by Robert Baldwin
Kaiserslautern’s overall depth proved to be too much for the rest of the 19 team field as the Raiders men won the Division 1A 2019 European Track and Field Championships on their home track. The Raiders’ 139 points edged out Ramstein at 124 and Wiesbaden at 119. Baumholder was the champion in 3A for the third straight year. All of the schools competed together and the Buccaneers finished eighth overall.
In the women’s competition, Stuttgart and Wiesbaden finished in a tie with 148 points. Ramstein was third with 136.5 and Kaiserslautern fifth with 46 points. Baumholder had ten points.
In 3A, the athletes are often as good as those in the larger schools, but there are just not as many of them. Whereas Ramstein or Kaiserslautern had 50 or 60 men’s competitors, Baumholder had ten, but they did not back down from the power schools. Sophomore Chandler Pigge was fifth in the 400 meter run. He paired up with Lorne Huxtable, Laurence Huxtable, and Brandon Bankston Jr. to place sixth in the 4×400 relay. In the 1,600 Sprint Medley Relay, Jesse Espinoza stepped in for Lorne Huxtable and the Buccaneers placed third behind Ramstein and Kaiserslautern. Lorne Huxtable was fifth in the competitive triple jump field and Jeremiah Christopher earned two more points in the discus. The six that finished ahead of him were all 1A throwers.
Three European records were set. Ramstein’s outstanding senior distance runner Dashiell Rogers ran a 9:49.21 in the 3,200 meter run, breaking the old record of 9:51.34 set last year by Jose Serrano. Kaiserslautern’s Joseph Purvis was third while Rogers’ teammate Denver Dalpais finished seventh and the Raiders Orlando Rojas earned a point in eighth place. Dalpais won the 800 meters and anchored the winning sprint medley relay team. Sophomore Griffin Purcell of Kaiserslautern was third.
Sophomore McKinley Fielding of Stuttgart, who was the runner up in her weight class in the European wrestling tournament this winter, annihilated the record in the women’s 3,200 meter run. Fielding’s 11:07.78 broke the old mark, which had stood for seven years, by 20 seconds. Ramstein’s Jordanne Hill and Kristin Lucero finished third and fourth and ran strong races but were still more than a minute behind Fielding. Then, as an encore, Fielding set the record in the 1,600 meters, winning that race by 27 seconds. She was also the anchor in the Stuttgart team winning the 4×800 relay. Overall, she was responsible for 60 of Stuttgart’s 148 points. While everyone else seems to be exerting maximum effort, Fielding looks like she is on a Sunday stroll when she blazes around the track.
Marquez Middlebrooks of Wiesbaden also won three times, taking the 100 meters, 200 meters and long jump. His Warriors teammate, sprinter Whitney Bivens won the women’s 200 and 400, anchored the Warriors victorious 4×400 relay and was second in the 100 to teammate Isabella Pizarro. Bivens and Pizarro barely edged out Kaiserslautern’s rocket Mallory Harris in the 100, who also took third in the 200 behind Bivens and her teammate Ashanti Scott. Ramstein teammates Aryal Allen and Casey McCollum finished fifth and sixth. Kaiserslautern’s Sierra Goode was fifth in the 400 meters.
One of the most closely contested events this spring has been the men’s 100 meters. Middlebrooks won this time, but had to outrun outstanding Ramstein sprinters Jason Jones and Dominique Arizpe, who came in fourth and fifth.
In the 200, Arizpe was fourth, Cedric Ellis from Kaiserslautern was fifth and the Raiders’ Tre Dotson was eighth.
In the men’s 400 meters, Ellis and Jaelaun Bell of Ramstein finished second and third and Pigge was fifth. The winner was Joshua Walter of Vilseck.
Black Forest Academy’s Mac Roberts surprised by winning the hotly contested 1,600 meter men’s race. He squeeked out the victory by four-tenths of a second over Kaiserslautern’s Joseph Purvis and by about a second over the Raiders Griffin Purcell. Rogers and Dalpais came in fourth and fifth. Kaiserslautern’s Orlando Rojas was seventh and Raiders freshman Edward Collazo was eighth.
Wiesbaden’s outstanding hurdler Garrett Armel won twice. Kaiserslautern’s Alapae Turgeon and Jacob Winchell were second and third, Ramstein’s Bryce Thomas was fourth in the 110 meters. Turgeon was sixth in the 300 meter hurdles.
The Ramstein quartet of Isaiah Allen, Arizpe, Cameron Chester and Jones won the 4×100 relay. The Kaiserslautern foursome of freshman Larry Haynes, Ellis, Turgeon and Jacob Winchell was second.
The Raiders’ Esteban Saldana, Orlando Rojas, Yadiel Rojas and Purcell took the 4×800 title. Ramstein was fourth and Baumholder fifth.
Ramstein, Kaiserslautern and Baumholder swept the 1,600 sprint medley relay. Isaiah Allen, Jeremiah Allen, Bell and Dalpais clocked a time of 3:44.56.
In a repeat from last year, Kaiserslautern shot putter senior Austin Higby won at 48 feet 8 inches to finish the season undefeated. He was third in the discus.
Tre Dotson and DaVonta Sanders were fourth and seventh for Kaiserslautern in the high Jump. Jones of Ramstein was second in the triple jump, Brian Lunn of Kaiserslautern sixth and Thomas of Ramstein seventh.
A pair of Ramstein freshmen, Annika Zimmerer and Alexis Pierre-Louis came in one second apart in sixth and seventh place in the 800. In the 1,600, Ramstein’s Hill was fourth, Lucero seventh and Zimmerer eighth. Zimmerer joined fellow freshman Juliana Wenckus, sophomore Barakat Ibrahim and junior Jillian Harris to place second behind Wiesbaden in the 4×400 relay. Kaiserslautern’s quartet of Skye Morton, Sierra Goiode, Harris and Azora Williams was second. Baumholder was sixth with a team of LaNiya Myers, Alexandra Searrat, Carina Sepulvida and Kya Williams. Myers and Sepulveda are freshmen.
Jaya Worthington of Ramstein won the 100-meter hurdles, followed by teammate Samantha Sonka in fourth. Worthington was second in the 300-meter hurdles. Myers was fifth. Worthington was also seventh in the high jump and fifth in the long jump. Ramstein’s Barakat was fourth and Williams seventh in the long jump. Barakat and Williams were fourth and fifth in the triple jump.
Caprinia Goode of Ramstein was runner up in the shot put while Kaiserslautern’s Larissa Carter was third and Zhane Williams seventh. Carter and Williams were sixth and seventh in the discus.
Sonka, Jarai Jones, Shannon McCray and McCollum won the 4×100 relay for Ramstein. The Royals were also fourth in the sprint medley relay.
In the Athletes to Keep an Eye On category, there were two freshman winners. Elizabeth Woodruff won both the shot put and discus while Victoria Harris from AFNorth high jumped 5 feet.