BIIF’s Best Move Up in Track Rankings
KEAAU – In a day of super highs several East Hawaii youngsters positioned themselves in the number 2 position in the state during a Big Island Interscholastic Federation track & field meet held this past Saturday at Keaau.
Hilo’s Shina Chung, Kamehameha’s Kaopua Sutton and Keaau’s Daniel Brooks all gave super efforts during week two of the BIIF track & field season.
Chung, only a sophomore, set a new personal record in the pole vault with her clearing height of 9 feet 8 inches, 14 inches higher than she went last week.
“The biggest thing for me was getting a bigger pole and making the transition,” Chung said of her clearance that ranks her second in the state.
“I went to a 120 pound, 12 feet 6 inch pole and it worked for me today. I’m really happy with my personal best and I now feel confident that I can get to 10 feet,” she said.
Hilo’s vault coach, Sherman Viernes, believes that Chung will be able to clear 10 feet within the next few meets.
“Shina tried 10 feet today, but the end of the pole died,” Viernes said. “For somebody not knowing much about pole vaulting prior to last year she has come a long way. The only thing stopping her now is her mental focus, once she figures that out she’ll be able to go even higher.”
While Chung was conquering new heights Kamehameha’s Kaopua Sutton was finding new distances.
The Warrior senior threw the discus further than she has ever thrown it before, 123 feet 8.5 inches, to record the second best distance in the state.
“Last year my personal best in the BIIF was 115 feet and when I went to states I threw 117 feet,” Sutton said. “I’ve been hitting 120 feet during practice, so I knew I could do it.”
Sutton, who stands 5’ 10” is the defending BIIF champion in the discus and she owes much of her success to her mental attitude.
“I raised my mental focus and now I think I can go at least 130 feet in this event,” she said. “I’m pretty stoked with what I did today.”
Not to be outdone Keaau’s Daniel Brooks made a bold statement prior to running the 1500 meter race. “I plan on going under 4 minutes 20 seconds,” Brooks said during warm ups.
The Cougar senior had to run his own race as no one in the field was capable of keeping up with his torrid pace.
After the first lap Brooks had already built a 20-meter lead and continued building on the lead going into the bell lap when he opened the gap to 70 meters over his closest competition.
At the tape Brooks clocked in with a 4:15.96 a full second faster than his personal best time and good enough to list him as the fourth fastest in the state this year.
“I felt really good today and I knew I could get under 4:20,” he said. “I’ve set my goals high in my senior season and I’m going to try to run 4 flat by the time states rolls around.”
“I’m hoping to get a scholarship to a mainland college to run track,” Brooks said. “In order to get that scholarship I need to get my 1500 time down to 4 minutes and my 800 time to 1:56.”
Brooks later returned to the track to win the 800 meters in 2:03.89, three seconds faster than the previous week.
“I’m happy with my 800 time and I still have a ways to go, but this is good for this point in the season,” he said. “I still need to run the 4×400 relay later today and next week I’d like to mix things up and get a good 3000 time.”
Brooks is looking forward to Saturdays all-schools meet to be held at Kamehameha as this would be the first time this season that he will match up with Honokaa’s best distance runner Chris Mosch.
“I know Chris will really push me as we’ll be able to help each other run faster,” Brooks said. “I’m looking forward to the competition.”
Mosch ran his 1500 at Konawaena in 4:25, but is considered to be one of the best 3000 meter runners in the state.
In the girls 300 hurdles it was Keaau’s Azmera Hammouri-Davis getting the win in 50.9 seconds.
“Last year I ran 50.05 seconds and my goal would be to break 50 seconds and hopefully get down to 48 by the end of the season,” she said.
“I think I’m stuttering before I hit the hurdle,” Hammouri-Davis said. “I need to be faster out of the blocks and work on my technique more in order to get a faster time.”
Saturday’s meet at Keaau was an Eastern Division contest with Konawaena hosting a Western Division meet.
The BIIF is the only league that has two fully automated timing systems and both were in full operation. Chris Drayer handled the FAT system at Kona while Curt Beck and Bob Martin operated the other FAT system at Keaau.