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Pacific H.S. athletes of the year: Zama, Osan seniors are the cream of the crop

Rare were the heights that Andrew Quallio and Celine Baldevia achieved during the 2008-09 school year. And because of those accomplishments, they have been selected Pacific high school athletes of the year.

Baldevia, a senior, served as what coaches called the "backbone" of Osan American’s program in her drive to do what had been done only once before — be part of teams that won Far East Girls Class A tournament titles in volleyball, basketball and soccer in the same school year.

Quallio, a senior, won his second consecutive Far East 3.1-mile cross country race and became the first athlete in Zama American history to be chosen All-American, placing ninth in USA Track and Field’s national championship in Virginia in December.

Baldevia — all of 5 feet 3 inches of her — had 180 spike kills in 539 attempts, served 65 aces, had 195 set assists (102 at Class A) and 180 defensive digs. She even had 21 blocks in the Far East tournament despite her lack of imposing height. Osan went 25-6 and beat Morrison Christian Academy for the Class A title in a two-match final.

In basketball, Baldevia averaged 9.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.9 steals for the Cougars (12-2 Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference, 21-5 overall), who edged Robert D. Edgren 41-37 in the Class A final.

And in soccer, she overcame a midseason injury to backstop the Cougars to a 23-5-3 record and their first Class A title since 2006.

"She doesn’t brag, she isn’t loud or cocky, she’s just a hard-working competitor," Daegu American basketball coach Michelle Chandler said. "I hold her as a fine example of what our female athletes should aspire to be: hard-working, humble and champions."

Humble is a word many also use to describe Quallio, who is headed for the Air Force Academy.

He broke the 22-year-old Tama Hills Recreation Center course record by 24 seconds (14 minutes, 29.9 seconds), had the fastest Pacific time this season (15:25 at Iwakuni) and won the Far East title in 16:20 at Misawa Air Base. His national-meet time of 16:05 was 10 seconds behind the winner.

In track, he won all but his last race of the season, the 1,500 in the Kanto Invitational. He rewrote every school middle-distance record and holds the Kanto league 3,000 record (8:58.5).

"He’s easily one of the best kids I’ve ever taught," Zama athletic director Ed Fogell said. "Very dedicated student who works his tail off. He is popular among his peers, plays in the jazz band and runs, runs and runs some more. Very respectful as well."

The rest of the Stars and Stripes Pacific 2008-09 awards:

Coach of the year: Terry Chumley led Kubasaki wrestling to a surprise Far East tournament individual freestyle team title and then guided the girls varsity soccer team to the Far East Class AA tournament title game, in which they suffered a penalty-kick shootout loss to Zama.

Team of the year: Going 25-0 without dropping a set, the Seoul Foreign girls volleyball team completed the finest season in school history with KAIAC regular-season and tournament and Asia-Pacific Activities Conference tournament titles. Great way for coach J.P. Rader to exit before he takes the Asbury College (Ky.) team helm.

Programs of the year: Osan also captured the first boys Class A wrestling tournament team banner and returned to the Class A football title game for the third time in four years. American School In Japan won its second Class AA volleyball title in four years, swept Kanto league and invitational track boys and girls team titles and won Kanto and Asia-Pacific Invitational team titles in tennis and cross country.

Most improved team: Guam High’s boys basketball team went a school-best 11-2 in the regular season, won the Gadao Division, took seventh in the Class AA tournament, put a school-record four players on Guam’s All-Island team and took third in the league playoffs.

Most improved program: Seoul American won Class AA football and cross country titles, shared the tennis banner with Kadena, scored top-three Class AA basketball tournament finishes and won DODDS-Korea titles in baseball and softball. Seoul Track Club also finished second in the boys and combined standings in the Mike Petty Meet in April on Okinawa.

Game/play of the year: Seoul American’s 22-21 Far East Class AA football title game victory over Kadena came down to the last play, with Seoul’s Trinadai Stansel stuffing Panthers fullback Jordan Ray on a 2-point conversion attempt. (An illegal-motion penalty was called on the play and refused by Seoul, but it was still a clutch play).

Quote/rivalry of the year: "Things work out best for the people who make the best of the way things work out," Zama American’s Elias Labrador said after he beat Kadena’s Harry Bloom 2-1 in the 148-pound "Beast of the Far East" tournament final at Yokosuka Naval Base. Out of that came the year’s best rivalry. Bloom came back to edge Labrador in a disputed 2-1 decision for his second consecutive Far East gold medal. They split their four bouts this season, each nail-biting close.

Rivalry of the year, Part II: Zion Christian Academy’s Sarah Wilson rode high in April, dominating the Mike Petty Memorial meet with four golds, including the 400 meet record. She added three golds in the Okinawa Activities Council district finals. Then ASIJ’s Gwen Thornton shot her down in May, setting 400 and 1,600 relay marks and taking four golds in the Kanto Invitational, a week after winning four league golds.


Spring athlete of the quarter nominees

x-Leo Kobayashi, senior, soccer, Christian Academy In Japan.
x-Aubrey Ashliman, junior, soccer, Zama American, Japan.
x-Jonathan Green, senior, soccer, E.J. King, Japan.
x-Arnold Chae, senior, soccer, Yongsan International-Seoul.
x-Karla Stroud, senior, soccer, Matthew C. Perry, Japan.
x-Sean Durham, senior, baseball, St. Mary’s International, Japan.
x-Shannon Scott, senior, softball, Kadena, Okinawa.
Gwen Thornton, senior, track and field, American School In Japan.
Rebekah Wyche, senior, softball, Daegu American, South Korea.
Linda Martinez, senior, soccer, Daegu American, South Korea.
Ben Beaulieu, senior, soccer, Daegu American.
Brandon Massie, senior, soccer, Robert D. Edgren, Japan.
D’Andre Weaver, junior, track and field, Guam High.
Susan Smith, sophomore, track and field, Guam High.
Megan Speck, senior, soccer, Guam High.
Daniel "Tex" Tompkins, senior, baseball, Kadena, Okinawa.
Mary Schweers, junior, softball, Kadena, Okinawa.
Kaleb Robinson, sophomore, baseball, Kubasaki, Okinawa.
Donavan Brown, senior, track and field, Nile C. Kinnick, Japan.
Eddy Davis, senior, baseball, Nile C. Kinnick, Japan.
Derek Becker, senior, soccer, Osan American, South Korea.
Bria Pressley, freshman, soccer, Osan American, South Korea.
Jasmine Pressley, sophomore, soccer, Osan American, South Korea.
Charles Mills, senior, soccer, Seoul American.
Liz Gleaves, sophomore, soccer, Seoul American.
Colton Heckerl, sophomore, baseball, Seoul American.
Greg Morris, sophomore, baseball, Seoul American.
Ivan Montanez, senior, baseball, Seoul American.
Ernst Dencher, senior, soccer, Seoul Foreign.
Andrew Park, senior, soccer, Seoul Foreign.
John Beckius, senior, soccer, Seoul Foreign.
Patrick Tubalado, senior, soccer, Yokota, Japan.
Tony Presnell, senior, soccer, Yokota, Japan.
David Kim, junior, soccer, Yongsan International-Seoul.
Mallarie Ashliman, sophomore, soccer, Zama American, Japan.
Spenser Clark, senior, soccer, Zama American, Japan.
Sarah Wilson, junior, track and field, Zion Christian Academy, Okinawa.
x-automatically nominated for having won a most valuable player award during a DODDS-Pacific-sponsored Far East tournament.

Pacific athlete of the year nominees

x-Andrew Quallio, senior, cross country, track and field, Zama American, Japan
x-Nadine Mulvany, senior, cross country, soccer, Nile C. Kinnick, Japan
x-Kelly Langley, sophomore, cross country, track and field, St. Mary’s International, Japan
x-Jennifer Stolle, senior, cross country, track and field, American School In Japan
x-Kyle Sprow, junior, tennis, Kadena, Okinawa
x-Elissa Mason, junior, tennis, Kadena, Okinawa
x-Rina Fujiwara, senior, tennis, Senri International, Japan
x-Celine Baldevia, senior, girls volleyball, basketball, soccer, Osan American, South Korea
x-Brittney Rader, senior, girls volleyball, basketball, soccer, Seoul Foreign
x-Max Negami, sophomore, tennis, American School In Japan
x-Scott Wood, senior, swimming, wrestling, golf, Kubasaki, Okinawa
x-Stephen Hovater, senior, basketball, track and field, Morrison Christian Academy, Taiwan
x-Toni Taniguchi, junior, basketball, St. Mary’s International, Japan
x-Janel Long, senior, basketball, Faith Academy, Philippines
x-Ashley Hawkins, junior, cheerleading, basketball, soccer, Robert D. Edgren, Japan
x-Leo Kobayashi, senior, tennis, soccer, Christian Academy In Japan.
x-Aubrey Ashliman, junior, basketball, soccer, Zama American, Japan.
x-Jonathan Green, senior, soccer, E.J. King, Japan.
x-Arnold Chae, senior, soccer, Yongsan International-Seoul.
x-Karla Stroud, senior, soccer, Matthew C. Perry, Japan.
x-Sean Durham, senior, basketball, baseball, St. Mary’s International, Japan.
x-Shannon Scott, senior, wrestling, softball, Kadena, Okinawa.
x-Gwen Thornton, senior, girls volleyball, basketball, track and field, American School In Japan.
Rebekah Wyche, senior, girls volleyball, basketball, softball, Daegu American, South Korea.
Ben Beaulieu, senior, boys volleyball, soccer, Daegu American.
D’Andre Weaver, junior, football, basketball, track and field, Guam High.
Susan Smith, sophomore, cross country, track and field, Guam High.
Stanley Schrock, junior, boys volleyball, football, basketball, soccer, Kadena, Okinawa.
Brandon Harris, senior, football, basketball, track and field, Kadena, Okinawa.
Britney Wise, senior, basketball, soccer, Kadena, Okinawa.
Aja’ Walker, senior, girls volleyball, basketball, Kadena, Okinawa.
Mary Niemeyer, junior, girls volleyball, basketball, soccer, Nile C. Kinnick, Japan.
Liz Gleaves, sophomore, girls volleyball, basketball, soccer, Seoul American.
Joe McLean, senior, football, basketball, baseball, Seoul American.
Tony Presnell, senior, football, wrestling, soccer, Yokota, Japan.
x-automatically nominated for having won a most valuable player award during a DODDS-Pacific-sponsored Far East tournament or Pacific invitational meet.

Previous athletes of the year

1987-Kevin Maxwell, senior, Zama American School, Japan. Football, basketball, baseball, track and field. University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
1988-Carol Williams, junior, American School In Japan. Volleyball, soccer, basketball. University of California-Davis, Davis, Calif.
1989-Elbert Bailey, senior, Kubasaki High School, Okinawa. Football, wrestling. Columbia University, New York. Commissioned into U.S. Air Force.
1990-James Carson, senior, Yokota High School, Japan. Football, basketball, baseball. University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
1991-Robert Weeks, senior, Kadena High School, Okinawa. Football, basketball, track and field. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn. Sumi Pyo, junior, Seoul International School, Seongnam, South Korea. Cross country, soccer, basketball. Wesleyan College, Mass.; Wheaton College, Ill.
1992-Katherine Greig, sophomore, American School In Japan. Volleyball, swimming, basketball. Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.
1993-Jamel Smith, senior, Kubasaki High School, Okinawa. Football, wrestling. Willamette College, Salem, Ore.
1994-Melissa Calkins, senior, Trinity Christian School, Guam. Volleyball, track and field, basketball. Christian Heritage, El Cajon, Calif.; University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam.
1995-Meleesa Meno, senior, Kubasaki High School, Okinawa. Volleyball, soccer, basketball. University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.
1996-David Page, sophomore, Seoul American High School. Football, basketball, baseball. University of California, Berkeley, Calif.; Hinds Junior College, Jackson, Miss.; Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Works for Ernst & Young. Han Ripley, senior, Seoul American High School. Football, basketball, baseball. Daytona Beach Community College, Daytona Beach, Fla.; University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
1997, 1998-Julie Stauffer, sophomore-junior, Faith Academy, Manila. Basketball, soccer, baseball, softball. Cedarville College, Ohio.
1999-Josh Whitney, senior, Kadena High School, Okinawa. Cross country, basketball, soccer. Quinnipiac College, Hamden, Conn. Yuki Basso, senior, Seisen International School, Tokyo. Volleyball, basketball. Boston College, Newton, Mass.
2000-Justin McCloskey, senior, Matthew C. Perry High School, Japan. Football, basketball, baseball. Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Ore. Olivia Anglade, sophomore, Seoul American High School. Tennis, basketball, soccer, softball.
2001-Ray Lamb, senior, Seoul American High School. Football, wrestling. New Mexico Military Academy, Roswell, N.M. Kirsten Nelson, senior, Christian Academy In Japan. Volleyball, basketball, track and field. Houghton College, Houghton, N.Y. Teaches and coaches at Taejon Christian International School in South Korea.
2002-Mike Chamberlain, junior, Yokota High School, Japan. Football, wrestling, soccer. Carroll College, Montana. Olivia Anglade, senior, Seoul American High School. Tennis, basketball, soccer. Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif. Lori Shields, senior, Osan American High School, South Korea. Volleyball, basketball, soccer. Florida Tech, Melbourne, Fla. Commissioned into U.S. Army.
2003-Mike Chamberlain, senior, Yokota High School, Japan. Football, wrestling, soccer. Carroll College, Helena, Montana. Brieanna Carroll, sophomore, Pusan American School, South Korea. Cross country, basketball, soccer. Pepperdine University, Malibu, Calif. Theresa Gittens, junior, Kadena High School, Okinawa. Basketball, soccer, softball. Missouri Valley College, Marshall, Mo.
2004-Scott Tunis, junior, Seoul American High School. Football, wrestling, soccer. New Mexico Military Academy, Roswell, N.M. Katie LaGrave, Kadena High School, Okinawa. Volleyball, basketball, soccer. Augsburg College, Minneapolis.
2005-Adam Krievs, senior, Nile C. Kinnick and Matthew C. Perry, Japan. Football, wrestling, soccer. San Bernardino Valley Community College, San Bernardino, Calif. Dianne Abel, junior, Kadena, Okinawa. Cross country, basketball, soccer. Winthrop University, Rock Hill, S.C.; University of West Florida, Pensacola, Fla.
2006-Carlos Albaladejo, junior, Osan American High School, South Korea. Football, wrestling, soccer. Lynnette Grant, senior, Taegu American School, South Korea. Volleyball, basketball, softball. Jacksonville State University, Alabama.
2007-David Heitstuman, junior, E.J. King High School, Japan, cross country, wrestling, soccer. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. Zori Drew, senior, Kadena High School, Okinawa, volleyball, basketball, softball. BYU, Hawai’i.
2008-Andrew Quallio, junior, Zama American, Japan, cross country, track and field. Monica Hayes, senior, Kadena, Okinawa, basketball, softball. University of Dubuque (Iowa).


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