The eighth-annual Arctic Sports Inter-School Championship, hosted by the Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle, was Nov. 27 to 29 at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse.
Open to students from kindergarten to Grade 12, this year’s competition included more than 300 registered participants from Whitehorse, Carcross, Carmacks, Pelly Crossing and Juneau, Alaska.
Participants from kindergarten to Grade 4 competed on the 27th, participants from Grade 5 to Grade 7 competed on the 28th, and participants from Grade 8 to Grade 12 competed on Nov. 29.
Head official Rose Inglangasuk said the sports for each group varied depending on age and skill, with the youngest group competing in kneel jump, Inuit stick pull, two-foot high kick and seal crawl; the middle group competing in kneel jump, triple jump, one-foot high kick, arm pull and leg wrestling; and the oldest group competing in kneel jump, arm pull, Alaskan high kick, triple jump, one-foot high kick and leg wrestling.
The sports were a combination of what is found in the YASC technical package and the Arctic Winter Games technical package, as Whitehorse will host the AWG in March.
“We try to kind of use our technical package along with the Arctic Winter games technical package,” said Inglangasuk. “Because it’s an Arctic Winter Games year, we tried to have a lot of the same sports that the kids would be doing in Arctic Winter Games. That way they get a good understanding of the games and then when it comes tryout time, they’ve practised it, they’ve already done it in a competition, and then they feel better doing it at the Arctic Winter Games.”
For Inglangasuk, having a team travel up from Juneau was something of note.
“It was awesome to have the Juneau kids there and it was a good practice for them for their competition that’s coming up in March,” said Inglangasuk in reference to the annual Native Youth Olympics Traditional Games Championship. “They did phenomenal in the Alaskan high kick and I think it was cool to see such young kids do so well in the Alaskan high kick. I think it was probably awesome for the kids to see such good talent for the Alaskan high kick as well.”
In addition to winners in each of the events, each age category had overall standings for top male and female participants.
At the kindergarten to Grade 2 level, Breanna Gottschalk was first in the female overall standings with Zoey Newbury second and Claire Callan and Lillian Farr tied for third. Odin Hoffman was the first-place male with Elliot McPerson second, and Kanon Edzerza and Harrison Chetcutti tied for third.
Moving up to the Grade 3 and 4 level, the top female was Kasey McKenna, while Cali Holinski was second and third was a three-way tie between Oksana Baerg, Elyse-Anne Pacaud and Ruby Sack.
The top male was Leon Legere, followed by Thierry St-Laurent and Jacob Cromarty.
It was a tie for first in the female Grade 5 to 7 category between Bailey Nolan and Aurelia Koh, with Sabine Beesey next in the standings. The first-place male was Cy McDowell, followed by Dimas Mateo-Sotil and Dawson Penner.
At the Grade 8 and 9 level, Kate Koepke won the female category with Camile Belanger second and Kinley Battersby third. The top male was Devyn Rollins, followed by Jazzen Patterson in second, and ALex Kiriak and Ben Bonilla tied for third.
For athletes in Grade 10 through 12, Emily King was the top female with Bianca Malvasio second and Hailey Fairchild third. Ezra Elisoff was the top male, while Lou Samson was second and Cooper Mur was third.
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