The Bering Strait School District [BSSD] won big at the state Native Youth Olympics [NYO] over the weekend, with a total of 8 district athletes placing in various events.
Up against some of the best athletes from across the state, BSSD’s Alexandra Ivanoff placed in five different events: and took home the overall Individual Sportsmanship Award and the female Overall Athlete Award.
Ivanoff, a senior from Unalakleet, came in second place statewide for the Kneel Jump, the Scissor Broad Jump, and the Two-Foot High Kick. She also came in third for the One-Foot High Kick and fifth for the Alaskan High Kick.
Another senior who won big at the state meet was Earl Annogiyuk, representing Savoonga and BSSD. At BSSD’s regional NYO earlier this month, Annogiyuk spoke on the added pressure of the state competition, which is held in Alaska Airlines Center. Annogiyuk says the arena is a big change from the small gymnasiums most rural schools practice in.
“There’s a much bigger crowd, it’s more intense, and there’s much more competition.”
Annogiyuk took home 4th place overall in the Scissor Broad Jump and 5th place in One-Hand Reach.
In One-Foot High Kick, two BSSD boys placed: Adrian Pleasant in second, and Edward Kokeok in fourth. Elaina Anawrok placed second overall for girls in the Alaskan High Kick. Christine Washington was fourth in girls Indian Stick Pull, and Jacob Brouillette was fourth in boys Kneel Jump. Alvin Washington came in fifth for the Seal Hop.
From Nome, 12 student athletes went to states, too, including 4 seniors: Owen Hebel, Abby Tozier, Daynon Medlin, and Amber Gray. Coach Vanessa Tahbone says although they didn’t place, it was “great exposure” for the team, which is for the most part on the younger side and includes 3 beginner athletes.
The conclusion of NYO states marks the end of the high school sports season at BSSD and in Western Alaska.
Image at top: Nick Hanson coaches Unalakleet’s Alexandra Ivanoff before the Scissor Broad Jump at the 2019 State NYO Competition in Anchorage. Photo: NYO Games Alaska.