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OKINAWA CITY – Call Saturday “Demolition Day at Districts” where the Okinawa Activities Council track and field record book was concerned. One Pacific record fell by the boards and 13 district records were set in Saturday’s OAC district meet at Koza Athletics Park. As a team, Kubasaki made it a clean sweep of the boys, girls and combined team titles, edging Kadena for island championship honors.

“Today was a big day for Kubasaki,” second-year Dragons coach Jon Fick said.

Leading the record-setting charge was Kubasaki sophomore Jessica Ircink, who clocked the girls 1,600 in 5 minutes, 23.26 seconds. That easily beat the district record of 5:37 set in 2004 by Kubasaki’s Crystal Sandness, and by 1.02 seconds edged the Pacific record of 5:24.28 set in 2010 by Seoul American’s Siarria Ingram.

“Whoa. This feels amazing. I’ve been working toward this,” said Ircink, who had been cutting her personal bests by as many as three seconds the last month leading up to the districts.

Unlike the past month, when Kadena’s Ana Hernandez and Rachel Burchill set the pace for her, Ircink went straight in front and steadily opened the gap. The key, she said, was shaving seconds off her third lap. “Then on the fourth lap, I just gave it everything I had,” Ircink said.

The meet, the 24th in league history, was held in near-perfect conditions for running: light winds, overcast skies and temperatures in the low 70s. By league rule, district records can only be broken in district meets. And many a district record did tumble, right from the start of the meet: -- Erik Armes was one of a handful of multiple record setters. The Kubasaki sophomore took down the boys 1,600 and 3,200 marks, clocking 4:37.43 and 9:59.16, beating the latter record by more than 20 seconds and the former by almost 16. Armes’ left leg cramped up at the end of the 1,600.

“Far East is the big prize,” said his pacesetter, senior Ryan Bugler. “We’re not too concerned with district.”

­­-- Kubasaki senior Allie Reichenberg nearly matched her 2012 district performance, beating her own 800 and 3,200 marks with times of 2:28.50 and 11:51.96 and helping Kubasaki break its 3,200 relay record set last year. “Yea, my own record,” she said. -- Kadena had a field day in the relays, breaking the district standards in the boys 3,200 (8:27.93), girls 1,600 (4:16.28) and girls 400 (50.50).

“We thought this was possible,” Kadena 3,200 relay runner Hunter Ficenec said. “We were shooting for the low 8:30s.”

Janika Caines anchored the girls 400 after losing for the first time this season in the 200 dash. “I’m motivated now,” she said.

­­-- Tiny Okinawa Christian School International got a huge boost from senior Keishi Nambara, who topped the district record in the boys 400 (50.38) and anchored the Crusaders’ record-topping victory in the 1,600 relay (3:32.89).

“I can’t believe it. I’m so happy. What a way to end the year,” he said.

­­-- For the second straight year, Jade Cummings of Zion Christian Academy set the 200 record, clocking 25.78 seconds to edge Caines by .11 seconds. “I was prepared to break it,” Cummings said, adding that she’d beaten her old mark by a half second earlier this season. “I was excited. I was ready.”

­­-- Kadena’s Jasmine Rhodes became the only athlete to set a field record, jumping 1.60 meters, or 5 feet, 3 inches, in the high jump, snapping the seven-year-old mark of 1.58.

“It’s cool. It’s awesome. I feel good,” said Rhodes, adding she feels she can top 5-foot-6 at Far East May 20-21 at Yokota. In other events, with all eyes on Caines and Cummings, freshman Kaelyn Francis of Kubasaki pulled a huge upset in the girls 100, winning by the narrowest of margins, 12.73 seconds to 12.75 for Cummings and 12.85 for Caines. “I thought I was going to get third,” Francis said. Elsewhere in other sports, Kubasaki baseball capped another unbeaten regular season against Kadena, rallying for six runs in the seventh to beat the Panthers 10-5. Angelo Bourdony batted 4-for-4 with a homer and two stolen bases and Renton Poole got the win in relief.

Kei DePontbriand and Leo Austin each pitched and batted Yokota to a double-header sweep of St. Mary’s International 7-4 and 8-1.

Shawn Eagmin and Chris McQuillen did the same for Matthew C. Perry, which swept the final DODDS weekend series from E.J. King 7-3, 17-1 and 4-1, the latter shortened to two innings by rain.

On the pitch, Perry junior Gaku Lange tied Gyeonggi Suwon International’s Jacob Son for the Pacific lead in goals with 36 as the Samurai shut out the Cobras 1-0. Courtney Beall netted a hat trick, giving her 24 goals on the season, in Perry’s 4-0 blanking of E.J. King.

Kristin Howard’s hat trick powered Kadena’s girls to their fourth win of the season, 4-0 over Okinawa Diplomats U-15 side. The lone regular-season match remaining for the Panthers is Friday at Kubasaki.

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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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