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Story Last modified at 9:33 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Trail to be named for handcyclist Hufford

The Alaska Legislature has passed a bill that will rename a section of roadside trail along Eagle River Loop near North Parkview Terrace Loop in honor of handcyclist Mark Hufford, who died in January at the age of 40.

According to Rep. Anna Fairclough (R-Eagle River), the bill will help the community remember Hufford, who was paralyzed in 1995 after a fall from a hunting blind.

"It can also stand as a reminder and inspiration to the community that will miss seeing him pedaling along it, and others, of Mark's 'never give up' mindset," Fairclough said in her sponsor statement accompanying the bill.

After becoming paralyzed from the waist down, Hufford, a Chugiak High graduate, became an avid and nationally known handcyclist who regularly used local trails to train.

The bill passed the House on April 7 and made it through the Senate on April 15. Reps. Dan Saddler (R-Eagle River) and Bill Stoltze (R-Chugiak/Mat-Su) co-sponsored the bill in the House.

Eagle River trio takes on Boston Marathon

Eagle River's Anne Williams was the top finisher out of three local women who completed the Boston Marathon on April 18. Williams, 46, finished the 26.2-mile race in 3 hours, 51 minutes and 33 seconds to finish 13,831 overall and 4,529th among all women. She was 492nd in her age group.

Sarah Thomas, 36, finished in 4:28:12 to place 8,304th in the women's race, while Karen Morrison, 48, finished in 4:53:04 to place 9,209th.

Local girl makes splash

Eagle River's Jennifer Rinker, a Service High grad, recently finished seventh as part of the women's 400 freestyle relay team at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships in Knoxville, Tenn., on March 26.

Rinker, a senior engineering major at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., qualified for the national meet during all four years of her college eligibility.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.