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Robert D. Edgren senior Momomi Atkinson, caught on an image off of a video, negotiates a hurdle en route to a meet and Pacific record in the 300 hurdles during Wednesday's Far East track and field meet preliminaries.
Robert D. Edgren senior Momomi Atkinson, caught on an image off of a video, negotiates a hurdle en route to a meet and Pacific record in the 300 hurdles during Wednesday's Far East track and field meet preliminaries. (Photo courtesy of Robert D. Edgren)
Robert D. Edgren senior Momomi Atkinson, caught on an image off of a video, negotiates a hurdle en route to a meet and Pacific record in the 300 hurdles during Wednesday's Far East track and field meet preliminaries.
Robert D. Edgren senior Momomi Atkinson, caught on an image off of a video, negotiates a hurdle en route to a meet and Pacific record in the 300 hurdles during Wednesday's Far East track and field meet preliminaries. (Photo courtesy of Robert D. Edgren)
Zama senior right-hander Litzie Figueroa tossed a no-hitter and drove in four runs in the Trojans' 19-2 rout of E.J. King on Wednesday, Day 1 of the Far East Division II softball tournament.
Zama senior right-hander Litzie Figueroa tossed a no-hitter and drove in four runs in the Trojans' 19-2 rout of E.J. King on Wednesday, Day 1 of the Far East Division II softball tournament. (Ayumi Davis/Special to Stripes)
Senior right-hander Tori Osterbrink pitched Nile C. Kinnick to victory Wednesday over defending Far East Division I softball champion Kubasaki.
Senior right-hander Tori Osterbrink pitched Nile C. Kinnick to victory Wednesday over defending Far East Division I softball champion Kubasaki. (Ayumi Davis/Special to Stripes)
Kadena's Keely Albrecht tries to slide past the tag of American School In Japan's Sasha Sasanuma. Albrecht got the win and the Panthers edged the Mustangs 10-9 during Wednesday round-robin play in the Far East Division I Softball Tournament.
Kadena's Keely Albrecht tries to slide past the tag of American School In Japan's Sasha Sasanuma. Albrecht got the win and the Panthers edged the Mustangs 10-9 during Wednesday round-robin play in the Far East Division I Softball Tournament. (Ayumi Davis/Special to Stripes)
Humphreys' Junior Gregory clocks the 300 hurdle preliminaries in 40.34 seconds, .19 off the Far East meet record.
Humphreys' Junior Gregory clocks the 300 hurdle preliminaries in 40.34 seconds, .19 off the Far East meet record. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)
Hanokheliyahu Gailson anchors Nile C. Kinnick's boys to victory in the 3,200-meter relay in Far East meet-record time of 8:11.28.
Hanokheliyahu Gailson anchors Nile C. Kinnick's boys to victory in the 3,200-meter relay in Far East meet-record time of 8:11.28. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)
Carlos Mobley and Nile C. Kinnick held a slim 1 1/2-point lead over Humphreys for the overall Division I school lead after one day of competition in the Far East track and field meet.
Carlos Mobley and Nile C. Kinnick held a slim 1 1/2-point lead over Humphreys for the overall Division I school lead after one day of competition in the Far East track and field meet. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)
Yokota right-hander Jeff Mullarky delivers against Zama on Day 1 Wednesday of the Far East Division II baseball tournament. The defending champion Panthers crushed the Trojans 25-0.
Yokota right-hander Jeff Mullarky delivers against Zama on Day 1 Wednesday of the Far East Division II baseball tournament. The defending champion Panthers crushed the Trojans 25-0. (Caroline Chung/Special to Stripes)
Zama's Aubrey Giles and Daegu's Jasmine Litton try to play the ball during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division II soccer tournament pool-play match. The Trojans won 7-0.
Zama's Aubrey Giles and Daegu's Jasmine Litton try to play the ball during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division II soccer tournament pool-play match. The Trojans won 7-0. (Josie Young/Special to Stripes)
70p av      Zama's Siobhan Grabski and Christian Academy Japan's Kaitlyn Corbett battle for the ball during Wednesday's pool-play match in the Far East Division II girls soccer tournament. The Trojans won 3-0.
70p av Zama's Siobhan Grabski and Christian Academy Japan's Kaitlyn Corbett battle for the ball during Wednesday's pool-play match in the Far East Division II girls soccer tournament. The Trojans won 3-0. (Josie Young/Special to Stripes)
Christian Academy Japan's Akina Shimamoto and Daegu's Lisa Lyons battle for the ball during Wednesday's pool play in the Far East Division II girls soccer tournament. The Knights got their first win of the season 2-0.
Christian Academy Japan's Akina Shimamoto and Daegu's Lisa Lyons battle for the ball during Wednesday's pool play in the Far East Division II girls soccer tournament. The Knights got their first win of the season 2-0. (Josie Young/Special to Stripes)
Matthew C. Perry's Annalisa Garcia and Osan's Katie Klapmeyer chase the ball during Wednesday's pool-play in the Far East Division II girls soccer tournament. The Samurai won 5-1.
Matthew C. Perry's Annalisa Garcia and Osan's Katie Klapmeyer chase the ball during Wednesday's pool-play in the Far East Division II girls soccer tournament. The Samurai won 5-1. (Josie Young/Special to Stripes)
Osan's Maja Inthavixay plays the ball against E.J. King's Jae Garland during Wednesday's Far East Division II girls soccer tournament pool play. The Cougars won 4-1.
Osan's Maja Inthavixay plays the ball against E.J. King's Jae Garland during Wednesday's Far East Division II girls soccer tournament pool play. The Cougars won 4-1. (Renee Warren/Special to Stripes)
Seoul American's Ashley Clifton plays the ball against Robert D. Edgren's Alexis Best during Wednesday's Far East Division II girls soccer tournament pool play. The Falcons won 7-1.
Seoul American's Ashley Clifton plays the ball against Robert D. Edgren's Alexis Best during Wednesday's Far East Division II girls soccer tournament pool play. The Falcons won 7-1. (Renee Warren/Special to Stripes)
Seoul American' s Jerell Daniels and Yokota's Cisco Rodriguez battle for the ball during Wednesday's Far East Boys Division II soccer tournament pool play. The Panthers won 2-0.
Seoul American' s Jerell Daniels and Yokota's Cisco Rodriguez battle for the ball during Wednesday's Far East Boys Division II soccer tournament pool play. The Panthers won 2-0. (Marialena Garcia/Special to Stripes)
Seoul American' s David Lee and Yokota's Eli Newton chase the ball during Wednesday's Far East Boys Division II soccer tournament pool play. The Panthers won 2-0.
Seoul American' s David Lee and Yokota's Eli Newton chase the ball during Wednesday's Far East Boys Division II soccer tournament pool play. The Panthers won 2-0. (Marialena Garcia/Special to Stripes)
Seoul American' s Tony Oh kicks the ball past Yokota's Marc Delatorre during Wednesday's Far East Boys Division II soccer tournament pool play. The Panthers won 2-0.
Seoul American' s Tony Oh kicks the ball past Yokota's Marc Delatorre during Wednesday's Far East Boys Division II soccer tournament pool play. The Panthers won 2-0. (Marialena Garcia/Special to Stripes)
Nile C. Kinnick's Maggie Donnelly boots the ball against Humphreys' Chloe Pence during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division I soccer tournament round robin. The Red Devils won 4-0.
Nile C. Kinnick's Maggie Donnelly boots the ball against Humphreys' Chloe Pence during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division I soccer tournament round robin. The Red Devils won 4-0. (Emma Stevens/Special to Stripes)
Nile C. Kinnick's Megan Thomas plays the ball against Humphrey's Jacqueline Puskas during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division I soccer tournament round robin. The Red Devils won 4-0.
Nile C. Kinnick's Megan Thomas plays the ball against Humphrey's Jacqueline Puskas during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division I soccer tournament round robin. The Red Devils won 4-0. (Emma Stevens/Special to Stripes)
Nile C. Kinnick's Ella Eisenhardt and Humphreys' Hannah Simpson battle for the ball during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division I soccer tournament round robin. The Red Devils won 4-0.
Nile C. Kinnick's Ella Eisenhardt and Humphreys' Hannah Simpson battle for the ball during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division I soccer tournament round robin. The Red Devils won 4-0. (Emma Stevens/Special to Stripes)
Nile C. Kinnick's Samantha Kenney and Humphreys' Arielle Stickar try to play the ball during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division I soccer tournament round robin. The Red Devils won 4-0.
Nile C. Kinnick's Samantha Kenney and Humphreys' Arielle Stickar try to play the ball during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division I soccer tournament round robin. The Red Devils won 4-0. (Emma Stevens/Special to Stripes)
American School In Japan's Lauren Hartz and Kubasaki's Liana Elpenord battle for the ball during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division I soccer tournament round robin. The defending champion Mustangs won 5-1.
American School In Japan's Lauren Hartz and Kubasaki's Liana Elpenord battle for the ball during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division I soccer tournament round robin. The defending champion Mustangs won 5-1. (Sheila Suckart/Special to Stripes)
Nile C. Kinnick's Samantha Kenney heads the ball against Kadena's Nyla White during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division I soccer tournament round robin. The Panthers won 2-1, handing the Red Devils their first loss of the season.
Nile C. Kinnick's Samantha Kenney heads the ball against Kadena's Nyla White during Wednesday's Far East Girls Division I soccer tournament round robin. The Panthers won 2-1, handing the Red Devils their first loss of the season. (Sheila Suckart/Special to Stripes)
Kadena's Logan Taylor and Kinnick's Kai Sullivan battle for the ball during Wednesday's Far East Boys Division I Soccer Tournament round-robin. The Red Devils won 3-2.
Kadena's Logan Taylor and Kinnick's Kai Sullivan battle for the ball during Wednesday's Far East Boys Division I Soccer Tournament round-robin. The Red Devils won 3-2. (Mary Obsuna/Special to Stripes)
Kadena's Kian Smith and Kinnick's Daniel Burke chase the ball during Wednesday's Far East Boys Division I Soccer Tournament round-robin. The Red Devils won 3-2.
Kadena's Kian Smith and Kinnick's Daniel Burke chase the ball during Wednesday's Far East Boys Division I Soccer Tournament round-robin. The Red Devils won 3-2. (Mary Obsuna/Special to Stripes)
Kinnick's Ethan Yuska and Kadena's Logan Taylor go up to head the ball during Wednesday's Far East Boys Division I Soccer Tournament round-robin. The Red Devils won 3-2.
Kinnick's Ethan Yuska and Kadena's Logan Taylor go up to head the ball during Wednesday's Far East Boys Division I Soccer Tournament round-robin. The Red Devils won 3-2. (Mary Obsuna/Special to Stripes)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Momomi Atkinson faced a tough choice entering the first day of Far East track and field meet Wednesday: focus on her best event, the 300 hurdles, or try to score more team points for Edgren by also taking on the 400.

With the blessing of her coach, Tim Schwehr, Atkinson opted to only hurdle – and etched her name in the Pacific and Far East meet record books.

The senior clocked 46.17 seconds in the 300 hurdles preliminaries on Wednesday. That makes two straight years the Pacific record has been broken in the Far East meet. A year ago, Yokota’s Britney Bailey ran the event in 46.38, but that was in the finals.

“I was a bit surprised,” said Atkinson, adding that she was hoping just to reach 47 seconds. Her previous best was 48.27 a month ago in the final regular season meet.

“Just run my own race and not let the people around me affect me,” said Atkinson of focusing on herself.

Schwehr said he believes Atkinson can do even better in Thursday’s finals, adding that in the last couple of weeks, she’s turned over a new leaf.

“She became completely motivated. It was really great to see her take it to heart,” Schwehr said, adding he thinks Atkinson can run in the 45-second range. “I can’t wait for tomorrow.”

Atkinson’s was one of two Far East meet records to fall on Wednesday, the other being the boys 3,200-meter relay mark.

Hanokheliyahu Gailson anchored Kinnick to victory in a record time of 8 minutes, 11.28 seconds. That topped the five-year-old mark of 8:14.56 set by Zama.

“It always feels good to beat a record; it’s part of the reason we’re here, to push those limits,” Red Devils coach Luke Voth said.

For his part, Gailson said, “I think I could have run faster (but) I’m happy with it.”

After one day of action, four-time defending D-I champion Kinnick held a slight edge over Humphreys, 97-95½, in the team race. Yokota held the Division II lead, with 99 points. Perry was next with 67.

Figueroa tosses no-hitter for rejuvenated Trojans NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan — Having entered the Far East Division II softball tournament with a 7-12 record, Zama appeared to be a middle-of-the-pack team. But Litzie Figueroa had other ideas.

The senior right-hander fired a no-hitter in the first game Wednesday as the Trojans routed E.J. King 19-2. She helped herself with two hits and four RBIs and also stole two bases.

“Wow,” said Figueroa, adding she was unaware that she’d thrown no-hit ball. “It feels amazing. We’re going to keep pushing harder until we get to the end.”

It was not just a one-game wonder, either; the Trojans closed out Wednesday 3-0, beating Osan 12-5 and finishing the day with a 7-5 upset of DODEA Japan champion Yokota. Jessica Atkinson homered and Zama scored seven times in the third inning.

“They have the energy and the desire,” coach Danny Davis said. “They just need to keep bringing it.”

Zama was one of four Kanto Plain teams that enjoyed unbeaten success on Day 1 of the Far East softball and baseball tournaments.

Kinnick, last year’s softball runner-up, won its two games, including an 11-5 win over Kubasaki, the team that vanquished the Red Devils in last year’s final.

In South Korea, five-time defending champion American School In Japan seized the top seed into the D-I baseball playoffs, while defending champion Yokota did the same in the D-II.

Goal-scoring race heats up; Samurai senior Lange injured Defending Division II champions also had a field day on the soccer pitch, as Christian Academy Japan’s boys and Yokota’s girls finished Wednesday unbeaten, with the Knights taking the top seed entering the boys double-elimination playoffs.

But boys D-II host Perry may have suffered a huge loss on opening day – senior Kai Lange, who leads the Pacific 32 goals, suffered a deep bone contusion above his right knee, his coach and father Mark said.

Lange still managed to score two goals, “but he can hardly move,” the elder Lange said. “It is what it is. We’ll see tomorrow.”

ornauer.dave@stripes.com

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