Philadelphia ‘Sebouh’ Chapter Wins 84th Annual AYF Olympics


MILWAUKEE, Wis. (A.W.)—The Philadelphia “Sebouh” chapter used the old Varantian formula of having some great athletes to get a few high scorers combined with having great participation to rack up as many second, third, and fourth place finishes as possible, to win the 84th Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Olympic games in Milwaukee. Philadelphia Coach Dave Papazian did a great job on both counts.

The Philadelphia “Sebouh” chapter won the 84th Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Olympic games in Milwaukee (Photo: Mark Gavoor)

It was a great day for the track and field events at the 84th annual games. The temperature, in the low 80s, was the hottest of the weekend but not even close to being unbearable. The South Milwaukee High School facilities were both excellent and close to the hotel.

The Philadelphia members dancing their chapter dance (Photo: Mark Gavoor)

After the track and field games opening ceremonies finished, Olympic King and announcer Alec Sarafian read the point totals as of that point. New Jersey, with a solid showing, was ahead, followed by Boston and Philadelphia.

The High Scorers (Women) (Photo: Mark Gavoor)

We all knew it would not stay that way. Sunday was a day for Greater Boston and Philadelphia with stronger track teams to shine and pile up the points. And that is exactly what happened. Philadelphia piled up more points than Boston. While Boston surged, they did not pass New Jersey who held on for an impressive second place.

Men’s Pentathlon winners (Photo: Mark Gavoor)

The Philadelphia Sebouhs are riding a high and most excited to host the 85th Annual Games in 2018. One would expect New Jersey to continue their pursuit of winning the Olympic Trophy. Great Boston and Providence will also show up and try to keep Philly from getting a second win in a row.

As announced at the Olympic Ball, the final standings for the top ten chapters were:

  1. Philadelphia “Sebouh” 176
  2. New Jersey “Arsen” 108
  3. Greater Boston “Nejdeh” 85
  4. Detroit “Kopernik Tandourjian” 78
  5. Chicago “Ararat” 37
  6. Providence “Varantian” 20.5  
  7. North Andover “Sassoun” 18
    San Fernando “Sartarabad” 18
  8. Laval “Pegor Ashod” 12
  9. Racine “Armen Garo” 11

The High Scorers for the men and women were:

  • Melanie Almasian North Andover
  • Ally Devedjian Chicago
  • Anoush Krafian Greater Boston

On the men’s side the high scorers were:

  • Anto Keshgegian Philadelphia
  • Shant Mahrokhian Greater Boston
  • Eric Movsesian Greater Boston

The Pentathlon winners were both from Philadelphia: Aram Keshgegian and Jessica Sarkisian.

Women’s Pentathlon winners (Photo: Mark Gavoor)

The Outstanding Record trophy went to Greater Boston’s Anoush Krafian, who just seems to get better and better. Krafian broke her own 100 meter low hurdles record. In 2015 in Providence, the Boston phenom set a record of 15.78 seconds. This year, she shattered that record by 1.10 seconds at 14.68 seconds. She really is poetry in motion running the hurdles.

The Corey Tosoian Alumni Golf Trophy went to Richard Kanarian. He and his brother Stepan might be the only sibling combo to win that trophy. The Ernest Nahigian Spirit Award was awarded to Daniel Chakmakjian of Greater Boston. The Most Improved Chapter Award went to the Chicago “Ararat” Chapter.

Oh yes, there was a dance as well. Mike Gostanian and the Philadelphia All Stars were in short… awesome! They had a beautiful thick sound playing exactly the kind of music the Olympic Ball is known for and the dance was packed. Everyone had a marvelous time!

More AYF Olympics coverage to follow in the next few days…



Mark Gavoor is Associate Professor of Operations Management in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University in Chicago. He is an avid blogger and oud player.

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