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Story Last modified at 10:01 p.m. on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Area students sweep up at NYO

Staff report


Ravenwood Elementary physical education teacher Caela Nielsen celebrates with (clockwise, from back right) fifth-grader Paris Williams, fourth in the scissor broad jump; fourth-grader Brendan Whetsell, third in the wrist carry; and third-grader Dustin Janes, fifth in the wrist carry. Second-grader Katelyn Hall, not photographed, took third in the kneel jump.
Photo courtesy Audrey Chapman / Ravenwood Elementary School

Fire Lake Elementary School sent students to the Alaska Native Youth Olympics championships at Begich Middle School last month. The event included competitors statewide, including Nome, Bethel, the Kenai Peninsula, Mat-Su and the Anchorage Bowl. Fire Lake students medaled in six events. They are: Justice Davis, first place, Eskimo stick pull; Matthew Pajinag, third place, two-foot high kick and fourth place, wrist carry; Caleb Pulu, third place, leg wrestling; Justin Davis, fifth place, Eskimo stick pull; and Orianna Pulu, fifth place, leg wrestling.

At an awards assembly held at the school Feb. 17, all of the competitors were recognized for their efforts, and Erick Hill and Alyssa Gregory received good sportsmanship awards for their positive attitudes during the event.

At Ravenwood Elementary, a whopping 30 students in grades 1-6 competed in the games, led by physical education teacher Caela Nielsen.

"This is an incredible opportunity for our students, and I'm very grateful our PE teacher makes it a regular part of her curriculum," said principal Audrey Chapman. "It helps our students not only develop an awareness of this very important part of our state's culture, but also exposes them to all the events and the reasons why the Native people had to practice these skills."

Four students came back from Ravenwood's competition with medals: fifth-grader Paris Williams, fourth, scissor broad jump; fourth-grader Brendan Whetsell, third, wrist carry; third-grader Dustin Janes, fifth, wrist carry; and second-grader Katelyn Hall, third, kneel jump.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, February 23, 2011.