Greg BillingtonTrack and field
Last week: Billington, the reigning European cross-country champion, claimed the distance double Friday and Saturday in the European track and field championships, edging Ramstein senior Danny Edwards by .64 seconds in Friday’s 1,500 meters and .52 seconds in Saturday’s 3,000.
“Conditions weren’t ideal (on Friday),” Lakenheath coach Dan Achenbach said, “but he ran a 4:01 (4:01.82) which was the fastest ever run at the European meet.”
Achenbach said he thinks it reasonable to expect Billington, a junior, to challenge the DODDS-Europe record of 3:55.10 in the 1,500, set in 1986 by Rick Jaster of Baumholder.
“If he keeps his focus and continues to work,” Achenbach said, “he should go under four minutes.”
Billington edged Edwards in sprints over the final 200 yards of the 3,000, won by Billington in 8:58.30 despite standing water on the inside lanes of the track, and the final 300 yards of the 1,500.
“He showed quite a good kick,” Achenbach said. “It was especially noticeable in the 3,000.”
Last week: Griggs, a sophomore center midfielder, scored three goals and registered six assists last week as the Lady Bison placed fourth in the European Division II soccer tournament.
Mannheim, 1-5-1 last season, went into this year’s event as champion of Division II-North with a 5-0-2 record. It remained undefeated four games into the tournament, and one of Griggs’ goals was decisive in a 2-1 pool-play victory over eventual champion Patch. Griggs’ game-winner against Patch was a free kick taken from just over the center line that went over the head of the Patch keeper.
According to Mannheim coach John Crockett, the victory was the school’s first over Patch in more than 10 years.
Griggs, a straight-A student who’s transferring to the St. Louis area over the summer, “was our playmaker all year,” Crockett said. “She played both ends of the field and loves to share the ball.”
He added, “She was probably our hardest worker every day in practice.”
— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff