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Meet Alaska’s five runners who qualified for the US Olympic marathon trials

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: February 27, 2020
  • Published February 27, 2020

Five Alaska runners — the most in history — are among nearly 800 marathoners who have qualified for Saturday’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta.

Four of them grew up in Alaska — Anna Dalton and Aaron Fletcher of Anchorage, Tony Tomsich of Fairbanks and Megan Youngren of Soldotna. The fifth is Keri McEntee, who moved to Fairbanks several years ago from New York.

Only a handful of Alaskans have qualified for the trials over the years, including Anchorage’s Chris Clark, who won the 2000 women’s title and went on to finish 19th at the Sydney Olympics with a personal-best time of 2 hours, 31 minutes, 35 seconds.

NBC will provide live coverage of the race, which starts with the men’s race at 8 a.m. AST. The women start 10 minutes later.

Aaron Fletcher trains on a treadmill in his garage earlier this month. (Marc Lester / ADN)

Fletcher is a 2009 South High graduate who works as a civil engineer at DOWL in Anchorage. He and his wife Karen have a daughter and are expecting their second child next month. Last September he broke one of Alaska’s most respected records with his win in the Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks.

Qualifying time: 2:17:23, 2018 Indianapolis Marathon

Marathon best: 2:14:44, 2018 St. George Marathon (Utah)

College: Brigham Young University

Age on race day: 28

Affiliation: Skinny Raven Sports

Tony Tomsich, left, bumps fists with Isaac Kangogo after the 2013 Alaska 10K Classic. (ADN archives)

Tomsich is a 2005 West Valley High School graduate who spent five years at UAA as a running coach. In 2016 he left Alaska for Vancouver, British Columbia, where he became a marathon runner and continues to work as a coach.

Qualifying time: 2:18:49, 2019 Eugene Marathon

Marathon best: 2:18:49

College: Western Washington University

Age on race day: 32

Affiliation: Mile2Marathon

Anna Dalton wins the 2014 Skinny Raven Half Marathon. (ADN archives)

Dalton is a 2008 West High graduate who works in Anchorage as the director of grants and programs for Alaska Conservation Foundation. She has won numerous Alaska races, ranging in distance from the 5-kilometer Alaska Heart Run to the 26.2-mile Mayor’s Marathon.

Qualifying time: 2:44:18, 2018 California International Marathon

Marathon best: 2:44:18

College: Occidental College

Age on race day: 30

Affiliation: Alaska Endurance Project

Keri McEntee claims the overall victory at the 2019 Anchorage RunFest marathon. (Bill Roth / ADN archives)

McEntee works in Fairbanks as an occupational therapist at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. She is the winner of the last two Anchorage RunFest women’s marathons; in 2018, she set the course record, and in 2019, she beat all the men to claim the overall title.

Qualifying time: 2:41:19, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon

Marathon best: 2:41:19

College: College of Saint Rose (Albany, New York)

Age on race day: 30

Megan Youngren trains on a Soldotna road earlier this month. (Marc Lester / ADN)

Youngren began running in 2017 to lose weight and improve her health, and she quickly became a fan of long-distance trail races. In 2019 she ran six official marathons, including the Anchorage RunFest, where she placed second to Keri McEntee and third overall. She worked at a Soldotna bakery for six years until it closed last year.

Qualifying time: 2:44:11, 2019 California International Marathon

Marathon best: 2:44:11

College: UAF

Age on race day: 28