Raven Phillips had a feeling she was going to set a world record in the toe kick Saturday at the Native Youth Olympics at the Dena'ina Center, but she had no idea she was going to break the old one by so much.
"I did better than expected," the junior from Aniak said. "Adrenaline helps me go higher, farther, faster, better."
Phillips reached 76 inches in an event that requires an athlete to make a two-footed forward jump and use both feet to tap a stick that sits on the floor before coming to a balanced landing. Measurements reflect the distance from the jumping point to the stick.
Phillips' record was seven inches beyond the old world record set by Anchorage's Luanna Penetac at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics in 1987.
Phillips beat her nearest competitor by 18 inches, winning the toe kick for the second straight year while improving dramatically on last year's winning mark of 55 inches.
"Repetition and lots of wall sits strengthen your jumping muscles," she said.
Phillips was a freshman when someone suggested she give the toe kick a try. It took her less than an hour to catch on.
"I couldn't get it at first," she said. "But after about 30 minutes I went farther and farther and farther."
She took second in the event at NYO as a freshman, and even though she won it the next year, she thought competing in 8 of 10 NYO events made her too tired to do her best. This year she limited her participation to six events so she could focus more energy on her favorite.
Four other girls were able to reach the 58-inch mark, with Mount Edgecumb's Renee Romer securing second place via tiebreaker rules.
The stick is moved forward in increments of four inches for each round, so when Phillips was the only one to reach 62 inches, she was the lone competitor the rest of the way.
The final three competitors are allowed to request smaller incremental movements of the stick, but Phillips progressed right through 66 inches, then 70 and 74, before requesting the stick be moved forward just two inches on her next jump. Phillips said she was completely unaware of how many spectators were watching.
"When I'm up there, I just breathe and try to cool my heart down," she said. "I block everything out but the stick and the judges."
Phillips was thrilled to have a record when she finished, but doesn't think her record will hold up nearly as long as the last one did.
"I think I'll beat it next year," she said.
Ridley, McCarr set records Friday
Anchorage's Autumn Ridley broke a world record in the Alaskan high kick Friday, winning the girls event with a kick of 82 inches.
Yako McCarr of the Lower Kuskokwim School District tied a state record in the Alaskan high kick, reaching 93 inches in the boys' event.
Reach Jeremy Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4335.
Native Youth Olympics
Eskimo stick pull
Girls -- 1) Marian Wamsley, Valdez; 2) Mesa Rohrer, Gilson; 3) Shalisa F., Anchorage. Boys -- 1) Dalton Beatie, Mat-Su; 2) Travis Turgivna, South West Region School District; 3) Jaylin Prince, Mount Edgecumb.
Girls -- 1) Raven Phillips, Aniak, 76 inches (world record); 2) Renee Romer, Mount Edgecumb, 58; 3) Alecia Egoam, Lower Kuskokwim School District, 58. Boys -- 1) Michael Charles, LKSD, 90; 2) Chris Lindbo, Anchorage, 85; Michael Kanuk, 84.
One-hand reach -- not reported
Two-foot high kick -- not reported
Girls -- 1) Apaay Campbell, Bering Strait School District, 50 1/2 inches; 2) Kendell Dray, Dillingham, 44 1/2; 3) Jordan Kashatok, LKSD, 44 1/2. Boys -- 1) Austin Sumdum, Anchorage, 61 3/4; 2) Dylan Magnusen, Unalaska, 60; 3) Yako McCarr, LKSD, 57 1/2.
Girls -- 1) Jordan Lisa, Dillingham, 373 feet, 4 1/2 inches; 2) Samantha Ishnook, SWRSD, 307 feet; 3) Amanda Burke, Su Valley, 282 feet. Boys -- 1) Daniel Miller, Dillingham, 593 feet, 4 1/2 inches; 2) Jacob McAnulty, Mat-Su, 488 feet, 1/2 inch; 3) Aaron Ulroan, Chevak, 481 feet, 7 1/2 inches.
Alaskan High Kick
Girls -- 1) Autumn Ridley, Anchorage, 82 inches (world record); 2) Kaley Ruff, Dillingham, 77; 3) Chinace Egoak, LKSD, 73. Boys -- 1) Yako McCarr, LKSD, 93 (tied state record); 2) Andrew Demientieff, Anchorage, 90; 3) Daniel Adams, Mat-Su, 86.Video: Native Youth Olympics
By JEREMY PETERS
Anchorage Daily News