Support our mission
 
Black Forest Academy's Elmi-gret Van der Westhuizen runs alongside Baumholder's Madison Brech at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Van der Westhuizen won the small schools' division race and placed 12th overall.
Black Forest Academy's Elmi-gret Van der Westhuizen runs alongside Baumholder's Madison Brech at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Van der Westhuizen won the small schools' division race and placed 12th overall. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Black Forest Academy's Elmi-gret Van der Westhuizen runs alongside Baumholder's Madison Brech at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Van der Westhuizen won the small schools' division race and placed 12th overall.
Black Forest Academy's Elmi-gret Van der Westhuizen runs alongside Baumholder's Madison Brech at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Van der Westhuizen won the small schools' division race and placed 12th overall. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
The start of the small schools' girls race at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, featured teams from Baumholder, Black Forest Academy and Spangdahlem. Runners had to wear face masks at the start but could remove them after the race began. The meet was held at the Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany.
The start of the small schools' girls race at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, featured teams from Baumholder, Black Forest Academy and Spangdahlem. Runners had to wear face masks at the start but could remove them after the race began. The meet was held at the Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Runners from Baumholder, Spangdahlem and Black Forest Academy competed in the small schools' race at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020.
Runners from Baumholder, Spangdahlem and Black Forest Academy competed in the small schools' race at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Black Forest Academy's Havelah Trusty leads teammate Carolyn Randles during the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. BFA participated in the small schools' race with Spangdahlem and Baumholder.
Black Forest Academy's Havelah Trusty leads teammate Carolyn Randles during the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. BFA participated in the small schools' race with Spangdahlem and Baumholder. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Black Forest Academy senior Kade Erickson won the small schools boys race at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championships on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Erickson was 10th in the overall contest that included the times of runners from four large division schools who competed separately due to coronavirus precautions.
Black Forest Academy senior Kade Erickson won the small schools boys race at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championships on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Erickson was 10th in the overall contest that included the times of runners from four large division schools who competed separately due to coronavirus precautions. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Black Forest Academy runners, from left, Colby Liesen, Kade Erickson and Josiah Alexander, lead the small schools boys race at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championships on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany.
Black Forest Academy runners, from left, Colby Liesen, Kade Erickson and Josiah Alexander, lead the small schools boys race at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championships on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Kaiserslautern senior Griffen Parsells raises his hand as he crosses the finish line in first at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Parsells, the defending European champion, was the top runner in the large schools race and had the top time overall.
Kaiserslautern senior Griffen Parsells raises his hand as he crosses the finish line in first at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Parsells, the defending European champion, was the top runner in the large schools race and had the top time overall. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Runners sprint from the starting line at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. Teams from Ramstein, Wiesbaden, Kaiserslautern and Stuttgart competed in the large schools division race. Due to coronavirus restrictions, only teams from Germany were able to compete at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany.
Runners sprint from the starting line at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. Teams from Ramstein, Wiesbaden, Kaiserslautern and Stuttgart competed in the large schools division race. Due to coronavirus restrictions, only teams from Germany were able to compete at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Wiesbaden's Manzi Siibo finished second at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany.
Wiesbaden's Manzi Siibo finished second at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Stuttgart's Brice Brown turns the corner ahead of a group of runners at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Brown finished fifth overall in the race.
Stuttgart's Brice Brown turns the corner ahead of a group of runners at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Brown finished fifth overall in the race. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Runners in the girls large school race sprint from the starting line at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Two girls races were held to keep runners spread out due to coronavirus, with times from both races combined into the overall results.
Runners in the girls large school race sprint from the starting line at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Two girls races were held to keep runners spread out due to coronavirus, with times from both races combined into the overall results. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Kaiserslautern's Piper Parsells finished fourth overall at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany.
Kaiserslautern's Piper Parsells finished fourth overall at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Ramstein's Nadia Rahman competes at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany.
Ramstein's Nadia Rahman competes at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Stuttgart's Ella Bishop and Wiesbaden's Kaitlyn Taylor took the lead early on at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Bishop won the race on the 3.1-mile course in 20:05.22.
Stuttgart's Ella Bishop and Wiesbaden's Kaitlyn Taylor took the lead early on at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. Bishop won the race on the 3.1-mile course in 20:05.22. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Stuttgart's Ella Bishop crosses the finish line first at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany.
Stuttgart's Ella Bishop crosses the finish line first at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Kaiserslautern's Lena Herrmann finished second at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany.
Kaiserslautern's Lena Herrmann finished second at the DODEA-Europe non-virtual cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. ( Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)

Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.

RAMSTEIN-MIESENBACH, Germany – Conducted under the shadow of a pandemic, this year’s DODEA-Europe cross country championship on Saturday had a much different feel.

There were fewer runners, no spectators and no awards ceremony.

Only seven teams – all from Germany – competed and those teams were further divided into small and large schools to reduce the number of runners at the starting line, meaning each group was also running against the clock.

Usually held on the rolling hills of Baumholder’s home course, the meet was moved to Ramstein’s mostly flat home course at Seewoog Park. But despite all the changes and challenges, the athletes were just thankful to be racing.

“I feel really grateful to be out here,” said Kaiserslautern sophomore Lena Herrmann, second in her race, noting that many runners from other schools couldn’t compete Saturday.

“It’s too bad they couldn’t come out here today, but they were here in spirit,” she said.

But DODEA is still including them with plans to crown a champion from Saturday’s boys’ and girls’ races, as well as from a virtual one, school officials said.

Teams farther afield who couldn’t get to the meet without including an overnight weren’t allowed to travel due to military coronavirus regulations. Those teams will participate in a virtual championship and have until Oct. 31 to run and submit a time.

Leading the way Saturday for the girls was Stuttgart freshman Ella Bishop, who finished in 20 minutes, 5.22 seconds to win her race – and the overall girls’ contest. Bishop broke away from the lead pack early and never looked back.

“I was feeling pretty good, so I just decided to take off and go and see what would happen,” she said. “It’s like all that work that you put in (during the season), it really pays off.”

Bishop’s time was tops in the big schools’ race against Kaiserslautern, Wiesbaden and Ramstein, as well as the smaller schools’ division of Black Forest Academy, Spangdahlem and Baumholder.

Herrmann and Wiesbaden’s Kaitlyn Taylor rounded out the top three with times of 20:28.61 and 20:37.44, respectively, on the 3.1-mile course.

BFA’s Elmi-gret Van der Westhuizen, a sophomore, won the girls’ small schools’ race with a time of 23:00.60, which put her in 12th place overall.

In the boys’ competition, defending European champion Griffen Parsells capped his senior year with a decisive victory. Parsells’ time of 16:30.34 beat runnerup Manzi Siibo, a Wiesbaden sophomore. Siibo, running in his first European championship after transferring from Japan this year, clocked 17:06.09.

Parsells was hoping to break 16 minutes but was also just happy to get to race, he said.

“It’s been a really weird season with COVID and having to make all these sacrifices so we could do this,” Parsells said. “It was great that we could, it’s just not the same without everybody here.”

For the smaller schools, Black Forest Academy dominated: Senior Kade Erickson won in a time of 18:12.41, with sophomore Josiah Alexander and junior Colby Liesen trailing by seconds. The trio grabbed the top three spots in the race.

“We decided to push each other and that would be enough, so we didn’t really look at the time,” Erickson said.

Unlike years past, when teams lingered at the course waiting anxiously to hear the team scores and pick up their awards, this year athletes left the course soon after their races to head home. Team scores were not computed and individual awards were to be mailed, race officials said.

The Stuttgart girls, who have consistently been a top contender at Europeans and won the championship last year, placed four runners in the overall top 10.

svan.jennifer@stripes.com Twitter: @stripesktown

Migrated
twitter Email

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up