ANCHORAGE-Recently there was a special event going on in Anchorage where the Alaskan athletic community was recognized in this year's Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Some of the inductees have ties to the Interior. Jeannie Hebert-Truax a three-time player of the year and two-time state champion, played at North Pole and Monroe High School. She's one of the first women to play Division 1 basketball from the Interior. She's also in the University of Miami Hall of Fame. Truax won four state titles as the girls basketball coach for Wasilla High School.
"Coming from [the] Interior you know and then going out to the University [of Miami] Division I. I was like one of the first women that ever went on to play Division I basketball, Hebert-Truax said. "Since then we're getting more and more out there so kind of to be the starting stone of that is pretty exciting."
The Yukon Quest, the 1,000 mile sled dog race between Whitehorse, Yukon and Fairbanks which started in 1983, is part of this class as an event. Executive Director of the Yukon Quest, Marti Steury in Fairbanks was at the induction ceremony to accept the award.
"It really is humbling to realize that the state-the Alaska state Sports Hall of Fame is recognizing the Yukon Quest after 31 years. We just finished our 31st race and it just brings a sense of ownership from the state to what we're doing," Steury said.
"In year eight, bringing in you know, people that we felt were top shelf and really elite and we are," said Alaska Sports Hall of Fame executive director Harlow Robinson. The AK Sports HOF started in 2006. "That's part of the reason we only bring in two a year now is because we want it to be the hall of fame not the hall of every good," Robinson said.
Other inductees include: Eric Strabel who broke the 32 year old Mt. Marathon record, Trevor Dunbar who is the first Alaskan to run the mile under four minutes and UAA's upset over Michigan in 1988 for the moment category.
Double amputee Marko Cheseto, who is a former UAA cross country runner, received the Trajan Langdon Award for inspiring athlete. Dick Mize is considered a pioneer in Alaskan biathlon and skiing and received the Joe Floyd award.
U.S. Olympic skier Kikkan Randall shared this year's Spirit of Alaska award with Strabel and Dunbar. You could see the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame inductee back on the trails wearing the red, white and blue at the next Winter Olympics.
"Now it's just getting to the fun part. You know put in all the hard work and now that I'm kind of at the top of my game it would be fun to keep going. Four more years is a long time so not putting any timelines one it yet but as long as I'm motivated I'll keep going," Randall said.
The most decorated Alaskan basketball player Mario Chalmers was inducted. He's a two-time NBA champion, has a NCAA title, a two-time 4A Alaska state champion with Bartlett High School and is a three-time player of the year. His parents were there on his behalf and they believe dreams come true.
"Watching a young man grow up as kid and have opportunity to live his dream out and as a family to be able to walk that dream with him you know, I don't think you can put a price on that," Ronnie Chalmers said. Mario's mother Almarie agreed.
"It was a dream that he had as a young man and I know that as long as he continued to work hard you know dreams do come dream. So we say dream big you never know what happens."