Josh HanksCross country, Osan American

Last week: Became the first runner in the school’s 14-year history to capture first place in the season-ending Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference meet. Hanks, a junior, was timed in 17 minutes, 8 seconds on the 3.1-mile course at International Christian School-Uijongbu. He even went a few steps in the wrong direction, but was corrected by Seoul American’s Thomas Kim, who had gone unbeaten the last two seasons but finished second, 11 seconds behind Hanks. Hanks had run the same course on Sept. 12 in 19:20. “He told me, ‘Coach, I’m going to win KAIAC,’ ” Osan coach David Hemmer recalled. “Being a man of his word, he has been a man possessed, getting in multiple 10-mile days a week, then topping them off with gruelling intervals in between. This hard work has paid off by dropping his time an amazing 2 minutes, 12 seconds.”

Gabby FalcoVolleyball, Kinnick

Last week: Led the way as the Red Devils continued their best season in school history, running their record to 24-0, including 11-0 in the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools, which they won for the first time. Niemeyer, a senior, racked up 10 spike kills and 14 defensive digs as Kinnick swept CAJ 25-21, 27-25, 25-8 to seal the Kanto title. She then recorded 16 total spike kills, 14 serving aces and 24 defensive digs at Edgren. Her spike kill numbers are down this year, but Niemeyer has averaged more than 10 defensive digs and six service aces this season. “She adjusted to what her team needed from her to win,” coach Al Garrido said. “She took on a different role. A role of a leader. The team needed a bigger presence at the serving line; she started improving her jump serve. The Devils needed better defense, so she hit the floor.”

Selected by Stars and Stripes staff

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