(Stars and Stripes)

UPPER TUMON, Guam – Another year, another evening of dominance by Guam High in the All-Island track and field finals.

Led by sprinter Aaron Johnson, distance runners Aubrey Frank and Keira Paz and their relay teams, the Panthers boys made it six straight team titles and the girls three in Thursday’s Interscholastic Sports Association finals at John F. Kennedy High School.

Longtime coach Joe Taitano said this may have been the best team he’s ever coached at Guam High.

“The athletes made it feel easy because they showed up consistently, listened, persevered and performed their best,” said Taitano, 71, a 1970 JFK graduate and an avid runner who has taught and coached track and cross country on island since the late 1970s.

Johnson won the long jump and the 100-meter dash, Magahet Finona swept the 110 and 300 hurdles, Jayden Jackson took the 400 and the Panthers relay teams swept the 400 and 1,600 relays.

The Panthers boys scored 159 team points, far outdistancing second-place JFK by 76 points. Guam High’s girls netted 160 points, well ahead of runner-up George Washington’s 118.

On the girls side, Kelena Gallardo took the 400, Frank won the 1,500, Paz the 3,000 and the girls relay teams matched the boys’ effort in sweeping the 400 and 1,600 relays.

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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