Far East playoffs roundup: Falcons pair wins cross country titles
Stars and Stripes November 11, 2009
Even in replacing 12 runners who helped Seoul American capture last year’s Far East cross country team titles, the Falcons hardly lost a step, thanks to the fleet feet of senior Thomas Kim and freshman Siarria Ingram.
Kim and Ingram each won individual titles on Monday at Misawa Air Base’s Gosser Memorial Golf Course.
Kim was timed in 17 minutes, 54 seconds, 15 seconds faster than Osan American’s Josh Hanks. Ingram’s 20:58 was seven seconds ahead of teammate Amanda Henderson.
“We’re elated,” said coach Steve Boyd, whose Falcons won the girls Class AA team title 21-29 over Guam High and took second to Nile C. Kinnick in the boys race, 32-33, with Tuesday’s team relay remaining.
“We’re in a good spot, regardless of the relay. We’re right where we want to be,” Boyd said.
Kim was where he wanted to be a week after taking second, his only defeat of the season, to Hanks in the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference finals.
“I felt pretty confident that I could do it,” Kim said, minutes after outsprinting Hanks, third-place finisher Jimmy Niescier of Yokota and Kadena’s Jacob Bishop to the tape at Misawa.
“He really turned it up,” Boyd said. “Somewhere along the line, he turned up the burners.”
With Henderson at her heels, Ingram cruised to the girls title. The two outdistanced hard-luck third-place finisher Chasity Cordova of Kadena, who clocked a 21:31; Cordova finished second the previous two years.
Ingram credited running for a strong team for her result.
“Knowing my team is right behind me. They’re really great. They’re always there and motivating me. We push each other,” Ingram said.
Hanks’ runner-up finish was the best for a Class A runner in meet history. Osan’s Nicole Solomonson took 12th in the girls race, helping the Cougars edge host Robert D. Edgren 12-13. Hanks and the boys easily outdistanced Edgren by 17 points.
Osan’s boys and girls team results gave the Cougars their first overall Class A team banner, regardless of Tuesday’s relay.
“I’m ecstatic, thrilled, beyond pumped,” Cougars first-year coach David Hemmer said. “They put in a million hills, a million miles. I’m glad they believed.”
Kinnick, Daegu spikers get wakeup callsIn their opening matches Monday, Nile C. Kinnick and Daegu American might have felt like each got a bucket of ice water dumped on them.
Kinnick, a perfect 27-0 during the regular season, nearly dropped its first pool-play set to Yokota, prevailing 25-20 at Andersen Air Force Base’s Coral Reef Fitness & Sports Center, site of the Class AA Volleyball Tournament.
“After that, I will not take any team here lightly,” Red Devils coach Al Garrido said. “Yokota proved today that anybody can play with anybody here.”
At Daegu, South Korea, Morrison Christian Academy, last year’s Class A runner-up, edged pre-tournament favorite and host Daegu American 25-19, 23-25, 15-13. The loss left coach Joanna Wyche, whose Warriors finished third last year and enjoyed an 11-3 regular season, frustrated.
“I know they can do it,” she said. “The point is, do they desire to do it and will they implement it with action? I know it’s pool play, but even though it is, it says a lot. You can’t wait to turn it on when the playoffs start. You have to do it now and lead the way.”
Kadena pounds Yokota in Class AA football semifinalAt Camp Foster, Okinawa, Thomas McDonald ran for three first-quarter touchdowns, Shariff Coleman added a pair of scores and Kadena’s defense forced five fumbles, held Yokota to 17 net yards and handed Yokota its worst loss in school history.
Rodney Goodson, Lotty Smith and Stan Schrock each added touchdown runs for Kadena. The Panthers didn’t attempt a pass or a punt. It’s the third game Yokota has played this season that ended with a running clock.
“We needed to play a near-perfect game, get off to a good start, but that didn’t happen and after that was an avalanche,” said coach Tim Pujol, whose Yokota team lost 35-0 at home to Kadena on Oct. 17.
Kadena faces the winner of Tuesday’s Seoul American-Guam High semifinal in Saturday’s title game.
Tennis again plagued by rainRain, the Far East tennis tournament’s bane a year ago, surfaced almost immediately as play began at Kadena Air Base’s Risner Tennis Center. After a 1½-hour delay, the tournament got back on schedule quickly, until a downpour at 3:30 p.m. scrubbed play the rest of the day.
“It gets frustrating,” Guam High junior Amber Gadsden said of waiting out the wet stuff. She listens to music, does homework and “most importantly” talks to her father-coach, Michael, about things she must do in the match.
Rain is also in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday’s forecast looks more promising.
Gary Cashman, Michelle Chandler, Tom McKinney, Andre Thibert and Jim Burgeson contributed to this report.