Manuel DuranTrack and field

Kadena, Okinawa

Last week: Broke his long-jump record, helped the 800-meter relay team tie the meet record and helped pace the Panthers to their third straight boys team championship in the Okinawa Activities Council district meet Thursday at Kubasaki High School.

Duran, a senior, leaped 21 feet, 9 inches, shattering his meet record of 21-3 set in 2006. He ran the anchor leg of the 800 relay unit that tied the district record of 1 minute, 35 seconds. Duran took over for injured sprinter Jeff Morton in the 100, finishing second to Charles Vinson of Kubasaki by .06 of a second. Kadena beat Kubasaki 73-41 for the team title.

“He’s an individual who won’t let his team fail,” said coach Sergio Mendoza, whose Panthers also have won three straight Mike Petty Memorial Meet boys team titles. “A lot of that is because of his effort. He steps in at that moment when you need him. That says a lot about his character.”

Julie MontiTrack and Field

Kubasaki, Okinawa

Last week: Completed an undefeated season by winning the two-mile and mile and tying the meet record in the 800-meter run as the Dragons captured the girls’ team title in the Okinawa Activities Council district track and field meet on Thursday at Kubasaki’s Mike Petty Stadium.

Monti, a freshman who also won the OAC district cross-country meet last fall, clocked the two-mile in 12 minutes, 52 seconds, then ran the mile in 5:51, each time edging out Kadena’s Michelle Castillo. Monti’s 2:37 equalled the 800-meter mark set in the 2004 district meet.

“She’s a pleasure to work with,” coach Charles Burns said of Monti, who will transfer to the States this summer.

“Losing her will hurt, but she’ll make some cross-country or track coach very happy. She’s a hard worker. She has legs that just go and she never gets tired. Or if she does, she never lets anybody know about it. She can just run forever.”

— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff

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