Islanders to compete at track and field meet in Okinawa

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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Having conquered northwest Pacific high school records in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes and competed in locales throughout the South Pacific, Regine Tugade and the John F. Kennedy Islanders track squad now boldly venture where no Islander has gone before — Japan.

An eight-athlete contingent of Islanders is in Okinawa, ready to compete in the 12th Alva W. “Mike” Petty Memorial Track and Field Meet, an open event April 8 at Kubasaki High School, about 15 miles north of Okinawa’s prefectural capital of Naha.

And Tugade is expected to match up with Department of Defense Dependents Schools, or DODDS, Far East meet record holder Kaelyn Francis of Kubasaki in what some observers say could be a dream matchup in both sprint races.

Tugade holds the region records with times of 12.26 seconds in the 100 and 25.52 in the 200. Francis, also a senior, set the DODDS Pacific Far East meet record in the 200, clocking 25.73 last May. Tugade broke that mark just a week later in the Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam Track and Field finals.

The two are expected to line up in Lanes 4 and 5 on the refurbished track at Kubasaki’s Mike Petty Stadium. JFK flew from Guam on Tuesday and the team is expected to stay through Saturday afternoon.

Last Friday at Okkodo High School, Tugade opened the Guam high school season by winning the triple jump (9.46 meters), 100 (12.47 seconds) and 200 (26.28). Francis has run in two meets, March 25 at Kubasaki and last Saturday at nearby Kadena High School, thus far this season, clocking 12.46 and 12.57 in successive weeks in the 100.

Hurdling specialist Johnny Quitugua is also part of the Islanders contingent. In Friday’s opener, he won the triple jump (11.99), the 110 hurdles (15.66 seconds) and the 300 hurdles (43.34). Kadena’s Devin Ross has won all but one hurdles event this season and could give Quitugua some competition.

Islanders’ head coach Jay Antonio is expecting Tugade, Quitugua and senior Genina Criss to be in the mix against the competition.

“The three seniors should do fairly well and hopefully medal in their events. Regine will be going up against great competition and this should be a true test for her,” Antonio said.

Antonio said junior Daelan Alviz will be looking to clear six feet, or 1.82 meters, in the high jump at the meet.

The Petty meet will feature four schools in Okinawa — Kadena, Kubasaki, Zion Christian Academy International and Okinawa Christian School International. Coming from Taiwan will be Morrison Academy and from Korea will be Yongsan International School of Seoul.

The meet is named for the late Dr. Alva W. “Mike” Petty, former athletics director at Kubasaki High School, who helped introduce competitive track and field to high schools in Okinawa. Petty died of cancer in spring 1992.

Antonio said his team has more competitions on their schedule as they travel to the Philippines for a meet against Brent International School. The team plans to visit an orphanage in Bulacan to do some community work before they return to Guam.

He thanked JFK Principal Barbara Adamos for her continued support and Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez for approving the trip and allowing the Islanders to compete at a higher level.

Pacific Daily News’ A.T. Garrido contributed to this article.

ISLANDERS COMPETING

  • Regine Tugade, senior: 100m, 200m, long jump
  • Johnny Quitugua, senior: 110m hurdles, 300m hurdles, long jump
  • Genina Criss, senior: 1,600m, 3,200m, 800m
  • Daelan Alviz, junior: high jump, long jump, 100m, 200m
  • Zachary Criss, freshman: 1,600m, 3,200m, 800m
  • Katelee McCormic, sophomore: 1,600m, 3,200m, 800m
  • Arika Wada, freshman: 400m, 800m, 1,600m
  • Richelle Tugade, freshman: 200m, 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, long jump
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