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Khairi SmithTrack

Kaiserslautern

Last week:

Smith, a junior, clocked 11.20 seconds in Saturday’s 100-meter race at Heidelberg on the opening day of track season. The time, best in Europe on the day, was .02 faster than B.J. Harvey of Würzburg ran in winning last year’s European 100-meter title.

“He had a fantastic start and carried the momentum through to the finish line,” Kaiserslautern coach Dennis DePriest wrote Monday in e-mail.

In addition to running so fast so soon, Smith also served notice that he’s back from the injury that cost him a place in last year’s European 100 field. Smith had qualified in 11-flat before the injury.

The injury “has been the focus of his off-season conditioning,” DePriest wrote. “The early-season fast time is a credit to him and our sprint coach, Terrence Bobbs. Khairi came into the season in shape and ready to run.”

DePriest credited Smith’s conditioning to another aspect of the Kaiserslautern athletic program. “Our school,” he wrote, “has an outstanding after-school weight program ... run by coach Jesse Hipes, in which he takes part.”

Liana KnightSoccer

Kaiserslautern

Last week:

Knight, a senior striker, scored all three goals Saturday as Kaiserslautern rallied for a 3-2 Region II victory over visiting Bitburg.

According to Kaiserslautern coach Cynthia Jackson, Knight, a two-time All-Europe first-teamer who scored 13 goals last season, bagged her second and third strikes in the game’s final 40 minutes to bring Kaiserslautern back from a 2-1 halftime hole in the Lady Raiders’ season-opener.

“She is the type of player who never gives up until the last whistle blows,” Jackson wrote Tuesday in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.

Jackson praised Knight’s leadership as well as her scoring. “She is a great motivator,” Jackson wrote, “and makes great decisions in good and bad situations on the field.”

Although Knight did not score Tuesday afternoon against fellow Division I contender Ramstein on the Royals’ home field, she was able to put “significant pressure” on Ramstein goalkeeper Emily Coard, according to Ramstein coach Ricardo Buitrago. The game ended in a scoreless tie.

— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff

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