Nome-Beltz and Kotzebue high school students competed in the Northwest Arctic Borough School District’s Native Youth Olympics over the weekend. Both schools had athletes place in multiple events, and Kotzebue is even sending some individuals to States.
Kastyn Lie was a name that came up in the winner’s circle many times throughout the NYO competition. The junior Nanook claimed first in the Girls One Foot High Kick and the Kneel Jump, in addition to placing second in events like the One Handed Reach, the Eskimo Stick Pull, and the Alaskan High Kick.
Fellow Nome athlete Amber Gray took first in the Girls Seal Hop and the Two-foot High Kick. Kotzebue’s Zaida Baldwin and Ayianna Browning qualified for the State competition in the Indian Stick Pull and the One Handed Reach, respectively.
Turning to the boys’ side of things, Aaron Rose was the leading Nanook with first place finishes in three different events. Rose won the Boys Wrist Carry, the Seal Hop, and the Indian Stick Pull. The Kotzebue Huskies had three boys win their events in addition to qualifying for States. Ess Scott defeated all competition in the Two-Foot High Kick. Andrew Bergen swept the Eskimo Stick Pull event, and Daniel Walker represented Kotzebue well in the One Foot High Kick.
The State Native Youth Olympics competition is scheduled for April 26th-28th in Anchorage. Before then, the Bering Strait School District will hold their own NYO games in St. Michael this week, starting Thursday night.
Image at top: file photo: Aucha Johnson of Unalakleet two-foot high-kicking at BSSD’s 2014 NYO tournament in Gambell. Photo: KNOM.