ZAMPA MISAKI, Okinawa – After finishing behind teammate India Adams most of the season, Andrea Grade made the grade on Wednesday.
The Kadena Panthers senior clocked the Pacific’s top time of the season 18 minutes, 29 seconds, finishing 34 seconds ahead of Adams in the rainy, blustery Okinawa Activities Council district cross-country championships at Zampa Park.
“She’s just worked hard the whole year, wanting to get back to Far East” and go for redemption against Seoul American’s reigning top two Far East runners Siarria Ingram and Amanda Henderson, Kadena coach Tom McKinney said.
Grade's time, and the Pacific-best 15:20 posted by boys champion Tomas Sanchez of Kadena, also stand as league records. Sanchez beat his own OAC district record by 55 seconds.
The times surprised McKinney, who said he “didn’t see it coming” and that he felt his runners would be slower because of the rain and wind.
“It doesn’t matter what weather we run in,” said McKinney, noting that last year’s Far East meet was run in rain and snow at Misawa Air Base in northern Japan. “We’ve learned to run in all types of weather.”
This year’s Far East meet is Nov. 8-9 at Tama Hills Recreation Center in Tokyo’s western suburbs.
This story has been corrected from its original version.