This in from Bruce Carrick, longtime Kanto Plain-Pacific track and field and cross-country observer and records gatekeeper at Athletic.net, offering his thoughts on who might show it out at Far East.
The big thing besides who will be selected is which events coaches will decide to drop for their athletes who’ve qualified for more than four events. “It will have a cascade effect,” Carrick said.
Just my quick eyeball, involving the inscrutable matching of hand times and FAT timed regions. Saturday’s Kanto Invitational at Yokota will render much more clarity.
In the 100, 200 and 400, men and women, pretty good mix from the four regions, though the largest league (Kanto) has the weakest field, depending heavily on Nile C. Kinnick with a little help from American School In Japan and Yokota. Okinawa, Guam High and Seoul American will have the majority of entrants.
In the 800 and 1,500, will the Zion Christian Academy boys break up the Kanto party? On the girls side, nearly every school has one entry in the hunt to catch Seoul American’s Amanda Henderson.
3,000, Kubasaki’s and Kadena’s boys and girls make a strong appearance, but who can catch ASIJ’s Trevor Maggart and Henderson? Kubasaki’s Erik Armes is injured and won’t run at Far East. Can Kubasaki’s Allie Reichenberg close the gap on Amanda?
110 hurdles is another Kanto boys event, led by Yokota’s Fred Gustafsson (Kinnick’s Dustin Kimbrell close behind), but the 100 girls hurdles flows to Guam and Okinawa. Guam High’s Stefani Loisel is the one to beat.
300 hurdles, a Kanto-Okinawa scramble among the boys (Kadena’s Derrick Taylor, Kubasaki’s Columbus Wilson, Gustafsson and Kimbrell); there are so many girls from Okinawa, some may be left off to make room for Guam to gain another entrant.
Relays, with 10 teams to be invited in each race, most schools will have representation. Despite weakness in the sprints, Kanto boys lead the 400 relay, but Kadena has a solid lead on the girls’ side. The boys 1,600 tilts to the top three from Kanto, and ASIJ is the pride of the girls’ side. The 3,200 is all Okinawa with Zion’s boys and Kubasaki’s girls way out in front.
The throws feature very closely matched competition except for discus, in which Zama American’s Roland Cote and Seoul American’s Mecca Perkins are clearly the class of their fields.
In the shot put, Guam High, Zama and Seoul will score a lot of points. Daegu High will join the three above schools in the girls’ discus competition, but Okinawa will be a major factor for the boys (Craig Hollins of Zion, Kadena’s Gabe Ahner, Kubasaki’s Chris Schehl).
The jumps belong to ASIJ’s multiple entrants except girls high jump (Yokota leads here, and Zion’s Arrianna Guerra will challenge). Other schools joining them will likely be from Kanto, except for Guam’s strong girls long jump contenders.
Loisel will get tested by ASIJ’s Liz Thornton in the long jump. If Loisel is weakened by her chase of the two hurdles crowns, two sprints, the 400 relay and shot put; to the relief of all, she’ll have to abandon at least three of those pursuits.
Joining Loisel on the “qualified for too many events” list are Zion’s Jade Cummings, Kadena’s Janika Caines, Keith Smith and Chinyere Turner, Carydaliz Fontanez of Kinnick, ASIJ’s Jenna Doyno, Henderson, Wilson, Yokota’s Preston Brooks and Seoul American’s Tyrend White. The vacated slots for these athletes alone will open up 20 more slots for others. While we’re at it, why not add the pentathlon to the meet?
Team scores are much too opaque at this point, except that St. Mary’s International and Christian Academy Japan will likely join Robert D. Edgren and Okinawa Christian International somewhere with Zama, Daegu and Osan American for low-point honors. I expect a great battle between Kinnick, Kadena, Kubasaki, Zion, Seoul American and Guam High in each gender. Again, this week’s Kanto Invitational will reveal a lot about what will happen at Far East.