Dylon Crowe shows great form in the Two-Foot High Kick

Nome Native Youth Olympics test strength, agility, mental toughness

 Nome’s Native Youth Olympics were held Sunday through Tuesday and drew a good crowd of strong and agile young people to test themselves in the strenuous events.

Sunday’s competition included the Kneel Jump, Alaskan High Kick, Wrist Carry, Two-Foot High Kick, and Eskimo Stick Pull. The elementary kids also competed in Leg Wrestling.

NYO games are derived from skills Alaska Natives used to survive in the natural world. Tests of physical and mental strength, concentration and stamina could mean the difference between life or death.

“It ties us to the culture. The whole meaning behind the games is it brings you closer to your heritage and your culture,” said Nanooks NYO coach Vanessa Tahbone. “There’s a lot meaning behind the events. They all have their purposes and reasons.”  

Tahbone is in her second year as Nanooks coach. She was assistant coach to her sister Marjorie for two years and before that she coached elementary kids for a few years.

The games this week lead up to the state championships in Anchorage. Nome athletes leave on Wednesday for that competition.

The Nugget asked high school senior Emily Pomrenke about her experience with NYO.

“I’ve been doing NYO since I was in kindergarten,” she said. “I like all the events but my best, I’d say this year, is Kneel Jump.  I’ve been to state for NYO since I was in fifth grade. What I like about NYO is people work together as a team. They don’t just single one person out. You’re always trying to help one another, the athletes are really nice and friendly, they’re always trying to help you to do well.”

“NYO is a different type of event that’s not like any other sport,” said coach Vanessa Tahbone. “There’s a lot support that you get from your team, your team mates, other teams. Even though it’s an individual event there’s a lot of camaraderie that happens with these games, a lot of encouragement for you to do your best.” 


Sunday’s Results

Kneel Jump


1. Elden Cross 4”, 2. Nate Cushman 35 ½” , 3. Owen Hebel 35”


1. Emily Pomrenke 46”, 2. Kastyn Lie 33”, 3. Minnie Clark 29 ½”


Alaskan High Kick


1. Henrick Brandt 74”, 2. Dylon Crowe 70”, 3. Owen Hebel 60”


1. Emily Pomrenke 66”, 2. Kastyn Lie 64”, 3. Minnie Clark 56”


Wrist Carry


1. Aaron Rose 225’, 2. Teague Green Johnson 148’


1. Kastyn Lie 94’, 2. Emily Pomrenke 28’, 3. Ellie Martinson 15’

Elementary kids

1. Rhone Peacock 86’, 2. Granite Peacock 48’9”, 3. Cohen Booth 42’10”, 4. Brandon Rose 34’


Two Foot High Kick

1. Elden Cross 76”, 2. Dylon Crowe 72”, 3. Aaron Rose 72” inches


1. Emily Pomrenke 66”, 2. Amber Gray 66”, 3. Tie: Kastyn Lie and Madison Johnson tied at 58” inches


Eskimo Stick Pull


1. Nate Cushman


1. Maggie Miller, 2. Kastyn Lie, 3. Minnie Clark

Elementary kids

1. Beah Jorgenson, 2. Cohen Booth, 3. Talon Johnson

Elementary Leg Wrestling

1. Beah Jorgenson, 2. Cohen Booth

The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112


External Links

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Breaking News feed