Judah Eason, of Ninilchik, wins the Senior Boys Alaskan High Kick on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at Kenai Middle School at the 2018 Peninsula Winter Games Kenaizte Indian Tribe NYO Invitational. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Judah Eason, of Ninilchik, wins the Senior Boys Alaskan High Kick on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at Kenai Middle School at the 2018 Peninsula Winter Games Kenaizte Indian Tribe NYO Invitational. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

NYO tourney emphasizes community, sportsmanship

Imagine a high school basketball game in the closing seconds.

A player steps to the line for a pair of foul shots with his team trailing by one point. Free throw No. 1 bounds off the side of the rim.

A player on the opposing team walks over and tells the shooter, “Your elbow popped out on that one. That’s why it wandered off to the side. Tuck your elbow under the ball.”

Impossible, right? Not at Native Youth Olympics.

“It’s not like other team sports,” said Judah Eason, 15, of Ninilchik and a competitor for the Salamatof tribe. “In football, you would not give your game plan away.

“NYO is about helping each other so everybody does what they are capable of doing. It’s about making yourself better.”

That spirit was on display Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Kenai Middle School at the 2018 Peninsula Winter Games Kenaitze Indian Tribe NYO Invitational.

Athletes competed in 10 events used by Alaska Natives for generations to hone essential survival skills such as strength, endurance and a strong mind.

With the games stemming from survival for the group, there’s no time for keeping secrets from competitors.

At Friday’s Alaskan High Kick, a coach was staged on each of the four stations where athletes were attempting to kick a ball that rose ever higher.

In the event of a miss, not only would the coach give advice, but competitors would give their two cents as well.

And this wasn’t general cheering. This was specific technical advice, like angle this foot a little to the left, or drive the leg exactly like this.

“I’ve been doing this for nine years and I’ve learned a lot of details that make a difference,” said Misty Wilmarth-Agoff, a 17-year-old from Palmer competing for Chickaloon. “Like if you move your foot a little bit over here it makes a difference in how you aim.”

While the approach of helping competitors is unique, one cannot deny that it works.

The Alaskan High Kick involves clasping the foot in front of you with the opposite hand. Athletes then start on the free foot and hand and hoist themselves up on that free hand to try and kick the ball.

Eason won the Senior Boys by getting all the way to 6 feet, 9 inches, which is way over his head. He also won the male sportsmanship award for the tournament, while Chickaloon’s Trillium Kell won the female award and Chickaloon won the team award.

“It’s just about getting your body as straight as possible and pushing up through your shoulder as much as possible,” he said.

Eason pulled this off despite being just 85 percent after breaking his tibia doing the One-foot High Kick at state last year. He said he has gotten as high as 90 inches in practice, and has designs at winning the Alaskan High Kick at state as well as doing well at the Arctic Winter Games, which will be held March 18 to 24 between the communities of Hay River and Fort Smith of the South Slave Region of the Northwest Territories.

Wilmarth-Agoff won the Senior Girls at 68 inches, while Junior titles went to William Wilson of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe and Emilee Wilson of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe.

Like Eason, Wilmarth-Agoff was off her best due to recent injuries. In Wilmarth-Agoff’s case, the problem was a few recent concussions from random accidents.

Eason said he knew at least half of the 140 competitors in the room, who came mostly from Southcentral Alaska but from as far away as Barrow.

Wilmarth-Agoff said that is another thing that makes NYO special.

“Especially here, everybody is close and everybody is family,” she said. “It’s like a big family reunion.”

2018 Peninsula Winter Games Kenaitze Invitational

Male Sportsmanship — Judah Eason, Salamatof

Female Sportsmanship — Trillium Kell, Chickaloon

Team Sportsmanship — Chickaloon

Alaskan High Kick

Junior Boys — 1. William Wilson, Kenaitze, 54 inches; 2. True McGovern, Team McGovern, 42 inches, 3 misses; 3. Laramie Gibson, Chickaloon, 42 inches, 4 misses; 4. Wade Benjamin, Seward Hunters, 42 inches, 5 misses; 5. Tiernan McGovern, Team McGovern, 38 inches, 3 misses.

Junior Girls — 1. Emilee Wilson, Kenaitze, 55 inches; 2. Robin Cronin, Seward Hunters, 52 inches; 3. Athena Johnson, Knik Elementary, 48 inches, 0 misses; 4. Nora Andrews, Seward Hunters, 48 inches, 1 miss; 5. Jenna Yeoman, Kenaitze, 44 inches, 2 misses.

Senior Boys — 1. Judah Eason, Salamatof, 81 inches; 2. Gene Smallwood, Alaska Native Heritage Center, 74 inches; 3. Tommy Cronin, Seward Hunters, 70 inches; 4. Eli Rivera, Chickaloon, 66 inches; 5. Jordan Hettrick, Chickaloon, 64 inches.

Senior Girls — 1. Misty Wilmarth-Agoff, Chickaloon, 68 inches; 2. Trillium Kell, Chickaloon, 62 inches; 3. Leila Kell, Chickaloon, 60 inches; 4. Auna Reed-Lewis, Chickaloon, 57 inches; 5. Tierra McGovern, Team McGovern, 56 inches.

Scissor Broad Jump

Junior Boys — 1. Ceiony Allen, Ninilchik, 22 feet, 4.5 inches; 2. Laramie Gibson, Chickaloon, 19—2.5; 3. Elio Stuive, Salamatof, 18—9.75; 4. Tiernan McGovern, Team McGovern, 18—7.5; 5. Onyx Allen, Ninilchik, 17—10.25.

Junior Girls — 1. Robin Cronin, Seward Hunters, 23—3 (new meet record); 2. Emilee Wilson, Kenaitze, 22-3.25; 3. Athena Johnson, Knik Elementary, 19—3.25; 4. Taylor Rickard, Ninilchik, 19—.25; 5. Nora Andrews, Seward Hunters, 18—10.25.

Senior Boys — 1. Judah Eason, Salamatof, 30—11.25; 2. Gene Smallwood, ANHC, 28—8; 3. Tommy Cronin, Seward Hunters, 28—2.5; 4. Samuel Ticknor, ANHC, 26—.25; 5. Zhon Hendryx, Ninilchik, 25—5.5.

Senior Girls — 1. Auna Reed-Lewis, Chickaloon, 23—7.5; 2. Leila Kell, Chickaloon, 23—3.75; 3. Trillium Kell, Chickaloon, 22—1.75; 4. Pricilla Stoltz, Seward Hunters, 21—11.5; 5. Lydia Alverts, Chickaloon, 21—8.5.

One-hand reach

Senior Boys — 1. Judah Eason, Salamatof, 55 inches; 2. Joe Whittom, Salamatof, 50 inches, 1 miss; 3. Brennon Slats, KPNYI, 50 inches, 2 misses; 4 (tie). Eli Rivera, Chickaloon, Porter Rockwell, Seward Hunters, 47 inches.

Senior Girls — 1. Trillium Kell, Chickaloon, 50 inches; 2. Misty Wilmarth-Agoff, Chickaloon, 47 inches; 3. Kya Ahlers, Kenaitze, 46 inches; 4. Auna Reed-Lewis, Chickaloon, 42 inches, no misses; 5. Makala Whittom, Salamatof, 42 inches, 1 miss.

Arm Pull

Junior Boys — 1. Ceiony Allen, Ninilchik; 2. Tiernan McGovern, Team McGovern; 3. Oliver Trobaugh, Seward Hunters; 4. Gabe Loyd, Chickaloon; 5. Laramie Gibson, Chickaloon.

Junior Girls — 1. Addy Ange, Chickaloon; 2. Robin Cronin, Seward Hunters; 3. Jalyn Yeoman, Kenaitze; 4. Aurelia Zimin, Chickaloon; 5. Laura Barger, Salamatof.

Two-foot high kick

Junior Boys — 1. William Wilson, Kenaitze, 66 inches (new meet record); 2. True McGovern, Team McGovern, 46 inches; 3. Onyx Allen, Ninilchik, 42 inches; 4. Oliver Trombaugh, Seward Hunters, 38 inches, 2 misses, 1st miss at 38 inches; 5. Tiernan McGovern, Team McGovern, 38 inches, 2 misses, 1st miss at 34 inches.

Junior Girls — 1. Emilee Wilson, Kenaitze, 62 inches; 2. Athena Johnson, Knik Elementary, 56 inches; 3. Nora Andrews, Seward Hunters, 46 inches; 4. Robin Cronin, Seward Hunters, 44 inches; 5, Kiana Kroto, Chickaloon, 40 inches.

Senior Boys — 1. Gene Smallwood, ANHC, 84 inches (tied meet record); 2. Judah Eason, Salamatof, 68 inches; 3. Nick Valenza, Seward High, 63 inches, 0 misses; 4. Esteban Harrison, Chickaloon, 63 inches, 1 miss; 5. Samuel Ticknor, ANHC, 58 inches, 2 misses, 1st miss at 58 inches.

Senior Girls — 1. Misty Wilmarth-Agoff, Chickaloon, 60 inches, 1 miss; 2. Kya Ahlers, Kenaitze, 60 inches, 3 misses; 3. Trillium Kell, Chickaloon, 58 inches, 2 misses; 4. Auna Reed-Lewis, Chickaloon, 58 inches, 3 misses; 5. Leila Kell, Chickaloon, 54 inches, 2 misses.

Kneel Jump

Junior Boys — 1. William Wilson, Kenaitze, 27.25 inches; 2. True McGovern, Team McGovern, 23 inches; 3. Laramie Gibson, Chickaloon, 21.5 inches; 4. Philip Trobaugh, Seward Hunters, 16 inches; 5. Tiernan McGovern, Team McGovern, 14.75 inches.

Junior Girls — 1. Robin Cronin, Seward Hunters, 25.5 inches; 2. Emilee Wilson, Kenaitze, 21.75 inches; 3. Jenna Yeoman, Kenaitze, 20.5 inches; 4. Jalyn Yeoman, Kenaitze, 19.75 inches; 5. Nora Andrews, Seward Hunters, 19 inches.

Senior Boys — 1. Tommy Cronin, Seward Hunters, 38.75 inches; 2. Nick Valenza, Seward High, 37.25 inches; 3. Eli Rivera, Chickaloon, 33.5 inches; 4. Christopher Edleman, KPNYL, 33.25 inches; 5. Levi Rickard, Ninilchik, 33 inches.

Senior Girls — 1. Kya Ahlers, Kenaitze, 36.75 inches; 2. Misty Wilmarth-Agoff, Chickaloon, 33 inches; 3. Tierra McGovern, Team McGovern, 32 inches; 4. Trillium Kell, Chickaloon, 30.5 inches; 5. Priscilla Stoltz, Seward Hunters, 29.75 inches.

Eskimo Stick Pull

Junior Boys — 1. William Wilson, Kenaitze; 2. Ceiony Allen, Ninilchik; 3. Tiernan McGovern, Team McGovern; 4. True McGovern, Team McGovern; 5. Wade Benjamin, Seward Hunters.

Junior Girls — 1. Addy Ange, Chickaloon; 2. Robin Cronin, Seward Hunters; 3. Taylor Rickard, Ninilchik; 4. Emilee Wilson, Kenaitze; 5. Jenna Yeoman, Kenaitze.

Senior Boys — 1. Esteban Harrison, Chickaloon; 2. Judah Eason, Salamatof; 3. Samiel Wilson, Kenaitze; 4. Christopher Edelman, KPNYL; 5. Jacob Harrison, Chickaloon.

Senior Girls — 1. Tierra McGovern, Team McGovern; 2. Denali Bernard, Salamatof; 3. Savanna Wilson, Kenaitze; 4. Pricilla Stoltz, Seward Hunters; 5. Kya Ahlers, Kenaitze.

One-foot High Kick

Junior Boys — 1. William Wilson, Kenaitze, 77 inches; 2. Ceiony Allen, Ninilchik, 69 inches; 3. Laramie Gibson, Chickaloon, 61 inches; 4. True McGovern, Team McGovern, 52 inches, 1 miss; 5. Onyx Allen, Ninilchik, 52 inches, 2 misses.

Junior Girls — 1. Emilee Wilson, Kenaitze, 74 inches; 2. Robin Cronin, Seward Hunters, 72 inches; 3. Athena Johnson, Knik Elementary, 69 inches; 4. Nora Andrews, Seward Hunters, 56 inches; 5. Jalyn Yeoman, Kenaitze, 52 inches.

Senior Boys — 1. Judah Eason, Salamatof, 98 inches; 2. Tommy Cronin, Seward Hunters, 96 inches; 3. Gene Smallwood, ANHC, 92 inches; 4. Eli Rivera, Chickaloon, 84 inches, 2 misses; 5. Christopher Edelman, KPNYL, 84 inches, 4 misses.

Senior Girls — 1. Trillium Kell, Chickaloon, 77 inches; 2. Kya Ahlers, Kenaitze, 76 inches; 3. Auna Reed-Lewis, Chickaloon, 74 inches; 4. Lydia Alverts, Chickaloon, 70 inches; 5. Savanna Wilson, Kenaitze, 67 inches.

Wrist Carry

Junior Boys — 1. Olin Litemark, Seward Hunters, 21.38 seconds; 2. Dakota Bulter, Salamatof, 19.8; 3. William Wilson, Kenaitze, 17.9; 4. Isiah Kroto, Chickaloon, 13; 5. Aiden Fry, Chickaloon, 12.7.

Junior Girls — 1. Kiana Kroto, Chickaloon, 20.17; 2. Jalyn Yeoman, Kenaitze, 13.21; 3. Mylee Yeoman, Kenaitze, 12.29; 4. Jenna Yeoman, Kenaitze, 10.32; 5. Mariah Kroto, Chickaloon, 7.73.

Senior Boys — 1. Andrew Wilson, Kenaitze, 165—8; 2. Eli Rivera, Chickaloon, 140—8.5; 3. Judah Eason, Salamatof, 125—10.25; 4. Christopher Edelman, KPNYL, 87—0; 5. Elijah Gordon, Homer Homeschools, 83—10.

Senior Girls — 1. Savanna Wilson, Kenaitze, 55—10; 2. Leila Kell, Chickaloon, 40—6; 3. Misty Wilmarth-Agoff, Chickaloon, 21 inches; 4. Auna Reed-Lewis, Chickaloon, 11—7; 5. Trillium Kell, Chickaloon, 6—11.

Indian Stick Pull

Junior Boys — 1. Dakota Butler, Salamatof; 2. Oliver Trobaugh, Seward Hunters; 3. Laramie Gibson, Chickaloon; 4. Ceiony Allen, Ninilchik; 5. Frank Rabbit, Kenaitze.

Junior Girls — 1. Mylee Yeoman, Kenaitze; 2. Charity Gordon, Homer Homeschools; 3. Robin Cronin, Seward Hunters; 4. Taylor Whittom, Salamatof; 5. Emilee Wilson, Kenaitze.

Senior Boys — 1. Andrew Wilson, Kenaitze; 2. Eli Rivera, Chickaloon; 3. Samiel Wilson, Kenaitze; 4. Tommy Cronin, Seward Hunters; 5. Joseph Whittom, Salamatof.

Senior Girls — 1. Hanna Wilson, Kenaitze; 2. Leila Kell, Chickaloon; 3. Kya Ahlers, Kenaitze; 4. Savanna Wilson, Kenaitze; 5. Lydia Alverts, Chickaloon.

Seal Hop

Junior Boys — 1. Olin Litemark, Seward Hunters, 56—3; 2. Philip Trobaugh, Seward Hunters, 55—9.75; 3. James Wardlow, Seward Hunters, 52—2.5; 4. Onyx Allen, Ninilchik, 48—8.75; 5. Ceiony Allen, Ninilchik, 43—5.

Junior Girls — 1. Emilee Wilson, Kenaitze, 85—11.5; 2. Jalyn Yeoman, Kenaitze, 50—1.5; 3. Kiana Kroto, Chickaloon, 48—.5; 4. Mariah Kroto, Chickaloon, 43—4.5; 5. Nora Andrews, Seward Hunters, 42—2.

Senior Boys — 1. Judah Eason, Salamatof, 53—1.75; 2. Christopher Edelman, KPNYL, 52—2.25; 3. Eli Rivera, Chickaloon, 48—11.25; 4. Gene Smallwood, ANHC, 48—3.25; 5. Joe Whittom, Salamatof, 33—3.25.

Senior Girls — 1. Trillium Kell, Chickaloon, 93—9.25; 2. Leila Kell, Chickaloon, 72—2; 3. Kya Ahlers, Kenaitze, 68—4.25; 4. Misty Wilmarth-Agoff, Chickaloon, 61–7.5; 5. Ava Dickson, Seward Hunters, 53—8.

Robin Cronin of the Seward Hunters competes in the Alaskan High Kick at the 2018 Peninsula Winter Games Kenaitze Invitational on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at Kenai Middle School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Robin Cronin of the Seward Hunters competes in the Alaskan High Kick at the 2018 Peninsula Winter Games Kenaitze Invitational on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at Kenai Middle School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Mylee Yeoman of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe competes in the Junior Girls Alaskan High Kick on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at Kenai Middle School at the 2018 Peninsula Winter Games Kenaitze Invitational. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Mylee Yeoman of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe competes in the Junior Girls Alaskan High Kick on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at Kenai Middle School at the 2018 Peninsula Winter Games Kenaitze Invitational. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

More in Sports

tease
College football updates on Brantley III, Metcalf, Dahlgren

Soldotna High School graduate Galen Brantley III earned First Team All-North Star… Continue reading

Kenai Centra's Jack Laker leads skiers at the start of the Turkey Skate on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi’s Boonstra, Kenai’s Chase Laker win Turkey Skate to start ski season

Kenai Central’s Chase Laker and Soldotna’s Tania Boonstra won the Turkey Skate… Continue reading

tease
Ice Dogs sweep Brown Bears

The Kenai River Brown Bears were swept by the Fairbanks Ice Dogs… Continue reading

Nikiski's Destiny Langston and Soldotna' Meg Roberts battle at 235 pounds Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. Roberts won 7-4. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna wrestling celebrates senior night with 2 dual victories

The Soldotna wrestling team celebrated senior night by capturing a pair of… Continue reading

tease
Nikiski’s Johnson helps George Fox to historic season; Soldotna’s Arthur runs at NAIA nationals

Nikiski Middle-High School graduate Kaitlin Johnson helped the George Fox volleyball team… Continue reading

Soldotna junior Daisy Hannevold tries to turn Palmerճ Lillie Vansiegman during the girls 138-pound final of the Lancer Smith Memorial on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, at the Menard Arena in Wasilla. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)
SoHi girls wrestlers win Lancer Smith Memorial, SoHi boys take 2nd

The Soldotna girls wrestling team won the Lancer Smith Memorial on Friday… Continue reading

Kenai River's Dylan Contreras drives the net against Anchorage Wolverines' Jackson Stimple and Liam Beerman on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Saturday: Wolverines complete sweep of Brown Bears

The Anchorage Wolverines defeated the Kenai River Brown Bears 7-2 on Saturday… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Will Howard attacks against Kodiak's Theron Glover on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Saturday: Colony wins Kenai River Cup

Colony defeated Palmer 6-5 in overtime on Saturday at the Kenai Multi-Purpose… Continue reading

tease
Saturday: Soldotna hockey bounces back against Juneau

The Soldotna hockey team defeated Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kale 3-1 on Saturday in… Continue reading

Soldotna's Chase Willis (left) celebrates his goal against Juneau-Douglas: Yadaa.at Kale with Draiden Mullican and Andrew Arthur on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Friday: Juneau hockey holds off Soldotna’s comeback

The Juneau-Douglas: Yadaa.at Kale hockey team defeated Soldotna 4-3 on Friday in… Continue reading

tease
Friday: Wolverines defeat Brown Bears

The Anchorage Wolverines defeated the Kenai River Brown Bears 7-5 on Friday… Continue reading

tease
Friday: Colony, Palmer move to 2-0 at Kenai River Cup

Colony, Palmer and Tri-Valley picked up victories Friday at the second day… Continue reading