Alaska High Kick record set for VHS
Devens and Ridderbush dominate NYO mini-meet
Tony Gorman photo
Saturday's mini-meet for Native Youth Olympics is the first competition student athletes from Valdez participate in before heading to the state meet in Anchorage.
Nick Devens kicked his way into the record books last weekend and senior Shoney Ridderbush put on a grand finale at the Valdez Native Youth Olympics Mini-Meet.
The NYO meet featured athletes from Valdez High School and Gilson Middle School.
Devens set school records in the Alaskan High Kick at 86 inches and in the Toe Kick at 82 inches. He also finished first the One-Foot High Kick at 96 inches – a personal best - and Indian Stick Pull. He also finished second in the Two-Foot High Kick at 80 inches.
Ridderbush dominated most of the girls' events. She won the Kneel Jump at 33.5 inches, Wrist Carry at 155 feet, 7 inches, Alaska High Kick at 58 inches, One-Foot Kick at 74 inches (personal best) and Two-Foot Kick at 66 inches. She placed second in Eskimo Stick Pull under Lariah Griffith. Griffith also finished second in the Indian Stick Pull and third in the junior high division of the girls' Alaska High Kick at 44 inches.
"It fun to come out here to coach them. It's fun to see the students progress and hit those personal best marks, especially during competition," NYO coach Lea Cockerham said.
The Two-Foot High Kick event for the boys went to Wyatt Knowles with an 87 inch-kick. He finished second in the One-Hand Reach at 50 inches and third in the One-Foot High Kick at 89 inches.
Tarron McIntyre finished first in the Wrist Carry with 215 feet, 9 inches and the Eskimo Stick Pull and second in the One-Foot High Kick with 90 inches.
Austin Crawford finished first in the Kneel Jump with 27.25 inches and second in the junior high division of the Alaska High Kick with 54.2 inches.
Danny Letendre placed first in the One Hand Reach with 56 inches, second in the Toe Kick with 56 inches, and third in the wrist carry with 27 feet, 6.25 inches and the Alaska High Kick with 62 inches.
Dakota Brown placed first in the Alaskan High Kick with 58 inches and third in the Two-Foot Kick with 62 inches.
Tony Gorman photo
NYO encourages athleticism in all youth by teaching not only traditional displays of skill, but by fostering the important art of sharing and encouraging the group as a whole.
Annie Komkoff won the Indian Stick Pull and the Seal Hop at 43 feet, 2 inches. Chevon Oxford won the junior high division of the girls' Alaska High Kick at 52 inches and placed third in the Kneel Jump at 8.75 inches and the Indian Stick Pull.
"They can do well in practice, but when they have competition from others, and especially parents out watching, it pushes them a little harder. It's always good," Cockerham said of the team's performances.
The NYO teams rested on Monday and will spend this week determining who will actually compete in the State NYO Meet in Anchorage. Dubbed as Challenge Week, those who were unable to compete or didn't place well in Saturday's Mini-Meet can challenge the winner of an event. They have to win twice in order to replace the winner.
The State Meet takes place April 25-26.