FAIRBANKS, AK-The third night session at WEIO 2013 had some of the toughest competitions for the athletes.
The two foot high kick was on display in the middle of the gym floor of the Carlson Center as spectators watched competitors try to jump up to kick ball while using two feet.
For the women Erica Meckel of Fairbanks, look to be the favorite coming having won the event the last three years. 73 inches by Meckel was the winning height last year with her first attempt. In the field however was Autumn Ridley whose been on a tear with straight golds. Amber Vaska and Tahnee Esparza were also finalists.
Meckel, Vaska and Ridley advanced with successfull kicks at 72 inches and advanced to the final round. The last three decided to go up two inches to 74 and that's where it got tough.
All three women were able to kick from 74 inches, however no one was able to kick at 76 inches. So it came down to the number of attempts. The least amount of attempts would be the winner and that would go to Ridley. Both Ridley and Vaska took two attempts at 74 while Meckel took three. Ridley had the lowest amount of overall attempts thus declaring her the winner. 74 inches was also a personal record for Ridley.
Vaska came in second and Meckel finished in third with the most attempts overall.
For the men it wasn't necessarily who could jump the highest but who was the toughest. The finalists in this event suffered some injuries while trying to stick the landings on their kick attempts.
After Kyler Worl and Isaac John Giles didn't advance from 92 inches it came down to Tim Field of Anchorage, Unalakleet's Nick Hanson and Casey Ferguson also from Anchorage. None these athletes were in last year's finals.
The 96 inch mark is when things got dicey. Hanson could not stick the landing on his third attempy despite kicking the ball. Casey Ferguson got close but in landing suffered a quad injury. He gave it a go but could not jump on his final attempt.
Fields came down awkwardly after his first attempt. His ankle was tender for awhile and used all three minutes in between attempts to regroup. He missed his second attempt and took the time to shake the tenderness in his ankle. Fields and the competitors displayed toughness as Fields managed to not only kick the ball at 96 inches above the ground but sticking the all important landing.
Fields would win the 2013 WEIO two foot high kick. He would try the next height up which was 96 inches. He kicked on his third but fell to the ground while trying to land. He was to walk off under his power.
There were five women in the women's blanket toss finals but the results won't be revealed until tomorrow. The participants get three tosses and are judged on height, form while in the air and their landing.