Bristol Bay's athletes held their own at the state NYO competitions

May 1, 2018

Bristol Bay athletes had a strong showing at the senior state NYO games in Anchorage this weekend. 

Credit Isabelle Ross/KDLG

It was a good weekend for Bristol Bay teams at the 2018 state senior Native Youth Olympics games in Anchorage. Karl Clark is a coach for Dillingham. He said the team’s performance was phenomenal, with most players setting personal records.

“We were a fifth-place team for NYO and our kids were fantastic. We were peaking right at the right time heading into state, and it showed over there.”

Britney Dray took first in wrist carry, going 395 feet and 3 inches. Justin Dye took first in the boys' division, hanging on for 672 feet and 5 and a quarter inches. Both were carried by Ralph Evalt and Jesse Noden. Dray also took fourth in Alaskan High Kick, and Dye took fifth in kneel hop.

Jean Krause jumped her personal best at 45 inches to take first in kneel jump. Dillon Chaney took second in the boys’ Indian stick pull – after a small mix-up.

“He ended up being put in the wrong pool at first and pulled and ended up losing,” Clark explained. “We found out it was the wrong Dillon. It was a Dillon from Nome instead of a Dillon from Dillingham. So they allowed him to wash his hands and get re-prepared, and come back. And he worked his way through the bracket and he went to the top eight undefeated.”

Clark said the team’s sense of community helped them to succeed at the games.

“The head judge came over and thanked me. She said, ‘Thank you for having your kids help out as much as they do here at state NYO.’ It does not go unnoticed, and we represented very well over there – the kids did.”

The Dillingham coaches plan to continue their training strategy next year. And while some NYO athletes play other sports during the year, the games are an opportunity for all students to participate and excel.

“You know, maybe they’re not good at basketball, or running, or wrestling or volleyball. But they come into NYO and it’s a whole different atmosphere, you use different muscle groups. And they train a little different, and they just come out and they shine,” said Clark.

Other notable performances from around Bristol Bay include Igiugig’s Kiara Nelson's second place finish in Eskimo stick pull. Simeon Zackar, representing the Lake and Peninsula School District, took fifth in boy’s Eskimo stick pull. Kiara Beebe, also from LPSD, took second in girls’ Indian Stick Pull and fifth in one-foot high kick.

The games began on Thursday and closed on Saturday.

Contact the author at isabelle@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.

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