When the 2008 DODDS-Europe track and field championships open Friday morning at the city stadium in Rüsselsheim, Germany, two schools and five athletes will be trying to make it two-for-Rüsselsheim.

The athletes returning to defend titles won here last year are Marche Bobbs of Kaiserslautern in the 800 meters, Rebecca Borner of Wiesbaden in the 300-meter hurdles, Patrick Hess of Heidelberg in the discus, Mike Wallace of Ramstein in the high jump and Taylor Wright of Lakenheath in the triple jump. Four of the five are sophomores; Heidelberg’s Hess is a senior.

The schools, Kaiserslautern and Ramstein, the 2007 girls and boys team champions, respectively, easily won their titles last spring when the championship meet moved for the first time from nearby Wiesbaden to this stadium.

To retain its title, K-town, which also won in 2006, will have to replace 20 points earned by two-time double distance gold-medalist Colleen Smith, who returned to the States for her junior year. For its part, Ramstein will be relying on its depth in the distance events.

"Some schools develop a tradition in certain events," distance coach Dennis Edwards said recently of his Royals, who qualified no fewer than seven runners for this year’s 3,000-meter final. "We have a group here who work with and help each other."

Leading the way for Ramstein is European cross country champion Kel Secrest, a junior, who holds the season’s best times in the 800 and 3,000, 2 minutes, 2.40 seconds and 9:19.97, respectively. He is in the running for a distance triple. His best time in the 1,500, 4:09.47, is just slower than the 4:09.23 of Wiesbaden’s Kyle Murray.

Wallace won the high jump for the Royals at 6 feet, 2 inches, but his best this season is 6-0, a height surpassed by no fewer than six other jumpers this year.

Kaiserslautern girls can expect plenty of points from Bobbs, who clocked 2:25.87 in winning the 800 in 2007. She will be bidding for double gold this season. She holds season-best times in the 800 and 400 (2:28.69 and 58.57) so far. She’ll be pushed in both events by teammate Rio Shaune Harris (2:32.38 and 60.54). The Lady Raiders are strong in the relays, too.

Among the performers bidding for triple individual gold this season are two Ansbach athletes, senior Xavier Sheppard and sophomore Tiffany Heard.

Sheppard cleared 6-7 last Saturday in the high jump, has a season-best 21-2 in the long jump and has a 41-2 1/2 triple jump.

Heard apparently bested the existing DODDS-Europe record in the 100-meter hurdles when she was clocked in 15.03 on May 3 at Würzburg, but DODDS-Europe records can only be set in the European championships. Heard also holds season-bests in the long jump at 17-4 and the 300 hurdles at 46.31 and at 26.70 is .01 seconds slower than the 200 meter season-best of Heidelberg’s Christine Holland.

Hess, who threw 125-12 1/2 in winning last season, seems to be a lock to repeat as European discus champion. He’s tossed the disc 135-4 this season, nearly 12 feet farther than the No. 2 throw.

Wright, who cleared 34-9 1/2 in winning the girls triple jump in ’07, has leaped 36-5 1/2 this year, but Borner, who won the 300 hurdles in 46.57 last year, appears to be saving her best for last. Her best so far this season is 48.5.

Five field event finals get the meet under way at 11 a.m. today. The meet concludes Saturday. For a complete schedule of events, go to the tournament Web site,

Season’s best performances(DODDS-Europe record, year in parentheses)Boys 100—Julius Johnson-Rich (Patch) 11.00 (10.50, 2001)200—Alex Gary (Aviano) 23.17 (21.20, 2001)400—Johnson-Rich, 51.84 (46.70, 2001)800—Kel Secrest (Ramstein) 2:02.40 (1:53.30, 1991)1,500—Kyle Murray (Wiesbaden) 4:09.23 (3:56.89, 1986)3,000—Secrest, 9:19.77 (8:34.16, 2007)110 high hurdles—John Willis (Ansbach) 15.39 (14.40, 1982)300 hurdles—Courtney Edwards (Würzburg) 40.21 (38.20, 1981)4x100 relay—Würzburg, 44.47 (42.50, 1979)4x400 relay—Frankfurt International School, 3:35.50 (3:22.02, 1985)4x800 relay—Ramstein, 8:37.00 (8:13.20, 2002)1,600 sprint medley relay—Ramstein, 3:50.04 (3:34.00, 1990)High jump—Xavier Sheppard (Ansbach) 6 feet, 7 inches (6-9.5, 1992)Long jump—Sheppard, 21-2 (23-8, 1974)Triple jump—Sean Outing (Aviano) 42-3 (48-11.75, 1974)Shot put—Storm Freeman (Ansbach) 44-9 (57-5, 1978)Discus—Pat Hess (Heidelberg) 135-4 (161-6, 1980)Girls100—Christine Holland (Heidelberg) 12.50 (11.80, 1975)200—Holland, 26.69 (24.20, 1980)400—Marche Bobbs (Kaiserslautern) 58.57 (57.30, 2000)800—Bobbs, 2:28.69 (2:17.60, 1980)1,500—Shelby Whatley (Lakenheath) 5:12.00 (4:39.80, 1986)3,000—Whatley, 11:30.00 (10:14.10, 1986)100 hurdles—Tiffany Heard (Ansbach) 15.03-x (15.40, 1993)300 hurdles—Heard, 46.31 (45.50, 1989)4x100 relay—Kaiserslautern, 51.98 (48.80, 1984)4x400 relay—Naples, 4:22.44 (4:03.70, 1988)4x800 relay—Kaiserslautern, 10:27.03 (9:58.84, 2007)1,600 sprint medley relay—Aviano, 4:44.73 (4:14.60, 1980)High jump—Adrianna Archie (Würzburg) 4 feet, 10 inches (5-5, 1993)Long jump—Heard, 17-4 (19-2.25, 1984)Triple jump—Taylor Wright (Lakenheath) 36-5.5 (38-6, 2006)Shot put—Megan White (Baumholder) 32-4 (43-1.5, 1991)Discus—Dominique Gray (Heidelberg) 95-10 (141-4, 2004)x-Apparent record-breaking times officially recognized only at European championships

Schedule of final eventsFriday 11 a.m.—Girls triple jump, girls discus, boys high jump, boys long jump, boys shot put11:30 a.m.—Girls 4x800 relay1 p.m.—Boys 1,5003:05 p.m.—Girls 8004:20 p.m.—Girls 3,000Saturday11 a.m.—Girls high jump, girls long jump, girls shot put, boys triple jump, boys discus11:30 a.m.—Boys 4x800 relayNoon—Girls 100 hurdles12:15 p.m.—Boys 110 high hurdles12:30 p.m.—Girls 10012:45 p.m.—Boys 1001 p.m.—Girls 1,5001:15 p.m.—Girls 4x100 relay1:30 p.m.—Boys 4x100 relay1:45—Girls 4002 p.m.—Boys 4002:15 p.m.—Girls 300 hurdles2:30 p.m.—Boys 300 hurdles3:05 p.m.—Girls 8003:20 p.m.—Girls 1,600 sprint medley relay3:35 p.m.—Boys 1,600 sprint medley relay3:50 p.m.—Girls 2004:05 p.m.—Boys 2004:20 p.m.—Boys 3,0004:40 p.m.—Girls 4x400 relay4:55 p.m.—Boys 4x400 relayMeet Web-site:

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