Wasilla's Chris Jerue won his second straight Eskimo stick pull title Thursday at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Jerue, a 40-year-old oil rig driller, flew through the double-elimination bracket without a loss in eight match ups. A sort of tug-o-war, the Eskimo stick pull requires an athlete to pull a stick away from his opponent while both athletes sit on the floor with the soles of their feet pressed together and knees bent.
Jerue used his 6-foot-2, 287-pound frame to beat past champion Stan Swetzof of Unalaska in the championship pull. It was the second time Jerue defeated Swetzof on Thursday. Swetzof worked his way back to the title pull with a win over third-place finisher Matthew Evans of Fairbanks.
The women's Eskimo stick pull was a bit of a family affair, with Aizah Sullivan taking first and Mandy Sullivan taking third. Aizah, a 16-year-old Lathrop High junior, had to beat her mother Mandy in the loser's bracket to earn a shot at runner-up Suzanne Nielsen of Greenland in the championship pull.
The victory came with a measure of redemption, because Aizah Sullivan lost to her mother in last year's final.
Vaska's win stands
Amber Vaska had to wait a day to claim a title in the women's kneel jump, but her Wednesday mark of 55 inches stood after the final contestant in the event was allowed to compete Thursday.
Apaay Campbell, the world-record holder in the event, was late to arrive Wednesday due to inclement weather. She reached 48 inches with her best jump Thursday, good enough to place second through a tie breaker.
Campbell's record is 55.25 inches, just a quarter inch better than Vaska's winning jump.
10 a.m. -- Indian Stick Pull finals
noon -- Two-foot high kick preliminaries
1 p.m. -- Native regalia Contest
2 p.m. -- Ear pull finals
3:30 p.m. -- Four man carry qualifier
Spurkland, Jolliff win
Lars Spurkland won the men's race by more than two minutes and Jen Jolliff took the women's race by about two minutes on the long course in Trond's Sprint-O Orienteering Meet on the UAA campus Wednesday night.
Spurkland covered the 3.2-kilometer course, which features 19 controls, in 24 minutes, 26 seconds, to top Trond Jensen by 2:27. Jolliff's 32:08 earned her a 1:58 advantage over Ellyn Brown.
On UAA campus, Wednesday
Long course -- 3.2-K, 19 controls
Men -- 1) Lars Spurkland, 24:26; 2) Trond Jensen, 26:53; 3) Dan Billman, 29:01; 4) Regan Sarwas, 30:50; 5) Art Harmon, 31:00; 6) Jeremy Crawford, 32:19; 7) Brian Durell, 33:43; 8) Patrick Stinson, 35:48; 9) Bill Johnson, 36:58; 10) Dwight Iverson, 44:00; 11) Ivan Hodes, 45:00; 12) Ariel Hippe, 45:45; 13) Erik Carlson, 49:30; 14) Martin Hansen, 1:16:18.
Women -- 1) Jen Jolliff, 32:08; 2) Ellyn Brown, 34:06; 3) Brittany Hippe, 36:58; 4) Karen Bronga, 39:05; 5) Ann Billman, 38:58; 6) Keri Hull, 40:00; 7) Joyce Goodell, 41:15; 8) Raye Ann Neustel, 48:00; 9) Dela Grey, 48:40.
Team -- 1) Caitlin Marine and Gil Carr, 27:00; 2) Mike Robinson and Ruth Kvernplassen, 37:20; 3) Jim and Linda Waugaman, 44:40; 4) Pam and Dayna Butcher, 48:10; 5) Drew Deckreon and Charese Gearhart Deckreon, 50:54; 6) Andrew Lee and Kiersten Lippmann + 2 dogs, 53:41; 7) Ben, Tonia, Logan, Brady and Nate Burrough, 1:08:00; 8) David Prentice and Mathew Bradley, 1:34:14.
Short course, 1.7-K, 12 controls
Men -- 1) Joe Anders, 16:50.
Women -- 1) Lorryh Willhelm, 27:28.
Team -- 1) Kathy Faryniarz and Deb Greene, 23:00; 2) Cindy, Trond, Sultana and Siena, 23:30; 3) Sharon, Tyler Lorrin, 27:28; 4) Keller family, Trudy, Lia, Keller, Kincaid and Duke, 28:00; 5) Chantal deAlcuaz and Josie Bezvers, 40:00; 6) Greta Yarbrough and Tim Rooney, 40:00; 7) Springer and Ian Moore, 42:50; 8) Renate, Maaeson and Joe Leuis, 45:58; 9) Marty Nochesa and Carol Schexnayder, 48:21; 10) Aimee, Charlee, Kaysee and Jonathan Demientieff, 50:15; 11) Niva, Aksel and Vebjorn Flagstad, Carr Lane and Cindy Quackenbush, 50:50; 12) Daniel Prize and Kiether Johnsen, 1:13:20; 13) Alex, Sheila, Peter and Sophia Lang, 1:15:00.
Anchorage Daily News