Selection begins for Yukon’s Dene games team

The selection process for Yukon's Dene games team that will compete in Fairbanks, Alaska, got underway with trials at Takhini Elementary School on Sunday.

The selection process for Yukon’s Dene games team that will compete in Fairbanks, Alaska, got underway with trials at Takhini Elementary School on Sunday.

Over 20 athletes came out to compete for spots on the team that will head to the 2014 Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks in March.

“It looks great, I feel pretty good. There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm here today,” said Blair Hogan, head coach of Yukon’s Dene games team. “We have a lot of repeat offenders – there are a lot of people who have done the Games before in the Dene games. So there’s a little continuity, which always helps.

“So I think I have a really good team to work with this year.”

Potential Team Yukon athletes competed in two events at the trials, the finger pull and the stick pull. The hosting Yukon Aboriginal Sports Circle planned to also hold a snow snake event, but it had to be cancelled due to improper snow conditions.

“Nature worked against us,” said Hogan. “We had two feet of snow to deal with. You need a nice, hard compact snow to have a nice snow snake.”

Final team selection will be made at the end of January. There are a few spots left on the team the Sports Circle hopes to fill.

“It’s not quite developed yet, we still have a few vacancies to fill, but we have a general idea of who’s going to be on the team,” said Hogan.

Yukon won seven ulus in Dene games at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse. The Games also include the team events hand games and pole push.

Matthew Brown, who took first in the finger pull on Sunday, won a bronze in snow snake at the 2012 Games.

Results

Juvenile female finger pull

1st Sarina Primozic

2nd Jessa Frost-Klugie

3rd Jasmine Johnson

Juvenile female stick pull

1st Azreil Allen

2nd Delilah Stephen-Bailey

3rd Jessa Frost-Klugie

Junior female finger pull

1st Madison Allen

2nd Brittney Brown

3rd Natane Primozic

Junior female stick pull

1st Brittney Brown

2nd Madison Allen

3rd Natane Primozic

Junior male finger pull

1st Matthew Brown

2nd Terrance O’Brien

3rd Anthony Primozic

Junior male stick pull

1st Anthony Primozic

2nd Tyler O’Brien

3rd Terrance O’Brien

Open male finger pull

1st Colby Sharp

2nd Terry Dick

3rd Jonah Caesar

Open male stick pull

1st Jonah Caesar

2nd Terry Dick

3rd Colby Sharp

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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