Kadena runners capture Okinawa titles
By DAVE ORNAUER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 23, 2013
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa – Andrew Kilkenny and Ana Hernandez completed unbeaten Okinawa seasons by capturing Okinawa titles in the pouring rain on Wednesday at Jack’s Place course.
Now the Kadena seniors take aim at their next goal: defending their Far East meet championships Nov. 4-5 at Camp Fuji and Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.
“Mentally, Kadena is always prepared to run,” said Kilkenny, who won the boys 3.1-mile individual race in 16 minutes, 49 seconds. “It’s my senior year. I’ve had a good four years with the Panthers.”
Kilkenny’s main opposition at Far East figures to be Kanto Plain champion Daniel Galvin of Yokota. “He should be good competition,” Kilkenny said. “It will be a good race.”
Hernandez was timed in 19:46 on Wednesday; her 19:07 two weeks ago is the Pacific’s best time this season.
“We’ve all trained to the level that coach (Tom McKinney) trains us to,” Hernandez said. “We’re all in good shape, and what happens, happens.”
Wednesday’s wet conditions, caused by nearby Typhoon Francisco, “slowed their times down,” McKinney said.
Okinawa’s other scheduled championship Wednesday, tennis doubles at Kubasaki, was rained out, Dragons coach Stephanie Davis said.
Up north, with the weekend forecast bleak in the face of Francisco’s approach to the Kanto Plain, officials canceled the DODDS Japan tennis tournament, which had been scheduled for Thursday-Saturday at Zama American.
DODDS Japan volleyball will go on as scheduled, as will the DODDS Japan cross-country finals to be run at Sasebo’s Isanoura Park.
A call on whether Friday’s Nile C. Kinnick at Yokota and Robert D. Edgren at American School In Japan football games will be played or postponed is expected around mid-day Thursday, coaches and athletics directors told Stripes on Wednesday.
Kadena senior Ana Hernandez races toward the finish line during Wednesday's Okinawa Activities Council district cross-country finals on the 3.1-mile Jack's Place course, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. Hernandez, the defending Far East champion, capped an unbeaten Okinawa season, clocking 19 minutes, 46 seconds.
TEYLOR PHETKHAMYATH/SPECIAL TO STARS AND STRIPES