Coming to the aid of a fallen opponent at times outweighs individual goals, as Yokota sophomore cross-country runners Samantha Arnold and Hanae Phillips showed Saturday in the DODDS Japan finals at Sasebo’s Isanoura Park.

Junior Megan Hurley of Zama American fainted on the course midway through the 3.1-mile race due to dehydration and not eating, Trojans coach Glen Preston said. Sacrificing their races, Arnold and Phillips stopped and offered to stay with Hurley until help arrived, Panthers coach Dan Galvin said.

“They were wonderful,” Preston said. “I was touched. I was in tears. This spoke volumes for me. They see the bigger picture.”

Three of Hurley’s teammates, juniors Lisa Steiner and Erin Chase and Domi Watkins caught up to the three and also stopped to assist her. Officials arrived and provided Hurley water and sports drinks. She revived and appeared to be OK afterward, the coaches said.

“I was very proud of them,” Galvin said, adding that meet organizers at the closing ceremony gave Phillips and Arnold honorary league medals for their sacrifice. “They did the right thing. They brought honor and prestige to our school, putting a competitor’s safety ahead of individual goals.”

Galvin’s son Daniel, a sophomore, won the boys race in 16 minutes, 30 seconds, while Nile C. Kinnick’s Carydaliz Fontanez repeated her girls title in 20:23. Yokota won the boys team title 41-44 over Kinnick and Kinnick the girls 28-50 over host E.J. King.

It’s not the first time Yokota runners have given up their races to help a fallen opponent. On Sept. 16, 2000, at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Panthers Sarah Jones and Candace Lindskog stopped running and came to the aid of Kinnick’s Carolyn VanDeventer, who fell on a slippery part of the course, tumbled and impaled her arm on a fence post. Lindskog ran back to the start to get help while Jones stayed with VanDeventer.

Elsewhere, Nicole Castro of Humphreys opened some eyes in the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference cross-country meet at International Christian School-Uijongbu.

Castro, running for a Blackhawks team in just its first year of existence, took second in the girls 3.1-mile race in 21:02, just 18 seconds behind winner Hedvig Holmbery of Yongsan International-Seoul, who was named the league’s Runner of the Year.

On the boys side, Seth Markowski of Osan American and Joe McMahon of Seoul American pierced the top 10, Markowski in 18:47 and McMahon in 18:56.

George Dornbach and Henry Valentine-Ramsden led a 1-2 finish for Seoul Foreign, which won both the boys and girls team titles over YIS-Seoul, the boys 27-80 and the girls 48-58.

Kinnick’s girls volleyball team won its seventh straight DODDS Japan tournament title, beating Matthew C. Perry for the second straight year in straight sets, 25-19, 25-16, 25-13, behind 15 spike kills by Noblae Wainwright and 12 by Audri Salter, who celebrated her 17th birthday Saturday.

It was Kinnick’s next-to-last tune-up before the Far East Division I tournament Nov. 4-7 on Guam, and Red Devils coach Tony San Nicolas feels Saturday’s championship is the first step toward bigger things.

“We are definitely looking forward to the Far East tournament coming up,” he said. “We’re starting to click better than we did early in the season. Defensively, we still need a lot of work, but we’ll have that shored up by Far East.”

Despite the defeat, Samurai coach Patricia Swiderski feels Perry is primed to compete at Far East Division II tournament at Camp Zama.

“We have a few kinks we have to work out, but they actually have learned more to play as a team and they start to trust each other more,” Swiderski said. “So now, we have to work on a few little holes. I think we’ll have a good shot. If they believe in themselves, anything is possible.”

Courtney Beall paced the Samurai with six kills.

Another team repeating its title came in the Guam Interscholastic Football League title game Saturday at Okkodo High, where Simon Sanchez blanked George Washington 20-0.

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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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