Covering sports at the top of the world

When I made the six-day drive up the Alaskan Highway to Fairbanks, Alaska, I didn't know what to expect, but I hoped to find unusual stories and leave with an interesting life experience.

From covering a 1,000-mile sled dog race in 30-below weather to wrapping my year up with a baseball game played through the night lit only by the light of Alaska’s Midnight Sun, I experienced more unique life experiences in one year than many have in a lifetime. I was also fortunate to work with hockey coaches at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Fairbanks Ice Dogs NAHL Hockey team who were patient with a young sportswriter whose prior knowledge of the sport was limited to watching Miracle a few times. My first game I could hardly follow the puck and while I'm still not nearly where I hope to be, I'm miles ahead of where I started and I think I might even have a new favorite sport.

I am so grateful I had mentors who encouraged me to take this opportunity when I was nervous to do so, and even more grateful for the athletes who shared their stories with me this year, making the small leap of faith totally worth it. I hope to have a long and successful career in this industry – fingers crossed I'll even make it to a Super Bowl or Stanley Cup Finals one day – but the year I spent covering sports in Alaska will always hold a very special place in my heart. Below are some of my favorite stories from the year I spent taking on the Last Frontier.

Yukon Quest

The Yukon Quest is one of two 1,000-mile sled dog races in Alaska and is one of the sport's toughest events.


The University of Alaska Fairbanks' Division I men's hockey team finished the 2019-20 season with its first .500 or above record since 2014-15 and hosted its first postseason contest since 2013-14.

UAF and Preps

In addition to men's hockey, the University of Alaska Fairbanks supports DI co-ed rifle and eight DII teams. The Fairbanks North Star Borough is also home to seven high schools, each with its own slate of teams, rounding out Interior Alaska's sports scene.

Only in Alaska

Baseball at midnight, the Northernmost Rodeo in America, stock car racing and even ear pulling – Fairbanks has it all.