Kanto Plain cross-country finals, Carrick’s-eye view
Published: October 16, 2011
The rain and mud pulled down on Carydaliz Fontanez, slowing her 28 seconds from her personal record the week before, but Fontanez held on for a 36 second margin over the second DODDs Japan girls finisher, Abigail Wall of Yokota, at the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools cross-country finals on Saturday at Tama Hills Recreation Center.
Fontanez placed seventh overall and Wall 15th. The third DODDs finisher was Madeline Cotton of Robert D. Edgren (21st).
On this day, times were quite irrelevant in the wind, rain, mud and slick moss. Fontanez' personal record-effort the previous week (13:53.8) had placed her 49th on the all-time 2.1 mile course list, which has more than 1,300 runners dating back to the 1980s.
The downpour and flowing rivers of mud proved such an obstacle that few runners could reach their goal of setting a personal record on the course on this last meet of the regular season.
However, the torrid rain was matched by the intensity of the front 12 girls, eight of whom did manage PRs. They included Marika Fujisaki (of first-time participating Senri Osaka International, second), Lisa Kwak (Seisen International, fourth), Aki Bowers, Michelle Stolle and Mina McClure (all American School In Japan, fifth, eighth, 12th), and Runa Suzuki and Ria Kitaura-Rachmin (both Christian Academy Japan, 10th, 11th). Matthew C. Perry and E.J. King each had four girls who set PRs.
Fontanez' teammate, boys favorite Robert Beard (sixth), finished 10 seconds back of a tight bunch that included two ASIJ and two St. Mary's International runners, and 20 seconds back of upset winner senior Daniel Buckley of Yokohama International School.
Buckley was three seconds ahead of senior Trevor Maggart of ASIJ. Maggart was third in 2010 and had a PR set in 2010, 36 seconds faster than Saturday. Buckley's win should not have been too much of a surprise – in his previous three races, he stalked the lead group, placing himself in contention for Saturday's win. He was seventh in 2010.
A greater surprise in the race was the closing in on ASIJ by two St. Mary's runners, who were able to join Buckley and Beard in finishing ahead of ASIJ's third runner -- a disappointment but no problem for ASIJ, which took four of the next five spots. E.J. King's Kento Reynolds slipped in among them for 10th place and Yokota's senior Michael Faulkner followed, taking 12th.
There were few PRs set on this muddy day by the young men, but notable PRs were achieved by Buckley, Reynolds, St. Mary's junior Koh Terai (5th) and Kinnick's senior Stephen Magnusson (15).
In team scores, ASIJ boys were Kanto League champions (29), followed by St. Mary’s (72), CAJ (102), YIS (126) and St. Maur International (154). CAJ packed four tightly just outside of the medals, but as always struggled at fifth position, which allowed St. Mary's to overcome their own weakness in their Nos. 3, 4 and 5 runners to take the runner-up team award. YIS, despite placing two ahead of CAJ's first (14th), suffered even more from a lack of depth in the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 positions.
Kinnick and Yokota finished out the Kanto League team scoring; Zama was incomplete. When adding the outlying DODDs schools for the Kanto Invitational scoring, only Edgren and King had full squads and they finished below Yokota.
While even the most casual observer could have called out the boys score, the girls’ competition was anything but clear. Seisen coach Matt Granger congratulated ASIJ coaches, only to find out later that second place finisher belonged to a guest team (Fujisaki) and everyone's team score tally was off. Seisen escaped with a one point victory, 36-37. A distant third was International School of the Sacred Heart.
Kinnick and CAJ tied for 4th with Kinnick winning the tie-breaker. A few points back were Yokota and then St. Maur and YIS. When adding the outlying DODDs teams for the Kanto Invitational scoring, Kinnick actually beat CAJ (128-136), and Edgren and E.J. King slipped in ahead of St. Maur, and M.C. Perry finished ahead of YIS.
Next: Asia-Pacific Invitational meet preview