FAIRBANKS, AK-Well some athletes came close or tied world records but on the final night of WEIO 2013 history was made. Tim Fields representing Noorvik, Alaska set a new world record in the Canadian style one-foot high kick event Saturday. In the Canadian style one foot high kick a competitor must jump in the air and touch the ball with their foot and come down with the same foot they kicked with.
Fields tied the world record of 9'8" in 2011. The record was set by Jesse Frankson back in 2004 but before Frankson the record of 9'6" was set back in 1986. Tonight Fields was focused and determined and look spry. He was kicking 9'4" with relative ease with two attempts. Nick Hansen placed second in the event.
The night belonged to Fields whose record setting kick of 9'9" is the new world record in the event. To put that in perspective a regulation NBA or college basketball hoop is 10 feet. So imagine Fields three inches shy of jumping up and kicking the rim of a hoop.
For the women's one-foot high kick it was once again Autumn Ridley winning the gold. Ridley was the only finalists to kick 87 inches successfully. Erica Meckel came in as the three time champion in the event but placed second. I talked to Meckel whose had a rough WEIO this year. She didn't get gold in any events. Meckel has gotten multiple golds in WEIO for the past six years. She told me that she just had an off year this year and wasn't feeling it. It may be a changing guard. Meckel placed second kicking 96 inches. Tahnee Esparza was third successfully kicking 82 inches.
In the ear weight competition Kaktovik's James Lampe Jr. added another title to his mantle. Lampe went around the designated track 5 and half laps while carrying a 16 pound weight secured to his left ear. Lampe also won the ear pull and Muktuk (whale blubber) eating contest at this year's games as well. Ira Frankson was second making it four and a half laps around the track.
In the knuckle hop competition athletes had to get in pushup position on their knuckles and hop around a track made on the gym floor. The longest distance would win. Christian Paul out of Kipuk defended his knuckle hop title making it about 3/4 of a lap around the gym. Former champion Nick Hansen out of Unalakleet was third and Kyle Worl from Anchorage was second.
In men's blanket toss Palmer's David Thomas successfully defended his title in this event. Thomas landed three high back flips to secure the win. Forrest Strick from Wasilla was second and Charles Lampe of Kaktovik was third-a flip flop from a year ago.
The final event of the night was the four man carry and a Fairbanksan who had been trying for a few years finally won this event. Matthew Evans secured his first four man carry title by carrying four guys 184'9". It was just three inches shy of new world record. Greenland's Aputsiaq Hoy was second carrying 130'6 1/2" and Ravell Northway was third carrying 127'5".
To end the night and the games two select athletes were recognized. Hansen won this year's sportsmanship award and Ridley was named most outstanding athlete. Ridley, 17, from Anchorage, earned five golds in seven events and a silver medal. Ridley works at the Alaska Native Heritage Center where she demonstrates WEIO events. She trains year round.
Other event winners:
Greased Pole Walk: Men-1st Chris Warrior 64 1/4", 2nd Kyle Worl 45 1/4", 3rd Calvin Bell 43 1/2". Women-1st Victoria Treder 35 3/4", 2nd Eric Meckel 22 1/2", 3rd Amber Glenzel 22"
Women's Blanket Toss: Marjorie Tahbone 1st, Autumn Ridley 2nd, Krystie Lincoln 3rd
Seal Skinning- 1st Mary Kakoona-2:45, 2nd Diane Dufour 4:48, 3rd Helga Nielsen 5:55
Arm Pull: Men-Chris Jerue 1st, Apustiaq Hoy 2nd, Mikkel Anderson 3rd. Women-Nicole Johnston 1st, Noel Strick 2nd, Annette Donaldson 3rd.