Track and field preview: Ramstein's Palmer hoping for a record day
May 23, 2003
WIESBADEN, Germany — All eyes will be on Ramstein’s Jacob Palmer at this weekend’s 2003 DODDS-Europe Track and Field championships, which start Friday.
The season-ending meet gets under way at 11 a.m. at the track facility down the hill from the Hainerburg shopping complex.
“I think a lot of people will be looking at Jacob Palmer in the hurdles,” said Bavaria District assistant superintendent Michael Thompson, who runs the electronic equipment and keeps all records for DODDS-Europe track and field. “He has a good shot at two records.”
Palmer, the defending 300-meter intermediate hurdles champion, has season bests of 14.56 seconds in the 110 highs and 39.41 in the 300s. The 20-year-old DODDS-Europe records are 14.40 and 38.20.
Palmer’s first shot at a record will be at 11:15 a.m. Saturday in the 110-meter final. The 300-meter final is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
While Palmer is likely to be all by himself at the finish of the hurdles, many other races and field events figure to be much closer.
Here’s a category-by-category look at the events:
Freshman Lynndsey Hyter and senior Aaron Scott of Kaiserserlsuatern hold season-bests in the 100 meters, but could face some stiff competiton.
Hyter, who ran a 12.48 on April 19 and a 12.93 in winning the Division I crown last Saturday, will be pushed by D-III champ Sheronica Henton of Hohenfels, who won her crown in 12.70 last Saturday.
Hyter could walk off with a lot of gold in her first European championships, Thompson said.
“Hyter’s very strong,” he said. “She has a chance to win four events [100, 200, 300 hurdles and long jump].”
Hyter goes into the 200 as an underdog. Henton ran a season-best 26.72 last Saturday, and Wiesbaden’s Kat Pizarro, a former European champion at 400 meters, has run a 26.90 this season. Both times are faster than Hyter’s D-I-winning 27.3.
In the boys’ 100, Scott is the only runner in Europe this year to go under 11 seconds, although he won last weekend’s Division I title with an 11.04. He also has the season’s best time in the 200 at 22.35.
In the 100, Scott should be pushed by Vilseck senior Antonio Harris (11.1 in last weekend’s Division II championships) and Italy champion Jo Jo Fears of Naples, who ran a 11.44 on Saturday.
Harris — 22.8 last weekend — could provide the best competition for Scott in the 200.
In the girls’ 400, Pizarro tops the charts with a 60.38 that won D-I, a clear two seconds ahead of Jill Dyer of Frankfurt International School, but Pizarro might not be at her best this week, Thompson said.
“Pizarro was kind of hurt in last week’s Division I meet,” he said, “but if she’s healthy Saturday, she has a definite possibility of going under 60 seconds.”
Cosens has the best track record among the boys’ 400 runners, winning D-1 at 49.76, but he’ll be challenged by Marquise Eubanks of Wiesbaden. Vilseck’s Harris posted a 50-flat in last weekend’s D-II meet.
Black Forest Academy’s John Fox seems to be peaking at the right time.
Fox ran season-bests last Saturday in the 800, a hand-timed 1:59.9. He also posted a 4:11.24 in the 1,500.
Both races could be heated this week as Fox narrowly defeated SHAPE’s Patrick Edwards and David Forte in last weekend’s Division II.
In the 3,000, Edwards won the D-II meet with a time of 9:51.3, but Ramstein’s Kenny Grosselin was the D-I winner in 9:29.21. Alconbury’s Steve Ayres was the D-III champ at 10:09.38.
Patch’s Carolyn House could easily win the 1,500 and 3,000 races.
House ran a 5:09.54 in the 1,500, and posted an 11:12.7 in the 3,000 at last weekend’s Division II meet. But Naples’ Charity Williams ran a 5.11.49 at the ASIL meet. The top D-I competitor — Kaiserslautern’s Andranetta Jolivette — finished in 5:23.94.
In the 3,000, no one is within 20 seconds of House’s time.
In the 800, Frankfurt’s Jill Dyer had the best time last weekend — 2:25.21. Ansbach’s Brittany Britten ran a 2.35.77 last weekend in D-III, while SHAPE’s Amanda Terry ran a 2:29.5 in D-II.
Palmer is clearly the favorite in the hurdles. His biggest competition could come from Naples’ Fears, who ran a 16.0 at the ASIL meet, but that’s more than a second slower than Palmer.
In the 300, Palmer’s time is five seconds faster than anyone who won their division last weekend.
Hyter won the D-I 300 hurdles in a season-best 49.91 last Saturday ahead of top challengers Latoya Patrick-Sanders of Würzburg and Nicola Olin of FIS. This week, Aviano’s Jameieka Price and Angela Boney will join the mix, but Boney’s winning time last weekend was 53.28.
The race for the 100 crown will probably come down to Ansbach’s Britton (17.08), Hanau’s Jennifer Cain, and Elizabeth Sutton of FIS, whose 17.24 on May 10 is the fastest of the season.
Mannheim’s Melvin Jackson is the clear favorite in the field events.
Jackson has put the shot over 55 feet, 3 inches.
Bitburg’s Chris Eubanks has a season-best 141-10.71 in the discus. Eubanks is some 8 feet ahead of Jackson’s best in that event, but nearly 9 feet behind Jackson in the shot.
Nicole Lassetter of London Central put in her bid for a girls’ weight double when she posted a season-best 35-4 in the shot Saturday to go along with her discus best of 116-1.
If anyone’s to beat Lassetter, it’s likely to be Kaiserslautern’s Robin Blevins — 33-½ in the shot — or Hohenfels’ Paige Nicoson.
In the jumps, Hyter established a season best 17-1 in the long jump on Saturday. She’ll be challenged by Hohenfels’ Tori McDuffie, who won the D-III meet with a 15-6½, or Aviano’s Price, whose ASIL-winning leap was 16-6.
Lakenheath’s Trinity Bursey, with a season-best high jump of 5-2, will battle Ashley Buckman of Würzburg and Elaine Fowler of BFA, who jumped 5-0 at last week’s D-II meet.
In the boys’ jumps, Jo Jo Tutt, with a season-best 22-1, and Fears of Naples are heavy long-jump contenders, along with J.T. Fluellen of Ramstein (20-8¼).
In the triple, Tutt, who’s cleared 46-2 this season, appears well ahead of the rest of the field.
The boys’ high jump is anyone’s event — Michal Libich and Brandon Glenn of SHAPE and Würzburg’s Derek Defrance have all cleared 6 feet this season and look to be in a fewest-misses battle.
“None of the relay teams have come very close to last year’s winning times,” Thompson said . “A lot of teams concentrate on getting their athletes qualified in the individual events and don’t start working on relays until after divisionals.”
The meet opens with five field-event finals and wraps up the first day with a 4x400 relay heat at 4:55 p.m. Saturday’s schedule begins at 10 a.m. with the other five field-event finals and ends with the boys’ 4x400 relay final at 3:50 p.m.
Admission is free both days.