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Even before his senior season begins, Christian Sonnenberg has made history at Yokota High School.

The Pacific record holder in the discus, at 185 feet, 0.47 inches (set March 26), signed a letter of acceptance with a guaranteed roster spot – preferred walk-on status – to throw for Utah State University of the Mountain West Conference.

He becomes the second athlete in Yokota’s 43-year history to sign with a Division I school for track and field. Former teammate Daniel Galvin is running for Iona.

“It was my dream,” Sonnenberg said of signing with the Aggies. A three-sport athlete in previous school years, Sonnenberg gave up wrestling and football to concentrate on track. His first meet this season is March 18 at Yokota.

He’s the son of Dale Sonnenberg, the assistant staff judge advocate for U.S. Forces Japan, and his wife Kathy. Christian has lived most of his life at Yokota.

Sonnenberg was awarded an academic scholarship covering 90 percent of expenses at Utah State. He holds a non-weighted 3.95 grade-point average and took Advanced Placement courses in literature, U.S. government and calculus.

Though that wasn’t tied to track, Aggies assistant head coach Matthew Ingebritsen said in an e-mail that academics was one of the things that attracted Utah State to Sonnenberg.

“He and his family hold academics in high regard and that is the kind of athlete I like to recruit to my team,” Ingebritsen said, noting that Sonnenberg had been a multi-sport athlete prior to his senior year. “Those things as well as the fact that he had such success as a junior in high school is what initially drew me to wanting to recruit him to USU.”

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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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