The Mount Rushmore of sports, Anchorage high school edition

It's a thing in sports: Pick the top four athletes who play the same sport or come from the same college and call it that sport's or that college's Mount Rushmore.

A few years ago ESPN named a Mount Rushmore for every state, and it did a pretty good job for Alaska — its four picks were NBA all-star Carlos Boozer of Juneau, Iditarod champion Susan Butcher of Manley, Stanley Cup winner Scott Gomez of Anchorage and Iditarod founder Joe Redington Sr. of Knik.

Yet you could easily make the case for an entirely different Mount Rushmore for Alaska. One with, say, Olympic medalist Tommy Moe of Girdwood, sprint mushing champion George Attla of Huslia, World Cup nordic ski star Kikkan Randall of Anchorage and NBA champion Mario Chalmers.

Or one with Olympic runner Don Clary of Anchorage, basketball great Trajan Langdon of Anchorage, mushing marvel Lance Mackey of Fairbanks and three-time Super Bowl champion Mark Schlereth of Anchorage.

Luckily, these Mount Rushmores aren't carved in stone. They are open to debate.

With that in mind, we offer a Mount Rushmore of sports for each of Anchorage's eight public high schools. We decided to pick athletes only — sorry, coaches.

In picking our peak performers, we learned many high schools have far more than four worthy athletes. But Mount Rushmore only has four faces, so hard choices needed to be made.

At East High, great athletes like Steve MacSwain, Mao Tosi and Tony Reed didn't make it. At West High, Megan Gerety and David Killpatrick were left out. At Chugiak, those missing the cut included Pam Dreyer, Steve Simmons, Kelly Cobb and Alev Kelter.

We expect some will disagree with our choices. Feel free to offer your own choices in the comments. Just be sure to tell us who gets eliminated to make room for your pick.

Bartlett High

Zack Bowman, football
Mario Chalmers, basketball
Jordan Clarke, track
Marcus Dunbar, running

Chugiak High

Kelsey Griffin, basketball
Brit Jacobson, basketball
David Morris, running
Brian Swanson, hockey

Dimond High

Rosey Fletcher, snowboarding
Chris Kuper, football
Sean Rash, bowling
Nate Thompson, hockey

Eagle River High

Jordyn Bruce, track
Lauren Frost, softball
Ed Hall, football
Nikkie Viotto, volleyball

East High

Don Clary, track
Scott Gomez, hockey
Trajan Langdon, basketball
Kikkan Randall, skiing/running

Service High

Brandon Dubinsky, hockey
Nancy Pease, running
Mark Schlereth, football
Bill Spencer, running/skiing

South High

Carly Butcher, soccer
Morgan Hooe, volleyball
Scott Patterson, skiing
Evan Trupp, hockey

West High

Ty Conklin, hockey
Nina Kemppel, skiing/running
Rocky Klever, football
Kris Thorsness, rowing

Best of the rest

Corey Cogdell-Unrein, home-schooled in Eagle River, trapshooting
Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, Northern Pacific Academy, snowboading
Leif Karlberg, Grace Christian, basketball
Anna Simmers, Anchorage Christian, basketball

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Nikkie Viotto's name.