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Hundreds of athletes gather for 2019 Native Youth Olympics

  • Author: Joey Carreon
  • Updated: April 25, 2019
  • Published April 25, 2019
Chandler Ulroan, 15, of Chevak placed second in the wrist carry event during the Native Youth Olympics at the Alaska Airlines Center on Thursday.

The wrist carry is a Native Youth Olympics event that originated from hunters testing their strength and showing appreciation for the animals they caught. Participants hang by their wrists on a wooden pole carried by two teammates in a rigorous test of will and might.

Featuring 479 total participants from all over Alaska, the 2019 NYO kicked off Thursday at the Alaska Airlines Center.

Anchorage’s Lorraine Gregory and Unalaska’s Jerome Molina used their iron wills — and wrists — to take home the gold in the wrist carry.

Out of 32 girls competing in the event, 18-year-old Gregory hung on for 337 feet, 5 inches — avenging her second place finish last year while also improving her distance by 3 feet.

“It feels like I just dominated the world,” Gregory said laughing.

Jerome Molina, 17, of Unalaska grimaces as he hangs on during a first-place performance in the boys wrist carry event at the Native Youth Olympics on Thursday, April 24, 2019. (Bill Roth / ADN)

Out of 40 boys, 17-year-old Molina shattered the competition by hanging on for 511-2 — nearly 156 feet farther than Chevak’s Chandler Ulroan. Despite a dominating performance, Molina feels like he could have gone farther.

“It was pretty exciting! It was fun, but I could’ve done better,” Molina said.

Chevak teammate Edward Atcherian, left, assists Chandler Ulroan, 15, after a second-place performance in the boys wrist carry event during the Native Youth Olympics in the Alaska Airlines Center on Thursday, April 24, 2019. (Bill Roth / ADN)

Ulroan, who was lifted out of his wheelchair to compete, managed to hang on for 354-6.25.

With wrist carry competitors having to support their body weight by only their wrist, it’s important to have just as strong-willed carriers, Gregory explains.

“My training consists of training who is carrying me. If they don’t know how to carry me, I don’t know how to get very far.”

Adeline Dyment, 17, of Bethel competed for Mt. Edgecumbe in the wrist carry event on the first day of the Native Youth Olympics in the Alaska Airlines Center on Thursday, April 24, 2019. (Bill Roth / ADN)

The kneel jump, which took place before the wrist carry, featured a Mt. Edgecumbe sweep — with 15-year-old Regan Hoblet from False Pass taking first for the girls and 18-year-old Murphy Charles from Newtok for the boys.

Hoblet jumped 47.75 inches, while Charles jumped 59 inches. Both competitors were eight inches shy of NYO records.

The Alaskan High Kick concluded Thursday’s NYO action.

The NYO runs until Saturday evening, with Friday’s schedule starting with the Eskimo Stick Pull at 10 a.m..


Girls Kneel Jump

1) Regan Hoblet, Mt. Edgecumbe, 47.75 inches; 2) Alexandria Ivanoff, BSSDA, 44.5; 3) Tezlyn Karrone, Mat-Su A, 43.75; 4) Miranda Paul, LKSD, 43.5; 5) Cate Gomez, DLG, 43.25

Boys Kneel Jump

1) Murphy Charles, Mt. Edgecumbe, 59; 2) Eric Tinker, LKSD, 56.75; 3) Matthew Quinto, Sealaska, 56.5; 4) Jacob Brouillette, BSSD A, 55.25; 5) Floyd Tickett III, NWABSD, 54

Girls Wrist Carry

1) Lorraine Gregory, Anchorage A, 337-feet-5-inches; 2) Mya Campbell, Mat-Su B, 230-4; 3) Kate Koepke, Whitehorse, 222-1; 4) Lisa Tran, Unalaska, 218-9; 5) Victoria Probst, Mat-Su A, 215-7.5

Boys Wrist Carry

1) Jerome Molina, Unalaska, 511-2; 2) Chandler Ulroan, Chevak, 354-6.25; 3) Micah Mitchell, NWABSD, 347-6.5; 4) Ethan Jenkins, Dillingham, 328-7.5; 5) Richard Oxerok, Mt. Edgecumbe, 327-10