KEAAU – Konawaena’s Emalia Galdeira and Ua Ruedy wrecked havoc on the track to lead the lady Wildcats in team scoring this past Saturday during a Big Island Interscholastic Federation track & field meet held at the Cougar track.
In a heavy, sporadic downpour, the drought in Kona may be over, as the Westside track stars won their first scoring meet in recent memory edging Hilo by .25 points.
Ruedy won the 100 and 300 hurdles, 200 dash, placed second in the 100 and third in the long jump amassing 44 points for the lady Wildcats.
Not to be outdone Galdeira, the Hawaii High School Athletic Association basketball player of the year, won the 100 meter dash, long jump, finished second in the 100 hurdles, and tied for third in the high jump scoring 31.3 individual points.
What’s even more notable is that Galdeira, better know for her on the court basketball skills, needed to be talked into coming out for track this season by the Wildcat coaching staff.
“I still have a lot to learn about technique in doing the hurdles,” Galdeira said. “The rest of the events are easy as all I need to know is to pump my arms and go. I don’t think about anything.”
Galdeira demonstrated her great leaping ability as she hit a 16’ 8.5” mark with her lead foot clearly 10 inches behind the marking board.
Galdeira’s long jump established herself as the number two in the state and the junior clearly has not seen a full potential.
“I’m having fun doing track and the 100 dash is my favorite,” she said. “All I have to do is go.”
Sophomore teammate Ruedy placed fourth in the state last year in the 300 hurdles, but prefers the 100 hurdles as her premier event.
“My favorite is the 100 hurdles as it is quicker and much more interesting,” Ruedy said. “It’s all about technique and good form and the 100 is much shorter than the 300,” she said with a wide grin.
Last season Ruedy didn’t try the 100 hurdles and her focus was on just running the 300.
“I’m hoping to win the state in the 300 hurdles and improve my times in the other sprint races,” she said. “I also think we have a good chance of winning the BIIF team title this year.”
One of the Konawaena coaches, Kuulei Karratti Saole is a former HHSAA sprint champion winning the gold medal in the 100 dash for Kau in 2003 while medaling in the long and triple jumps.
“It’s all about giving back to the community in a sport that I love,” Coach Saole said.
On the far end on the track infield it was Hilo’s Shina Chung showcasing her ability to leap over tall buildings.
The two time BIIF pole vault champion Chung cleared the bar at 10’ 3” to put her as the number one vaulter in the state at this point in the season.
“I’m trying to just hit a PR (personal record) by clearing 10’ 8” this season,” she said. “I’m using a 12’ 1” pole which is made for someone that weighs 125 pounds.”
During the offseason Chung kept busy running stairs and doing drills and bio mechanics in order to maintain her high ranking in the event.
“I feel a lot of pressure as I want to repeat as BIIF champ and also improve on my fifth place state finish last year,” Chung said.
In the distance events it was Hawaii Repertory’s Zoe Sims coming out fast in both the 1500 and 3000 meter events to establish herself as the person to beat in those events.
“I wanted to hit my split times in both events, but I was a little off in the middle laps,” Sims said.
Sims ran an impressive 5 minutes 16.5 seconds in the 1500 and came back with an 11:47.02 in the 3K to win both easily.
“My goal was to run a 5:08 in the 1500,” she said. “I hit my splits during the first and fourth laps, but fell off goal pace during the middle laps which is something I’ll need to push harder in the future.”
For the boys it was an Kamehameha 4×100 relay team that ran picture perfect clocking 45.97 seconds.
Kealii Naauao, Kaenen “Aukai” Akau, Zarion “Kama” Vincent and Tavon Pegues didn’t come into the meet confident that they could pull out the relay victory.
“We were having trouble dropping the baton all week in practice,” Vincent said. “Our number 3 and 4 kept having trouble holding onto the stick.”
The Warriors pulled off a good team effort without anyone dropping the baton and their quick sprint speed was enough to hold off a talented Kealakehe squad.
The Waveriders held a narrow lead going into the final turn when Pegues took the exchange and ran down his opponent to take the narrow win.
The Warriors have six sprinters battling for the four top spots on their relay team, according to Coach Kimo Weaver, which will make for an exciting competition to see who will end up representing the school at the end of the season.
Newbie freshman, Raskassa Johnson from Hilo made his debut performance on the track and managed to turn a few heads in the 200 dash.
Johnson, a transfer from the Hawaiian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Pahoa, had never run track prior to making his debut on Saturday took second in the 200 dash, clocking 24.31 seconds to Kealakehe winner Dylan Navarro’s 23.05.
“I came out for track because I want to get faster for football,” Johnson said. “I played running back on the junior varsity team and I was told this would help me improve my speed.”
Johnson, who is still in the learning curve, has been given a crash course on getting out quickly.
“I’ve never stepped into the block until three weeks ago,” he said. “I feel the same passion for track as I do for football and I know I’m getting faster.”
The BIIF season will continue Saturday with a split meets as Kamehameha host the East schools and HPA will host the West. Field events begin at 9 am with the running venue starting at 10am.