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October 11, 2010 Press Release
ANCHORAGE - Olympic nordic skier Kikkan Randall and high school basketball coach Chuck White headline the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2011. Joining the two individuals in the class are Mount Marathon, to be inducted as an event and Scotty Gomez bringing the Stanley Cup home to Anchorage in 2000, to be inducted as a moment.
At 27, Kikkan Randall is already one of the most recognized nordic skiers on the planet by virtue of her unprecedented success for an American woman on the international level. A three-time Olympian, the Anchorage native made history in 2009 when she won a silver medal at the World Championships to become the first U.S. woman to ever medal at that event. In 2007 she captured a bronze medal in Russia, the best ever World Cup result by an American woman. And in 2006 she had the highest Olympic finish for an U.S. woman with a ninth-place finish. At East High, Randall won a combined 10 state titles in cross country and track and field.
The most legendary coaching figure in the history of Alaska, Chuck White won 921 high school boys basketball games and 18 state championships stretched over 45 seasons. In March, at age 68, White left Alaska for the college ranks at Adams State, an NCAA Division II school in Colorado, where he reunited for his former East High player and assistant Louis Wilson.
One of the oldest known footraces in all of American, the Mount Marathon in Seward is a grueling, 3,022-foot torture test that dates back to 1915. Started by a bar bet, the race has developed into a summer signature event in The Last Frontier with the town swelling from a few thousand people to nearly 40,000 overnight. The best men finish in 45 minutes, the top women in under an hour.
Scott Gomez Brings Home The Stanley Cup
In the summer of 2000, Alaska hockey fans will never forget the day Anchorage's Scott Gomez brought home the Stanley Cup. Arguably the most recognizable trophies in all of sports, Gomez shared his prized possession with the entire state after he won it with the New Jersey Devils. Every player from the winning team is allowed one day with the Stanley Cup and Gomez decided to tour it around the city for all to see, starting with a ceremony on the Delaney Park Strip in which he arrived carrying the trophy riding a dog sled. "This is for you," he told the fans. Gomez vowed to return with the Cup again and delivered that promise in 2003.
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame will hold an induction ceremony in February, 2011 at the ConocoPhillips atrium in Anchorage. The event will be free and open to the public. The date and time will be announced at a later time. ConocoPhillips is a major sponsor of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.
"We are bringing in a small but impressive class this year," said Harlow Robinson, president of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. "The organization feels stongly that the bar for entrance needs to reamain extremely high so moving forward there may be years where the class sizes are smaller."
The Hall of Fame bylaws allow for up to five people, two moments and one event to be inducted each year. Five people were inducted each of the first three years and four people were inducted in 2010.
Over 2,100 people particpated in the public voting process. The accumulative public vote total constituted one ballot equal to a selection panel member's ballot. "The public participation was outstanding this year," said Robinson. "Several intriguing candidates were introduced to the panel discussion through write in campaigns around the state and all of the four inductees chosen placed strongly on the public ballot."
Selection panel: Bob Eley, sports editor, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (chairman); Beth Bragg, columnist and former sports editor, Anchorage Daily News; Lew Freedman, Chicago, former Anchorage Daily News sports editor and author of numerous books about Alaska sports; Mike Janecek, Palmer, longtime high school coach and athletics administrator; Danny Martin, sports writer, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner; Steve Nerland, Anchorage, American Legion baseball manager; Mike Sica, longtime Alaskan sports broadcaster and journalist, George Houston, longtime Juneau Douglas High School basketball coach. Results of Internet voting by the public constituted the panel's ninth vote.
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization established June, 2006. The mission of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame is to teach, to honor and to inspire. For additional information about the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, visit www.alaskasportshall.org, contact Harlow Robinson at 907.240.3684.
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.