YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – Daniel Galvin isn't the only underclassman fueling Yokota boys track and field fire. A couple of freshmen are starting to make their own mark – and the three helped the Panthers come within two points of a surprise repeat of their Kanto Plain finals team title.
Galvin swept the three distance events and helped Yokota win the 1,600 relay, while Christian Sonnenberg won the discus and fellow freshman Shota Sprunger won hurdling silver and bronze. Yokota came up two points short of American School In Japan for the boys title Saturday at Bonk Field.
"That's a shocker," said coach Maggie Chan-Roper of a Yokota boys team that won the Kanto title in 2013, but was thought to be rebuilding after graduating its entire sprint corps and thrower Jesse Hogan.
Instead, Galvin has emerged as the Pacific’s premier distance runner. Sonnenberg threw the discus 45.94 meters on Saturday; his stated goal is to break the Pacific record of 50.65, and Chan-Roper said he threw it 51 meters in practice. And Sprunger is helping push senior Michael Mangubat, who swept the hurdles events.
“They were outstanding,” Chan-Roper said of Mangubat and Sonnenberg.
Galvin didn’t break either of his Pacific records, in the 800 and 1,600, but he did run the 3,200 in 10 minutes, 15 seconds; the 1,600 in 4:25; and the 800 in 1:58. “I was really impressed with the way he ran,” Chan-Roper said.
Knowing that all her male athletes top to bottom will get pushed at the Far East meet later this month, also at Yokota, Chan-Roper said: “On paper, we are not the winning team at Far East. But we could be lucky.”
There was far less suspense on the girls side, where American School In Japan won the team title by a wide margin. “ASIJ is very strong,” Kinnick coach Luke Voth said, adding that the Mustangs have at least two girls who can compete for titles “in every event.”
While Yokota’s boys got many points in distance and throws, Kinnick’s Jabari Johnson and Dre Paylor stood out in the sprints. They ran with a tailwind exceeding the 2-meter-per-second standard, but Paylor recorded a hand-timed 11.2 in the 100 and Johnson 21.0 in the 200.
The latter time was also on the stopwatch with an illegal wind, but it was the fastest time ever recorded under any circumstances in Pacific history. “We’ve been trying to get him (Johnson) to 21 this season,” Voth said. “He’s a standout guy.”
Humphreys’ Wilson, two Falcons girls earn Korea honors
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – Among the standouts in the DODDS Korea track and field finals were Humphreys sprinter DaiQuan Wilson and Seoul American runners Faith Rendles and Nailah Blount.
Wilson – who was hand-timed in the 100 at 10.88 and 22.1 in the 200 – won boys high-point honors, while Rendles, a short-distance runner and Blount, a middle-distance specialist, shared high-point honors Saturday at Humphreys’ Blackhawks Field.
Both the Kanto and DODDS Korea were held under sunny skies, but because of Fully Automated Timing system malfunctions, all of the DODDS Korea meet was hand timed, while in Kanto, only one of the girls 1,600 heats and one of the boys 200 heats were hand timed. “It made for a long day,” Humphreys coach and meet director Mitch Moellendick said.
Seoul American won both the boys and girls team titles.
Prince pitches, bats Kadena softball to another title
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa – In what may have been her final Okinawa district championship game, Bailey Prince shone on the mound and at bat to power Kadena to its second straight title and 11th in school history.
The sophomore right-hander overcame a shaky start to post a complete-game five-hitter and knocked in the last two runs with a bases-loaded single as the Panthers beat Kubasaki 11-1 Saturday at Ryukyu Middle School’s Habu Field.
“Determination to win districts,” Prince said of settling down and helping the Panthers sweep the best-of-three series 2-0. “I just wanted to do really well for my team.”
Prince went a combined 3-for-7 with two doubles and three RBIs in the two games, which may have been her last at Habu Field. Her father, Air Force Master Sgt. Ed Prince, is due to transfer in January.
“She’s a great kid, she works really hard, she’s really there to help her teammates,” Panthers coach Kelli Wilson said of Prince. “She pushes them to be better but I think some of the kids push her to be better, too. It’s kind of a balance. They work well together.”
Peyton Lettkeman pitched a no-hitter as Kadena shut out Kubasaki 13-0 in Friday’s Game 1 at Camp Foster Field 2.
Playing first base in Saturday’s game, played in high wind and some passing showers, Lettkeman went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and No. 2 batter Brianna Wilson batted 4-for-5 and drove in a run. The Panthers rapped 11 hits and took advantage of nine walks.
Lucy Santoyo took the loss for the second straight game. Allie Powers’ first-inning RBI single plated the Dragons’ only run of the series.
Kadena has won the season series every year except 2012 since softball became a high school sport on Okinawa in 2003.