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Anchorage Running Club 2013 Scholarship Recipients
Article by Rebecca Coolidge

One of the goals of the Big Wild Life Runs is to help fund scholarships for Alaska high school runners that will assist them with their education expenses. Each year the Anchorage Running Club (ARC) sifts through dozens of applicants and chooses outstanding students to receive college scholarships. This year the ARC board is pleased to be able to offer six college scholarships to deserving Alaska students. The ARC scholarship class of 2013 has demonstrated educational excellence, a commitment to their community and a passion for running. Meet the recipients of the 2013 Anchorage Running Club college scholarships.

Taj Showalter
Bartlett High School
Bartlett High School graduate Taj Showalter has had an impressive high school running career lettering twice in his three years as a member of the track and field team. He finished fifth in the 110 meter hurdles and sixth in the 4x100 at state his sophomore year and earned the title of most improved athlete for the season. In his junior year he helped his team set the Big C Relays record in the 4x100 meter relay and placed third in the 110 Meter hurdles at the Region IV Championships. Taj was also a member of the Region IV winning 4x100 and 4x200 meter relay teams. He was the runner up in the 110-meter hurdles at State as well as a member of the 4x100 and 4x200 meter relay teams. Taj wrapped up his junior year as the Bartlett High Team Most Valuable Athlete.  He has been involved in running since elementary school and can’t count the reasons why he loves the sport so much.
Taj is active in many community and philanthropic activities. In his senior year at Bartlett Taj was struck with an incredibly serious illness and was hospitalized for 10 days. He recovered and battled back, regaining his strength for his senior year of track and field.

Taj plans to major in economics and has applied to Youngtown State University, Troy University, the University of Alaska Anchorage, Eastern Washington University and the University of Akron.

Alexandra Okeson
Robert Service High School
Alexandra has been involved in cross country running and track since middle school. She earned four letters while on the Robert Service High School cross-country running team and two letters while on the track team. Alexandra was awarded the Good Sport Athlete Award at the 2010 state cross-country meet. In 2011 she earned the track team’s Outstanding Freshman Award and was elected as team captain in 2012 for the cross-country team.
Alexandra is very community minded and has spent many hours volunteering at her church and in special needs classrooms. In 2010 she volunteered for an anti drunk driving campaign at her school and in 2012 she spent two weeks volunteering in Cape Town, South Africa with her youth group. Alexandra has been a member and leader of the Service High School chapter of the National Honor Society for two years.

Alexandra will attend Harvey Mudd College and pursue a degree in engineering. She hopes to one-day work at a startup company.

Ann Penelope Spencer
Family Partnership Charter School
Ann loves to run and spends many hours running up and down mountains. She has a genuine appreciation for the world around her and enjoys the camaraderie and sense of teamwork that running provides. She has been one of the top runners on the varsity cross-country running team at Robert Service High School for the past three years. She has also been involved in mountain running placing fourth and second in the Junior Mount Marathon Race and first for the juniors and eighth overall in the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb (Bird Ridge)
Since 2008 Ann has been volunteering at both the Alaska Equine Therapy Center and Equine Assisted Therapy Alaska.
Ann has applied to the University of Vermont and Middlebury College. She plans to pursue an undergraduate degree in art history and then a PhD in a specialized field such as the Italian Renaissance or Ancient Roman Art. After college Ann hopes to become a curator at a prestigious museum.

runner pictureClaire Shen Meiyu Trujillo
Grace Christian School
A graduate of Grace Christian School, Claire ran on the varsity cross-country running team from 2009 to 2013. She spent two years as captain and was the Region III Champion in 2012. Claire also ran on the varsity track and field team from 2010 to 2013. She was the 2011 and 2012 Region Champion in the 3200 meters, the 123A State Champion in 2012 and the current school record holder. In addition, Claire was the 2011 and 2012 Region Champion in the 1600 meters and the 2012 Most Valuable Player for Region III. 
Running has been an inspirational part of Claire’s life, giving her a boost of confidence as well as a feeling of belonging. She treasures her experiences and especially her relationships with her teammates and coaches.
Claire is very active both in her community and globally. She has volunteered at Beans Café, as a junior high ski coach at Grace Christian School and as a Vacation Bible School Teacher at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church. Claire also spent time volunteering at New Day Foster Home in Beijing, China.

Claire is interested in physical therapy and will attend Carleton College where she will run cross-country and track.


Jenette K Northey
Robert Service High School
Running is a huge part of Jenette’s life. She has been a member of the Robert Service High School cross-country running team for four years and has never missed a day of practice. While on the team she was a runner up at the state meet, Region Champion and team MVP. She was also the 2010 Gatorade Player of the Year for girls cross-country running. Jenette also spent four years on the track and field team becoming the 2010 Region Champion in the 3200 meters. She has participated in multiple community races finishing at the top of her age group.
Jenette is a member of the National Honor Society and is active in both her local and the global community. She has coached for the Kids Running program, helped coach running at Trailside Elementary School and coached for the Top Soccer program helping special needs kids play soccer. She has spent many hours volunteering at her church and participated in a Mission Trip to South Africa where she helped to repair a school and a church.

Jenette will attend Montana State University and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.


Skyler Frank
East Anchorage High School
Skyler completed his first footrace when he was just four years old and has been hooked on running ever since. He has participated in many community events including the Heart Run, Tuesday Night Races, Mayor’s Marathon and Big Wild Life Runs. In middle school he place in the top ten at Regions and was on the varsity cross-country running team all four years at East High School. Skyler served as team captain for his last two years on the cross-country running team.

Skyler is a member or the National Honor Society and the Science Club. He has spent many hours volunteering in his community from helping to construct houses with Habitat for Humanity to helping to provide toys and food to families during the holiday season.
Skyler plans on pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at Montana State University.


ARC Scholarship Recipients
2007 2008 2009 2010
2011 2012 2013 2014
2015 2016