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Kadena junior Manuel Duran leads the pack down the home stretch of the 400-meter relay Saturday. The Panthers won in 43.58 seconds.

Kadena junior Manuel Duran leads the pack down the home stretch of the 400-meter relay Saturday. The Panthers won in 43.58 seconds. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Kadena junior Manuel Duran leads the pack down the home stretch of the 400-meter relay Saturday. The Panthers won in 43.58 seconds.

Kadena junior Manuel Duran leads the pack down the home stretch of the 400-meter relay Saturday. The Panthers won in 43.58 seconds. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Kadena senior Marquis Newton placed third in the shot put (11.02 meters).

Kadena senior Marquis Newton placed third in the shot put (11.02 meters). (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Kadena junior Manuel Duran chugs down the home stretch running the anchor leg of the 4 x 400-meter relay. Duran and Kadena won the relay in 3 minutes, 32.12 seconds.

Kadena junior Manuel Duran chugs down the home stretch running the anchor leg of the 4 x 400-meter relay. Duran and Kadena won the relay in 3 minutes, 32.12 seconds. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Wonzie Gardner of the Yokota Panthers grimaces after pulling a left groin muscle running the 100. Gardner finished second overall in 11.5 seconds, but won the Kanto Plain league title; Jeff Morton of Kadena, participating as an invited non-scoring guest, won in 11.4.

Wonzie Gardner of the Yokota Panthers grimaces after pulling a left groin muscle running the 100. Gardner finished second overall in 11.5 seconds, but won the Kanto Plain league title; Jeff Morton of Kadena, participating as an invited non-scoring guest, won in 11.4. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Yokota Panthers senior Lindaya Brown leads the charge down the stretch of the 100. Brown won in 13.21 seconds.

Yokota Panthers senior Lindaya Brown leads the charge down the stretch of the 100. Brown won in 13.21 seconds. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

“How’s the leg?”

That’s the question Kadena junior sprinter Jeff Morton fielded all week and all day Saturday, leading up to and during the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools track and field championship.

Morton tweaked his left hamstring eight days before the meet, raising fears he’d have to skip some of his events at Tokyo’s Kinuta Park Athletics Complex or not run, especially on a rainy day that was frigid for late May in Tokyo, with a high of 64 degrees.

But Morton won two events and ran the second leg of two relays as the Panthers won eight golds — more than any other school.

American School In Japan swept the Kanto boys and girls league titles. Kadena competed as an invited non-scoring guest. Had its boys been scored, they would have netted 143 points, 54 more than ASIJ.

“We only brought eight kids, and we wanted to make some noise with those kids,” Kadena coach Sergio Mendoza said.

Also invited as non-scoring guests were Kubasaki and Zion Christian Academy of Okinawa.

The ASIJ girls won with 92.5 points.

Keeping Morton fit entailed “a lot of stretching, a lot of massaging, a little Yoga,” Mendoza said. “If not for the rain, he could really be setting the track on fire. But the heart that he’s shown in this weather ... he’s a tiger.”

The tiger performed in weather more suitable for ducks. Overnight rain lasted throughout the day, soaking the track and forcing cancellation of the high jump, girls 100 hurdles and boys 110 hurdles.

Organizers and coaches said they pressed ahead because Kadena, Kubasaki and Zion paid out-of-pocket to attend. It was the first meet in which all five Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Japan track teams competed in one setting.

Had the meet been postponed until next Saturday, Yokota coach Matt Grant said, “Kadena and Kubasaki couldn’t have come back.”

“In this weather,” Kubasaki coach Charles Burns said, “you find out who your true athletes are, the ones who don’t care if it’s raining or snowing. But in weather like this, it’s very easy to pull something.”

Morton ran the 100 in 11.4 seconds, 0.1 better than Wonzie Gardner of Yokota, who pulled his left groin halfway through. Earlier, Morton edged Gardner 23.2 to 23.7 in the 200 but said, “I didn’t push as hard as I would have if I wasn’t injured.” He said he was “saving it” for the relays, “the real test.”

The Panthers also passed that test with flying colors, running the 400 relay in 43.58 seconds — .11 better than the previous Kanto Plain record — and winning the 1,600 handily in 3:32.12.

Kadena’s lead runner, Eric Robinson, said the Panthers could have done better but “we wanted to avoid injuries because it was so cold. We’re not used to this.

“I felt it right out of the blocks,” he said. “Our exchanges weren’t good; we kept running right up on our guys. … But we’re happy.”

Other athletes enjoying happy outcomes included junior Corey Bauhs of Nile C. Kinnick, a first-year shot-putter who outdistanced Eric Saulis of St. Mary’s International 11.87 meters to 11.67 to capture the league title.

“I couldn’t have asked for more,” said Bauhs, adding that next year he’ll try to beat the 30-year-old league mark of 15.54. “That would be crazy,” he said.

From nervous to elated in 52.92 seconds was Lindaya Brown, a Yokota senior who anchored the Panthers to a comeback victory in the 400 relay. Yokota trailed until Brown took the final baton exchange, then raced home a half-second ahead of Sylvia Janska of Seisen International.

“I’ve never been so nervous until today,” said Brown, who also won the 100 in 13.21 and placed second in the 200 to teammate Anya Brown.

Also happy with his final high school race was Kadena distance runner Tim Nabonne, who renewed his rivalry with American School In Japan senior Zach Griffen.

Griffen drew first blood, winning the 3,200 in 10 minutes, 14 seconds. Nabonne, who came in just a second behind, said, “I should have paced better.”

In the mile, Nabonne stayed on Griffen’s right shoulder until the final lap’s far turn, then pulled away to win in 4:52, four seconds ahead of Griffen.

“I wish I could have gotten two,” Nabonne said, “but a first and a second is good enough.”

Heart of order comes through as Kadena beats KubasakiIt took three tries but Kadena’s baseball team solved the Kubasaki mystery Friday thanks to the heart of its batting order.

Mike Ward, Michael Mizell and Jared McNeal each went 2-for-3. Ward homered, driving in three runs and stealing two bases. Mizell threw five-hit ball over seven innings as Kadena edged Kubasaki 5-4 at Chibana Recreation Area, halting Kadena’s two-game skid against the Dragons.

“Today … we were able to hit the ball as a team,” Kadena coach Allan Mizell said. “This was the first game this season against Kubasaki that we actually played well enough to win, and we did. Hopefully, we are able to carry this kind of effort into the final two games against our No. 1 rival,” Tuesday at Camp Foster and Friday at Chibana.

Pacific prep summariesTrack and field

2006 Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools Meet

At Kinuta Park Athletics Complex, Tokyo

Saturday

Boys team scores (overall)

1, Kadena, Okinawa, 143; 2, American School In Japan, 89; 3, St. Mary’s International, Japan, 48.7; 4, Christian Academy In Japan, 47.2; 5, Yokota, Japan, 34; 6, Kubasaki, Okinawa, 29.5; 7, Nile C. Kinnick, 27.2; 8, Zion Christian Academy, Okinawa, 12; 9, Zama American, Japan, 2.2; 10, Yokohama International, Japan, 0.2.

Boys team scores (Kanto)

1, ASIJ, 143; 2, St. Mary’s, 101.9; 3, CAJ, 64.9; 4, Kinnick, 58.4; 5, Yokota, 47; 6, Zama, 8.4; 7, Yokohama, 1.4.

Boys individual results

(all distances and lengths in meters)

3,200-1, Zach Griffen, ASIJ, 10 minutes, 14 seconds; 2, Tim Nabonne, Kadena, 10:15; 3, Anthony Tillman, Kadena, 10:31.

200-1, Jeff Morton, Kadena, 23.2 seconds; 2, Wonzie Gardner, Yokota, 23.7; 3, Mick Withers, ASIJ, 23.9.

100-1, Jeff Morton, Kadena, 11.4; 2, Wonzie Gardner, Yokota, 11.5; 3, Nobu Mitsui, St. Mary's, Japan, 11.7.

Shot put-1, Corey Bauhs, Kinnick, 11.87; 2, Eric Saulis, St. Mary’s, 11.67; 3, Marquis Newton, Kadena, 11.02.

Discus-1, Eric Robinson, Kadena, 35.95; 2, Marquis Newton, Kadena, 34.80; 3, Sho Gray, CAJ, 29.75.

Long jump-1, Manuel Duran, Kadena, 6.25; 2, Robert Neckelius, ASIJ, 5.76; 3, Mick Withers, ASIJ, 5.71.

400 hurdles-1, Yuh Sueda, ASIJ, 1:01.6; 2, Daniel Park, CAJ, 1:01.8; 3, Skip Harvey, ASIJ, 1:02.9.

400 relay-1, Kadena, 43.58; 2, ASIJ, 45.86; 3, Kubasaki, 46.23.

400-1, Manuel Duran, Kadena, 50.7; 2, Travis Ekmark, Kinnick, 54.3; 3, Chris Chism, Zion, 55.4.

800-1, Blake Bannister, CAJ, 2:09.6; 2, Victor Eby, CAJ, 2:11.9; 3, Sho Gray, CAJ, 2:13.1.

1,600-1, Tim Nabonne, Kadena, 4:52; 2, Zach Griffen, ASIJ, 4:56; 3, Anthony Tillman, Kadena, 4:57.

1,600 relay-1, Kadena, 3:32.12; 2, Kubasaki, 3:43.37; 3, CAJ, 3:49.06.

Girls team scores (overall)

1, American School In Japan, 92.5; 2, Yokota, Japan, 64; 3, International School of the Sacred Heart, Japan, 61; 4, Christian Academy In Japan, 46; 5, Zion Christian Academy, Okinawa, 43.5; 6, Kubasaki, Okinawa, 43; 7, Seisen International, Japan, 32; 8, Zama American, Japan, 18; 9, Misawa, Japan, 16; 10, St. Maur International, Japan, 8; 11 (tie), Nile C. Kinnick and Yokohama International, Japan, 0.

Girls team scores (Kanto)

1, ASIJ, 124; 2, Sacred Heart, 91; 3, Yokota, 68; 4, CAJ, 63; 5, Seisen, 48; 6, Zama, 28; 7, St. Maur, 8; 8, Kinnick, 2; 9, Yokohama, 0.

Girls individual results

(all distances and length in meters)

3,200-1, Jennifer Stolle, ASIJ, 12 minutes, 3 seconds; 2, Anna Novick, St. Maur, 12:05; 3, Nako Nakatsuka, Sacred Heart, 12:14.

200-1, Anya Brown, Yokota, 27.3 seconds; 2, Lindaya Brown, Yokota, 27.7; 3, Gwendolyn Thornton, ASIJ, 27.9.

100-1, Lindaya Brown, Yokota, 13.21; 2, M.J. Townsell, Kubasaki, 13.65; 3, Taisha Hardeman, CAJ, 13.70.

Shot put-1, Kamara Conway, Kubasaki, 9.25; 2, Tegra Bowie, Zion, 8.17; 3, Brylie Gray, ASIJ, 8.03.

Discus-1, Alecia Wallingford, Sacred Heart, 22.76; 2, Keily Sasano, Zama, 22.02; 3, Brylie Gray, ASIJ, 21.52.

Long jump-1, Kiwana Clark, Misawa, 4.64; 2, Taisha Hardeman, CAJ, 4.40; 3, Sylvia Janska, Seisen, 4.32.

310 hurdles-1, Gwendolyn Thornton, ASIJ, 51.0; 2, Kendell Reynolds, Yokota, 55.9; 3, Keily Sasano, Zama, 56.5.

400 relay-1, Yokota, 52.92; 2, Seisen, 53.39; 3, Kubasaki, 54.02.

400-1, Gwendolyn Thornton, ASIJ, 1:02.8; 2, Anya Brown, Yokota, 1:04.0; 3, Breanna Roberts, Zama, 1:06.3.

800-Lakeisha Haynes, Zion, 2:32.3; 2, Sarbar Bali, Sacred Heart, 2:35.5; 3, Krysta Carrick, CAJ, 2:38.3.

1,600-1, Jennifer Stolle, ASIJ, 5:43; 2, Sarbar Bali, Sacred Heart, 5:44; 3, Nako Nakatsuka, Sacred Heart, 5:45.

1,600 relay-1, Zion, 4:28.0; 2, Sacred Heart, 4:30.4; 3, Kubasaki, 4:37.4.

Girls soccer

Saturday

Guam High 2, John F. Kennedy 1

At Tamuning, Guam

Halftime score not available. Goals-Guam High, Felisa Adams 1 (3), Sarah Jagodzinski 1 (3).

Baseball

Friday

Kadena 5, Kubasaki 4

At Chibana Recreation Area, Okinawa

Kubasaki.....200.200.0—4-5-1

Kadena.....012.020.x—5-9-5

Batting-Kadena, Mike Ward 2-for-3, home run, run, 3 RBIs, 2 stolen bases; Michael Mizell 2-for-3, 2 runs, RBI; Jared McNeal 2-for-3, double, run. Pitching-Kadena, Michael Mizell 7 innings, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts.

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