Snyder leads Kwigillingok to Bethel NYO Invite title

Walter Snyder of Kwigillingok kicks the sealskin ball in the 2-foot High Kick. The Invitational meet was held at GJ School last weekend with 15 teams participating. Next is the LKSD District Meet which will be held in Chefornak.

by Tommy Wells

Walter Snyder rolled up 21 points by placing in seven events this past weekend and helped carry Kwigillingok to the top spot at the 2017 Bethel Invitational NYO meet. Kwigillingok edged out rival Kipnuk for the team championship in a meet that featured more than a dozen teams from throughout the state, including Kodiak and Chickaloon.

Snyder highlighted his outing by finishing second in three different events, including the 1-Foot High Kick, Alaskan High Kick and Indian Stick Pull. In the 1-Foot High Kick competition, he posted a mark of 104 inches and finished just 4 inches shy of the winning mark of 108 notched by Bethel Regional High School’s Clevon Constantine.

His second-place finish in the Alaskan High Kick was by an even smaller margin. He turned in a kick of 86 inches in the event and finished just 1 inches behind Kipnuk’s Calvin Egoak, who garnered the gold medal with a mark of 87.

In addition to his three second-place finishes, Snyder also placed third in the Kneel Jump and 1-Arm Reach, and finished fourth in the 2-Foot High Kick and fifth in the Wrist Carry.

Merlin White also turned in a solid outing for Kwigillingok. He finished second in the Kneel Jump to Toksook Bay’s Wilton Charles and placed third in the 2-Foot High Kick and fifth in the Seal Hop.

While Snyder and White were leading Kwig, Jaden Anaver, Harberg Paul and Jesse Paul helped Kipnuk roll to second in the team standings. Anaver, who posted 9 points in the meet, inches a step closer to the state record in the Seal Hop. He turned in a mark of 164 feet and 4 and 1/8 inches en route to winning the gold in the boys’ Seal Hop event. His mark was just 24 feet shy of eclipsing the state mark of 188 feet set by former Kipnuk star Sigfurd Dock.

Anaver also took second in the Wrist Carry standings, finishing behind Harberg Paul.

Jesse Paul finished second in the 1-Arm Reach standings with a mark of 63 inches. Aniak’s Bradon Dallman won the 1-Arm Reach competition with a reach of 65.

Toksook Bay’s Mykell White and Mekoryuk’s Martin William also collected gold medals at the event, which was held on April 7-8 in the BRHS gym. White won the Eskimo Stick Pull title, while Williams netted the Indian Stick Pull honors.

Tununak’s Amanda Kanrilak highlighted a spectacular showing by the Yukon-Kuskokwim athletes. Kanrilak scored 15 points and finished in the top five in five events, including second in the 2-Foot High Kick and Seal Hope.

Kwigillingok’s Chantal Snyder also starred. She won the girls’ Kneel Jump and 1-Arm Reach titles, and placed third in the 2-Foot High Kick.

Toksook Bay’s Lisa Evans also rolled up 16 points. She racked up three medals, including a gold in the 1-Foot High Kick and a pair of third-place marks in the Indian Stick Pull and Seal Hop. She also took fourth in the 2-Foot High Kick.

Kipnuk standout Katelyn Paul notched 12 points – 5 of which came via a gold-medal effort in the 2-Foot High Kick. She was second in the 1-Foot and third in the 1-Arm Reach.

Bethel’s Ashley Mute and Kelsie Madison both garnered gold medals, as well. Mute raced to the top spot in the Alaskan High Kick Competition, while Madison easily claimed the Wrist Carry honors with a carry of 33.61 seconds.

Also notching wins were Kwigillingok’s Jaylon James, who took the top honors in the Eskimo Stick Pull, and Newtok’s Marilyn Fairbanks, who won the Seal Hop.