TOKYO — Despite running into a headwind, Zama American’s Andrew Quallio dominated the boys’ two-mile race with a career-best time of 10 minutes, 11.6 seconds in the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools track and field championship.
“The first four laps was interesting having that guy on my shoulder,” Quallio said, referring to runner-up Sam Krauth of the American School In Japan. Krauth wound up 13.2 seconds behind Quallio in the meet held on Saturday at Niiza Park in Tokyo’s western suburbs.
“It gave me an extra push. Then the wind picked up and made it a lot more challenging. I just wanted to hit 4:55 (after four laps) and see how long I could hold the pace after that.”
The sophomore remained unbeaten in the event meters this season and beat his personal best by nearly 5 seconds.
He later failed to win a mile race for the first time in this year, placing third in 4:46 behind Christian Academy In Japan’s Blake Bannister (4:41.4) and Krauth (4:44).
St. Mary’s International captured the boys team title with 132 points. Kinnick was the top Department of Defense Dependents Schools finisher, in fourth place with 53 points.
American School In Japan won the girls title with 187½ points, as sisters Catherine and Gwen Thornton combined for seven gold medals. Zama was the best DODDS entry, fifth with 39 points.
Yokota coach Beau Veazey said he was missing several athletes Saturday, with many opting to prepare for the school’s prom later that night at the New Sanno Hotel in Tokyo. His boys squad finished sixth (7 points), and the girls were eighth (6).
In other events, Zama sophomore Tiffany Thompson won the girls shot put, stunning the field with a personal-best toss of 7.79 meters. It was her first victory this spring.
She also picked up some confidence heading into the season-ending Kanto Plain Invitational, scheduled for Saturday at Central Tokyo’s Kinuta Park.
“I feel good about myself,” Thompson said. “I can do this now. It’s a nice big energy boost.”
Kinnick’s Akki Brathwaite (7.215) finished third.
Kinnick thrower Justine Mendoza slipped to fifth in the shot put. The discus event wasn’t held Saturday because the field at Niiza Park was being reseeded. Meet officials instead used last week’s results, which put Mendoza’s 24.86-meter effort in second place.
Coming into Saturday, she hadn’t lost in either discipline all season. She finished behind discus champion Emily Strack of International School of the Sacred Heart, a U.S. State Department dependent.
On the boys side, Kinnick shot putter Corey Bauhs capped a perfect season Saturday. He grabbed third in the discus.
Kinnick junior Brandon Brown sailed 5.95 meters in the boys long jump to knock off ASIJ’s Kent Gibson, a heavy favorite coming into the event.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Brown, who hadn’t registered a jump over 5.50 meters this season. “All year I’ve been pretty inconsistent. I was frustrated. It’s been up and down. At our last practice, I made some adjustments and was able to get to where I needed to be today.”
And just in time.
Brown, scheduled for a root canal this week, will likely miss the Kanto Invitational, expected to include Okinawa powers Kadena and Kubasaki, along with the Seoul Track Club, featuring athletes from Seoul American and Taegu American in South Korea.
Alums weigh in on chances of Kubasaki boys, Kadena girlsWho better to evaluate the chances of last year’s boys runner-up and the three-time defending girls champions in next week’s Far East Class AA tournaments than Kubasaki boys and Kadena girls alumni?
Though Kubasaki’s boys lost a great deal of their firepower from last year’s second-place Class AA team, one of those graduates, Eric Isley, still feels the Dragons can go far in next week’s tournament at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. Isley is still on Okinawa, working by day and playing for Peru, a Japanese club team, by night. Peru beat Kubasaki 2-0 Friday.
“This team has a lot more passing and dribbling skills, but they don’t shoot as much” as the 2006 unit that included Isley (12 goals, 7 assists), Chris Monroy (30, 9) and James Reyes (9, 7), who each graduated last June. “They can go pretty far.”
The Pacific’s career goal-scoring leader for girls, Kadena graduate Dianne Abel, has watched her former team play four matches since returning for summer vacation from college in the States. Abel said she feels it’s better to wait until the Class AA tournament at Yokota is done before making comparisons.
“It’s not fair to compare this group to past teams,” said Abel, who scored 178 goals in four seasons, just 12 better than her sister Jennifer, Kadena’s senior striker. “No two teams are alike. Far East will be the determining factor.”
Korea baseball, softball weekend slates washed outCAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — Heavy morning rain washed out Saturday’s slate of three baseball and three softball games between Seoul American, Osan American and Taegu American at Camp Humphreys’ new diamond complex.
They’ll try to make up the games Saturday, the final day of the regular season, at the Lombardo Field FourPlex on Yongsan Garrison in Seoul.
Stars and Stripes Pacific sports reporter Dave Ornauer, Yokota bureau chief Vince Little and Central sports copy desk chief Eddie Rogers contributed to this report.