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Kadena Panthers senior Marquis Newton won the high jump for the second straight year in Friday’s Okinawa Activities Council district track and field championship at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Newton cleared 6 feet, 2 inches.

Kadena Panthers senior Marquis Newton won the high jump for the second straight year in Friday’s Okinawa Activities Council district track and field championship at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Newton cleared 6 feet, 2 inches. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Kadena Panthers senior Marquis Newton won the high jump for the second straight year in Friday’s Okinawa Activities Council district track and field championship at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Newton cleared 6 feet, 2 inches.

Kadena Panthers senior Marquis Newton won the high jump for the second straight year in Friday’s Okinawa Activities Council district track and field championship at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Newton cleared 6 feet, 2 inches. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Kadena junior Manuel Duran performs the long jump on Friday. Duran won with a meet-record leap of 21 feet, 3½ inches.

Kadena junior Manuel Duran performs the long jump on Friday. Duran won with a meet-record leap of 21 feet, 3½ inches. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Kadena senior Tim Nabonne runs the 3,200 on Friday. Nabonne won in a meet-record time of 10 minutes, 30 seconds despite a nagging knee injury.

Kadena senior Tim Nabonne runs the 3,200 on Friday. Nabonne won in a meet-record time of 10 minutes, 30 seconds despite a nagging knee injury. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Kubasaki senior twins Beth and Lisa Nielsen lead the pack in the 3,200 on Friday. Beth Nielsen, right, won in 12 minutes, 37 seconds.

Kubasaki senior twins Beth and Lisa Nielsen lead the pack in the 3,200 on Friday. Beth Nielsen, right, won in 12 minutes, 37 seconds. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Kubasaki junior Kyera Tennyson performs the long jump on Friday. Tennyson won with a leap of 16 feet.

Kubasaki junior Kyera Tennyson performs the long jump on Friday. Tennyson won with a leap of 16 feet. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Manuel Duran had seen about enough.

The Kadena junior sprinter spent Friday watching teammates Tim Nabonne and Jeff Morton go down with leg injuries. Plus, Duran had botched a handoff on the final leg of the 800-meter relay, costing the Panthers valuable team points.

“We had to do something about it,” Duran said.

So with Duran running the anchor leg, Kadena cruised to victory in the 400- and 1,600-meter relays with respective times of 44.15 seconds and 3 minutes, 33 seconds. Duran also won the long jump and the 400-meter run, giving him an individual-best four gold medals as Kadena repeated as boys team champion in the season-ending Okinawa Activities Council district track and field meet.

Kubasaki’s girls dethroned defending champion Zion Christian Academy.

“When I dropped that baton,” Duran said, “it was a slip-up with the hand-off. That’s all I can say. But to come back and take the next two relays, that goes to the heart,” he said, putting his fist to his chest.

“You never count ’em before it happens,” Kubasaki coach Charles Burns said of a Kadena relay team that had dominated the regular season. “Bad hand-off. Unexpected. Bounces out of the track and you can’t go after it. That’s the nature of sports. Things happen.”

A lot of strange things happened Friday, starting with the meet’s opening ceremony, when high wind blew down the lap counter and a speaker while the crowd stood at attention, waiting for the national anthem to be played. It, too, was delayed when no sound came from the CD player.

“I knew we were in bad shape at that point,” Burns said. “We were in for a rough day.”

It was rougher for Kadena, which lost Morton, the team’s premier sprinter, to a muscle cramp during the second leg of the 400 relay, then Nabonne, who aggravated a two-week-old right knee injury during the 800-meter run after he’d won the 1,600 and 3,200, the latter in meet-record time.

“I’m still recovering,” Nabonne said. “I … just put it out of my head and ran as hard as I could.”

Morton, running the second leg of the 400 relay, felt his upper left thigh tighten after about 50 meters.

“This has been a bad day,” Kadena coach Sergio Mendoza said. “I just want to get out of here before somebody else gets hurt.”

Said Burns: “The full moon isn’t due for a week but it sure feels like it’s here. Or maybe Halloween got here early.”

His charges had it no better. Steven Thompson, the senior star in his swan song meet, failed to earn a gold and aggravated the left ankle he injured during football season. “It’s killing me,” he said after finishing second in the high jump.

Junior teammate Kyera Tennyson worked through an ankle injury to take the girls high jump with a meet-record leap of 5 feet, 2 inches and the long jump at 16 feet. “It’s all right,” she said. “I think I could have done better.”

Much good also happened. Sprinter Eric Robinson also brought down the meet record in the 110 hurdles (14.09 seconds) and in the discus (138 feet, 8 inches), in which he outdistanced teammate and chief rival Marquis Newton by 4 inches.

“It’s always been between Quis and I,” Robinson said. “We push each other and it makes us do better. … It doesn’t hurt that we’re friends.”

Newton, with a left-knee injury, nonetheless posted a meet-record 40 feet, 10 inches in the shot put and repeated his high-jump title at 6-2 — but well short of his Pacific-record 6-5 in 2005. “If I hadn’t been hurting, I could have jumped higher,” he said.

Kubasaki senior twins Beth and Lisa Nielsen took turns winning the girls’ distance races, Beth capturing the 3,200 and Lisa the 1,600.

“It was hot today,” Lisa said after she took second in the 3,200. “I felt a little tired. But it felt good.”

In Morton’s absence, Mike Bennett of Kubasaki took the boys 200 for the first time this season.

“It would have been better if it came against Morton. But it still feels great,” Bennett said.

Kubasaki’s Brian Davis rallied past Nabonne to capture the boys 800, beating Nabonne for the third straight meet. He said he’d hoped to break the 2-minute barrier, which he missed by 10 seconds, “but if 2:10 is good enough to win, it’s good enough for me.”

Likewise, Kadena girls double gold-medalist Regina Felton seemed surprised and happy at winning the girls 400 with a personal-best 1:02.87. “I was trying to go for 1:01, but 1:02 is still good,” she said.

Kinnick’s Atchley may return for Kanto baseball tourneyThought to be young and rebuilding, with a squad comprised almost entirely of freshmen and sophomores and with a new coach in Kyle Siftar, the Nile C. Kinnick Red Devils instead have claimed the best record among DODDS-Japan baseball teams after their sweep of a Friday doubleheader at Zama American.

Even better, Siftar said, junior pitcher-infielder Clay Atchley, who broke his ankle in Kinnick’s season opener in March, had his cast removed Friday. Atchley may be ready for the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools invitational tournament May 19-20 at Camp Zama, his doctor said.

Said Siftar: “His pitch speed looks extraordinary.” He said Atchley has been working on his arm strength since the injury. “He is my wild card for the (Kanto) tournament.”

2006 Okinawa Activities Council District ChampionshipFriday At Camp Foster, Okinawa

Boys

Team scores: 1, Kadena, 78; 2, Kubasaki, 55; 3, Zion Christian Academy, 6.

800 relay: 1, Kubasaki A, 1 minutes, 34 seconds; 2, Kubasaki B, 1:46.

110 hurdles: 1, Eric Robinson, Kadena, 14.09 seconds (meet record); 2, Brian Davis, Kubasaki, 15.34; 3, Boomer McCaw, Kubasaki, 16.44.

100: 1, Jeff Morton, Kadena, 11.18; 2, Chris Kennedy, Kubasaki, 11.31; 3, Steven Thompson, Kubasaki, 11.53.

1,600: 1, Tim Nabonne, Kadena, 4:53; 2, Kevin Vazquez, Kubasaki, 4:58; 3, Anthony Tillman, Kadena, 5:00.

400 relay: 1, Kadena, 44.15; 2, Kubasaki A, 45.13; 3, Kubasaki B, 48.71.

400: 1, Manuel Duran, Kadena, 50.78; 2, Steven Thompson, Kubasaki, 52.34; 3, J.R. Wright, Kadena, 54.1.

800: 1, Brian Davis, Kubasaki, 2:10; 2, Tim Nabonne, Kadena, 2:11; 3, Chris Chism, Zion, 2:13.

200: 1, Mike Bennett, Kubasaki, 24.12; 2, Nick Berry, Kadena, 24.34; 3, Chris Kennedy, Kubasaki, 24.44.

1,600 relay: 1, Kadena A, 3:33; 2, Kubasaki, 3:40; 3, Kadena B, 4:02.

3,200: 1, Tim Nabonne, Kadena, 10:30 (meet record); 2, Anthony Tillman, Kadena, 10:37; 3, Kevin Vazquez, Kubasaki, 10:53.

Long jump: 1, Manuel Duran, Kadena, 21 feet, 3½ inches (meet record); 2, Chris Chism, Zion, 21-2; 3, Brian Davis, Kubasaki, 20-3½.

High jump: 1, Marquis Newton, Kadena, 6-2; 2, Steven Thompson, Kubasaki, 5-10.

Discus: 1, Eric Robinson, Kadena, 138-8 (meet record); 2, Marquis Newton, Kadena, 134-6; 3, Jerrell Scrivens, Kadena, 119-8.

Shot put: 1, Marquis Newton, Kadena, 40-10 (meet record); 2, Jerrell Scrivens, Kadena, 38-1; 3, Garrett Smith, Kubasaki, 35-6.

Girls

Team scores: 1, Kubasaki, 76; 2, Kadena, 40; 3, Zion Christian Academy, 28.

800 relay: 1, Kubasaki, 1 minute, 54 seconds; 2, Zion Christian Academy, 1:55.

100 hurdles: 1, Regina Felton, Kadena, 18.14 seconds; 2, Dominique Henson, Kubasaki, 18.94; 3, Lakeisha Haynes, Zion, 19.0.

100: 1, Lorien McKinney, 12.96; 2, Regina Felton, Kadena, 13.03; 3, Michelle Daniel, Kubasaki, 13.09.

1,600: 1, Lisa Nielsen, Kubasaki, 5:49.08; 2, Beth Nielsen, Kubasaki, 5:49.72; 3, Julie Monti, Lester Middle School, 6:02.

400 relay: 1, Kubasaki, 52.21; 2, Kadena, 52.28; 3, Zion Christian Academy, 53.12.

400: 1, Regina Felton, Kadena, 1:02; 2, Rioshaune Harris, Kadena Middle School, 1:03; 3, Lia Monti, Kubasaki, 1:04.

800: 1, Lakeisha Haynes, Zion, 2:38; 2, Julie Monti, Lester Middle School, 2:42; 3, Lisa Nielsen, Kubasaki, 2:51.

200: 1, Michelle Daniel, Kubasaki, 26.97; 2, Lorien McKinney, Kadena, 27.95; 3, Sarah Wilson, Zion, 27.6.

1,600 relay: 1, Kadena, 4:23; 2, Kubasaki, 4:30; 3, Zion Christian Academy, 4:31.

3,200: 1, Beth Nielsen, Kubasaki, 12:37; 2, Lisa Nielsen, Kubasaki, 12:46; 3, Julie Monti, Lester Middle School, 13:00.

Long jump: 1, Kyera Tennyson, Kubasaki, 16 feet, 0 inches; 2, Lorien McKinney, Kadena, 14-10; 3, Diamond Rorie, Kadena, 14-9.

High jump: 1, Kyera Tennyson, Kubasaki, 5-2 (meet record); 2, Diamond Rorie, Kadena, 4-6; 3, Dominique Henson, Kubasaki, 4-1.

Discus: 1, Kamara Conway, Kubasaki, 71-1; 2, Gabrielle Daniels, Zion, 69-5; 3, Heather Hyson, Lester Middle School, 66-8.

Shot put: 1, Kamara Conway, Kubasaki, 30-3; 2, Tegra Bowie, Zion, 26-8; 3, Wendy Franklin, Zion, 21-7.

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