Following a fairly quiet Monday, Team Yukon roared to 30 medals on Tuesday at the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Nuuk, Greenland.
The Yukon team went into Wednesday with a total of 31 medals – or “ulus” – and was second in the standings behind Alaska and ahead of Greenland.
Haines Junction’s Sarina Primozic won Yukon’s first medal on Monday in the Dene games snow snake event for junior female.
The 18-year-old claimed silver with a throw of 63.35 metres.
“It feels very exhilarating and I’m super-honoured to be the first Yukon medalist this year!” said Primozic in a message to the News. “63.3 is not my best but a silver ulu in an individual event is! I’m having an amazing time and I will remember this trip for the rest of my life.”
Yukon’s Dene games team went on to collect three more medals Tuesday in the stick pull. Maureen McGinty and Tyler O’Brien won silvers and Jedrek Dendys pulled to gold in junior male.
“He pulled hard all day going undefeated and winning the last two pulls for the medal with ease,” said coach Doronn Fox. “We cheered each other on all day. That was a big help to our athletes, the ongoing support of each other.”
Team Yukon’s first gold of the Games was picked up by Whitehorse’s Liam Adel in biathlon Tuesday. The 17-year-old won the junior male’s 7.5-kilometre race with over a minute to spare.
“I am quite happy to be bringing home a gold for the one place in the world I call home,” said Adel. “I am happy that the whole team and myself are representing the Yukon and its amazing people the best way possible.”
Biathlon Yukon looks to be on the verge of a breakout Games in Greenland. Adel’s gold was one of seven won by Yukon in ski biathlon on Tuesday. That’s more than Yukon won in total in ski biathlon at each of the previous three Arctics. (Yukon snowshoe biathletes also nabbed three bronze ulus Tuesday.)
“We experienced firsthand one of Greenland’s winter blizzards today at the range!” said Yukon biathlon coach Laurie Jacobsen. “High, gusting winds postponed the ski biathlon race two hours and delayed the snowshoe race start but did not set back the Biathlon Yukon team … High spirits and the Yukon cheering section made this a very positive first race day.”
Whitehorse’s Robyn Poulter was Yukon’s only arctic sports athlete to win a gold at the 2014 Games and she’s already won another one this week. The 16-year-old repeated in the junior female kneel jump with a leap of 105 centimetres. Teammate Matt Jacobson won a gold in the one-hand reach at 167.6 centimetres on Tuesday.
After getting shutout of gold medals at the 2014 Games, Yukon cross-country skiers won three on Tuesday in five-kilometre interval start races. Yukon Ski Team members Hannah Deuling, Derek Deuling and Simon Cash each won gold while teammates Natalie Hynes and Hannah Jirousek skied to silver.
The slopes in Nuuk have been good to Team Yukon with both the alpine ski and snowboard teams winning three medals Tuesday. Katie Vowk and Charlie Hawes sped to gold in and Shane Orban silver in the slalom ski races. Boarder Tim Schirmer claimed silver in slalom and bronze in the rail jam and teammate Sammy Mather bronze in the rail jam.
Yukon’s snowshoe team stomped to three medals in their first day of races, with Breda McIntyre and Jack Amos taking gold and Joe Parker bronze.
Half of Yukon’s eight-person table tennis team reached the semifinals for their respective divisions on Tuesday. Whitehorse’s Grace-Anne Janssen and Arcel Siosan, and Dawson City’s Emily Gaw and Sam Crocker, will all play their semifinal matches on Thursday.
“I’m pleased not only with the four players through but also the fact it’s an even Dawson/Whitehorse split,” said coach Kevin Murphy. “Sam Crocker upset his higher ranked opponent from Nunavut to get through. Arcel and Grace-Anne played well to qualify. Emily went undefeated in her group and won her quarterfinal match – so that was a surprise.”
Yukon’s male volleyball team went into Wednesday undefeated, topping N.W.T., Greenland and Alaska with only one set dropped along the way. The female team lost their first three games.
There has been just one win for Yukon so far in hockey, which is being played at the satellite venue of Iqaluit, Nunavut. Yukon’s female team defeated Nunavut 13-3 on Monday and was shutout by N.W.T. 3-0 on Tuesday. Yukon forward Chyanne Spenner was leading the tournament in points with one goal and five assists after Tuesday. The male team lost to N.W.T.14-1 Monday with a goal from Jesse Goodman, and lost 11-0 to Alberta North on Tuesday.
Yukon’s male basketball team squeaked out a 70-67 over Alaska on Monday and then downed Nunavut 85-67 Tuesday. RJ Siosan led the team with 36 points in the two games.
Yukon’s female basketball team lost 104-33 to Alaska Monday before beating Nunavut 64-59 Tuesday. Kennedy Cairns-Locke led Yukon with 30 points.
By the end of Tuesday, Yukon’s futsal soccer squads have a win-loss record of 7-7, all five teams combined. Both junior teams are 2-1 with wins over Nunavut and N.W.T. and losses to Alaska. Females Lara Herry-Saint Onge and Tyra Jones, and males Felix Maltais and Dawson Weir, all notched three goals over their teams’ first three matches.
Yukon’s intermediate female team lost 6-3 to Greenland and beat Alaska 2-0. Mikaela Ponsioen had two goals.
The juvenile teams are both 1-2, each with a win over N.W.T.
Yukon’s wrestling team placed fourth out of five in the team event ahead of Team N.W.T. on Tuesday.
Yukoners Marek Boulerice, Abby Cuenza and Carl Knickle lost quarterfinal matches in badminton on Monday. But Boulerice and Lukas Kobler have reached Wednesday’s semifinal in junior male doubles. Knickle and Michael Betts have done the same in juvenile male doubles. Results were not available at press time.
Yukon ulus after Day 2
Katie Vowk (alpine ski)
Charlie Hawes (alpine ski)
Robyn Poulter (arctic sports)
Matt Jacobson (arctic sports)
Liam Adel (ski biathlon)
Hannah Deuling (XC ski)
Simon Cash (XC ski)
Derek Deuling (XC ski)
Jedrek Dendys (Dene games)
Breda McIntyre (snowshoe)
Jack Amos (snowshoe)
Shane Orban (alpine ski)
Dana Sellars (ski biathlon)
Aidan Hupe (ski biathlon)
Maria Peters (ski biathlon)
Natalie Hynes(XC ski)
Hannah Jirousek (XC ski)
Sarina Primozic (Dene games)
Maureen McGinty (Dene games)
Tyler O’Brien (Dene games)
Tim Schirmer (snowboard)
Fayne O’Donovan (arctic sports)
Bronwyn Goodwin (ski biathlon)
Romeo Champagne (ski biathlon)
Micah Hildes (ski biathlon)
Marika Kitchen (snowshoe biathlon)
Bruce Wilson (snowshoe biathlon)
Aidan Adel (snowshoe biathlon)
Tim Schirmer (snowboard)
Sammy Mather (snowboard)
Joe Parker (snowshoe)