NYO athletes preparing for competiton


Photo by Paul Apfelbeck

Galena NYO athlete Derrick Black, last year’s state champion in the seal hop, is shown here in a photo from last spring practicing for the NYO events.

By AUTUMN JENSEN-ROEHL, staff writer

The Galena Native Youth Olympic (NYO) team, with head coach Joel Wilkinson and assistant coach Ineke Wilkinson, are preparing for the upcoming competition in Anchorage on April 15-18 at the recently completed Alaska Airline Center on the UAA campus.

This year’s team consists of many new students, as well as a few returners, including Derrick Black, a senior from Napakiak, who was state champion in the seal hop last year at NYO with a distance of 152 feet, 9 1/2 inches.

The team trains for their events mostly by practicing the event itself.

“NYO is very event specific,” said coach Wilkinson. Often 30 minutes out of every practice they dedicate the time to practice the event. Lower body work is also important, as well as being flexible.

Although the team is still developing and figuring things out, they got a lot of their funds this year to travel from the Galena City School District (GCSD). Along with these funds from the GCSD, they did a few popcorn-selling fundraisers to raise money for team uniforms.

“I encourage our students to do their best,” said coach Wilkinson.

The students on the team are:

Derrick Black
William Paul
Ronnie Coolidge
Charlie Sussook
Dominic Moon
Patrick Nick
Shadow Fishel Gregory
Nick Kelly
Jerry Jones
Damien Jensen
John Angaiak
Ethan Ilmar
Laura Nick
Elsie Ilmar
Lauren Parduhn
Nicole “Diddy” Saccheus
Sarah Tyson Oney
Mariah Wigley
Linda Nicolai
Romay Harris