRAG ABOUT BRAGG

Bragg retired from the Anchorage Daily News in 2021 after 35 years at the newspaper. The Hall honored her with the Joe Floyd Award for significant and lasting contribution to the state through sports.

This reporter’s greatest professional honor is having been taught by Bragg and part of her team in different capacities as a local media personality for 25 years. She is the greatest of coaches, a trusted confidant and a better friend.

“I’d rather tell the story than be the story, but I’m still blown away,” Bragg said in a postgame phone interview.

To that end, Hall of Fame Executive Director Harlow Robinson said Bragg first asked this reporter to accept the award on her behalf because she was unable to do so in person. But someone had to work the event and write a story we hope Bragg enjoys on some level despite her not refining and tightening like she’s done masterfully so often throughout the years.

“Harlow texted me back and said you’d be there covering it,” she said. “Then I said, well (Nevala) shouldn’t do it. If he’s covering it, he can’t go out and shoot last second free throws.”

Bragg is the pro’s pro times infinity. In all sincerity, the idea she even considered this stooge of a reporter to play a role in such a special affair will forever be astounding.

Bragg was up for the Floyd Award alongside superheroines Kathie Bethard and Kathleen Navarre. She relished joining those women and the likes of Trent, Jacoby, DeGeorge and Halvorsen as honorees.

Beth Bragg

A trailblazer in so many ways, Bragg deserves all the adulation. Olympic skier and Hall of Famer Holly Brooks did accept the award on Bragg’s behalf and asked if Bragg was blushing from afar.

“Enough to think it might have been a hot flash,” Bragg said.

Brooks shared lovely quotes about Bragg from Rosey Fletcher, Kikkan Randall and Lars Flora.

“Talking to Beth always felt like you were home,” Flora said in thoughts shared by Brooks. “Even if I was thousands of miles away.”

Bragg said hearing Flora’s words reminded the storyteller of one of her all-time favorite ledes – beginnings for the non-scribes – to a sports story. Flora barely hung on to win the grueling Crow Pass Crossing backcountry race during a year when Bragg said a bear, bees or both wreaked havoc on all participants.

“Lars looked like death, and it was a while before he could talk,” Bragg said. “It wasn’t aerobic, it was like he was going to pass out. Also, it was either a bear on the trail people saw or bees a lot of people got stung by.”

“My lede – ‘A little too much fauna, and just enough Flora.’”

The ceremony crowd mingling before the show started at the Anchorage Museum. Photo by Matt Nevala/Alaska Sports Report

April 15, 2022

The 2022 Directors’ Awards winners will be presented with their plaques recognizing them as Alaska’s most outstanding athletes of this past year at the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame ceremony and banquet, April 21st, 7-9pm at the Anchorage Museum atrium.

The event is free and open to the public.

 

 

 

 

Below is from the Alaska Sports Report (owned by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame).

By Van Williams

The finalists for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Directors Awards set the bar incredibly high, but the winners took it to another level.

They were out of this world.

Swimmer Lydia Jacoby won an Olympic gold medal.

Obed Vargas made his Major League Soccer debut at age 15.

Hockey star Clair DeGeorge skated to a NCAA championship.

Skier Scott Patterson delivered the best men’s nordic result at the Olympics since 1976.

It would be extraordinary if one of these things happened in a year, but for all four to happen is hall-of-fame historic.

In all, seven Alaskans heard their names called when the winners were revealed during Wednesday’s online ceremony co-hosted by Alaska News Source sportscaster Jordan Rodenberger and Alaska Sports Hall of Fame executive director Harlow Robinson.

Winners were selected by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

Scott Patterson

In the men’s Pride of Alaska Award, Patterson beat out fellow finalists Jeremy Swayman (NHL goalie) and Marko Cheseto (world record double-amputee runner).

Patterson, of Anchorage, recorded the best men’s Nordic skiing result at the Olympics since 1976 with an 11th-place showing in the 50-kilometer freestyle.

 

That came despite a broken wrist that hampered his training and almost cost him a spot at the Olympics.

Patterson also won the Crow Pass for a 7th time in 2021 and shattered the record with a run of 2 hours, 50 minutes.

Men’s Pride of Alaska Winners
2022: Scott Patterson
2021: Dallas Seavey
2020: Gus Schumacher
2019: Keegan Messing
2018: Andrew Kurka
2017: David Norris
2016: Dallas Seavey & Soldotna High Football Team (co-winners)
2015: Erik Flora
2014: Trevor Dunbar & Eric Strabel (co-winners)
2013: Mario Chalmers
2012: Alaska Aces

In the women’s Pride of Alaska Award, DeGeorge beat out other finalists Rosie Brennan (Olympic skier and 2021 Pride of Alaska winner) and Sydnee Kimber (national champion college wrestler).

DeGeorge, of Anchorage, helped Ohio State win the NCAA D1 women’s national championship by scoring a goal and assisting on another in Buckeyes’ 3-2 win over Minnesota-Duluth.

Clair DeGeorge

She finished her college career No. 3 among Alaska’s all-time women’s scorers, delivering 125 points (on 44 goals and 81 assists) in 166 games.

Women’s Pride of Alaska Winners
2022: Clair DeGeorge
2021: Rosie Brennan
2020: Ruthy Hebard
2019: Caroline Kurgat
2018: Kikkan Randall & Roxie Wright (co-winners)
2017: Morgan Hooe
2016: UAA Women’s Basketball Team & Allie Ostrander (co-winners)
2015: Allie Ostrander
2014: Kikkan Randall
2013: Nunaka Girls Softball Team
2012: UAA Women’s Basketball Team

In the girls Pride of Alaska Award, Jacoby beat out other finalists Marit Flora (Alaska Skimeister from Service High) and Sayvia Sellers (Gatorade Alaska Girls Basketball Player of the Year from ACS).

Jacoby, of Seward, won a gold medal in the 100-yard breaststroke at the 2020 Summer Olympics (held in 2021 in Toyko) and a silver medal in the 4×100 medley relay.

She became the third Alaskan to win two medals at the Summer Olympics, but the first to do it in the same Games.

Lydia Jacoby

Jacoby, a 17-year-old senior at Seward High, shocked the swimming world in her specialty event, the 100 breaststroke.

Sitting third at the final turn, the Alaskan chased down world record-holder Lilly King of the U.S and a South African for the dramatic win.

It was considered one of the most exciting moments of the Olympics and celebrated by hundreds at the Seward Railroad Depot in a viral video clip.

 

Jacoby also won the Pride of Alaska in 2020 – joining Dallas Seavey and Gus Schumacher as the only two-time winners.

Girls Pride of Alaska Winners
2022: Lydia Jacoby
2021: Lydia Jacoby
2020: Hailey Williams
2019: Kendall Kramer
2018: Alissa Pili

In the boys Pride of Alaska Award, Vargas beat out fellow finalists Kyler Johnson (Gatorade Alaska Football Player of the Year and East High basketball star) and Landon Smith (Four-time state wrestling champion from Bethel High).

Vargas, of Anchorage, made his Major League Soccer debut at age 15 as an emergency call-up for the Seattle Sounders, becoming the third-youngest player in league history.

Obed Vargas

Five months later, he signed a four-year “Homegrown Player” contract.

Vargas is one of only three Alaskans to play in the MLS. He joined the Sounders Academy at age 14 from the Cook Inlet Soccer Club in Anchorage and has played well for two seasons with the Tacoma Defiance, the Sounders’ farm club.

Boys Pride of Alaska Winners
2022: Obed Vargas
2021: Tristian Merchant
2020: Hayden Lieb & Aeyden Concepcion (co-winners)
2019: Jersey Truesdell
2018: Gus Schumacher

In the Joe Floyd Award, journalist Beth Bragg beat out other finalists Kathie Bethard (community organizer) and Kathleen Navarre (Dimond High School, ASAA coach/administrator).

The award honors significant and lasting contribution to Alaska through sports and is named in honor of the legendary Kodiak icon.

Bragg retired in 2021 after 35 years at the Anchorage Daily News, primarily covering sports of all sort. She produced 6,735 articles that carried her byline, and thousands more that didn’t.

She attended four Olympics to provide in-depth stories about Alaska’s Olympians.

Beth Bragg

From the ADN article about her retirement: “Regular readers, casual readers, anyone paying attention to sports in Alaska knows the breadth, depth, quality and volume of what Beth has done. … Beth’s work was the definition of sustained, high-energy, high-quality local and regional journalism. … Beth was a terrific story editor. Again and again, she helped others shine, gave support and kept things rolling. … her shoes are impossible to fill.”

The Trajan Langdon Award featured an adult winner (Hannah Halvorsen) and youth award (Jeremy Lane).

The award rewards leadership, sportsmanship and inspiration, and is named after the groundbreaking hoops hero who played with court sense and courtliness.

Halvorsen beat out other finalists Andrew Kurka (Paralympic alpine skier from Palmer) and Mareng Gatkuoth (South Sudan Basketball National Team member from Anchorage).

Halvorsen, of Anchorage, competed at the 2022 Olympics as a sprinter two years after sustaining life-threatening injuries upon being struck by a car while crossing a road in downtown Anchorage.

At age 21, she suffered a traumatic brain injury and many broken bones and worked her way back to the highest level of her sport.

Hannah Halvorsen

“It means you can do anything if you just take one step at a time, and if you have enough people who support you,” Halvorsen said.

In the youth award, Lane edged out West High hockey star Ian Keim and Sitka High multi-sport athlete Tawny Smith.

Lane, of Point Lay, was a prep athlete and role model to his village.

Jeremy Lane

Edited from his nomination: I recommend this young man because in recent years we have had some very tough times in our village of Point Lay. Our sports seasons have been cut short or canceled and this senior stepped up to make whatever season we had a positive experience. He previously was a hard student to coach, but the last few years he has stepped up to be someone that our entire school, including our youngest students, can look up to. He did so on the court, in the classroom and in our community. He took his captain role seriously by helping others when they were down and keeping his teammates motivated. He helped any and all involved including his coaches. He also taught them things and always wanted to better himself and his team. Jeremy Lane has the highest integrity of any athlete I have seen. He holds his head up high in the worst of situations and keeps the peace. He is Point Lay’s pride.

June 24, 2020

NCAA All-American basketball star Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks and junior World Champion cross-country skier Gus Schumacher of Anchorage have been selected as 2020 Pride of Alaska Award winners by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

Ruthy Hebard basketball

Ruthy Hebard

Hebard recently wrapped up her college basketball career at the University of Oregon, where she became just the second Alaska woman ever to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. This season as a senior she won the Katrina McClain Award given to the country’s top power forward and earned consensus First Team All-American honors.

Schumacher made US Ski Team history in March when he became the first American male to win an individual Junior World Championship. He also anchored the American relay team to a gold medal and was named winner of the Beck International Trophy, the top U.S. Ski & Snowboard award dating to the 1930s.

Gus Schumacher Cross-Country Skiing

Gus Schumacher

Hebard and Schumacher were among a handful of Directors’ Award winners announced Wednesday by Alaska Sports Hall of Fame executive director Harlow Robinson via Facebook live.

Anchorage’s Cristy Hickel won the 2020 Joe Floyd Award and Palmer’s Israel Hale won the 2020 Trajan Langdon Award.

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Directors’ Awards have been handed out annually since 2012.

All the 2020 winners will be recognized at the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame at the 2021 ceremony.

Ruthy Hebard

2020 Pride of Alaska
Women’s Winner: Ruthy Hebard

The Pride of Alaska Award is given to an athlete or athletes, team or coach who have not only excelled in sports in the past year or recent years, but have done so with integrity and sportsmanship and been a positive role model.

Hebard ended her NCAA D1 women’s basketball career at the University of Oregon as Alaska’s all-time leader in points (2,368), rebounds (1,299), blocked shots (146) and field-goal percentage (.651).

The 6-foot-4 forward as a senior led the NCAA in field-goal shooting percentage (.685) and led the Pac-12 Conference in rebounds (9.6). She added 17.3 points and 1.1 blocked shots.

Hebard’s .651 career field-goal percentage is a Pac-12 record and tied for No. 7 all-time in NCAA history.

In April, she was selected No. 8 by Chicago in the WNBA draft – just the fourth Alaska woman drafted professionally.

Hebard beat out fellow finalists Sydnee Kimber of Sitka and Sadie Maubet Bjornsen of Anchorage.

Pride of Alaska Award women’s history:
2020: Ruthy Hebard
2019: Caroline Kurgat
2018: Kikkan Randall and Roxie Wright (co-winners)
2017: Morgan Hooe
2016: UAA Women’s BB Team and Allie Ostrander (co-winners)
2015: Allie Ostrander
2014: Kikkan Randall
2013: Nunaka Girls Softball Team
2012: UAA Women’s Basketball Team

Gus Schumacher

2020 Pride of Alaska
Men’s Winner: Gus Schumacher

The Pride of Alaska Award is given to an athlete or athletes, team or coach who have not only excelled in sports in the past year or recent years, but have done so with integrity and sportsmanship and been a positive role model.

Schumacher wiped away decades of frustration for the US Ski Team in March by becoming the first American male to win World Juniors.

He used a killer kick over the final two kilometers to come from behind and snag the gold medal by 4.5 seconds in the 10-K classic race in Germany.

Schumacher’s gold at the U20 international competition is the first medal ever by an American male at World Juniors. Bill Koch earned a bronze in 1974 at the European Junior Championships before there was an official youth world championship race.

Schumacher picked up a second Junior World gold medal after anchoring the USA 4x5K relay team to a come-from-behind victory.

At the halfway point, the Americans were in third place and trailed Germany by eight seconds. With just under two kilometers left, he cut that deficit in half. Down the stretch Schumacher passed the German skier to win by 4.5 seconds.

Schumacher beat out finalists Marko Cheseto and Aaron Fletcher of Anchorage.

Pride of Alaska Award men’s history:
2020: Gus Schumacher
2019: Keegan Messing
2018: Andrew Kurka
2017: David Norris
2016: Dallas Seavey and Soldotna HS Football Team (co-winners)
2015: Erik Flora
2014: Trevor Dunbar and Eric Strabel (co-winners)
2013: Mario Chalmers
2012: Alaska Aces

Cristy Hickel

2020 Joe Floyd Award
Winner: Cristy Hickel

The Joe Floyd Award is based on significant and lasting contribution to Alaska through sports

Hickel founded SPYDER Soccer 30 years ago and has provided opportunities in sports leagues to thousands of Alaska youth. Better known as ‘Crusher,’ she also coaches the Alaska All-Stars nationals-bound Under-16 and Under-19 girls hockey teams and has helped more than 200 women reach the college hockey level.

Hickel beat out other finalists Milo Griffin of Fairbanks and Ed Strabel of Palmer.

Joe Floyd Award history:
2020: Cristy Hickel
2019: Brush Christiansen
2018: Jim Mahaffey
2017: Ma’o Tosi
2016: Dennis Sorenson
2015: Michael Friess
2014: Dick Mize
2013: Don Dennis
2012: Steve Nerland and Don Winchester (co-winners)

 

Israel Hale

2020 Trajan Langdon Award
Winner: Israel Hale

The Trajan Langdon Award is given to a person or group of people who have demonstrated leadership, integrity and sportsmanship during the past year and positively influenced and inspired others to be better sportsmen or sportswomen.

Hale became the first double-leg amputee ever to participate in the Iron Dog race. No amputee had ever competed in the Iron Dog — much less a double amputee without prosthetics. Hale made history with his brother Joseph. They were the first-place team in the recreational class of the 1,000-plus mile snowmachine race.

Hale beat out finalists Carol Seppilu of Nome and Keegan Messing of Girdwood.

Trajan Langdon Award history:
2020: Israel Hale
2019: Andy Beardsley and Larsen Klingel (co-winners)
2018: DaJonee Hale
2017: Damen Bell-Holter
2016: Laci Effenberger
2015: Aliy Zirkle
2014: Marko Cheseto
2013: Paul Tandy
2012: Chugiak High School football team

June 14, 2020

Two runners and a cross-country skier from Anchorage are up for the men’s Pride of Alaska Award after Marko Cheseto, Aaron Fletcher and Gus Schumacher were named finalists by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

The Pride of Alaska Award since 2012 has been given to an athlete or athletes, team or coach who have not only excelled in sports in the past year or recent years, but have done so with integrity and sportsmanship and been a positive role model.

Marko Cheseto

Marko Cheseto, Anchorage – The former UAA runner set a world record at the 123rd Boston Marathon for double amputees with a 26.2-mile time of 2 hours, 42 minutes and 24 seconds. He eclipsed the old record by 28 seconds. Boston was just Cheseto’s second marathon and a significant improvement from his 2:52 debut at the 2018 New York City Marathon. He lost both legs below the knee due to frostbite in 2011.

Gus Schumacher cross-country ski nordic

Gus Schumacher

Gus Schumacher, Anchorage – The cross-country skier made US Ski Team history by becoming the first American male to win an individual Junior World Championship. Schumacher claimed the gold medal in the 10-K individual start classic race in Germany. He also anchored the American team to its second straight relay gold medal. After the season, Schumacher became just the third Alaskan to win the Beck International Trophy – the U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s top award dating to the 1930s.

Aaron Fletcher running marathon

Aaron Fletcher

Aaron Fletcher, Anchorage – Fletcher shattered the race record at the 57th Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks, finishing the 26.2-mile race in 2 hours, 38 minutes and 14 seconds. The former BYU star runner beat the old record that had stood since 1984 by three minutes. Fletcher also ran in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Here are past winners of the men’s Pride of Alaska Award:
2019: Keegan Messing
2018: Andrew Kurka
2017: David Norris
2016: Dallas Seavey and Soldotna HS Football Team (co-winners)
2015: Erik Flora
2014: Trevor Dunbar and Eric Strabel (co-winners)
2013: Mario Chalmers
2012: Alaska Aces

This is one of four Directors’ Awards handed out by the seven-person committee that makes up the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

Here are finalists for all four awards:
Joe Floyd Award – Milo Griffin, Cristy Hickel, Ed Strabel
Trajan Langdon Award – Israel Hale, Carol Seppilu, Keegan Messing
Women’s Pride of Alaska Award – Ruthy Hebard, Sydnee Kimber, Sadie Maubet Bjornsen
Men’s Pride of Alaska Award – Marko Cheseto, Aaron Fletcher, Gus Schumacher

Directors’ Award winners will be announced June 24.

2020 Men’s Pride of Alaska Award
Also Receiving Votes

Spencer Woods – The Greco-Roman wrestler from Shungnak won a silver medal at 170 pounds at the Bill Farrell Memorial in New York City, securing his bid to the Olympic Trials after finishing as the top American at his weight. Woods also won a gold medal at the Malar Cupen in Sweden. The 2019 U.S. Open runnerup finished with a 5-0 record, beating 2019 European Cadet bronze medalist Simon Borkenhagen of Sweden in the final.

Jeremy Swayman – The University of Maine goaltender from Anchorage won Hockey East Player of the Year honors and finished runner-up for the Hobey Baker Award given to the nation’s top college player. Swayman led the NCAA with 1,099 saves ranked No. 2 in the country with a .939 save percentage. He also won the Walter Brown Award, was named First Team All-American and captured the Mike Richter Award as the nation’s best goalie.

Andrew Kurka – The Palmer native won three of six races at the Para Alpine Skiing World Cup in Russia. In the sit ski downhill competition, the two-time Winter Paralympic Games medalist was first in the downhill, Super-G and giant slalom. This was at least the third time he’s won multiple medals at a world competition.

Sean Rash – A veteran pro bowler from Anchorage, Rash beat four consecutive opponents, including top qualifier Ryan Ciminelli of South Carolina in the championship match, to win the PBA Oklahoma Open for his 15th career title. Rash rolled 10 consecutive strikes in the final to score a 289-234 victory. He managed only three tournament appearances before COVID-19 shut down the season.

Ryan McCarthy – The UAA women’s basketball coach became the all-time victories leader in Seawolf history as UAA went 30-3 and won its fifth straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season title. One of the brightest coaching talents in the NCAA ranks, McCarthy has taken the Alaska Anchorage program to unprecedented heights. The four-time GNAC Coach of the Year has led his hometown program to a 190-34 record in seven seasons and has made the Seawolves annual title contenders.

June 13, 2020

Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks, Sydnee Kimber of Sitka and Sadie Maubet Bjornsen of Anchorage were picked by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors as finalists for the 2020 women’s Pride of Alaska Award.

Since 2012, the Pride of Alaska Award has been given to an athlete or athletes, team or coach who have not only excelled in sports in the past year or recent years, but have done so with integrity and sportsmanship and been a positive role model.

Ruthy Hebard basketball

Ruthy Hebard

Ruthy Hebard, Fairbanks – Hebard ended her NCAA D1 women’s basketball career at the University of Oregon as Alaska’s all-time leader in points (2,368), rebounds (1,299), blocked shots (146) and field-goal percentage (.651). As a senior, the 6-foot-4 forward was named First Team All-American and All-Pac-12. Hebard was selected No. 8 by Chicago in the WNBA draft – just the fourth Alaska woman drafted professionally.

Sydnee Kimber wrestling

Sydnee Kimber

Sydnee Kimber, Sitka – Kimber capped her sensational sophomore season by winning two national titles – one on her own, and one with McKendree University. Kimber claimed her individual title with no drama, winning her three matches by a combined score of 24-0. It was a different story at the NCAA D2 National Duals championships, where her victory in the final match of the night clinched the title for McKendree.

Sadie Maubet Bjornsen

Sadie Maubet Bjornsen, Anchorage – The Alaska Pacific University and U.S. Nordic Ski Team member made history by briefly claiming the yellow bib awarded to the World Cup standings leader by placing third and fourth in season-opening races in Ruka, Finland. No American woman had previously led the standings at any point in a World Cup season. A week later in Lillehammer, Norway, Maubet Bjornsen helped the Team USA 4x5K earn a silver medal.

Here are past winners of the women’s Pride of Alaska Award:
2019: Caroline Kurgat
2018: Kikkan Randall and Roxie Wright (co-winners)
2017: Morgan Hooe
2016: UAA Women’s BB Team and Allie Ostrander (co-winners)
2015: Allie Ostrander
2014: Kikkan Randall
2013: Nunaka Girls Softball Team
2012: UAA Women’s Basketball Team

This is one of four Directors’ Awards handed out by the seven-person committee that makes up the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

Here is a list of 2020 finalists for each of the four awards:
Joe Floyd Award – Milo Griffin, Cristy Hickel, Ed Strabel
Trajan Langdon Award – Israel Hale, Carol Seppilu, Keegan Messing
Women’s Pride of Alaska Award – Ruthy Hebard, Sydnee Kimber, Sadie Maubet Bjornsen
Men’s Pride of Alaska Award – Will be announced Sunday

Directors’ Award winners will be announced June 24.

2020 Women’s Pride of Alaska Award
Also Receiving Votes

Alissa Pili – Pili, of Anchorage, began her NCAA D1 women’s career at the University of Southern California in grand fashion, earning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors and a spot on the All-Pac-12 team. She scored 504 points as a rookie, which ranks No. 5 on USC’s all-time freshman scoring list. The 6-footer was a 4-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week and bagged 11 double-doubles in 31 games.

Alev Kelter – Kelter, of Eagle River, continued her superstar status with the Team USA in the World Rugby Sevens Series, leading the Americans to five medals in six tournaments. In France, she outscored New Zealand all by herself and racked up finals MVP honors in a 26-10 victory. She was slated to compete in the 2020 Olympics, which were postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19. Kelter is Team USA’s leading scorer.

Jessica Yeaton – Yeaton, of Anchorage, won the 50-K American Birkebeiner in dominating fashion after breaking away from the lead pack and skiing the final 20 kilometers solo. The APU Nordic Ski Club member and 2018 Olympian finished in 2 hours, 13 minutes, 20 seconds to beat five-time Olympian Riitta-Liisa Roponen of Finland by 41 seconds. The field featured 766 women. Yeaton also won the Tour of Anchorage 50K.

June 12, 2020

Israel Hale of Kotzebue, Carol Seppilu of Nome and Keegan Messing of Girdwood have been named as finalists for the 2020 Trajan Langdon Award by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

The Trajan Langdon Award is given to a person or group of people who have demonstrated leadership, integrity and sportsmanship during the past year and positively influenced and inspired others to be better sportsmen or sportswomen. The award dates to 2012.

Israel Hale

Israel Hale, Kotzebue – Hale became the first double-leg amputee ever to participate in the Iron Dog race. No amputee had ever competed in the Iron Dog — much less a double amputee without prosthetics. He made history with his brother Joseph. They were the first-place team in the recreational class of the 1,000-plus mile snowmachine race.

Carol Seppilu

Carol Seppilu, Nome – The ultramarathon runner has overcome personal adversity through running. A suicide survivor, Seppilu continues to treat her own depression by staying active and maintaining a connection to nature by participating in ultramarathon races like the Black Canyon 100K.

Keegan Messing

Keegan Messing, Girdwood – The figure skater stole the show at the Autumn Classic International in Canada, winning the bronze medal and displaying true sportsmanship in the awards ceremony. After he saw there was no flag display during the national anthem of Japan, Messing held up the Japanese flag for gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Days later, his younger brother Paxon was killed in a road accident. Messing opted to compete again a few weeks later and set a personal scoring best in the short program of Skate America.

Here is a list of past Trajan Langdon Award winners:
2019: Andy Beardsley and Larsen Klingel
2018: DaJonee Hale
2017: Damen Bell-Holter
2016: Laci Effenberger
2015: Aliy Zirkle
2014: Marko Cheseto
2013: Paul Tandy
2012: Chugiak High School football team

This is one of four Directors’ Awards handed out by the seven-person committee that makes up the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

Here is a list of 2020 finalists for each of the four awards:
Joe Floyd Award – Milo Griffin, Cristy Hickel, Ed Strabel
Trajan Langdon Award – Israel Hale, Carol Seppilu, Keegan Messing
Women’s Pride of Alaska Award – Will be announced Saturday
Men’s Pride of Alaska Award – Will be announced Sunday

Directors’ Award winners will be announced June 24.

2020 Trajan Langdon Award
Also Receiving Votes

Kikkan Randall’s NYC Marathon – Just one year after her final round of chemotherapy for stage 2 breast cancer, the five-time Olympian from Anchorage clocked a time in the New York City Marathon of 2 hours, 55 minutes, 12 seconds in her 26.2-mile debut to easily beat her three-hour goal.

Ben Schultz and Rob Whitney – The Anchorage firefighters trained together for Mount Marathon in Seward. Two years after Schultz nearly died after falling 75 feet from a ladder of a fire truck, he worked his way to the top of Mount Marathon with the help of Whitney, an accomplished mountain runner.

Lael Wilcox – Wilcox, of Anchorage, has inspired both boys and girls and men and women by pursuing a lifestyle of adventure and activity. She has faced her fair share of disappointing and even unfair treatment as a woman dominating ultra-endurance cycling events that have traditionally been the province of men only.

Fred Moore – The Seward native finished his record 50th consecutive Mount Marathon. The 79-year-old runner has competed in the Fourth of July mountain race every year since 1970.

June 11, 2020

Milo Griffin of Fairbanks, Cristy Hickel of Anchorage and Ed Strabel of Palmer have been named by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors as finalists for the 2020 Joe Floyd Award.

The Joe Floyd Award is based on significant and lasting contribution to Alaska through sports and has been handed out annually since 2012.

Milo Griffin

Milo Griffin, Fairbanks – Griffin has been on the sports scene in Interior Alaska for 55 years. He has coached numerous state championships at Lathrop and West Valley in sports including basketball, track and field and tennis. His service to youth is without measure and his influence is always evident at state championships when you see how many kids from all over the state go up and talk to him. He was also a star basketball player at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and ranks No. 2 all-time in scoring for the men’s program.

Cristy Hickel

Cristy Hickel, Anchorage — Hickel’s life’s goal is to help our youth succeed. She founded SPYDER Soccer 30 years ago and has provided opportunities in sports leagues to thousands of Alaska youth. Better known as ‘Crusher,’ she also coaches the Alaska All-Stars nationals-bound Under-16 and Under-19 girls hockey teams and has helped more than 200 women reach the college hockey level.

Ed Strabel

Ed Strabel, Palmer — For decades, Strabel has created and maintained sport facilities, coached successful athletic teams and improved sports accessibility for countless people. His legacy includes the Crevasse Moraine Trail System, the Government Peak Recreation Area, and waking before 4 a.m. to groom ski trails.

Here is a list of past Joe Floyd Award winners:
2019: Brush Christiansen
2018: Jim Mahaffey
2017: Ma’o Tosi
2016: Dennis Sorenson
2015: Michael Friess
2014: Dick Mize
2013: Don Dennis
2012: Steve Nerland and Don Winchester

This is one of four Directors’ Awards handed out by the seven-person committee that makes up the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

Here is a list of 2020 finalists for each of the four awards:
Joe Floyd Award – Milo Griffin, Cristy Hickel, Ed Strabel
Trajan Langdon Award – Will be announced Friday
Women’s Pride of Alaska Award – Will be announced Saturday
Men’s Pride of Alaska Award – Will be announced Sunday

Directors’ Award winners will be announced June 24.

2020 Joe Floyd Award
Also Receiving Votes

Dan Gensel – Gensel has broadcast football, hockey and basketball games on the Kenai Peninsula for two decades and is regarded as one of the best in the business.

Kathleen Navarre – Navarre has been a fixture in Alaska sports for more than 25 years. She has served as an athletic director at both Kodiak and Dimond high schools and has coached numerous sports including flag football and track & field.

Frank Ostanik – Ostanik has coached Monroe Catholic to three state championships and reached the state title game six times in his 10 seasons as bench boss. A lifelong Fairbanks resident, he has an unparalleled dedication to his team, school, and community.

Jim Patton and Jerry Miller — Patton and Miller organize Friday Night at the Fights, which has brought boxing and now mixed martial arts to downtown Anchorage for 30 years. Miller is the matchmaker and Patton is the promoter and announcer.

Richard Shellhorn – A retired broadcaster of Cordova High School basketball games, he still runs the court as a referee. He’s also a writer for the Cordova newspaper and author of two books, the latest “Balls and Stripes.”

Jamie Smith – Smith has been integral to Mat-Su Valley youth and high school hockey for 30 years. He has coached at Wasilla, Colony and Houston, where he won multiple state championships.

Jim Young – Young has helped dozens of student-athletes get the opportunity to play basketball after high school through his Team 907 and his exposure camps. He also runs the YMCA youth basketball league in Anchorage and coached the Dimond girls team to multiple state titles.

Jeannie Hebert-Truax – Hebert-Truax has exemplified what a champion is. Even in a loss, she is a class act and leader for all to follow, win or lose. As a Hall-of-Fame player and championship girls basketball coach, she has had a positive influence in lives of so many athletes and kids in the Mat-Su Valley and in Anchorage as a coach, teacher and mentor.

Greg Matyas – His contribution to winter biking in the world has been under-recognized. We have an amazing winter biking culture and Matyas has been part of it since the beginning, including innovating bike technology for a better ride.

Kyle Worl – Native games athlete who excels in a majority of the events at the World Indian Eskimo Olympics and Arctic Winter games. Three years ago, he moved to Juneau and started Native Youth Olympics at the local schools, with the assistance of Sealaska Heritage.

May 6, 2020

A pair of 4-time state wrestling champions and Alaska’s fastest female today were selected as recipients of the 2020 Pride of Alaska Youth Awards.

Anchorage’s Aedyn Concepcion and Bethel’s Hayden Lieb were named co-winners for the boys and Delta Junction track star Hailey Williams was the girls winner.

In addition, the Houston High football team was named the winner of the Trajan Langdon Youth Award.

The winners were announced by Alaska Sports Hall of Fame executive director Harlow Robinson via Facebook Live.

Aeydan Concepcion

PRIDE OF ALASKA YOUTH AWARD
BOYS CO-WINNER

Aedyn Concepcion, Anchorage – The South High wrestler captured his fourth straight individual championship to join an elite group of 14 Alaska boys who have achieved a four-peat. He became the first from South to do so with a 7-1 decision over a Wasilla wrestler in the 119-pound division. The senior also won his fourth straight Cook Inlet Conference title and lost only two matches in his four-year career. Concepcion was selected a Wrestling USA All-American and named to the Academic Team. He has signed with Gardner-Webb in North Carolina.

Hayden Lieb

BOYS CO-WINNER
Hayden Lieb, Bethel – Hayden added his name to an exclusive club of 14 Alaska boys who won four state titles in high school. He also won three more team championships for Bethel High. The 3-time All-American finished his career with a 139-12 record and signed with NCAA D1 Wyoming. In his final match at the 2019 state championships, Lieb defeated a Petersburg wrestler 15-0 at 160 pounds to help Bethel take a narrow victory over Glennallen. He was twice named ASAA D2 Outstanding Wrestler and this year was the only Alaska named the Wrestling USA Senior All-American team.

Hailey Williams

PRIDE OF ALASKA YOUTH AWARD
GIRLS WINNER

Hailey Williams, Delta Junction – Williams was Gatorade Alaska Track & Field Girls Player of the Year – the first Gatorade honors for Delta High in any sport. As a junior, she swept the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races at the Alaska D2 state championships. Later that summer she placed fifth in 200 and 12th in the 100 at New Balance Nationals. Her senior year was canceled due to COVID-19. As a sophomore, she became the first Alaska girl in 37 years to break the 12-second barrier in the 100. She maintained an A average in the classroom and won seven state titles on the track. She has signed with NCAA D1 Duke.

Houston Hawks

TRAJAN LANGDON YOUTH AWARD
WINNER

Houston High School Football Team –After a year of fires and earthquakes, Houston rose above it all and won the D3 state championship. The Hawks completed a perfect 10-0 season for the first time in school history with a 41-8 victory over Barrow at Anchorage Football Stadium, avenging a semifinal loss to the Whalers the previous year. Houston finished the year averaging 42 points a game while only allowing 7.

April 23, 2020

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame announced the finalists for the 2020 Trajan Langdon Youth Award.

Judah Eason, Ninilchik – Eason, a Native Youth Olympics champion from Ninilchik, has been a youth leader in Native sports since his first competition. He would rather be coaching than competing, but knows that through friendly competition he can be an example by demonstrating leadership, integrity and sportsmanship. He also learned to overcome adversity after suffering a broken leg from a bad landing in the one-foot high kick at the 2017 NYO.

 

Brandon Gall, Anchorage – The Service High all-conference basketball player also is a manager at McDonalds, while also being a certified basketball referee. In his off time, Brandon volunteers his time coaching boys and girls basketball at Hanshew middle school, and a local 6th grade team. He served as class president as a junior and student boy president as a senior. After high school, Brandon hopes to continue to play basketball while pursuing a degree in Business Management.

 

Houston High School Football Team –After a year of fires and earthquakes, Houston rose above it all and won the D3 state championship. The Hawks completed a perfect 10-0 season for the first time in school history with a 41-8 victory over Barrow at Anchorage Football Stadium, avenging a semifinal loss to the Whalers the previous year. Houston finished the year averaging 42 points a game while only allowing 7.

 

 

West High School Hockey Team – With more cheerleaders than skaters, the short-handed Eagles carved up the competition by going 24-1-1 and beating defending champion South 4-3 in double-overtime to win the state championship. Dressing just 13 skaters and two goalies, West trailed twice by two goals and tied the game with less than two minutes left in regulation before Matthew Patchin scored the game-winner.

The winner will be announced May 6 at 2 p.m. ADT by Alaska Sports Hall of Fame executive director Harlow Robinson via Facebook Live on the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Facebook page.

The Trajan Langdon Youth Award recognizes leadership, sportsmanship and inspiration, and is given to a youth or group of youths who best demonstrated integrity during the past year and positively influenced and inspired others to be better sportsmen or sportswomen.

Past winners included Soldotna’s Brenner Furlong in 2018 and the South Anchorage High boys basketball team in 2019.

April 22, 2020

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame announced the three boys finalists for the 2020 Pride of Alaska Youth Award.

They are Anchorage wrestler Aedyn Concepcion, Bethel wrestler Hayden Lieb and Anchorage alpine skier Finnigan Donley.

The winner will be announced May 6 at 2 p.m. ADT by Alaska Sports Hall of Fame executive director Harlow Robinson via Facebook Live on the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Facebook page.

Past winners include Anchorage’s Gus Schumacher in 2018 and Soldotna’s Jersey Truesdell in 2019.

2020 FINALISTS

Aeydan Concepcion

Aedyn Concepcion, Anchorage – The South wrestler captured his fourth straight individual championship to join an elite group of 14 Alaskan boys who have achieved a four-peat. He became the first from South High to do so with a 7-1 decision over a Wasilla wrestler in the 119-pound division. The senior also won his fourth straight Cook Inlet Conference title and only lost two matches in his four-year career.

Finnigan Donley

Finnigan Donley, Anchorage – The teenage alpine skier was the undisputed champion of the 2019 U14 Western Regionals, claiming gold medals in the slalom, giant slalom and super-G. A 14-year-old at West Anchorage High School, he became the first Alaskan in 13 years to qualify for the 2020 Alpe Cimbra Children’s Cup in Italy, one of the world’s most prestigious alpine ski series for young racers.

Hayden Lieb

Hayden Lieb, Bethel – Hayden became the 14th Alaska high school wrestler to win four state titles as an individual. He added three more team championships for Bethel. The high school All-American finished his career with a 139-12 record and signed with NCAA D1 University of Wyoming. In his final match at the 2019 state championships, Lieb defeated a Petersburg wrestler 15-0 at 160 pounds to help Bethel take a narrow victory over Glennallen.

The Pride of Alaska Youth Award honors consistent excellence in athletic competition. It rewards an athlete or team that not only excelled in sports but did so with integrity and sportsmanship. Recipients must be in high school or younger at time of selection.

HONORABLE MENTION
Patrick McMahon, Palmer – The Colony basketball star was named AABC Class 4A Player of the Year in addition to Northern Lights Conference Player of the Year and MVP of the Doc Larson Roundball Classic. The 6-foot-5 junior is the best above-the-rim player in the state. He signed with NCAA D1 Montana State.

Mikey Connelly, Eagle River – Connelly represented Team USA and placed third in the Vertical Kilometer event at the International Skyrunning Federation Youth World Championships in Italy.  As a 17-year-old, he also became the 1st person to complete 13 laps at the Alyeska Climbathon to set a new event record.

Jace Henry, Fairbanks – The 6-foot-4 senior quarterback rushed for 1,573 yards and 23 touchdowns and led Lathrop to the D2 state championship game. Henry also passed for 1,296 yards and 14 touchdowns and was named Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year. He signed with Dartmouth.

Sonny Prosser, Anchorage – The Dimond cross-country runner cruised to a state title with a 27-second victory in D1 5K race. He also broke two course records, knocking off 10 seconds off Kincaid Park mark that had stood since 1993 and three seconds off Bartlett High mark that had stood since 2014.

Chase Solberg, Anchorage – The West hockey player amassed 100 points on the season and led the Eagles to a 24-1-1 record and second consecutive state championship. The senior bagged two goals and two assists in the title game.

Isaiah Moses, Anchorage – Moses racked up Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year honors in addition to being named MVP of the Alaska Prep Shootout and Alaska Airlines Classic. He averaged 27.2 points, 4.9 assists and 2.3 steals. He signed with UAA.

Jersey Truesdell, Soldotna – An all-state performer in football and basketball, Truesdell will focus on hoops at UAF. He was the quarterback for a state champion on the football field and one of the conference’s top scorers on the basketball court.

April 21, 2020

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame announced the three girls finalists for the 2020 Pride of Alaska Youth Award.

They are Seward swimmer Lydia Jacoby, Fairbanks runner and skier Kendall Kramer and Delta Junction track sprinter Hailey Williams.

The winner will be announced May 6 at 2 p.m. ADT by Alaska Sports Hall of Fame executive director Harlow Robinson via Facebook Live on the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Facebook page.

Past winners include Anchorage’s Alissa Pili in 2018 and Kramer in 2019.

2020 FINALISTS

Lydia Jacoby

Lydia Jacoby, Seward – Just a 16-year-old sophomore at Seward High, Jacoby is already a two-time state record holder in the 100-yard breaststroke. This season she posted a blazing time of 1:00.61 to break her own state record. With a time of 1:10.45, she qualified by a half-second to compete in the 100 breast stroke at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, which were canceled due to COVID-19.

Kendall Kramer

Kendall Kramer, Fairbanks – As a runner, the West Valley High star won her third straight cross-country running state title and swept the 1,600 and 3,200 events in track and field. As a skier, she was named to the U.S. Ski Team’s Developmental Team, was state Skimeister and competed at World Juniors. Kramer collected 14 state championships — six in track, five in skiing and three in cross-country running. She also won the Mount Marathon junior girls title in 2018. Kramer won the ASHOF Pride of Alaska girls award in 2019.

Hailey Williams

Hailey Williams, Delta Junction – Williams swept the 100-, 200- and 400-meter Alaska D2 state titles in 2019 and was named the Gatorade Alaska Girls Track & Field Girls Player of the Year, a first for tiny Delta Junction High School. She maintained an A average in the classroom while winning seven state track titles before her senior year was canceled due to COVID-19. Williams placed fifth in 200 and 12th in the 100 at New Balance Nationals. She has signed with NCAA D1 Duke.

The Pride of Alaska Youth Award honors consistent excellence in athletic competition. It rewards an athlete or team that not only excelled in sports but did so with integrity and sportsmanship. Recipients must be in high school or younger at time of selection.

HONORABLE MENTION
Hannah Hogenson, Anchorage – The South starting goaltender was named to the U18 U.S. National women’s hockey team. The senior is a USA Today High School All-American and has signed with NCAA D1 Bemidji State.

Elaina Mack, King Cove – The basketball star was voted AABC Class 1A Girls Player of the Year for the second time after averaging 40 points as a senior. She eclipsed the 50-point mark four times and has signed with UAA.

Hahni Johnson, Anchorage – The Dimond volleyball standout won Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year honors for the second straight season. The all-state setter compiled 712 assists, 300 digs and 221 kills as a senior.

Kendyl Carson, Juneau – Carson led the Juneau-Douglas basketball team in scoring at close to 20 points a pop. The senior all-state guard signed with NCAA D1 Pepperdine.

Destiny Reimers, Anchorage – Reimers became the first basketball player in ACS history to win Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year after taking home the 2020 girls honor. She led ACS to the 2019 state title and signed with UAF.

March 23, 2020

Our Healthy Futures program is kicking off 100 Miles in May a month early to encourage physical activity and social interaction – two critical needs at the moment.

Sports teams, whether high school, club, adult league, etc., can sign up their group in the sports team category. Besides sports teams, families, friends, and workplaces can make teams. Or fly solo. This is a great wellness and morale resource intended to keep people moving. Anyone can do it.

With the coronavirus pandemic canceling sports and forcing people to stay at home, there never has been a better time for this campaign.

“Stay Active, Stay Social: That’s the message right now,” said Alaska Sports Hall of Fame executive director Harlow Robinson. “This is normally a fundraiser for us – an important one – but that is far from my mind right now. Pledging is optional and we have a hardship link.”

The 100 Mile in May challenge is a fun and interactive, and all activities convert into miles. People can track their progress and their team’s progress on leaderboards and provide encouragement or friendly smack talking in the 100 Miles in May Facebook Group.

“Our hearts go out to all the kids on sports teams right now, given the massive cancellations,” Robinson said. “We want to provide this as a way to keep kids focused and moving and not get discouraged. A little friendly competition will be healthy right now.”

Pledging is optional this year. Sitting around is not.

We’ll hold a challenge in both April and May. Totals and leaderboards will reset May 1.

Register here

Start a team or join a team. Click on the ‘Send Invite’ button on your team page and invite others. Challenge others to make their own teams and join the fun.

March 16, 2020

Unfortunately given the CDC’s recommendations for crowd sizes and the closure of Anchorage facilities for the near future due to the Coronavirus we’ll be postponing our ceremony scheduled for April 28th. We look forward to putting on a great event in the future once the time is right. Please follow our Facebook page or this website for updates.

February 13, 2020

Everybody gets knocked down in life. The secret to success is getting back up.

It’s far from easy, but overcoming adversity can strengthen a person’s drive to be great.

Off-the-field tragedies can push an athlete on the field, and rather than shutting down, they turn it up.

Alaska sports stars Dominick Meriweather, DaJonee Hale, Denali Strabel and Jalil Abdul-Bassit know all too well the story of redemption and will share their inspiring stories at the fifth annual PLAAY Summit.

PLAAY stands for Positive Leadership for Active Alaska Youth and is an initiative of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. The PLAAY Summit is an accredited conference and every year features a panel of Alaskan athletes providing their insights on youth physical, emotional and mental health topics.

This year’s panel topic is adversity and members will discuss the roles mentors and sports played in helping them navigate difficult personal circumstances.

The panel discussion, led by moderator Eric Boyer, will take place Saturday from Noon to 1 p.m. at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Building at 4000 Ambassador Drive.

The general public is welcome to walk in for the panel discussion as well as the Keynote Address provided by Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum.

Dominick Meriweather

Despite the violent nature of MMA, the sport brings out the softer side in many fighters. Dominick Meriweather is no different. Raised by an abusive father, and watching his mother struggle to help her family survive, he lived with rage and carried it everywhere. He needed an outlet. He got involved with mixed martial arts in Anchorage. A formula of training, discipline and structure did wonders. His attitude on life shifted. Confidence replaced doubt, peace overcame fury.

DaJonee Hale

From long shot to hot shot, DaJonee Hale went from being a troubled teen in Anchorage to NAIA National Player of the Year at Central Methodist University in Missouri. Hale was once homeless and hopeless as a teenager before getting a second lease on life, thanks to Michelle Overstreet of MyHouse, an Alaska organization dedicated to ending homelessness. “I can’t thank her enough,” said Hale, who recently wrapped up her first pro season in Germany.

Denali Strabel

Denali Strabel has been open about her past struggles with substance abuse and the path of self destruction she was taking during her days as a college athlete.  The Seward native now finds satisfaction in mountain racing all over the world, coaching women groups and kids running, and her job in the Special Education Department. She has gone on to become one of Alaska’s top mountain runners and participated at the Skyrunning World Championship in 2019.

Jalil Abdul-Bassit

Jalil Abdul-Bassit

Jalil Abdul-Bassit overcame numerous hardships to become one of Alaska’s most successful basketball players. His mother was murdered when he was a young boy in Anchorage and his father was incarcerated through much of his childhood. Extended family and coaches helped him navigate personal tragedy and basketball provided an outlet. Abdul-Bassit went on to star at the University of Oregon and played professionally in Australia, Mexico and Albania.

To read more about PLAAY Summit, please click here.

February 10, 2020

The 2020 PLAAY  (Positive Leadership for Active Alaska Youth) initiative kicks off Friday, Feb. 14th with the 5th annual PLAAY Summit and concludes on Feb. 20th with a visit with the fastest swimmer on the planet!

The PLAAY Summit is an accredited conference featuring a panel of experts on youth physical, emotional and mental health topics.  A panel of Alaskan athletes including Jalil Abdul-Bassit, DaJonee Hale, and Dom Meriweather will discuss the role of leadership and sports in overcoming personal adversity.   For more information and registration visit https://plaay.org/plaay-summit/.  Join our PLAAY Summit Facebook Event page here.

PLAAY Day is Alaska’s first synchronized physical activity event.  Working to galvanize communities around the importance of living physically active lifestyles,  thousands of children from across Alaska and from as far away as New Zealand will join together Feb. 20th, 10-10:30 a.m.  AST through a live stream in a half hour of simultaneous physical activity.  Schools and businesses can register and join in the fun at https://plaay.org/plaay-day/ Join our PLAAY Day Facebook Event page here.

Special guest and Olympic swimming legend  Anthony Ervin will be on hand for PLAAY Day and then will be at the Alaska Pacific University Atwood Hall at 7 p.m.  After winning Olympic gold in 2000 Ervin spent more than a decade on a path of exploration and often-times self-destruction.  He overcame struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts to return to the pool and swim faster than ever at the 2016 Olympics, becoming the oldest swimmer to win a gold medal in an individual event.   The event is free and open to the public.  For more information visit our Facebook Event page here.

December 12, 2019

Running pioneer Marcie Trent and hockey professional Matt Carle will headline the Class of 2020 inductions into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.

Trent and Carle were the lone selections from the people category and will be joined by the Yukon 800 riverboat race from the event category and the University of Alaska Anchorage’s stunning upset of Boston College in the 1991 NCAA Hockey Tournament from the moment category.

This will be the 14th class honored by the Hall, which uses a selection process based on votes from the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame selection panel, past inductees and the public.

“We’re thrilled with this class and look forward to welcoming them to the Hall,” said Alaska Sports Hall of Fame executive director Harlow Robinson. “Hockey and motor sports are Alaskan sports to the core and this class represents both well. And Marcie Trent is an absolute legend in masters running on the national level so this type of honor here at home is well-deserved.”

The Class of 2020 induction ceremony will be Tuesday, April 28 at the Anchorage Museum.

The white-haired Trent, who weighed about 100 pounds and stood barely 5 feet tall, was a huge inspiration to the Alaskan running community after picking up the sport at age 50.

She grew up on a farm in Nampa, Idaho, and moved to Anchorage in 1945, where she and husband Roger Waldron obtained a 160-acre homestead near the present-day Tudor and Lake Otis roads. She began running in the late 1960s and among her accomplishments were once holding nine national age-group records ranging from 800 meters to an ultramarathon, and five age world records for a female marathoner in her 60s. Trent won Fairbanks’ Equinox Marathon three times and remains its oldest champion at age 58. She also won the famous Pikes Peak Marathon at age 57 and is believed to be the first woman ever over the age of 50 to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Marcie completed 59 marathons and 11 ultramarathons and logged more than 71,000 lifetime miles in her life. Trent was inducted into the USA Track & Field Masters Hall of Fame in 2001.

Marcie and John Trent, her second husband, also formed the Pulsators Running Club, likely Alaska’s first such organization. “For Marcie, the motto of the Pulsators Running Club was ‘Run and Rejoice,’” Alex Monterrosa said.

And rejoice she did, whether it was running on the trails she was so passionate about, organizing races, giving advice to aspiring runners, running in sub-zero temperatures, or completing marathons in Japan, Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts and elsewhere.

In 1995, Trent, age 77, and her son Larry Waldron were killed by a bear while running in Chugach State Park. Their funeral drew more than 500 mourners, including Gov. Tony Knowles. The Trent/Waldron Half Marathon and 10K continues to this day in their memory.

Matt Carle

Meanwhile, Carle made his mark in college and professional hockey after growing up in Anchorage and excelling in the sport with his two younger brothers. As a 6-foot defenseman, Carle helped the University of Denver to two national championships and won college hockey’s top individual award, the Hobey Baker, in 2006.

In 2003, the San Jose Sharks drafted Carle in the second round of the National Hockey League draft. He scored a goal in his NHL debut with the Sharks in 2006 and earned a spot on the 2006-07 NHL all-rookie team. His pro career spanned 12 seasons with San Jose, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Nashville, where he tallied 45 goals and 238 assists. Carle also competed in 127 playoffs games and twice reached the Stanley Cup Finals.

His accomplishments as an Alaskan hockey player are matched only by Alaska Sports Hall of Fame inductee Scott Gomez.

 “I want to thank my family for all the sacrifices they have made on behalf of my career,” Carle said at his retirement announcement in 2016. “My parents, brothers and wife Clancey allowed me to focus on the pursuit of playing the best sport in the world, in the best league of the world, and I will always be grateful.”

The Yukon 800 is billed as the “longest, roughest and toughest speed boat race in the world.” Created as the “Arctic Circle Marathon” in 1960, it evolved into a two-day event each June that starts in Fairbanks, overnights in Galena and ends in Fairbanks after 800 miles on the Tanana and Yukon rivers.

Competitors build low-slung 24-foot long boats from scratch using Sitka spruce for the framework and plywood for the hull. The riverboats are powered with 50-horsepower engines and can reach speeds of more than 70 miles per hour.

There is no shortage of danger and obstacles for the boats’ captains, engineers and navigators. “Unpredictable weather such as high winds, rain and hail, blowing sand from river sandbars, smoke from nearby forest fires and fog can limit visibility,” said a race history published by the Fairbanks Outboard Association. “Large trees, logs and other drift wash from the riverbanks and ride the current down the rivers. All can be a determining factor in the most meticulous plans of even the most seasoned captain and crew.”

The inaugural race in 1960 from Circle City to Fairbanks took winner Ray Kasola and crew more than 26 hours. The race record now stands at 11 hours, 52 minutes by Harold Attla’s crew in 2007. Attla is also the winningest captain with 10 titles on the boats Hughes Blues and My Pleasure.

For the moment category, UAA’s hockey upset of Boston College in 1991 was hard to fathom. The Seawolves were an independent team without a league at the time. BC, led by Hobey Baker winner David Emma, was a perennial Hockey East powerhouse playing on its home ice in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament a year after reaching the national semifinals.

“I thought BC would blow them out of the building,” said Jack Parker, the coach of BC’s rival Boston University, in a 2019 article published by USCHO.com.

But the Seawolves, led by coach Brush Christiansen, showed no fear in the best 2-of-3 series that pitted the West Region’s sixth-seeded team against the East Region’s third-ranked squad. They beat the Eagles 3-2 in the opener, keyed by goals from Rob Conn and Brian Kraft. The next night UAA clinched the series 3-1. Goalie Paul Krake was among the heroes, making 39 saves in the second game.

“This was huge news in Anchorage,” Doyle Woody, an Anchorage Daily News reporter who attended the series, told USCHO.com. “Both game stories were on the front page of the newspaper, which is, other than radio or TV, how a lot of people found out.”

The Seawolves lost to eventual national champion Northern Michigan in the NCAA quarterfinals and finished the campaign 22-17-4 but their victory in the “David vs. Goliath” series against BC was never forgotten.

Nearly 1,000 people participated in the public vote this November.  The cumulative public vote is submitted as one ballot.  Each selection panel member submits a ballot of their own, with the final ballot coming from the cumulative vote of the living Alaska Sports Hall of Fame inductees.

Upon enshrinement, inductee portraits are permanently displayed at the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Gallery at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Each inductee is recognized on the site with their own page featuring a written biography, video profile, and photo gallery.

For full list of Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Inductees, click here.

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame selection panel: Beth Bragg (panel chair), sports editor, Anchorage Daily News; Bruce Cech, Fairbanks sports broadcaster and journalist; Lew Freedman, former Anchorage Daily News sports editor and author of numerous books about Alaska sports;  Mike Janecek, longtime Mat-Su Valley high school coach and athletics administrator; Danny Martin, sports editor, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner; Kathleen Navarre, Kodiak and Dimond High School coach and administrator;  Keith Perkins, Sitka-based high school sports official and broadcaster; Mike Sica, longtime Southeast and Fairbanks sports broadcaster and journalist, and Doyle Woody,  sports writer and editor at the Anchorage Daily News for 34 years.

March 28, 2019

Incredible and inspiring Alaska athletes were selected to be honored by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame with the Class of 2019 Directors’ Awards.

The Hall of Fame created the annual Directors’ Awards in 2012 as a way to pay tribute to the state’s community leaders. The awards were expanded last year to include youth winners.

The Directors’ Award recipients will be recognized April 25 at the Class of 2019 Hall of Fame ceremony headlined by individual inductees Chad Bentz and Corey Cogdell-Unrein, event category winner Alaska Run for Women and the moment winner of Kodiak’s upset of perennial powerhouse East Anchorage in the 2001 high school state title game.

This will be the 13th class to be honored by the Hall, which uses a selection process based on votes from the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame selection panel, past inductees and the public.

The Directors’ Awards are selected by the Hall of Fame’s board of directors.

For more info on the awards and past winners, go here

Here are the 2019 Directors’ Adult Award winners:

Joe Floyd Award: For Significant and Lasting Contribution to Alaska Through Sports

Winner: Brush Christiansen

Brush Christiansen

Christiansen helped start the UAA hockey program and coached the team to a 287-229-30 record from 1979-96. His biggest success was leading the Seawolves to the quarterfinals of the 1991 NCAA Tournament in just their sixth season of Division I play. His 287 career wins is more than the other five UAA coaches combined and his .533 career winning percentage is more than 214 points better than next highest.  Christiansen has remained active in Anchorage’s hockey community for decades, coaching at youth levels, and helping putting on camps and clinics.

 

Trajan Langdon Award: For Leadership, Sportsmanship and Inspiration

Winners: Andy Beardsley and Larsen Klingel

Andy Beardsley & Larsen Klingel

Andy Beardsley  pushed his friend Larsen Klingel in a wheelchair through rain, wind and cold at the 2018 Boston Marathon. Klingel has cerebral palsy. The pair became friends as elementary students in Anchorage and graduated form East High School together in 1982.  Although Beardsley had moved to Virginia and Klingel to Homer, they stayed in touch over the years and discussed doing a marathon together. The friends finished in 3 hours, 40 minutes to rank in the top half of the field of more than 25,000 participants.

 

 

 

 

Pride of Alaska Award: For Consistent Excellence in Athletic Competition

Female Winner: Caroline Kurgat

Caroline Kurgat

A UAA senior from Kenya, Kurgat won national titles in the 5,000 and 3,000-meter runs at the NCAA indoor track and field championships, leading the Seawolves to a program-best fourth-place in the women’s standings. That brought her total of individual national championships to five. In January 2019, Kurgat also ran the fastest 3,000 and 5,000-meter times in NCAA Division II history.

 

 

Male Winner: Keegan Messing

Keegan Messing

A Girdwood native, Messing won his first Grand Prix medal, a silver, at the 2018 Skate Canada International. He also placed third at Canadian nationals. Representing Canada, he placed 12th at the 2018 Olympics. He was also the 2018 Nebelhorn Trophy champion and won a silver medal in the Grand Prix of Figure Skating at the 2018 Skate Canada International.

 

 

 

Here are the 2019 Directors’ Youth Awards:

Pride of Alaska Youth Award: For Consistent Excellence in Athletic Competition

Female Winner: Kendall Kramer, Fairbanks (West Valley)

Kendall Kramer

The 16-year-old junior won the Mount Marathon junior race and individual high school state championships in track, cross country running and cross-country skiing. In skiing, she claimed two titles at the Junior Nationals in Anchorage (with two races remaining) and placed 4th at the World Junior Ski Championships in Finland while competing against much older girls.

 

 

 

Male Winner: Jersey Truesdell, Soldotna

Jersey Truesdell

An all-state performer in football and basketball, Truesdell is perhaps known for playing his best in the biggest moments. In football, the junior was named all-state at both quarterback and defensive back for the Solotna Stars and was named Alaska Division 2 Offensive Player of the Year. In basketball, he was named third team all-state and at the Class 4A state tournament his 31 points carried the Stars to a first-round upset win.

 

 

Trajan Langdon Youth Award: For Leadership, Sportsmanship and Inspiration

Winner: South High Boys Basketball Team

Dallin Lewis

For two years, Dallin Lewis was a part of the South High boys basketball team. Even though he never played, the team devoted manager shared a strong sense of camaraderie with his teammates and was always on hand to support his Wolverines. On Senior Night, his team returned the favor when South coach Jamaal Sigh inserted him into the game in the final seconds against East. Lewis, who has a learning disability, scored a layup just before the final buzzer in a magical moment.

February 27, 2019

Alissa Pili, 2018 Girls Pride of Alaska Winner

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors’ is  preparing to select the annual Directors Awards winners recognizing Alaska’s top athletes this past year. Please take a moment to submit your recommendations here. Both the adult and high school winners will be honored at the ceremony and banquet at the Anchorage Museum, April 25th.

Pride of Alaska Award – For Outstanding Athletic Achievement (Adult and Youth)

Trajan Langdon Award – For Leadership, Sportsmanship, & Integrity (Adult and Youth)

Joe Floyd Award – For Community Contribution through Sports

We are taking recommendations through March 15th.

Read about the Directors’ Awards and past winners here.

December 13, 2018

Former Major League Baseball player Chad Bentz of Juneau and two-time Olympic bronze medal winning trap shooter Corey Cogdell-Unrein of Eagle River will headline the Class of 2019 inductions into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.

Bentz and Cogdell-Unrein were the lone selections from the people category and will be joined by the Alaska Run for Women from the event category and Kodiak’s upset of perennial powerhouse East Anchorage in the 2001 high school state title game from the moment category.

This will be the 13th class to be honored by the Hall, which uses a selection process based on votes from the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame selection panel, past inductees and the public.

“We’re very pleased with the choices that came out of the selection process,” said Alaska Sports Hall of Fame executive director Harlow Robinson. “Alaska is such a diverse state with a rich sports culture and this group reflects that.”

The Class of 2019 will be honored at a banquet April 25th at the Anchorage Museum.

Here is a closer look at the Class of 2019:

No Alaska athlete did more with less than Bentz.

He became only the second person to play Major League Baseball after being born without one of his hands when he made his debut on April 7, 1994.

“I played baseball when I was younger, and got made fun of,” Bentz said in 2004. “I didn’t like going because all they did was make fun of me. So, I didn’t play anymore. Then I saw Jim Abbott. He gave me the will to at least try playing again.”

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound left-hander pitched in 40 career MLB games, more than any other player from Alaska. He played for the Montreal Expos in 2004 and the Florida Marlins in 2005.

Bentz – one of three Alaskans to play in the big leagues – finished 0-3 with a 5.86 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 29.2 innings.

Arguably his most impressive achievement is the fact that he’s the only Alaskan with a MLB base hit.

“Not bad for a boy who overcame many obstacles he faced in his life, both geographical and physical,” Bentz said.

Bentz, 38, played nine years in the minor leagues and racked up an 11-20 record with 23 saves in 195 appearances, almost all in relief.

After his baseball career ended in 2010, he played a season of college football at NCAA D3 Castleton State in Vermont. He was a fullback and carried the ball 12 times and scored two touchdowns.

One of the most decorated trap shooters in American history with a dozen medals, Cogdell-Unrein is a three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medalist. She’s also claimed medals from World Cup and other international competitions.

At her best under pressure, she is fearless in the big moment and has medaled six different times after hitting the final target, including twice at the Olympics.

At the 2016 Games in Brazil, she upset the reigning world champion from Spain in a shootout.

The situation mirrored how she won her bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games in China.

On that day she was involved in a four-way shootout. After each of the first three shooters failed to hit the target, Cogdell-Unrein nailed it to claim the medal.

She is the definition of clutch.

Cogdell-Unrein, 32, is now a star in the new category of trap mixed team, which will be added to the Olympic Games in 2020.

In the first year of competition in 2018 she collected three medals, most notably a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup in Arizona and a silver at the first-ever trap mixed team tryout in Colorado.

When it comes to the event category, the Alaska Run for Women was the runaway winner. The annual Anchorage footrace was created in 1993 as a protest against an older, more established all-women’s race that raised its entry fee while eliminating many of its amenities.

The Run for Women responded by collecting donations in lieu of entry fees and giving the money to breast cancer charities.

Since then, the race has become the biggest in Alaska — drawing as many as 7,000 moms, daughters, sisters, wives, aunts and grandmas — while generating more than $3.5 million in cash and health care services.

In the moment category, voters picked Kodiak’s 55-52 victory over East Anchorage in the 2001 high school state championship game. The game was played at Sullivan Arena in front of a huge crowd that featured what seemed like the entire town of Kodiak.

Anchored by 7-foot center Nick Billings and all-star guard Geoffrey Agmata, the Kodiak Bears and head coach Amy (Rakers) Fogle scored a storybook win over the 16-time state champion T-birds for the Class 4A title.

In just her fourth season as bench boss, Rakers guided Kodiak back from a 10-point third-quarter deficit to cap an undefeated 28-0 season for Kodiak’s first state title in boys hoops in school history.

“Level of pride brought to Alaskans is a key consideration in deciding who gets in and the people, moment and event in this class all measure very high,” said Robinson.

Nearly 2,000 people participated in the public vote this November. The cumulative public vote is submitted as one ballot. Each selection panel member submits a ballot of their own, with the final ballot coming from the cumulative vote of the living Alaska Sports Hall of Fame inductees.

December 1, 2018

Thank you to the 1,895 people who went to our voting page and helped select the people,  moments, events to be inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019.  The  selection panel meets to review the public voting results and submissions  before casting their own ballots on December 2nd.

The new class of inductees will be announced on December 13th with a ceremony and banquet scheduled for April at the Anchorage Museum.  Date to be announced soon.