World Cup ski race champion Rosie Brennan of Anchorage, Olympic Trials wrestling qualifier Sydnee Kimber of Sitka and UFC fighter Lauren Murphy of Eagle River were named by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors as finalists for the 2021 women’s Pride of Alaska Award.
The winner will be announced Wednesday, May 5 at 2 p.m. on Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Facebook Live, co-hosted by Alaska News Source and featuring Anchorage sportscaster Patrick Enslow and Hall of Fame Executive Director Harlow Robinson.
The Pride of Alaska Award dates back to 2012 and is given to an athlete or athletes, team or coach who excelled in sports in the past year or recent years, and did so with integrity and sportsmanship and been a positive role model.
Earning honorable mention were hockey player Clair DeGeorge, professional basketball players Ruthy Hebard and Kelsey Griffin, U.S. Ski Team veteran Sadie Maubet-Bjornsen and WNBA general manager Talisa Rhea.
Brennan, of APU fame, became only the second American cross-country skier in U.S. Ski Team history to win back-to-back World Cup races after claiming the 1.5K sprint and 10K titles in the Swiss Alps.
This historic accomplishment placed her atop the World Cup overall standings at the time.
Brennan is one of only six Americans and the second Alaskan to win a World Cup race.
She also placed sixth overall in the grueling eight-stage Tour de Ski.
Kimber, of Mt. Edgecumbe High fame, finished her junior season at McKendree University with an 18-0 record and did not allow a point to be scored on her during the entire season before winning her second straight National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championship. All but one of her matches ended in a pin or technical superiority.
Her national championship also qualified her for the Olympic Trials where she finished in the top eight in the challenge tournament.
At 20 years old, she will be competing for a spot on the Junior World Team in Texas this month.
Murphy, of Chugiak High fame, is a veteran top-ranked mixed-martial arts fighter who won all three of her UFC fights this year to improve her professional record to 14-4.
She ranks No. 2 in UFC history with five wins in the women’s flyweight division.
Her six UFC wins are tied for first all-time among Alaskans and her ten UFC appearances are second.
Murphy will carry a four-fight win streak going into her next fight in June.
2020: Ruthy Hebard
2019: Caroline Kurgat
2018: Kikkan Randall and Roxie Wright (co-winners)
2017: Morgan Hooe
2016: UAA Women’s Basketball Team and Allie Ostrander (co-winners)
2015: Allie Ostrander
2014: Kikkan Randall
2013: Nunaka Girls Softball Team
2012: UAA Women’s Basketball Team