Chris Sonnenberg

Spotlight on You: Chris Sonnenberg

27-year-old Pac record bites the dust

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published: April 29, 2015

Long before team hardware was handed out in a variety of sports on the Pacific’s “championship Saturday,” Christian Sonnenberg and Brittani Shappell went about making some history of their own.

Sonnenberg, a Yokota sophomore, made good on a preseason vow, tossing 50.85 meters at Yokota’s Headley Field. That topped the 27-year-old mark of 50.65 set by Stephe DeSantis, then a Yokota senior – a record many observers have said would stand forever.

Shappell, a Seisen freshman and reigning Far East cross country chamnpion, broke the 3,000-meter Kanto record, with a time of 10 minutes, 34.97 seconds. That came a week after breaking the 11-year-old Kanto Plain mark in the 3,200.

“Awesome. It was fun,” Sonnenberg said. “I was actually surprised because it didn’t look like it was a good throw. But when it kind of tipped to the side in the end, I’m glad it went over.”

Sonnenberg had thrown a personal best 49.33 three weeks ago and had scratched at 55 and 58 meters in previous meets, and began Saturday with a 50.63 on his first of three tries; he scratched on the last one.

“I thought it would be around 45. I just wanted to make sure it was in,” he said, adding that he didn’t want a repeat of last week’s meet at Yokota, in which he had just two good throws in six attempts.

The record came in the DODDS Japan finals, an unusual event in that the shot put and discus were held at Yokota, while the rest of the events were run at Robert D. Edgren, 360 miles north. Edgren does have throwing pits, but they weren’t ready in time for Saturday’s meet.

The closest anybody else has come to Sonnenberg and DeSantis was Roland Cote of Zama, who threw 44.29 in 2012.

Saturday was also the last day athletes could post qualifying times, heights and distances for next month’s Far East meet, scheduled for May 21-22, also at Yokota.

Kadena remained unbeaten in the team standings this season as the Panthers tuned up for next week’s Okinawa finals at Koza City Stadium. Jazmyn Sharper of Kadena stayed unbeaten in throwing events, while Kubasaki’s Johnathan Johnson swept the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

Seoul American’s boys and girls emerged victorious in the DODDS Korea finals at Humphreys, where Blackhawks sprinter Dai’Quan Wilson won the 100 and 200 and came in second in the 400 and Nicole Castro took the 400 and 800 and was second in the 1,600.

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