One of the goals of the Anchorage Running Club and Anchorage RunFest is to raise scholarship funds annually for Alaska high school runners to help with their education expenses.

In 2022 ARC has selected three outstanding students to receive $3500 scholarships! Besides being passionate runners, some since grade school, each of this year’s recipients is an accomplished scholar who gives back to school and community through volunteer work.

Here are this year’s recipients and a few words about each:

Lucy Atkinson

Bartlett High School

Eager as a little girl to run in her big sister's footsteps, Lucy has been running too since elementary school. Over the years, and especially during her time with Bartlett High School's athletic teams, she quickly fell in love with both the sport, the trails, and the people. Feeling most at home in forested areas and with friends made on cross-country teams, she will always be grateful for running and hopes never to stop. This fall Lucy will travel to DeKalb, Illinois, to pursue a journalism degree at Northern Illinois University -- “where I hope to run through some cornfields!”

Jared Gardiner

Dimond High School

Jared really got into running his sophomore year of high school. He participated in both cross-country and track and field for four years, and they hold some of his most incredible memories. Without his teammates and coaches, he would not be the person he is today. Jared also enjoys playing spikeball and likes to cross-country ski in the winter. Jared will be attending BYU Provo to study Mechanical Engineering in the fall and hopes to walk onto their running team.

Payton Smith

West High School

Payton is a graduate of West High School, and the Russian Immersion Program. This past year she had the opportunity to work as a Russian Linguist for the National Security Agency. In the fall she will attend Oregon State University majoring in bio-health sciences, and running cross country and track for the Beavers. Originally a competitive soccer player, Payton found her way to the track and trails where she worked tirelessly to achieve her dream of becoming a D1 athlete. Payton would like to thank the running community for all the support and encouragement through this journey.