Europe athletes of the week
Sandra DavidsonCross country
Last week: Davidson, a sophomore who finished ninth in last year’s European championships, collected her second course record in as many weeks Saturday by covering the 5,000-meter layout at Brussels in 19 minutes, 53 seconds. She beat the previous record, set in 2005 by Catherine Cunningham of the British School of Brussels, by 16 seconds.
Ironically, Davidson began the race running next to Cunningham, according to Bitburg coach David Turner.
“She has surpassed her best time from last year by 1:35,” Turner wrote Monday in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes. “She seems to be getting better and better as the season goes on.”
Next up for Davidson, who set a course record 20:04 at AFNORTH on Oct. 14, is Saturday’s European championships at Schwetzingen, Germany.
Turner said Davidson’s goal is to improve on last year’s finish “by giving (Kaiserslautern’s) Colleen Smith, the current champion, a race to remember.”
Last week: Harper, a 6-foot-1, 160-pound junior quarterback/ safety, passed for two TDs and intercepted three Kaiserslautern passes Saturday in a 25-0 road victory that vaulted the Warriors past the Red Raiders and Lakenheath into the European Division I semifinals.
Harper, who’s been the Warriors’ starting quarterback all season, tossed TD passes to Brandon Foster and Mike Harder for all the points Wiesbaden needed in its first win of the season, especially in light of his three drive-killing interceptions.
“We knew he’d be a really good safety,” Wiesbaden coach Steve Jewell said of his transfer from Hanau, “but we didn’t start playing him there until midseason. We didn’t want him to get hurt.”
Although Harper’s nose for the ball came to the fore on Saturday, Jewell said the QB’s real strength as a player comes from slightly farther back in the skull.
“His best attribute this season,” Jewell summarized, “has been his consistent leadership and team-first attitude.”
— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff