BIIF Track Stars: Chung, Nicolaisen, Estrada and Scott
She may not be a super hero by Shina Chung can leap over roof tops with a single bound.
The 5’ 2” Viking, who weighs in at 125 pounds, is the defending girl’s pole vault champion going into the Big Island Interscholastic Federation track and field season.
Chung won the BIIF championship last season with a state qualifying height of 8 feet 6 inches and kicked off the 2010 season this past Saturday at an Eastside Meet held at Kamehameha with an equaling clearance.
“I’m not one to make predictions,” Hilo pole vault coach Sherman Viernes said. “But Shina will go over 9 feet this season.”
The Hilo sophomore attributes all of her success to good coaching and her desire to succeed.
“I work hard and I’m very committed,” Chung said. “A lot of people can do well at this event if they just have the determination.”
Chung was also on the track running in the 200 dash and helping her team in both the 400 and 1600 meter relay events, but her love is in doing the pole vault.
“I’m doing well because my coach (Viernes) is very good,” she said. “I still need to work on my technique to be able to go higher.”
“When I first saw her I figured she would do well in this event,” Viernes said. “She has good biomechanics and big shoulders which are important factors in vaulting.”
Another youngster, Kau freshman Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, was also turning heads on the track over the weekend. The youngster made her prep debut in the hurdles, triple jump, high jump and the 400 meter relay.
With Kau continuing to turn out some of the best athletes in the state Strand-Nicolaisen’s left an indelible foot print on the track as the young Trojan won the 100 meter hurdles and the triple jump, both in convincing fashion.
Strand-Nicolaisen older sister, Sarah, was a state champion in both the 100 and 300 hurdles in 2005 and again in 2007, and Trojan Jacob Edwards is the defending 2009 state hurdles champion.
“My sister, Sarah, actually motivates me to do well in the hurdles,” she said. “She will also take me to the Kamehameha track twice a week so that I can get used to running on that type of surface.”
Kau’s track and field team is limited to a grass surface to do their workouts, yet has turned out two state champions in the hurdles and Strand-Nicolaisen knows she has large shoes to fill.
“I know I have big shoes to follow,” Strand-Nicolaisen said. “But I have big feet to fit into them!”
Keaau sophomore Randi Estrada was back on the track over the weekend doing her signature event, the 400 meter dash. Last season, as a freshman, Estrada won the BIIF title in the 400 and went on to place third at the state championships.
Leading a pack of talented runners around the oval Estrada won in a hand time of 1:03.7 but was disappointed with her performance.
“I think I could have done better,” she said. “Last year I ran 60.6 seconds at the state meet and this year I’ve set my goal at breaking the 60 second mark.”
Estrada also placed second in the high jump, helped the Cougars to a second place finish in the 1600 relay and anchored the 4×100 team to a narrow victory over a fast Kamehameha squad.
“I missed a lot of practice with the Haili Volleyball Tournament going on, so now I’ll need to focus more on doing better in track,” Estrada said.
Waiakea senior Ka’imi Scott displayed why he is the defending boys BIIF champion for both the 200 and 400 meter runs.
Scott started the day with a third place finish in the 100 dash before shifting gears to claim victory in the 400 and later the 200 meter dash. During the last event of the day Scott anchored the Warriors to a second place finish in the 1600 meter relay event.
“I’d like to be able to win the BIIF championships in the 100, 200 and 400 this year,” Scott said. “The 200 is my favorite event because I don’t really need to think and I’m strong enough to just go all out. In the 400 there is too much thinking during the race and it causes me to be nervous.”
In his final year as a prep star Scott has set his sights high in achieving personal best times in all three sprint races.
“I’m looking at breaking 50 seconds for the 400 (PR is 51.2) and going around 22.3 for the 200 (22.6 PR),” he said. “I medaled at state in the 200 last season and finished seventh in the 400, but I’m hoping to improve on both.”
With the lack of two Fully Automated Timing systems, BIIF officials decided that the opening Western and Eastern Divisional Meets would be hand timed this past Saturday.
Coming up this Saturday is a split divisional meet for track & field with Konawaena hosting the West Division starting at 9 am and Keaau hosting the East Division at 2 pm.
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