Europe Athletes of the Week: May 3, 2012

Kristian Harsanji

SHAPE soccer

Last week - Harsanji, a senior forward from Croatia, continued his assault on the nets of Europe-based high schools by burning those at AFNORTH for four goals Friday in a 7-0 courtesy-rule victory over the previously unbeaten Lions.

Harsanji added an assist in the contest, upping his season totals to 11 goals and six assists in five games. Saturday’s outburst also helped SHAPE, 4-1 overall, to a 3-0 Region I record.

Next up for the Spartans are regular-season-concluding Region I home games against Lakenheath on Saturday and May 12 against unbeaten International School of Brussels, and SHAPE coach Tony Harris will be looking to Harsanji to provide scoring punch enough in both to help the Spartans to the regional crown.

Harris isn’t being unreasonable. Harsanji, who scored both goals in SHAPE’s 2-0 regional victory over Brussels the previous week, recorded his second four-goal outing of the season last Saturday. He failed to find the net only in SHAPE’s 3-2 non-regional loss March 30 to visiting Wiesbaden of Division I, but assisted on both of his team’s goals in that game.

“Kristian is one of those players of whom that every coach dreams,” Harris emailed. “He works hard, has remarkable skill and is willing to play any position given.”


Mariah Morris

Vilseck track


Last week - Morris, a senior who’s the defending European champion in the event, threw the discus a personal-best 109 feet, six inches Saturday in Ansbach, a distance that’s not only the farthest in Europe this season by more than 15 feet, but also is five feet, eight inches farther than her title-winning toss of 2011.

That, mark, however, is just the beginning, according to Vilseck coach Eric Mead, who emailed on Monday that “her goal is to be 120 feet by finals.”

If that goal seems to be a stretch, Mead cautions not to sell the honor student’s work ethic and competitiveness short.

Morris, a four-year Vilseck competitor who has accepted a volleyball scholarship to Post University in Waterbury, Conn., “…is extremely coachable and is one of the hardest-working athletes on the team,” Mead wrote. “She continues to improve under the direction of her new throwing coach, Sam Cassou.”

Moreover, added Mead, Morris accounts for even more team points than the ones she earns herself.

“Mariah’s work ethic has brought our girls’ throwing program to a new level,” Mead concluded. “She motivates our younger athletes to work hard in the ring and in the weight room… It will not surprise me if we have four girls qualified both in the shot and discus by the time finals comes around. I credit a lot of our throwing success to Mariah’s leadership.”

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