Far East High School Track and Field Meet distance, team title preview
Published: May 19, 2012
Bruce Carrick, Stars and Stripes' track and field analyst and Pacific records gatekeeper at Athletic.net, examines the Far East meet distance events and who stands the best chance of winning the team title.
This group of three events plus the 3,200-meter relay consists of mostly the same subset of track athletes. One boy, Trevor Maggart of American School In Japan, and one girl, Amanda Henderson of Seoul American, are at the top of all three individual events.
Can they both come away as triple winners?
Amanda`s primary challengers, Allie Reichenberg of Kubasaki and Abigail Wall of Yokota, will be right there with her each time.
Zion Christian Academy’s Rejay Maruo will be on Maggart’s heels in every race too. Other entrants are not quite so ambitious, attempting only one or two of the three races, which means their fresh legs could present a greater than normal challenge, especially by the time we reach the last event.
Girls 3,200, Wednesday morning
Everyone will be fresh in this first-event of the meet. The Kubasaki squad of Sam Fugate, Chanel Grice, Reichenberg and Dominique Lopez have the best time, 10:41. ASIJ is second with 10:55, followed closely by Zion, 11:03. Seoul American is entered with an 11:45 mark, last in the field just behind Yokota. Somewhere in between, will be Christian Academy Japan and Kadena.
Boys 1,500, noon Wednesday
The first boys race will be a four-way between two teams. Maggart and ASIJ teammate Kai Layden (4:21.31 and 4:22.96) lead, just a couple steps ahead of Zion’s Akira Shavers and Maruo. These two pairs have not met in competition (Zion did not participate in cross country Far East), and so this could be a race worthy of fireworks. It is six seconds back to the last three, from Kadena and Kubasaki, who just among themselves should provide quite a show.
Boys 800, 1:45 p.m. Wednesday
A mere hour and a half later, Maggart will swap out teammate Layden for Willem Thorbecke (2:04.06; he could not run the 1,500 because of the two-man per school per event limit). Maggart leads with a 2:01.43, 2 seconds ahead of equally tired Shavers and Maruo. The two fresh challengers, Yokota’s Michael Faulkner (2:03.15) and Thorbecke guarantee that nothing can be taken for granted in this race. Some three seconds back, the trio of Newsom, Beale and Dotson (CAJ, Zama and Kubasaki) will be fighting for points. Coming so close after the 1,500, I think the prospects of someone dipping under 2:00 this season is unlikely. This race will be Maggart’s biggest challenge; and he is used to running this event before the 1,500.
Girls 3,000 2:30 p.m. Wednesday
We go into this race with the top two girls virtually tied: Henderson and Reichenberg (11:10.53 and 11:10.97). Since they posted those two times at the Mike Petty Memorial last month at Kubasaki, the suspense has been building. A key difference will be that Allie had to warm up four hours earlier in the 3,200 relay and Amanda did not. Michelle Stolle of ASIJ (11:25.96) is the other entrant who might have a say, but she will have to dig deep (of course she would love to have a good race to take sister Jennifer’s Kanto high school record of 11:24.6). The North Pacific record was set this year by Brittani Shappell (11:01.98) of Seisen (sixth grade). That record could be in jeopardy. Even the Pacific record of 10:59.3 by Claire Trelibs of Jakarta International could go.
Boys 3,200, 10:30 a.m. Thursday
Zion has by far the best times for this event, 8:31. The same four will run it at Far East: Smith Conner, Maruo, Shavers and Mashu Wakita. Shavers and Maruo will have had 20 some hours to recover from the previous day's 1,500 and 800; Conner and Wakita should be eager to run. Half a minute back, Kadena, ASIJ and Seoul American have posted times 1 second apart. CAJ, Yokota and St. Mary’s International will see who gets the last available team points.
Girls 1,500, noon Thursday
It’s a new day for the girls, but the same names. This race, based on seed times, does not project to be so close, but none of these runners can relax. Expect the foursome of Amanda, Allie, Abigail and Michelle to continue their rivalry begun the day before. I do not expect a slow-start/fast-finish strategy – they are going to go from the gun.
Girls 800, 1:45 p.m. Thursday
Here is where things get interesting. Amanda (2:26.10) will be hungry for quite possibly her third title and Allie (2:33), though qualified to challenge, is on record not liking this race. Also, this will be Allie’s fourth race and only Amanda’s third. Exactly in between the two are Misaki Nakagawa (CAJ, 2:30.69, Kanto champion) and Wall (2:31.12). Only Nakagawa did not do the grueling 3,000 the day before. Who has the most reserves at the end of the series of distance races?
Boys 3,000, 2:30 p.m. Thursday
The boys sped through the 1,500 and 800 on Wednesday, and the 3,200 relay Thursday morning. This race will be a true test of endurance for Maggart. I do not expect a fast one. Kanto teams usually race the 3,000 first, so this will be a new challenge Kanto runners: Maggart (9:15.22), followed by teammate Layden (9:39), and Koh Terai (St. Mary’s, 9:42.24). ASIJ’s third entrant, James Cannell, is only a couple seconds back from Maruo (9:50) and Andrew Kilkenny (Kadena, 9:52). Can ASIJ finish 1-2-3? Unlike Maruo and Kilkenny, Cannell will not have expended himself on any other race.
Overall team winners – ASIJ, twice. They looked good at the Kanto Invitational, winning it all, admittedly against less-than-full-strength Okinawa teams. And they will likely come in with a little chip on their shoulder, having lost the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools regular-season championship (not the Kanto finals) trophy to Kinnick, on the basis of marks set at Zama American’s Far East qualifying meet, which no international schools were able to attend. Kinnick and Guam High have not yet submitted their Far East rosters on athletic.net, so they are not factored into the discussion above.