Ramstein, Baumholder are Euro champs

by Thomas Warner contributing writer
Nick Clinton and a senior-laden group of athletes helped Ramstein get the inside track at the boys title at the DODEA Europeans championships. 
Photo by Evan Willingham

Placing several athletes in the top three of numerous events and a consistent presence in the relays was the recipe for Ramstein to win the boys’ Division I title at the DODEA Track and Field championships. Ramstein wound up over 50 points ahead of second place Wiesbaden while Baumholder won the boys’ Division II-III crown.

Jose Serrano
Photo by Evan Willingham

The Division I most valuable track and field athlete was Jose Serrano, a senior Royal runner who has excelled the past few seasons in distance events. Serrano got the most of his four-limit of events, winning first place in the 800 meters, 1,600 meters, 3,200 meters, and as an anchor leg on the 4 x 800 meter relay squad. Baumholder senior Nate Horton was similarly impressive as the MVP for Division II-III.

“We broke the school 4 x 800 record and we just missed the DODEA record,” Serrano said after teaming with Nick Clinton, Nicholas Blake and Denver Dalpais to surpass second place Kaiserslautern and everyone else. “It was a great day for me and for the team.”

This year’s Euros meet was also big for Kaiserslautern’s Jada Branch, who took wins in the 400 meters, long jump and triple jump. Branch went out as one of the best ever from DODEA schools and has accepted a scholarship to compete at Louisiana Tech. She will go there following a summer trip to an all-star meet in Australia.

“The season went fine and the Euros were everything I could have asked for,” said Branch. “It’s all a growing process and when Euros came around I was content with breaking my Kaiserslautern triple jump record and breaking the DODEA record in the 400 meters. I am proud of (Wiesbaden’s) Whitney (Bivins) for her win in the 200 meters and we both broke our personal best school records. There are always going to be people out there who can challenge you. Whether it’s Wiesbaden, Ramstein or some of the smaller schools … there’s a lot of great athletes here in Europe.”

Ramstein boss William Buckley and his staff of nine assistants and volunteer coaches were well aware of the new DODEA scoring system, which awarded double points for relay wins and made it important to structure relay teams in a way that allowed athletes to also be free for other events.

“We had Jose run all four of the open distance events at a meet earlier this season, to sort of get a gauge if he could do it or if he even wanted to,” Buckley said. “We had a large group of seniors on the boys’ side and they came into the season sort of laid back. As the year went on we could see how tight of a group they really were.”

Ramstein had five of the first six finishers in the 800, a race that went down to the wire and was a precursor to the relays near the end of the meet when 14 different athletes, mostly seniors, made up the four boys’ race quartets.

Baumholder’s Solo Turgeon tied with Wiesbaden’s Garrett Armel in the 110 meter hurdles while Ramstein’s Jackie Harris and Kaiserslautern’s Jacob Winchell were runners-up. Photo by Evan Willingham

Kaiserslautern was big in field events, with sophomore Austin Higby winning the shot put and taking second in the discus. On the girls’ side, Zhane Williams and Mercedes Durden won in the shot and discus, respectively. Caprinia Goode of Ramstein gave Williams a stiff challenge in the shot before finishing second.

“I was proud of my throwers and jumpers this year. They put in countless hours in the weight room,” KHS coach Jason Steadman said. “Goals can only take you so far but hard work paved the way for these amazing kids. Jada was an inspiration to our team and we will be rooting for her as she takes the next step in her career.”

Ramstein runners captured either first or second place in all four of the relays as coaches were able to spread the wealth and get multiple athletes involved in the meet. The 4×800 relay group missed breaking the DODEA record by just one second.

CiCi Williams
Photo by Thomas Warner

“We had 26 seniors on our track and field roster so it was important for us to find ways to get more athletes opportunities to compete on both the girls’ and boys’ sides,” said Ramstein assistant coach Kyle Cranston. “During the season we put different combinations together and made attempts to let some people focus on their individual events.”

That strategy worked but the big guns for Ramstein also produced. Jaya Worthington was second in girls’ 100-meter hurdles and CiCi Williams was a winner in the 300-meter hurdles. Both girls will be back next season and the graduating Serrano was brilliant in joining with his cross country champion buddies to earn this final success.

“We were all there supporting each other and we had back-to-back cross country titles so we knew we could do well in distance races,” said Serrano, who plans to enroll at West Texas A&M University. The 800 meter run was a dominant Royal performance with Ramstein’s Serrano, Clinton, Dalpais, Robert Cullison, and Blake taking five of the top six spots. The quintet was bunched together and all finished within three seconds of one another.

“We ran in packs all year at practices,” said Cullison, one of several RHS athletes who PCS’d here a year ago and got just one season at the school. “That’s how we trained and how we raced. We were all a pretty close-knit group and I am going to miss these guys I’ve become friends with.”

Consistent junior Dash Rogers wound up second to Serrano in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs. The 3,200 featured a near photo-finish as the friends crossed together about 15 seconds ahead of Kaiserslautern’s Orlando Rojas in third place.

Nate Horton Photo by Matthew Martinez

Baumholder’s Nate Horton won the long jump and was third in the high jump as well as running relay legs, finalizing a senior year that included a DODEA basketball championship plus his track team’s top prize. His teammate Solo Turgeon was so close with Wiesbaden’s Garrett Armel in the 110 hurdles that judges ruled it was a dead-heat tie for first place.

“Nate was the only four-year letterman we had this year,” said Baumholder coach Matthew Martinez. “He qualified for Euros all four years and he won the long jump in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Nate is a clutch performer and works out in the offseason by continuing to build his strength and endurance in the weight room.”

Turgeon and Lorne Huxtable also had giant seasons for the Buccaneers and will return to lead the BHS program next year. Turgeon was a top DODEA hurdler throughout meets all spring, but was edged in the Euros 300 meter hurdles by Caelum Wallace of Wiesbaden. Jackie Harris of Ramstein was third in both of those races and took fifth in the high jump to aid the Royals’ overall point total.

“I worked this year as hard as possible and it was amazing to cut four seconds off my personal best time in the 300, but Solo and Caelum really pushed it in both races,” said Harris, who is headed to University of Texas-San Antonio. Harris also won with Nicholas Lowe, Gevaughn Bracy, and Dominique Arizpe on Ramstein’s 4×100 relay.

The Lady Royals will lose just three seniors from their nucleus and will be stronger in 2019. Williams had a solid sophomore campaign and will be one of the top returning athletes at any overseas school next season.

“I congratulated Jada at the meet and I will miss competing against her,” Williams said of KHS’s Branch. “My meet was positive all around but I was nervous heading into the 300 hurdles because I’d fallen the day before in the 100 (preliminaries) and didn’t qualify for the finals.”

“Our coaches did a phenomenal job of preparing us and what we were able to do is mostly because of them,” said distance runner Blake, another Ramsteiner who arrived recently and had just one season with the program. “And I was training and competing all season with my brothers. I’ve never felt so motivated by a group around me as I did with this one.”

KHS senior Jada Branch was best in the long jump, triple jump, and 400 meters. Photo by Evan Willingham




TEAM STANDINGS (13 teams entered)

1. Ramstein 207

2. Wiesbaden 148

3. Lakenheath 89

4. Kaiserslautern 84

5. Baumholder 74



3. Dominique Arizpe, Ramstein (11.12)


3. Dominique Arizpe, Ramstein (22.48)


2. Nathaniel Horton, Baumholder (51.45)


1. Jose Serrano, Ramstein (2:00.55)

2. Nick Clinton, Ramstein (2:00.56)

4. Denver Dalpais, Ramstein (2:03.23)

5. Robert Cullison, Ramstein (2:03.24)

6. Nicholas Blake, Ramstein (2:03.25)


1. Jose Serrano, Ramstein (4:28.73)

2. Dash Rogers, Ramstein (4:33.45)

4. Denver Dalpais, Ramstein (4:35.67)

6. Orlando Rojas, Kaiserslautern (4:38.00)


1. Jose Serrano, Ramstein (9:51.43)

2. Dash Rogers, Ramstein (9:51.85)

3. Orlando Rojas, Kaiserslautern (10:05.36)

5. Denver Dalpais, Ramstein (10:09.21)

6. Joseph Purvis, Kaiserslautern (10:14.05)


1. Solo Turgeon, (TIE) Baumholder (15.47)

1. Garrett Armel, (TIE) Wiesbaden (15.47)

3. Jackie Harris, Ramstein (15.52)

4. Jacob Winchell, Kaiserslautern (15.62)

6. Bryce Thomas, Ramstein (16.07)


1. Caelum Wallace, Wiesbaden (40.53)

2. Solo Turgeon, Baumholder (40.55)

3. Jackie Harris, Ramstein (40.97)

5. Tyrese Loveday, Ramstein (42.23)

6. Jerod Little, Ramstein (42.60)


1. Ramstein – Jackie Harris, Nick Lowe, Gevaughn Bracy, Dominique Arizpe (43.72)

4. Kaiserslautern – Mazen Youness, Cedric Ellis, Jacob Winchell, Santo Starkey (45.10)


2. Ramstein – Cameron Chester, Isiah Allen, Owen Mendenhall, Nick Clinton (3:33.20)

3. Baumholder – Lorne Huxtable,
Conner Brinkmeyer, Solo Turgeon, Nate Horton (3:34.39)

6. Kaiserslautern – Andre James,
Tre’ Dotson, JP Tangonan, Cedric Ellis 


1. Ramstein – Nick Clinton, Nicholas Blake, Denver Dalpais, Jose Serrano (8:07.54)

3. Kaiserslautern – Skyler Ratledge,
Griffen Parcells, Esteban Saldana, Orlando Rojas (8:23.27)


2. Ramstein – Christian Miley, Nick Lowe, Conner Looney, Rob Cullison (3:44.86)

5. Baumholder – Brandon Bankston, Conner Brinkmeyer, Chandler Pigge, J. J. Comley (3:57.96)


3. Nathaniel Horton, Baumholder (5-11)

4. Tre’ Dotson, Kaiserslautern (5-11)

5. Jackie Harris, Ramstein (5-11)


1. Nathaniel Horton, Baumholder (21-07.75)

4. Solo Turgeon, Baumholder (20-06.25)

5. Ervin Johnson, Kaiserslautern (20-01.50)


1. Kobe Cox, Lakenheath (45-01.5)

2. Jason Jones, Ramstein (42-02.0)

5. Lorne Huxtable, Baumholder (41-00)


1. Austin Higby, Kaiserslautern (47-11.25)

2. Eli Roberts, Ramstein (43-04.5)


1. Anders Bergeron, Stuttgart (134-10)

2. Austin Higby, Kaiserslautern (131-06)

9. Eli Roberts, Ramstein (114-01)


TEAM STANDINGS (16 teams entered)

1. Stuttgart 154

2. Wiesbaden 135

3. Ramstein 110

4. Kaiserslautern 81

5. SHAPE 48.50



1. Whitney Bivins, Wiesbaden (25.36)

2. Jada Branch, Kaiserslautern (25.78)


1. Jada Branch, Kaiserslautern (57.28)


5. Jordanne Hill, Ramstein (12:21.76)

6. Mckenzie Perkes, Ramstein (12:40.74)


2. Jaya Worthington, Ramstein (15.87)

5. Sybella Crespo, Ramstein (16.67)

6. Isabella Pacheco, Kaiserslautern (17.29)


1. CiCi Williams, Ramstein (46.88)

4. Masaya Archbold, Ramstein (48.60)


3. Ramstein – Sybella Crespo, Shannon McCray, Masaya Archbold, Jaya Worthington (51.71)


4. Ramstein – Katie Hickman, Barakat Ibrahim, Masaya Archbold, Megan Hull (4:18.19)

5. Kaiserslautern – Mallory Harris, Ayana Davison, Ayana Cox, Heysha Perez-Mendez (4:24.15)


3. Ramstein – Mya McKinley, Megan Hull, Kristin Lucero, McKenzie Perkes (10:30.37)


4. Ramstein – Sybella Crespo, Kori Fay, Masaya Archbold, McKenzie Perkes (4:39.94)


6. Ciera Babb, Ramstein (4-09)


1. Jada Branch, Kaiserslautern (18-4.75)

3. CiCi Williams, Ramstein (17-2.50)

5. Ciera Babb, Ramstein (16-0.75)


1. Jada Branch, Kaiserslautern (39-6.00)

4. CiCi Williams, Ramstein (34-04)

6. Elena Russey, Kaiserslautern (33-06)


1. Zhane Williams, Kaiserslautern (32-11.50)

2. Caprinia Goode, Ramstein (32-10.25)


1. Mercedes Durden, Kaiserslautern (100-0)

5. Zhane Williams, Kaiserslautern (88-01)