PacificFar East roundup - Day 2
Elliott, Beardsley topple two more meet records
Stars and Stripes April 25, 2023
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – He would have liked to have beaten the 43-year-old northwest Pacific shot-put record or passed the 16-meter mark.
But Humphreys senior Ethan Elliott said topping the 8-year-old Far East meet record of 15.11 meters Tuesday was satisfying enough as he exits the Pacific high school stage.
“It’s all good,” Elliott said at the last day of the first in-person Far East meet since 2019. “It would have been nice if I’d gotten the (northwest Pacific) record, but I got some pretty good numbers.”
Elliott tossed the shot 15.12 meters on his first throw of the day, edging the old record set in the 2015 Far East meet by Seoul American’s David Davison.
That came nine days after he extended his own Korea record with a 15.71, the second-furthest throw on record in the region. The mark he was chasing was 16.16, set in 1980 by Rene Delmar of Guam.
“Overall, it was a great season, a fun season,” Elliott said. His Blackhawks swept every Korea regular-season meet title. “I love my team. It’s a great way to end my senior year. I’m excited to move onto the next level.”
The Blackhawks came in second to Nile C. Kinnick of Japan, while the Division II school banner was won by meet host Yokota.
Tuesday was a day of sweeps of events by distance runners, led by St. Mary’s William Beardsley.
For the second straight day, the lanky junior shattered both a region and Far East meet record, this time in the 3,200. He beat his own northwest Pacific record of 9:12.18 by clocking 9:10.67. That bested the old meet record of 9:43.44 by Zama’s Hunter Lund in 2017.
Yet that wasn’t good enough, said Beardsley, adding that he plans to return next season to try to go under 9 minutes. “I thought I’d give it a shot today,” he said. “It was on my mind. But if I didn’t do it today, I plan to be back next year to do it.”
All that came one day after Beardsley broke the region and Far East meet record in the 1,600 with a 4:17.38.
“He’s a beast,” Humphreys junior and Korea champion Drew Wahlgren said of Beardsley. “He’s crazy, almost inhuman. He looks so effortless, so graceful running.”
Meanwhile, Matthew C. Perry junior Jane Williams, the reigning Far East virtual cross country champion, completed a sweep of the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 - running the last of those three in 11:45.94.
“It wasn’t nearly as fast as I wanted,” Williams said, adding that Far East D-I cross country champion Mia Bartram of Nile C. Kinnick pushed her at the race’s outset. “I definitely like racing against her.”
Sprinters also had their share of sweeps, particularly Kinnick senior Jeremiah Hines, who completed a sweep of the 100, 200 and 400, despite suffering from calf cramps on the meet’s first day.
The latter was as close a finish as the Far East meet has seen in years, with Hines edging Kadena’s Christian Espitia 50.15-50.16 in a photo finish.
“I thought he had me,” Hines said of Espitia. “In my side view, I thought he was ahead of me.”
“I thought I had him,” Espitia said of Hines. “But it seems he beat me. … It sucks, but there’s not much I can do.”
Hines earlier ran the 100 in 11.14 and later the 200 in 22.24. He, too, said he felt he could have done better. “But I’m happy about what I did accomplish,” Hines said.
Kubasaki freshman Naiaja Sizemore also exited the Pacific stage by winning the 100 and 200. She transfers to the States on June 13. “Awesome young lady,” Dragons coach Kenneth Gipson said.
In another photo finish, Kadena teammates Cameronm Wilson and Quince Reese finished 1-2 just .03 seconds apart in the 110 hurdles. Wilson was timed in 16.45 and Reese, who easily won the preliminary, in 16.48.
“It’s that friendly competition,” Wilson said, crediting his relationship with Reese for the victory. “We’ve been training for this. We knew this was our day, and he just pushed me to the end.”
For Kinnick, winning the school banner was something of a surprise since the Red Devils were considered rebuilding, coach Luke Voth said.
“Very young, lacking in experience, (but) we had some good leaders and some really young kids who stepped up and bought into the team.”
As for Yokota, the meet was the last for outgoing coach Dan Galvin, whose Panthers also captured the Division II basketball crown.
“Tired,” Galvin said. “I’m lost for words.”
Finals pairings set on the diamonds, pitches
An old teammate came back to haunt her old team in Tuesday’s Division I girls soccer semifinal.
NyKale Penn, a former Kadena striker who transferred to Guam High in mid-school year, scored her 10th goal of the season in the second overtime period as Guam High beat Kadena 1-0. The Panthers will face Kubasaki in the final at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Host Kinnick will take on Kadena in the boys Division I final which was moved up to 8:30 a.m. Wednesday due to a forecast of rainy weather. The Red Devils beat the Dragons 3-1 and the Panthers blanked Humphreys 4-0 in the semifinals.
Kubasaki’s baseball team also made the finals of its D-I tournament, routing island-rival Kadena 13-5. The Dragons entertain American School In Japan, which won its semifinal in walk-off manner, on Toby Halloran’s two-run, two-out single in the bottom of the seventh. The Dragons and Mustangs square off in the final at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Yokota’s and Zama’s baseball teams square off at 10 a.m. Wednesday, with the winner to reach the final of the Division II baseball at Osan.
The Division I softball and Division II girls soccer tournaments play their semifinals Wednesday morning.