Hail Lorentz, Henderson, Stripes’ Pacific high school spring Athletes of the Quarter
Published: June 15, 2012
Nathan Lorentz and his American School In Japan baseball team have been called by observers one of the best Mustangs teams ever, perhaps one of the finest Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools teams ever. Amanda Henderson of Seoul American enjoyed perhaps one of the finest seasons a track and field distance runner could ever have.
As a result of their feats, the two seniors share Stars and Stripes Pacific high school spring sports season Athletes of the Quarter.
Lorentz posted numbers that seemed other-worldly in helping boost ASIJ to a 14-0 regular-season record and 16-3 mark overall, the only losses coming on a trip to China against a Major League Baseball developmental club.
Lorentz batted .580 with a 1.907 OPS, six doubles, seven triples, just four home runs but a team-leading 33 RBIs, striking out just five times in 50 at-bats. He had one error in 82 total chances, a .987 percentage, and went 5-1 on the mound with a 1.11 ERA and a WHIP of 1.00.
“He provided the leadership for this team,” said longtime Mustangs coach John Seevers.
Another who led by her example was Henderson, who went unbeaten in DODDS Korea’s four regular-season meets, set meet records in the 1,500 and 3,000 in the Mike Petty Memorial Meet in April on Okinawa and those events plus the 800 in the Far East meet last month at Yokota. Her only loss came in the 800 as a result of a disqualification at Mike Petty.
That only seemed to fuel her fire. At Mike Petty, Henderson won the 1,500 in northwest Pacific-record time of 5 minutes, 1.23 seconds and the 3,000 in a meet-record 11:10.53.
Then at Far East, Henderson broke her northwest Pacific 1,500 record with a 4:56.45, shattered the 800 meet record by seven seconds with a 2:25.19 and the 3,000 in a meet-record 11:03.76, beating the old mark by 9.07 seconds. Each of the old meet records were held by teammate Siarria Ingram.
“Amazingly gifted, talented, a student scholar. The complete package,” Falcons track and field coach David R. Abbott said.
-- COACH OF THE QUARTER/SOFTBALL PLAYER OF THE QUARTER – Juggling the lineup due to injuries, Parish and Veronica Jones found themselves with their backs to the wall, having gone 1-3 in pool play in the first two days of the Far East Division II Softball Tournament at Naval Air Facility Atsugi. They returned freshman right-hander Brooklinn McElhinney, who missed much of the season due to illness and injury, to the mound, put Silvia Dykstra behind the plate and Alexis Haddock at first base. The result: Zama American blew through the double-elimination field unbeaten and won the tournament title, with McElhinney pitching all four victories.
-- TEAMS OF THE QUARTER – In addition to ASIJ baseball, there were Matthew C. Perry’s soccer teams, which went a combined 52-9-6 and won their respective Far East Division II Tournament titles, the Samurai boys for the second time and the girls for the first time.
-- PROGRAM OF THE QUARTER – American School In Japan, which won the overall school Far East track title, the Kanto baseball crown and took second in the Far East Girls Division I Soccer Tournament.
-- MOST IMPROVED TEAM – Jacob Son (19 goals, 7 assists) and Danny Kwon (16, 4) helped power Gyeonggi Suwon International School’s boys soccer team to a 14-3 record and the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference Division I regular-season title.
-- MOST IMPROVED PROGRAM – Behind runners Mashu Wakita and Akira Shavers and jumper Arrianna Guerra, Zion Christian Academy finally achieved long-awaited track and field balance and captured the Far East Division II boys, girls and school team titles.
-- BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE QUARTER – Besides Lorentz, there was Chris Horton, the Seoul American senior who earned Far East Division I Tournament MVP honors, getting the win in the final game in relief, starting the rally that tied the title game against Kadena, then drove in the winning run in the eighth inning of the Falcons’ 8-7 triumph over Kadena.
-- SOFTBALL PLAYER OF THE QUARTER – McElhinney earned D-II MVP honors, while Kadena’s Lauren Youngs captured the D-I MVP award after pitching the Panthers past Kubasaki 3-2 in the second of two final games. She also started the first triple play in the three-year history of Far East softball tournaments.
-- SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE QUARTER – Perry senior Tyelor Apple set the Pacific’s single-season goal-scoring record with 64, beating the four-year-old mark of 61 set by Seoul Foreign’s Remco Rademaker. Senior Liz Fabila was moved from center-forward to center-midfield to take advantage of her strong kicks, and the move proved solid as Kubasaki won the Girls D-I Tournament title. Kyle Smoker (14 goals) and Shuhei Tanaka (10) boosted Christian Academy Japan to its fourth Boys D-I Tournament title, tying Kadena for the most in history. Sam Herritt (25 goals) and Apple’s sister Sierra (17 goals, 8 assists) struck the right note in the Samurai’s first Girls D-II title in school history.
-- TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETES OF THE QUARTER – Besides Henderson and Guam High’s Stefani Loisel (see Guts and Glory), Yokota’s Fred Gustafsson set Far East meet records in the 110 and 300 hurdles, while teammate Preston Brooks earned the title of Pacific’s fastest human, winning the 100 and 200 at Far East.
-- EVENT OF THE QUARTER – Far East track and field. One northwest Pacific record, three Pacific records, 18 meet records. Definitely fulfilled the need for speed (and distance).
-- GUTS AND GLORY – Loisel, a four-event record-setting senior on the island, cracked her right ankle – her landing leg – against a hurdle during qualifying for the Far East 100 hurdles and was disqualified. Despite the pain, she set a meet record in the 200 prelims, clocking 26.07 seconds, and in the 300 hurdles finals beat her own Pacific record by .04 seconds, clocking 46.97 seconds. She’ll next perform for the Air Force Academy, to where she has an appointment.
-- BEST NEWCOMERS – Few throwers come along who enjoy the success that Zama American’s Christian Garner did this season. Having never thrown discus or put the shot before, Garner, a senior, won gold in the Kanto Invitational in the discus on May 12, then beat the Far East meet record of 29.10 meters by uncorking a 33.12 on May 23 at Yokota. She plans to walk on at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. On the pitch, freshman Marissa Mesquita provided serious finishing touch for Kubasaki girls soccer, scoring 16 goals as the Dragons (13-2-3) won the Far East Division I Tournament title for the first time since 2007.
-- PLAY/GAME OF THE QUARTER – ASIJ at Nile C. Kinnick on May 11 at Yokosuka Naval Base was perhaps the most electrifying girls soccer match seen anywhere in a long time. Mari McDonald scored for the Red Devils in the first 90 seconds. It became an interminable defensive battle from there, with Kinnick sweeper Kayla Forsythe and first-year keeper Emily Stith somehow keeping the ball out of the net. On one point-blank chance, ASIJ’s Katey Helwick blasted a shot toward the far post left, and Stith made one of her 23 saves by diving full-out right to grab the ball with her hand.