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Victoria Lyle of the defending champion Kadena Panthers nears the finish line in first place in the girls’ 3.1-mile individual race.
Victoria Lyle of the defending champion Kadena Panthers nears the finish line in first place in the girls’ 3.1-mile individual race. (Jennifer Svan / S&S)
Victoria Lyle of the defending champion Kadena Panthers nears the finish line in first place in the girls’ 3.1-mile individual race.
Victoria Lyle of the defending champion Kadena Panthers nears the finish line in first place in the girls’ 3.1-mile individual race. (Jennifer Svan / S&S)

Kadena’s Victoria Lyle had grown decidedly weary the last three years of living in the shadow of and being compared to her older sister, Kim, who won the 3.1-mile girls individual race in the 2002 Far East High School Cross-Country Meet on Guam.

On Monday at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Victoria emerged from that shadow in style.

“I’ve created an act of my own,” said Lyle, a sophomore who clocked Misawa’s 3.1-mile Gosser Memorial Golf Links course in a personal-best 20 minutes, 34 seconds to become the second member of the family to capture the Far East girls race.

It was Lyle’s first victory this season. She placed in the top 10 in every Okinawa Activities Council meet this season, but never had a whiff of first place until Monday.

“I expected to finish 10th,” Lyle said. “It was after the first mile, I kept telling myself I could do it.”

“She gave it all she had,” said senior teammate Niki Kauzlarich, who won last year’s meet in 20:45, also at Misawa. “Something clicked at the start of the race. She passed me at the one-mile mark and just kept going.”

Meanwhile, senior Matt Evans made Guam High history, becoming the school’s first runner to win the boys race in 17:06, beating two-time runner-up Tim Nabonne of Kadena by 45 seconds.

“It’s the greatest feeling ever,” said Evans, who won Guam’s island championship last month after finishing second each of the past two years.

“I didn’t think this would happen,” said Evans, who owns the region’s best time this season, a 17:03 that he ran in an island meet last month. Evans easily beat last year’s winning time of 17:31 posted by Kadena’s Jon Turner and the 18:14 run by Will Carter of Seoul American in 2002.

Evans led Monday’s race, run under clear, breezy skies with 61-degree temperatures, from wire to wire.

Lyle’s individual victory, however, wasn’t enough to keep Kadena ahead of Seoul American in the girls’ team standings. The Falcons placed four runners in the top 10 to three for Kadena.

The Panthers did lead the boys standings, with the 31.5-mile team relay on tap Tuesday to conclude the two-day meet.

Far East High School Cross-Country Meet

Monday at Gosser Memorial Golf Course, Misawa Air Base, Japan (3.1-mile course).

Boys team standings

1, Kadena, Okinawa, 30; 2, Robert D. Edgren, Japan, 43; 3, Seoul American, 53; 4, Kubasaki, Okinawa, 55; 5, Guam High, 98; 6, Nile C. Kinnick, Japan, 106; 7, Yokota, Japan, 111; 8, E.J. King, Japan, 131; 9, Matthew C. Perry, Japan, 148; 10, Taegu American, South Korea, 173; 11, Pusan American, South Korea, 179; 12, Osan American, South Korea, 180; Zama American, Japan, incomplete team.

Boys individual results

1, Matt Evans, Guam High, 17 minutes, 6 seconds

2, Tim Nabonne, Kadena, 17:51

3, Nick Green, Edgren, 18:02

4, Brent Schuck, Perry, 18:08

5, Ben Zendejas, Kadena, 18:10

6, Peter Kamau, Edgren, 18:15

7, David Krievs, Kubasaki, 18:16

8, Kevin Blackburn, Zama, 18:21

9, Billy Groves, Seoul American, 18:27

10, Chris Tobiere, Edgren, 18:34

Girls team standings

1, Seoul American, 22; 2, Kadena, Okinawa, 24; 3, Kubasaki, Okinawa, 50; 4, Robert D. Edgren, Japan, 66; 5, Guam High, 73; 6, Nile C. Kinnick, Japan, 84; 7, Yokota, Japan, 125; 8, Taegu American, South Korea, 127; 9, Osan American, South Korea, 154; Pusan American, South Korea, and Zama American, Matthew C. Perry and E.J. King, Japan, incomplete teams.

Girls individual results

1, Victoria Lyle, Kadena, 20 minutes, 34 seconds

2, Cathryn Furner, Seoul American, 20:55

3, Sarah Yance, Seoul American, 20:58

4, Niki Kauzlarich, Kadena, 20:58

5, Jade Thrasher, Edgren, 21:04

6, Dianne Abel, Kadena, 21:20

7, Beth Nielsen, Kubasaki, 21:31

8, Jillian Busby, Seoul American, 21:48

9, Tanisha Thomas, Seoul American, 21:54

10, Stephanie Gamboa, Kubasaki, 21:55

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