Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by John Tonin

REACHING HIGH – Matt Jacobson touches the seal in the One-Hand Reach competition during the Just for Kicks Arctic Winter Sports Showcase Tuesday at Vanier.

Image title

Photo by John Tonin

HITTING THE SEAL – Emily King kicks the ball during the One-Foot High Kick.

Image title

Photo by John Tonin

KNEES TO FEET – Dimas Mateo-Sotil hops to his feet during the Kneel Jump.

Arctic Sports team holds intersquad event

The Arctic Winter Games were cancelled March 7 but keeping in the spirit of the Games, Team Yukon squads have been putting their hard work into practice with competitions or displays.

By John Tonin on March 18, 2020

The Arctic Winter Games were cancelled March 7 but keeping in the spirit of the Games, Team Yukon squads have been putting their hard work into practice with competitions or displays.

On Tuesday, at Vanier, The Arctic Winter Games Arctic Sports team pitted the girls and the boys on the squad against each other in an event called Just for Kicks. Across the border in Juneau, Ak., Arctic Sports were also competing.

A live stream was set up so the two countries could cheer each other on from their respective gyms.

Mark Koepke, the head official said members of Team Yukon were in an excellent position to break three or four AWG records before aging out of the junior category.

The goal of the event, which followed the AWG technical package, was to provide a venue for the athletes to make an attempt to unofficially break these records.

The athletes competed in Triple Jump, Kneel Jump, One-foot High Kick, One-hand Reach, Two-foot High Kick, Alaskan High Kick and Sledge Jump.

All athletes were required to compete in all events with the exemption of the One-hand reach - which is only competed by the open age group at the Arctic Winter Games.

For every event, each athlete received a point score calculated by dividing their result against the appropriate benchmark, then multiplying by 100.

The girls were benchmarked against Arctic Winter Games records, the boys against the 2018 gold medal scores.

In the Triple Jump, Bianca Berko-Malvasio unofficially beat the AWG record of 327 inches (27.3 feet) by an inch.

“In practice, I had beaten it a couple of times now,” said Berko-Malvasio. “I figured I was going to beat it but I wasn’t counting on it.

“I’ve definitely gotten way farther in practice but the nerves really got to me today.”

Lou Samson was the junior boy winner with a distance of 373 inches.

Emily King tied the One-foot High Kick record of 90 inches (7.5 feet). King narrowly missed the record-breaking attempt.

“It would have been cool to surpass the record but I was still pretty happy with myself,” said King.

In practice, King said she has kicked higher.

“My record is 7’8 right now but I’ve only hit it once,” said King. “If I got it again it would have been pretty substantial.”

Although the Games did not go ahead as scheduled, King said it was still fun to be out and competing.

“It’s almost like making it up for missing Arctics,” said King.”

If the AWG were on right now and King was competing she said she thinks she could have broken the record as the atmosphere of the event would have given her an extra boost.

“I think it would have been very possible,” said King. “If we were competing at Arctic Winter Games we could have gone up by one inch so I could have hit 7’7.”

Samson was also the boys One-foot High Kick winner, hitting the suspended ball at 101 inches (8.4 feet). The gold medal-winning height at the 2018 Games was 109 inches.

King and Samson were the tops in Kneel Jump and the Two-foot High Kick. King tied the AWG record of 74 inches and Samson was two inches off the 2018 gold medal performance.

Kate Koepke and Cooper Muir were the winners of the Alaskan High Kick. Koepke’s best height was 70 inches, eight off from the record. Muir kicked 68 inches.

Berko-Malvasio and Muir had the most jumps in the Sledge Jump, both reaching 100.

Over the seven events, the junior girls had the highest cumulative scores beating the boys 2409-2266.

Samson and King were named the top male and female athletes.

Be the first to comment

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.