Philadelphia Emerges Victorious—Again

The last chapter to defend an Olympics Cup was the Philadelphia AYF in 2008. That year in Detroit, they actually retired a Cup with their third consecutive win. This year the Sebouhs scored 158 points to edge out a strong Greater Boston contingent by only 9 points. It marked the closest margin of victory since 1966 when Montreal topped Providence by a score of 103-95.5. Back then, the Olympics were much smaller in scope with fewer events and they generally were closer affairs.

Philadelphia took men’s golf and almost beat Boston in the swim meet to hold a slim 37-35 overall point lead. The two teams kept going head to head on Sunday, and when the standings were announced just before the final few events, the Nejdehs had seized the lead 110-108. But then Jessica and Kelsey Sarkisian finished 1-2 for the Sebouhs in the women’s pentathlon. While Boston’s Daron Hamparian took gold in the men’s pentathlon, Aram Keshgegian’s silver helped Philadelphia maintain a 16 point lead. The Nejdehs bounced back to trim the margin to 6 by winning the baseball throw and men’s high jump. But then the home team took gold and bronze in the men’s 400 to extend the margin to 10 before the final three relays and essentially seal the victory.

Philadelphia once again balanced out their medal totals with nine golds, 12 silvers and six bronzes along with winning five relays. The team was definitely a family affair with Mark and Lindsey Santerian scoring 24 points, the Sarkisian sisters doing the same and the three Keshgegian brothers adding 26. This accounted for over half of the chapter’s point total excluding relays. Greater Boston took home the most gold medals—15— including three in relays. The Nejdehs were led by Anoush Krafian, who won triple gold again, along with Anoush Arakelian and Eric Movsesian, who each scored 13 points. Last year’s runner-up New Jersey scored 72 points, many of which came from their total of 15 bronze medals. The Arsen’s leading scorer was veteran Ani Sarajian, who won the shot put. Detroit rounded out the top four chapters with 63.5 points. Team KT featured Melanie Sarafian with 11 points in the sprints and Knar Topouzian, who took golds in the pool and on the track.

Providence scored 48 points with rookie Lily Kernaghan winning three swimming golds, two in record breaking fashion. Next year’s host Chicago was sixth with 32 points as Andrew Devedjian also won three events in the pool. North Andover was close behind scoring 30 as Armen and Meline Almasian each won a pair of golds. Washington, D.C had 15 points for eighth place, while Racine scored 14. Middlesex West scored eight points in its first Olympics, all from Araz Dulgarian. Three West Coast chapters followed; Orange County and North Valley had six points each and West San Fernando scored five. New York was 14th with 4.5 points while Worcester and Manhattan tied for 15th with four points each. The Western Region also scored four points with its combined relay teams. Glendale rounded out the chapter scoring with three points. North Andover took home the Most Improved Chapter trophy while the Western Region won its first softball championship.

Bob Tutunjian

Bob Tutunjian

Bob Tutunjian is president of Vivaproducts, a medical device company in Massachusetts. He has been actively involved with the AYF and the Olympics since 1967 and has written many articles covering this event.
Bob Tutunjian

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