Honolulu Marathon/Kaiser High School
Cross Country Invitational
Presented By Target
Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park on Saturday, Sept. 25, 210
Three time defending BIIF champion, Tialana Greenwell, and defending BIIF champ, Chris Mosch, both from Honokaa will be running on Oahu this weekend. Joining the two Dragrons will be the Kamehameha-Hawaii boys team and a boys and girls team from Hawaii Prep.
Besides Mosch and Greenwell watch for Ka Makani harriers Kela Vargas and Zoe Sims along with KSH’s Shawn Correa to to be among the top BIIF athletes during the Invitational.
Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are two of the most dominate players in the world of tennis and a youngster from Waiakea is also dominating her competition here on the Big Island.
Hilo tennis sensation Sarah Dvorak just keeps on winning. The 14 year old who just entered the 9th grade at Waiakea High continues to turn heads while keeping her opponents off balance.
Dvorak recently won two tournaments, playing at the 18 year old division and defeated #1 ranked Sarah Kukino, not once but twice in straight sets. During the Hawaii State Junior Championships, from August 12 – 15 Dvorak matched up with Kukino in the girl’s 18 championships, winning 6-1, 6-4.
A month later, Sept 3-6, it was again the #2 seed, Dvorak, this time playing for the Hilo Fall Junior Sectional Championship against #1 seed Kukino with similar results. The Waiakea freshman beat the Kauai senior in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
The Hilo Junior Tennis Club hosted the four day tournament which saw play at both the Waiakea High courts and the Edith Kanaka’ole Tennis Stadium in Hilo. Director of the Sectional Championships, Michael Miyahira, had praise for the young Dvorak.
“Sarah (Dvorak) is very strong,” Miyahira said. “She is a very good player and we look forward to seeing her play in future tournaments.”
Dvorak’s victories over Kukino were huge accomplishments as Kukino is the defending Kauai Interscholastic Federation individual champion and the Hawaii High School Athletic Association’s 2010 state runner-up.
Kukino’s only loss during the 2010 prep tennis season came at the hands of the eventual state champion, Kealakehe’s Sayo Tsukumoto.
Tsukumoto’s only loss last year came at the hands of Dvorak in a United States Tennis Association sanction tournament. Tsukumoto was a senior in high school at the time while Dvorak was in the 8th grade at Waiakea Intermediate School.
“I play an aggressive base line game using a short ball attack,” Dvorak said. “I’m still working on my serve as it needs more spin and more kick so that I can get a better bounce on my ball.”
Dvorak has been cross training with Robin Takahashi since the fourth grade as they work on variety of skills to promote strength and endurance.
“We (Takahashi) do suicides and we use the medicine ball. He gets me to work on my legs and recently has placed more emphasis on my upper body,” Dvorak said.
Dvorak also heads to Kona on a regular bases and uses the coaching skills of Evan Schermer to develop into a formidable tennis player. “Coach Evan and I have been working together since sixth grade and I owe a lot of where I am today to him,” she said.
“Sarah’s (Dvorak) huge serve overwhelms the girls in Hawaii,” Coach Schermer said. “She is a lefty that has a 105 mile per hour first serve. She reminds me of Rafael Nadel, another lefty with a powerful serve.”
Schermer believes that Dvorak has the capability to become a four time high school tennis champion. “Sarah just dominates the girls she plays and is reminiscent of the domination Serena Williams has in playing her opponents.”
Dvorak is currently ranked by www.tennisrecruiting.net as the number 59th incoming freshman in the nation, but Schermer believes that she will move much higher in the national rankings in the next two years.
“Sarah is already one of the top prospects in the country,” Schermer said. “With more national exposure I believe we’ll see Sarah ranked in the top 10 in the nation by her junior year in high school.”
Despite winning her last two tournaments in the 18 year old division Dvorak still sees a lot of work ahead.
“I need to work on everything,” she said. “My serves, volleys, and overhand need more work and I can still do better on my footwork.”
The Warrior freshman contributes much of her demanding schedule to effective time management. “I have to juggle school, practice and home activities and I have learned to manage my time well,” she said.
“I’ll practice with players that are better than I am, usually boys or adult men, so that I can react to the big serves and make solid returns. When Zandrix (Acob) was here I would practice regularly with him,” Dvorak said. (Acob is another 14 year and is ranked as the #3 player in the USAT Hawaii Pacific Section 18 year old division).
Due to Dvorak’s financial inability to play regularly on the USAT Hawaii Pacific Sectional circuit she remains ranked as the #2 player in the state at the 18 year old division with Kukino retaining the #1 state ranking.
“My parents are sending my older sister, Joyce, to college at Seattle University so I’m not able to afford to play in all the tennis tournaments throughout the state,” Dvorak sad.
“I’d like to be able to play in more local tournaments and to participate at the Winter Nationals at the Copper Bowl in Tucson, Arizona,” Dvorak said. “But my families limited financial resources place a limit on the amount of competitive tournaments that I can play.”