Juneau baseball player Chad Bentz and Eagle River trapshooter Corey Cogdell are the headliners for Thursday’s 13th annual Alaska Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Bentz, one of a few Alaskans to play Major League Baseball, and Cogdell, a two-time Olympic medalist, will bring to 39 the number of individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Other inductees include the Alaska Run for Women, which will be the 13th event to be enshrined, and the Kodiak basketball team’s 2001 state-championship victory over East, which will become the 18th moment to be honored.
Bentz, a one-handed pitcher who appeared in 36 games for the Montreal Expos in 2004 and four games for the Florida Marlins in 2005, is expected to attend the ceremony. These days he teaches PE at Juneau-Douglas High School, his alma mater.
Cogdell, a bronze medalist at the 2008 and 2016 Summer Olympics, won’t be able to attend the ceremony. She lives in the Lower 48 and gave birth to her first child about two weeks ago.
The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum atrium. It is open to the public, and a no-host bar will be available.
Inductees were chosen in December by a nine-member selection panel and a public vote; the public vote counted as one of 10 total ballots, with the panelists providing the other nine.
Also being honored are seven Directors Award winners. Those honorees were selected in March by the Hall of Fame board of directors. They include:
Joe Floyd Award (for significant and lasting contribution to Alaska through sports) — Brush Christiansen, the founder of the UAA hockey program and the team’s coach from 1979-96.
Trajan Langdon Award (for leadership, sportsmanship and inspiration) — Andy Beardsley and Larsen Klingel, 1982 East High graduates who reunited at the 2018 Boston Marathon. Beardsley, who lives in Virginia, pushed Klingel, a Homer man who uses a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy, through pouring rain for the entire 26.2-mile race.
Pride of Alaska (for consistent excellence in athletic competition) — UAA runner Caroline Kurgat (female winner) and Girdwood figure skater Keegan Messing (male winner). Kurgat collected two individual championships at the NCAA Division II indoor championships in March, bringing her total number of NCAA titles to five. Messing, the first Alaska-trained figure skater to make it to the Olympics, won his first Grand Prix medal, a silver, at the 2018 Skate Canada International.
Pride of Alaska youth award — Fairbanks skier/runner Kendall Kramer (female winner) and Soldotna football and basketball player Jersey Truesdell (male winner). Kramer won state championships in skiing, cross country and track and notched a fourth-place finish at the World Junior Nordic championships; Truesdell was the Division II offensive player of the year in football and helped the Stars to a fifth-place at the state basketball tournament.
Trajan Langdon youth award — South High basketball team. The Wolverines rewarded Dallin Lewis, a student with a learning disability who served two seasons as the team manager, by letting him play in the final minutes of their Senior Night game. Lewis scored a basket in the waning moments.