Record after record falls before meet concludes
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Zama’s 3,200-meter relay team hopes it did more than break a record. They’re hoping their success in that event, and in the Far East meet as a whole, can spark track and field interest in Trojans Country.
Jarell Hibler, Cody Troxel, Hiro Beale and Matteus Camacho shattered the previous Far East meet record by nearly six seconds. The Trojans won the combined team title by nearly 50 points and swept the boys and girls team titles as well.
“I think it says Zama’s back in track,” Trojans coach Tom Dignan said, adding that Zama’s success could be key to increasing participation in future seasons.
“We doubled what we had last year, from 20 to 40, so we hope it gets better. We have some good middle-schoolers moving up. I think things are looking good.”
“Hopefully, after this year, we’ll have more and more and hope this will influence a lot of freshmen and sophomores who can go in and pick it up from here,” Hibler said.
The Trojans were timed in 8 minutes, 14.56 seconds, beating the old mark of 8:20.48 set two years ago by Zion Christian Academy International. It was one of eight records broken Tuesday, bringing the total to 16 over the two days. Two were set Monday, then broken again Tuesday.
In Division I, Kubasaki repeated its boys team title, but American School In Japan rose to the combined team crown and also won the girls championship, edging out Nile C. Kinnick by 14½ points.
Among those breaking their own meet records was Kinnick sprinter Jabari Johnson, who improved on his 49.75 preliminary time in the 400 by .18 seconds. He feels the Pacific record of 48.9 is within reach.
“Maybe next year, if I train hard,” he said, adding of Tuesday’s performance: “I just wanted to win it. That’s all I wanted, first place. I didn’t care about any records.”
The other record rebreak was done by Zion hurdler Amora Wood. She bested her preliminary time of 16.78 by .03 seconds in the 110 hurdles.
Two throwers weren’t even aware that they etched their names into the record book with their marks, Seoul American discus thrower Cameron Harris and Kinnick shot-putter Audri Salter.
“This was a nice surprise,” Salter said after her record 10.47-meter toss. “My practice came through when it counted the most.”
Harris demolished the old discus mark of 40.78 with a throw of 45.28. He felt the level of competition (two others threw better than 40.78) was “a lot higher than last year. I’m glad that throwers among the different schools improved.”
Daniel Galvin of Yokota became the first runner to crack the 10-minute barrier in the 3,200, clocking 9:57.34, yet repeated his stance that he could do better, the same sentiment he issued after he beat the meet and Pacific 800 mark Monday.
“I wouldn’t say I’m excited, but I’m satisfied,” he said.
ASIJ’s Tatiana Riordan set her second distance record in as many days, clocking 5:25.62 in the 1,600. She ran the last lap with vigor because, she said: “I was so scared everybody was going to come after me.”
Seoul American ended the two-day meet by edging the boys 1,600 relay record by .14 seconds. “I want to go again,” Falcons’ Shawn Horne said.
Kadena rebounds, Kinnick ousted in D-I softball
NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan – After starting slowly on Day 1, Kadena found its game Tuesday and defeated its two biggest rivals, Kubasaki 11-1 and defending champion Kinnick 10-5, to reach what may be the final of the Far East Division I Softball Tournament.
Heavy rain is forecast overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, and tournament organizers were contemplating finishing it as a single-elimination event. The schedule has Kadena facing Guam and Division II Daegu vs. Osan, and depending on weather conditions, those could become the de facto championship games, organizers said.
Daegu remained alive for a shot at a D-II repeat by rallying past Robert D. Edgren 14-13. Kinnick lost in the knockout bracket 10-1 against ASIJ, ending its repeat hopes.
Stripes staffer James Kimber contributed to this report.