Yukon fifth in ulu count at Arctic Games

After spending the first two days of the Arctic Winter Games comfortably in third in the ulu medal count, Team Yukon slipped to fifth at the end of Day 3.

FAIRBANKS, ALASKA

After spending the first two days of the Arctic Winter Games comfortably in third in the ulu medal count, Team Yukon slipped to fifth at the end of Day 3.

At the start of Wednesday, Yukon had 28 ulus, with seven gold, six silver and 15 bronze.

Alaska is well out in the lead with 63 medals, including 19 gold. Team Yamal of Russia is in second with 51 medals with 18 gold.

Team Northwest Territories and Team Alaska overtook Yukon late Tuesday, now holding 34 and 30 ulus, respectively.

Yukon sits ahead of Sapmi with 15, Nunavik Quebec with 11, Nunavut with nine and Greenland with eight.

Yukon’s very first medal of the Games came in cross-country skiing.

Hannah Jirousek took bronze in the five-kilometre freestyle race in the midget female division Monday morning.

“It’s really exciting and I had a good race, so I’m really happy and proud of everyone,” said Jirousek. “They all tried their best, so that’s good.”

“I’m really proud and excited,” added the 13-year-old of being at her first Arctics.

Yukon literally jumped to gold a couple hours later.

Robyn Poulter took first in the kneel jump in arctic sports in junior female. Poulter, who celebrated her 15th birthday on Tuesday, is in her second Games. Her goal was to win a medal, but she didn’t expect it to be gold in her very first event in Fairbanks.

“I’m just so excited,” said Poulter. “This is the one thing that if I were to medal, this would be the one I’d medal in. I didn’t expect gold, but it’s a great surprise.”

Yukon has a double-gold athlete with more races to come.

Biathlete Nadia Moser made it two in a row on Tuesday and is thus far the only Yukoner with two gold ulus.

“I really enjoyed getting the gold medal,” said Moser. “I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it. It’s really exciting.”

The 16-year-old finished first in the 7.5-kilometre mass start race Monday and the six-kilometre sprint Tuesday in junior female.

Moser won a gold, two silver and a bronze in juvenile at the 2012 Games.

“I skied as hard as I could, shot the best I could and whatever happens, happens,” said Moser.

Yukon snowboarders are packing the podium in Fairbanks. They have won more ulus than any other Yukon squad with one gold, four silver and four bronze.

Yukon’s Reanna Newsome is the golden boarder so far, with a gold in the rail jam competition for juvenile females on Tuesday.

Newsome rose to the top hitting a 50-50 onto the box with a 180 out – the newest item in her bag of tricks.

“The 180 I just learned earlier today, because I saw a girl from Alberta doing them and thought to myself, shit she’s going home with gold today because I don’t have that trick in the bag yet,” said Newsome. “I practised it a bit with my coach and ended up getting it. I was super stoked to place higher than her on podium, I thought for sure she had me beat but then when they were lining us up for medals they told me I got first and I was so happy.”

Newsome also won bronze in the slalom event on Monday.

Snowboarder Adam Waddington is the first Yukoner with two silver ulus around his neck, taking second in the slalom and rail jam for junior males. Teammates Tim Schirmer and Esa Suominen each have a silver and bronze in the juvenile male division. Rachel McIntosh rode the rails to a bronze in junior female on Tuesday.

Some Yukon Dene games competitors slithered over the competition on Tuesday.

Anthony Matt Primozic and Doron Fox slid to gold in snow snake while teammates Jedrek Dendys, Justin Smith and Brittney Brown captured bronze.

Kieran Halliday added a gold to his collection in snowshoeing on Monday. Halliday won gold in the five-kilometre cross country race in junior male.

It’s his eighth gold ulu in three Arctic Games, winning four gold in snowshoeing at the 2010 Games and three gold in snowshoe biathlon at the 2012 Games.

Snowshoe teammates Sara Burke-Forsyth, Darby McIntyre and Ava Cairns-Locke won bronze in Monday’s races.

Yukon’s Katie Vowk skied to silver in the giant slalom in juvenile female alpine skiing on Tuesday. Vowk was less than three seconds behind the gold medalist from Alberta after two runs.

Daniel Sennett was on target for silver in snowshoe biathlon in the 2.5-kilometre mass start race on Monday.

Michael Ritchie of Haines Junction is the first Yukoner to reach the podium in speedskating at the Arctics. Ritchie won bronze in the 777-metre juvenile male event on Monday.

Yukon’s gymnastics team of Anisa Albisser, Megan Banks, Sydney Cairns and Emily King captured bronze in the team event on Tuesday.

In addition to Yukon’s first gold of the Games, two other medals have come in arctic sports so far. Matthew Jacobson strained his neck to bronze in the open men’s head pull and Fayne O’Donovan put her guns in action to win bronze in the junior female arm pull.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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