Nome Beltz High School student Teague Green-Johnson became a state champion last week after going the farthest distance in the Native Youth Olympics’ Seal Hop.
Green-Johnson took first place during the virtual statewide competition which was held over the course of April. In the third week of games, Green-Johnson submitted a video recording of him doing the Seal Hop reaching a total distance of 89 feet, six inches. He went over nine feet further than the second place finisher.
A physically and mentally grueling challenge, the seal hop, was traditionally used to mimic a seal’s movement so hunters could sneak up on the mammal. It is a game of endurance and stamina, and in this year’s virtual NYO state championship, Green-Johnson outlasted the competition.
Green-Johnson also broke NBHS’s cold streak in the NYO competition, becoming the first Nome state champion in over a decade.
The last Nanooks to claim a state title were Calvin Bell and Neka Sherman-Luce in 2009. That year they won in the Seal Hop and Wrist Carry competitions respectively.
Image at top: Teague making his Championship run at the Seal Hop, May 2021. Photo taken by Venessa Tahbone.