Support our mission
Patch senior Abigail Diaz leads during the girls 100-meter hurdles Saturday at a track and field meet hosted by Patch. She took first in 16.69 seconds and is favored to win the event at the European championships.

Patch senior Abigail Diaz leads during the girls 100-meter hurdles Saturday at a track and field meet hosted by Patch. She took first in 16.69 seconds and is favored to win the event at the European championships. (David Rogers/Stars and Stripes)

Patch senior Abigail Diaz leads during the girls 100-meter hurdles Saturday at a track and field meet hosted by Patch. She took first in 16.69 seconds and is favored to win the event at the European championships.

Patch senior Abigail Diaz leads during the girls 100-meter hurdles Saturday at a track and field meet hosted by Patch. She took first in 16.69 seconds and is favored to win the event at the European championships. (David Rogers/Stars and Stripes)

Vilseck's Renanzo Williams leads during the boys 100 meter hurdles Saturday at a track and field meet hosted by Patch.

Vilseck's Renanzo Williams leads during the boys 100 meter hurdles Saturday at a track and field meet hosted by Patch. (David Rogers/Stars and Stripes)

Vilseck's Dequan Bamesberger passes off the baton to James Suemenoglu during the 4x400 meter relay Saturday at a track and field meet hosted by Patch.

Vilseck's Dequan Bamesberger passes off the baton to James Suemenoglu during the 4x400 meter relay Saturday at a track and field meet hosted by Patch. (David Rogers/Stars and Stripes)

Vilseck's Sharmil Wyatt wins the girls high jump with a 4-foot, 6-inch jump Saturday during a track and field meet hosted by Patch.

Vilseck's Sharmil Wyatt wins the girls high jump with a 4-foot, 6-inch jump Saturday during a track and field meet hosted by Patch. (David Rogers/Stars and Stripes)

Vilseck's Carlton Campbell prepares to run the 200 meter sprint Saturday at a track and field meet hosted by Patch. He competed without Shawn Peebles, his friend and best competitor, who was forced to drop out of the race after injuring his hamstring earlier in the meet.

Vilseck's Carlton Campbell prepares to run the 200 meter sprint Saturday at a track and field meet hosted by Patch. He competed without Shawn Peebles, his friend and best competitor, who was forced to drop out of the race after injuring his hamstring earlier in the meet. (David Rogers/Stars and Stripes)

STUTTGART, Germany - Patch hosted its first track meet in two decades Saturday, giving fans a chance to see their favorite local athletes perform - just a few weeks before the European championships.

Track coach Josh McCall said hosting the five-team meet - at a local German university - boosted his athletes enthusiasm and motivation during the meet. Patch officials said the meet was the first the school had hosted since 1992.

Patch hurdles and sprint coach Mark Slusher said the meet was “easily the best run meet we’ve seen this year.”

Slusher was also proud of his star hurdler, senior Abigail Diaz. Diaz clocked a time of 15.40 in the 100-meter hurdles earlier in the season - the best in Europe by more than a second. Her best time of 46.32 in the 300 hurdles is more than 4 seconds better than the field.

Saturday's times weren't quite as good. She took first in the 100 hurdles in 16.69 seconds and first in the 300 in 49.45.

“We’re anticipating a great showing at Europeans,” Slusher said. “In fact, I will tell you that I think both the highs and intermediate records are in her sights. If you look at her best times, she’s about 5/10th of a second off the high hurdle record. And she’s about a second off the intermediates.”

The DODDS-Europe record in the 100 hurdles of 14.81 was set by Ansbach’s Tiffany Heard in 2010. The 300 record of 44.80 is also held by Heard and set the same year.

Slusher said the hurdles game is as much psychological as it is physical. Diaz agrees.

“I think it’s all just psychological,” Diaz said. “I’ve just got to see the gold.”

“She’s very tough mentally and I think that’s gonna serve her well as we go into the championships,” Slusher said.

Vilseck junior Shawn Peebles was injured during Saturday’s meet. Vilseck head coach Eric Mead said Peebles is the fastest runner on the team. But Peebles hurt his hamstring last week coming off the blocks. Peebles said he ran through the pain but regrets that decision now.

During Saturday’s meet, he felt the pain again about halfway through the 100 and slowed down, allowing his training partner and biggest competitor Vilseck junior Carlton Campbell to win.

Despite the injury, Peebles said he’ll still going to compete and win at Europeans.

“I’m going to just rehab myself next week and then try to run to be ready for the next meet and Europeans,” Peebles said.

Mead said he’s expecting his biggest competitors at Europeans to be Heidelberg and Ramstein.

“Heidelberg will always be involved, they’ve got a great tradition,” Mead said. “Ramstein always has the numbers. Heidelberg has a lot of good distance runners and middle distance runners. There’s always the big variable with sprinters and jumpers on having a good day or not. The distance kids, they’re usually pretty consistent. If the weather’s good, I’d say advantage Vilseck. If the weather’s bad, I’d say advantage Heidelberg.”

rogersd@estripes.osd.mil


Stripes in 7



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