Kubasaki freshman shatters 100-meter mark
Stars and Stripes April 8, 2023
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa – Entering Saturday’s Okinawa track and field meet at Kadena, Naiaja Sizemore said she felt she was capable of running the 100-meter dash in under 12 seconds.
Not only did she reach that mark on Saturday, Sizemore shattered the Pacific’s eight-year-old record, running the 100 in 11.72 seconds.
That’s .54 better than the old Pacific record of 12.26 seconds set by then-junior Regine Tugade-Watson of Guam’s John F. Kennedy High School in April 2015.
Not bad, for a freshman who says she never ran track and field before this season.
“And she’s tearing up the track,” Dragons coach Ken Gipson said. “What I love about her is her character. She doesn’t let that stuff go to her head. That girl is absolutely awesome.”
Speaking on Tuesday during practice, and two weeks after running 12.57 in Okinawa’s second meet of the season, Sizemore said of the idea of beating the record: “It’s exciting and hopefully offers a promising future for me. I just hope to keep working and get better.”
She is tied for 37th-best time among United States runners this season, matching Iyonna Codd of Centennial (Nevada) in Friday’s Tiger Invitational at South Pasadena (Calif.).
Sizemore wasn’t alone in breaking the 12-second mark Saturday. Sharday Baker of Okinawa Christian finished second in 11.95, and rode Sizemore’s shoulder all the way, Gipson said.
“The young lady from OCSI pushed her to it,” Gipson said of Baker. “She challenged her, and that’s what made her get it. It was awesome to see that race.”
Sizemore also won the 200 in 26.13 and helped the Dragons to victory in the 400 relay in 54.71. As a girls team, Kubasaki beat out Kadena by 12 points in the team standings.
The Dragons have one more regular-season meet before the Far East meet on April 24-26 at Yokota, before Sizemore transfers on June 13.
As for what she may be capable of, Gipson said he wouldn’t go out on a limb, but that “if she runs 11.57, I wouldn’t be surprised. This is just the beginning.”
Tugade-Watson ran for Guam in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil and 2021 in Tokyo, graduated from the Naval Academy in 2020 and is now a Navy officer.
Humphreys senior tops Korea shot put mark
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – Humphreys senior Ethan Elliott reached 15.31 meters in the shot put during Saturday’s DODEA-Korea meet, his first time topping that standard, which is .16 meters better than the previous best ever done by a DODEA-Korea thrower.
David Davison of now-closed Seoul American chalked up a mark of 15.15 in the 2015 Far East meet at Yokota. Elliott said at the start of the season, he’s taking aim at the Pacific record of 16.16, set in 1980 by Rene Delmar of Guam.
Eagles strikers, softball team rally
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan – Call Robert D. Edgren’s girls soccer and softball teams the Comeback Kids.
A’mya Ross scored three goals, two on long-distance boots and another on a penalty kick, to rally the Eagles strikers from a 2-0 deficit to a 3-2 victory over Zama, their second over the Trojans in less than 24 hours.
They shut out Zama 2-0 on Friday night. Zama won the first meeting between the two teams 3-1 on March 2.
On the diamond, in a driving rain in the bottom of the third with time having expired, Edgren’s Gwen O’Connell walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, stole third, then came home on a throwing error to cap an Eagles rally from a 10-4 deficit for an 11-10 triumph over the Trojans.
Edgren’s girls soccer team had not played for more than a month. During that time, Ross said the Eagles were working on drills and passing during practice “and we’ve had a better team chemistry and that’s a big asset for the team.”
While the Eagles weren’t expecting to do that well, “I definitely thought we had a chance to go through with this and win, and we did,” said Ross, who had five of her nine goals this season against Zama.
The Eagles softball team scored 11 runs with the benefit of just one hit, a two-run double by Alyssa Marrero, who said she and her teammates felt confident they could come back despite trailing 10-4, a confidence that grew with every run they scored in that third inning.
“It’s pretty good for our first home game and to end it with a win,” Marrero said.