Connecting you with Alaska athletes.

Familiar faces vie for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame’s Pride of Alaska adult-division awards

by | Apr 2, 2024 | Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, Cover Story, Directors' Award, Pride of Alaska Award

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

The finalists for the Pride of Alaska men’s award as the top athlete of the year are cross-country skier Gus Schumacher, musher Dallas Seavey and hockey goaltender Jeremy Swayman.

The women’s finalists are swimmer Lydia Jacoby, mountain runner Christie Marvin and basketball player Alissa Pili.

Of the six, five are past Pride of Alaska winners, which are presented annually by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.

The exception is Marvin, who despite never having won the award is every bit as exceptional as the others. She is a preeminent mountain runner in a state where scrambling up and down mountains produces some of our biggest sports stars.

Everyone else has been here before – a measure of their consistency as well as their excellence.

Swayman, a Boston Bruins goalie who is one of the NHL’s best, and Pili, a University of Utah forward who is one of college basketball’s best, won the awards last year. Pili is a two-time honoree, with her first Pride of Alaska award coming in 2018 in the youth division.

Seavey, Schumacher and Jacoby are also two-time winners.

Seavey, a six-time Iditarod champion, won in 2021 and was a co-winner in 2015. Schumacher, a trailblazing World Cup skier, won the adult award in 2020 and the youth award in 2018. Jacoby, an Olympic champion in the breaststroke, won youth awards in 2022 and 2021 (she was a mere 17 years old in July 2021 when she won the gold medal).

The Pride of Alaska men’s and women’s awards are among seven bestowed annually by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. Others are the Pride of Alaska youth awards (boys and girls), the Trajan Langdon awards (adult and youth) for leadership, inspiration and sportsmanship, and the Joe Floyd Award for significant and lasting contribution to Alaska sports.

Finalists were chosen by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors, which considered a pool of 10 men and 10 women.

The winners, also chosen by the board, will be announced on Tuesday, April 9.

Directors Award winners will be honored at the Hall of Fame inductions ceremony on Tuesday evening, April 30, at the Anchorage Museum. The night’s main event will be the induction of the Class of 2024 — Seavey, runner Allie Ostrander, Special Olympics athlete Bobby Hill as individuals, and Scott Gomez’s 2000 NHL Rookie-of-the-Year award in the moments category.

Here’s a look at the three men and three women vying for the adult-division Pride of Alaska awards:

Lydia Jacoby (right) holds up hardware she helped the Longhorns win, Photo by Texas Athletics

Lydia Jacoby

The sophomore swimmer from Seward set a Big 12 record in the 100-yard breaststroke this season while sweeping the 100 and 200 breaststroke titles to help the Texas Longhorns to the conference championship.

Prior to the college season, Jacoby picked up two medals at the 2023 World Championships — bronze in the 100 breaststroke and gold in the medley relay.

At the recent NCAA Championships, she earned All-America honors in the 100 breast by placing fifth and claimed Honorable Mention honors in the 200 breast by winning the consolation final to place ninth overall. She was a two-time All-American as a freshman, when she won the 100 breast national title.

Jacoby swam to the Big 12 100-yard record in 57.27 seconds. Her best time this season in the 100-meter event is 1:06.20, which ranks third in the United States and 12th in the world.

Christy Marvin. Photo courtesy Brikru Photography

Christy Marvin

Marvin pulled off an unprecedented hat trick by winning three of Alaska’s most iconic and brutal running races in the summer of 2023 — Mount Marathon, Crow Pass and the Equinox Marathon.

The Palmer runner won Mount Marathon for the third time, the Equinox for a record-setting seventh time and Crow Pass for the eighth time — one victory shy of Nancy Pease’s record nine wins.

Marvin, 43, continued her Mount Marathon streak of never finishing lower than third place. In 10 races, she has three wins, two runnerup finishes and five third-places finishes. And she extended her streak of consecutive victories at Crow Pass to eight.

Marvin also took home wins at Government Peak and Kal’s Knoya Ridge Run.

Alissa Pili. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

Alissa Pili

A Naismith Player of the Year finalist, Pili was named to four All-America teams while leading Utah to a 23-11 record and the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The 6-foot-2 senior forward from Anchorage set a single-season scoring record for the Utes with 727 points. She’s the first Division I player from Alaska — man or woman — to surpass 700 points in a single season.

Pili averaged 21.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game with 82 assists (No. 3 on the team), 32 steals (No. 3 on the team) and 28 blocks (most on the team). She ended her college career with a 35-point effort in a 71-66 loss to Gonzaga, on the Bulldogs’ home court, in the second round.

Among her season highlights: A trip home to play in the Great Alaska Shootout, where she drew adoring crowds and was named tournament MVP.

Gus Schumacher. Photo courtesy Penny Smythe

Gus Schumacher

The Anchorage athlete shook up the nordic ski world by becoming the first American man since 1983 to win a World Cup distance race.

Schumacher’s huge victory came in a 10-kilometer freestyle race February in Minneapolis in front of an ecstatic crowd of 20,000. Days later, he claimed victory in the 50K American Birkebeiner, North America’s biggest and most prestigious cross-country ski race.

At the Tour de Ski in early January, Schumacher foreshadowed his monumental World Cup. He posted the day’s sixth-fastest time to place 10th in a 25K freestyle pursuit race in Toblach, Italy, and two days later in Davos, Switzerland, he grabbed fourth place in a freestyle sprint.

Schumacher, 23, ended the season ranked 15th in the overall World Cup standings.

Dallas Seavey

At age 37, Seavey became the Iditarod’s winningest musher by claiming his sixth win in the 1,000-mile race.

Seavey broke the long-standing and much-revered record of five victories, set in 1991 by Rick Swenson and tied by Seavey in 2021. Swenson was 61 when he won his fifth title.

Seavey’s record-setting run included a run-in with a moose near Finger Lake that ended with the moose dead and Seavey slapped with a two-hour penalty for not properly gutting the animal after he shot it. The penalty didn’t jeopardize his pursuit of victory — the Talkeetna man won by more than four hours behind a team piloted by lead-dog Aero.

The Talkeetna musher is always a contender. In his last 10 Iditarods, he has finished no lower than fourth place.

Jeremy Swayman. Photo courtesy Boston Bruins

Jeremy Swayman

The 25-year-old Boston Bruins goaltender from Anchorage has consistently been among the NHL leaders in goals-against average and save percentage. As a reward he was selected for his first all-star game in his fourth season in the world’s best league.

Last season, Swayman combined with Linus Ullmark to win the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltending tandem to allow the fewest goals on the circuit, a league-low 174. With about two weeks left in the current regular season, the pair have surrendered 208 goals for the playoff-bound Bruins.

Through Monday, Swayman was 24-8-8 with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

He is on pace to surpass Ty Conklin of Anchorage as the most accomplished masked man from Alaska.

Other women’s nominees:
Rosie Brennan, Anchorage cross-country skiing
Jordyn Bruce, Eagle River heptathlon
Ava Earl, Girdwood track/cross country
Meg Inokuma, Palmer mountain running
Kendall Kramer, Fairbanks cross country/skiing
Mikayla Lantto, Wasilla hockey
Allie Ostrander, Soldotna cross country/track

Past women’s winners
2023: Alissa Pili
2022: Clair DeGeorge
2021: Rosie Brennan
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

Other men’s nominees
Andrew Kurka, Palmer para skiing.
Isaiah Moses, Anchorage basketball
Brandon Pili, Anchorage football
Santiago Prosser, Anchorage track/cross country
Edefuan Ulofoshio, Anchorage football
Isaac Updike, Ketchikan track
Spencer Woods, Shungnak wrestling

Past men’s winners
2023: Jeremy Swayman
2022: Scott Patterson
2021: Dallas Seavey
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

Story made possible by:

Logo - R&M Consultants, Inc.

Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

Sports Categories