The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From Alaska

December 27, 1999

There's a difference between loyalty to the home team--athletes
imported to play for our local colleges and pro franchises--and
the deep emotional bond we share with hometown heroes, the local
legends we knew back when. They are the boys and girls from next
door, or the next town. We watched them grow up, watched them
play when it was still play. Unfortunately, these luminaries are
almost inevitably dispersed because of sport's mercenary nature,
lured away by scholarships or contracts. Well, we're bringing
'em all back home for the millennium--not necessarily to where
they were born, but to where they first showed flashes of the
greatness to come. Thus, Broadway Joe is in Pennsylvania, not
Alabama or New York; and the Mailman is in Louisiana, not Utah.
The result: the top 50 from your state and, on the following
pages, a list of those from all 50 states. In short, the
ultimate home teams.

#1
Trajan Langdon
ANCHORAGE
Duke's alltime leader in three-pointers and free throw
percentage; 11th pick, by Cavaliers in 1999.

#2
Tommy Moe
GIRDWOOD
Won Olympic downhill gold and Super G silver in 1994; retired in
'98 with five U.S. titles.

#3
George Attla
NORTH POLE
Famed dog trainer and sprint musher won Anchorage Fur Rendezvous
World Championship record 10 times.

#4
Hilary Lindh
JUNEAU
Three-time Olympian was downhill silver medalist in 1992 Games
and won gold at '97 world championships.

#5
Susan Butcher
JUNEAU
Transplanted Massachusetts native is one of the most consistent
Iditarod racers: four victories, 12 top five finishes in 17
races.

#6
David Morris
EAGLE RIVER
Set U.S. record this year with time of 2:09:32 in Chicago
Marathon; won 1993 NCAA indoor 3,000-meters title.

#7
Roxy Wright Champaine
FAIRBANKS
Won Fur Rendezvous World Championship three times--only woman to
win it--and women's champion eight times.

#8
Mark Schlereth
ANCHORAGE
Broncos offensive guard has been on three Super Bowl winners and
played in two Pro Bowls.

#9
Don Clary
ANCHORAGE
Member of Oregon's 1977 NCAA national champion cross-country
team; three-time All-America.

#10
Brit Jacobson
CHUGIAK
Kodak All-America averaged 26.9 points and led Chugiak High to
state basketball title in 1994; also won state titles at 400 and
800 meters; fifth in career scoring at Kansas State.

#11
Rick Swenson
TWO RIVERS
Has run the Iditarod 22 times since 1976 and won it a record
five times.

#12
Libby Riddles
KNIK
In 1985 she became he first woman to win the Iditarod.

#13
Tony Turner
ANCHORAGE
All-state in basketball for two years at Bartlett High; fifth
alltime leading scorer at Alaska-Anchorage.

#14
Reggie Tongue
FAIRBANKS
4A player of the year at Lathrop High in 1990; tied NCAA record
with three interception returns for touchdowns at Oregon State
in '96; has played safety for the Chiefs in four-year NFL career.

#15
Rocky Klever
ANCHORAGE
First Alaskan to play in the NFL; averaged 11.2 yards per catch
as tight end with Jets from 1983 to '87.

#16
Molly Tuter
SOLDOTNA
Third on Arizona State's career scoring list; assistant women's
basketball coach at UCLA.

#17
Brandon Drumm
ANCHORAGE
Set state career records at Service High with 2,241 rushing
yards and 27 touchdowns, and single-game record of nine
touchdowns.

#18
Joe Redington Sr.
KNIK
Founded the Iditarod race in 1973; seven top 10 finishes,
including a fifth-place finish in '88--at age 71.

#19
Steve MacSwain
ANCHORAGE
Set single-season hockey scoring record at East High in 1981-82;
has played professionally in seven countries.

#20
Mike Vania
ANCHORAGE
Four-time wrestling All-America at Pacific and
Wisconsin-Parkside from 1979 to '84.

#21
Scott Gomez
ANCHORAGE
First Hispanic player in the NHL is playing center for the
Devils this season, and is a leading Calder Trophy candidate.

#22
Shane Bonham
FAIRBANKS
All-state defensive end, discus thrower and shot-putter at
Lathrop High; third-round pick of Lions in 1994; is now with
Colts.

#23
Brian Swanson
EAGLE RIVER
Two-time finalist for college hockey's Hobey Baker Award (1998
and '99) and Colorado College's No. 2 alltime scorer.

#24
Marshall Boze
SOLDOTNA
Signed with Brewers for brief
stint in majors in 1995; first Alaskan to play in the big
leagues.

#25
Wilbur Hooks
ANCHORAGE
Won state titles in 110-meter high hurdles, and 100, 200 and 400
dashes on same day as a junior at Dimond High in 1997; wideout at
Washington in '99.

#26
Nina Kemppel
ANCHORAGE
Three-time member of Olympic cross-country team; five-time
champion at Mount Marathon.

#27
Carlos Boozer
JUNEAU
McDonald's All-American in 1998-99 averaged 28 points and 12
rebounds at Juneau-Douglass High; now playing for Duke.

#28
Megan Gerety
ANCHORAGE
Won U.S. junior downhill skiing championship in 1989 and U.S.
downhill titles in '91 and '95.

#29
Seth Spidahl
ANCHORAGE
NAIA All-America team honorable mention soccer player at Pacific
Lutheran in 1994 and '95; first Alaskan to play professionally in
the U.S.

#30
Kris Thorsness
ANCHORAGE
Rowed on U.S. Olympic gold medal women's eights in '84; first
Alaskan to win Olympic gold.

#31
Judy Rabinowitz
FAIRBANKS
Quit Harvard swimming team and qualified for U.S. cross-country
ski team in 1980 and '84; three-time U.S. champion.

#32
Tom Neville
FAIRBANKS
Two-time state high school heavyweight wrestling champ at
Eielson; guard for Packers and 49ers from 1986 to '92.

#33
Doug Herron
ANCHORAGE
Holds state high school record for 800 meters (1:49.2), which he
ran at Bartlett High in 1985.

#34
DeeDee Jonrowe
WILLOW
Mushed in 16 Iditarods, finished second in 1993 and '98; won the
'89 Beargrease sled dog marathon.

#35
Jim Hajdukovich
FAIRBANKS
Alaska-Anchorage's alltime leader in steals, assists and
three-pointers; was second in career scoring when he graduated
in 1999.

#36
Vern Tejas
ANCHORAGE
Made first successful solo winter climb to Mount McKinley's
summit in 1998.

#37
Butch Lincoln
KOTZEBUE
Led Kotzebue High to two state championships; first Eskimo to
attend college on a basketball scholarship (Alaska-Anchorage).

#38
Jeanie Hebert
NORTH POLE
After starring at Monroe Catholic High from 1984 to '88, career
assist leader as point guard at Miami.

#39
Jeff King
DENALI PARK
One of only four Iditarod mushers to win the race three times;
has four other top 10 finishes.

#40
Matt Mattson
FAIRBANKS
First wrestler to win four state 4A titles had a career record
of 106-1 at West Valley High School.

#41
John Brown
KETCHIKAN
Led Ketchikan High to four state hoops titles from 1964 to '68.

#42
Jason Kaiser
ANCHORAGE
Backcourt man transferred to Alaska-Anchorage from Weber State
and became school's fourth-leading career scorer (1,363 points)
in just two years.

#43
Megan Irvine
WASILLA
State girls' volleyball player of year at Colony High in 1994;
four-year starting blocker at Duke.

#44
Bill Spencer
INDIAN
Eight-time winner of foot race up Mount Marathon; member of 1988
U.S. Olympic Nordic team.

#45
MAO TOSI
ANCHORAGE
State basketball player of year in 1995 at East High; played
hoops for two seasons at Idaho and started at defensive end for
Vandals for two seasons.

#46
Tom Roth
ANCHORAGE
Swimming star at Cal State-Bakersfield won four NCAA Division II
individual championships in 1985 and '86.

#47
Leisa Wissler
WASILLA
Ohio State volleyball star, was Big 10 player of the year in
1991.

#48
David Kilpatrick
ANCHORAGE
Running back at West High and the state offensive player of the
year in 1989; switched to linebacker at Washington and had 150
career tackles.

#49
Dewey Skan
KLAWOCK
Star player for--and then coach of--the Klawock Totems in statewide
amateur Gold Medal basketball tournaments.

#50
Tony Reed
ANCHORAGE
Two-time high school basketball player of year (1983 and '84) at
East High; played guard at Montana.

COLOR PHOTO: DAMIAN STROHMEYER#1 Trajan Langdon

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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