Okinawa standouts in top form in track debut
By STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 22, 2014
Though the wind was not legal and the meet was hand-timed, Rahman Farnell made some history in Saturday’s Okinawa Athletics & Activities Conference track and field season opener at Kadena.
The Kubasaki senior clocked the 100-meter dash in a wind-aided time of 10.14 seconds, eclipsing the fastest time ever recorded in the Pacific by .09 seconds.
And he said he could run even faster, with or without a strong wind at his back.
“I can do better,” Farnell said. “I messed up on the blocks. I’ll work on it. It’s my senior season, my last year, my time to shine.”
“It was an outstanding run, by Rahman and Jarrett,” coach Jon Fick said of Farnell and his teammate Jarrett Mitchell, who recorded a 10.49 and finished second.
The wind during the meet averaged 5.1 meters per seconds, according to Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight, easily exceeding track and field’s standard of 3 meters per second.
Had the wind been legal, the time would have been rounded up to the nearest decimal, with .24 seconds added for start-stop reaction time. That would have given Farnell a 10.44, .06 seconds faster than the Pacific record 10.5 run three seasons ago by Kubasaki’s A.J. Watson.
“It’s a byproduct of Chima’s work ethic,” Fick said, invoking Farnell’s nickname. “He’s worked hard this season. He’s obviously talented, but his work ethic is awesome.”
Others feeling the need for speed were two-time Far East cross-country champions Andrew Kilkenny and Ana Hernandez. The former took the boys 3,200 (10:16.59) and 1,600 (4:43.78), while the latter succeeded in the girls 1,600 (5:40.12) and 800 (2:31.97).
They each ran into the teeth of those winds on the back stretch. “The wind is always a factor, but I felt good. It will be a good, competitive season,” Kilkenny said.
Coming in just behind Kilkenny was freshman teammate Javier Michael (10:25.75), whom Kilkenny feels can do well at Far East. “He’s very hard working, so focused, so serious,” he said of Michael, who attended a Nike camp and the Smokey Mountain camp last summer.
“Pretty good for me. The wind was horrible,” said Hernandez, whose previous best was 2:35 last year. She’s hoping to at least give Nile C. Kinnick’s Carydaliz Fontanez a run at Far East. “We all know the 800 is Cary’s thing,” she said.
In something of an upset, Kubasaki sophomore Kaelyn Francis entered the sprint spotlight, clocking the 100 in 12.44 and the 200 in 26.58, outdistancing favored Janika Caines of Kadena.
“I thought Janika was going to beat me,” Francis said, adding that she’s been working on her starts out of the blocks. “It helped today.”
In another Okinawa upset, Cody Prince of Kadena hit a no-out pitch from Kubasaki left-hander Angelo Bourdony over the left-field fence for a two-run walk-off homer, as the Panthers beat the Dragons 9-7, their first win over Kubasaki in more than a year.
“To win like that, in a walk-off by Cody Prince, a senior, awesome,” coach David Compton said. “It couldn’t happen to a better guy.”
The homer made a winner of Justin Sego, who homered in that game and also had three steals in the first game of Saturday’s twin bill, an 18-2 romp by Kubasaki.
In another episode of history, Humphreys’ boys soccer team recorded its first win in school history, getting a goal from Takeo Elliott in a 1-0 shutout Saturday at Osan. The win came without star senior Manasseh Nartey in the first half.
“We have a lot of talent,” Blackhawks coach Gregory Cyr said. “Maybe not this year, but next year, we could be a force to be reckoned with.”
And Matthew C. Perry’s girls soccer team finally suffered a loss after opening the season with eight straight wins. Christine Madamba had the lone goal as Yokota blanked the Samurai 1-0.