Dillingham hosted Southwest Region School District's state qualifying competition for Native Youth Olympics this week. Six teams from around the Bristol Bay area competed.
The Native Youth Olympics Southwest Region School District competition wrapped up on Thursday in Dillingham.
Students demonstrated strength, precision and agility in the 10 featured events. Dillingham athletic director Karl Clark explains that each of the events directly correlates with a skill necessary for subsistence hunting
“It’s like native track and field,” says Clark. “The seal hop’s sneaking up on the seals. Scissor broad jump’s crossing icebergs. Eskimo stake pull’s pulling seal out of the water after you get done harpooning it. You have kneel jump if you slip on an iceberg and you have to get up really fast.”
Students from Togiak, Manokotak, Koliganek, and New Stuyahok were vying for places on the Southwest Region School District team at the state competition. Bristol Bay Borough School District and Dillingham students also competed, but each of those schools represents its own district and will choose its state competitors at a later date.
Manokotak boys won a number of events. Edward Nick Jr. took first in the kneel jump. David Black won the Eskimo stick pull. Riley Rodgers won Indian stick pull, and Ronald Coolidge took first in one hand reach. From Koliganek, Monica Ishnook was the girls’ Eskimo stick pull champion, and Natasha Merlino won the girls’ Indian Stick Pull. Togiak’s Peter Gust won the boys’ scissor broad jump. They will all represent their region at the state NYO competition.
Clark says that Dillingham students made a good showing as well.
“Colten Hink, who’s in eighth grade, placed first in Alaskan High Kick. Then he did really well again in one foot. Dillon Chaney, who’s been known for the Indian stick pull for the past few years, is now kicking in one foot…Sam Calvert in the seal hop, he went 80 feet today. He ended up winning it. Britney Dray’s still looking pretty strong in the seal hop…I think all of our athletes are doing phenomenally well.”
Next weekend, Dillingham will host students from Bethel for another NYO competition.
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