FAIRBANKS, AK-Today was opening day for the 2013 WEIO games at the Carlson Center.
The Toe Kick finals was the first event to kick off the 52nd Anniversary of the games.
Terry Johnson the defending champion in this event was dethroned by her training partner and last year's runner up Autumn Ridley. Ridley reached 58 inches in the toe kick which bested 56 inches from Johnson last year.
In the men's division Nick Hanson reached new heights. Hanson won the event last year with a 92 inch jumped but he was pushed by John Waska and Chris Warrior this year. o win Hanson set a new personal record and new world record with a 94 inch jump on his third attempt. Waska could not do the same, giving Hanson back to back toe kick titles.
The other event finals were in the kneel jump. On the men's side Christian Paul from Kipnuk was a favorite. The defending champ's best jump was 59 inches. However, Chris Warrior, out of Wasilla bested Paul by just a quarter inch. Warrior's 59 and one fourth of inch earned him the men's kneel jump title.
There were also preliminaries in the one hand reach event and a qualifier in the Drop the Bomb. The top 5 or 6 will go to tonight's one hand reach final or Friday's Drop the Bomb final.
In the women's kneel jump final it was a career day for two of last year's top three women. Erica Meckel who was third in 2012 jumped a new personal record in the event. But Amber Vaska, my WEIO coach from yesterday did her thing jumping 55 inches. One inch shy of the world record.
Now the results for women's kneel jump will not be finalized until tomorrow morning. The world record holder Iapaay Kimball was traveling to Fairbanks but was delayed due weather. She will jump tomorrow to complete the women's kneel jump field.
In the Race of the Torch West Valley's Dorothy O'Donnell wins for the second year in a row for the women coming in 21 minutes and 29 seconds. This time was 10 seconds faster than her winning time from a year ago.
Baraba Towarak of Unalakeet came in second with a 23:13 time. Local Alice Joseph was third at 23:23. Dawn Dinwoodie out of Anchorage was fourth with a 24:22 finish. Michelle Strange also of Anchorage finished in 26:08 to complete the women's top five.
Keel Simon also of Fairbanks finished first for the men in 19:21. North Pole's Gavin DeWilde came in 15 seconds later for second place. Rodney Carpluk, representing the Golden Heart City was third in 20:14. Unalakleet's Nick Hansen was fourth in 20:42 and Pilo Rasmussen from GreenLand was fifth overall with a 20:44 time.