Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Vikings producing some of the best pole vaulters in the state

Coach Viernes

KEAAU – Hilo keeps churning out athletes that can leap tall buildings with a single bound.

The Vikings over the past years have produced some of the best pole vaulters in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation and in the Hawaii High School Athletic Association.

Viking pole vault coach, Sherman Viernes, who coached his own daughter Daysha to an individual state gold medal continues to produce some of the best vaulters in the state.

 This past Saturday the Viking pole vaulters Shina Chung and Katon Pestano showcased what they do best, by leaping to new levels.

Shina Chung

Chung recorded an early season best 10’ 6” clearance to set a new Kamehameha stadium record as she continued to hold the lead on state competition, tied for first with Punahou’s Sammy Marumoto.

“I changed poles and got onto a 130 pounder, which made all the difference today,” Chung said.

“I really didn’t like the 125 pole that I used previously and earlier in the week I managed to practice on the heavier one for two days.”

 The larger pole, which takes more strength to manage, produced big dividends for Chung as she recorded her best height of the season.

“It’s harder using a bigger pole as it’s stiffer and doesn’t bend, but my off season conditioning helped me with the physical aspect and it paid off today,” she said.

Katon Pestano

Chung recorded an early season best 10’ 6” clearance to set a new Kamehameha stadium record as she continued to hold the lead on state competition, tied for first with Punahou’s Sammy Marumoto.

Teammate Katon Pestano also went with a bigger pole, using a 155 pound stick for the first time this season, as he cleared 14 feet.

“This is the highest I’ve ever gone,” Pestano a sophomore said.  “It was my goal going into the season to be able to clear 14 feet, but I never expected to do it so early in the year.”

Since clearing 14 feet and being ranked as the number one vaulter in the BIIF, Pestano has raised the bar again as he now hopes to go even higher.

“I’d like to go after David King’s BIIF record of 15 feet 6 inches,” Pestano said.  “I didn’t even make states last year as a freshman and now I’m hoping to be able to place in the top six and possible win the BIIF title.”

Randi Estrada

While the Vikings were dominating the pole vault competition a Cougar was tearing up the track.

Keaau’s Randi Estrada had victories in the 100, 200, high jump and helped her 4×400 relay team set a new Kamehameha stadium record.  The Cougar also joined her teammates to a second place finish in the 4×100 relay.

 “The 200 is my favorite event, although the 400 has been my main event during the past two years,” Estrada said.  “I like the 200 better than the 400 because it’s shorter and it’s over more quickly.”

Estrada feels that her confidence is growing in the 200 as she learns the more technical aspects of racing faster.

“I’m doing way better this year in the 200 because I’m using more arms and doing knee drives,” she said.  “I think I would have done even better today if we had more competition as it is harder for me to race in an East side only meet as there is no one to push me.”

 The BIIF track & field venue was divided with Kamehameha hosting the East side schools and Hawaii Preparatory Academy hosting the West.

Jackson Halford

In the distance races it was Waiakea standout, Jackson Halford racking up wins in the 800 and 1500 meter races, along with helping his 4×400 relay team to victory.

“I would have done a 3K if they would have held the race earlier in the day,” Jackson said.  “I am just discovering that I like to do the 800 as I usually only do the longer distances in the past.”

Halford ran a personal best 2 minutes 8 seconds in the 800 and is now looking at making that distance his premier event.

“I hit my first lap in 64 seconds,” Halford said, “and came back with another 64 second final lap.”

The Warrior also took 8 seconds off his previous 1500 time and ran the second leg of the distance relay to help his team to victory.

Kaenen Akau

Another pair of Warriors was also wowing the crowd in the field events as Kamehameha’s Kaenen Akau and Hawk Hanoa were establishing themselves as the best in the league and in the state in what they do best.

Akau, a junior, the defending champion in the boy’s long jump leaped 21’ 7.5” to establish himself as the league’s best and rank him as one of the best in the state thus far.

“The long jump is my favorite event because it requires a lot of speed and I like the feeling of flying through the air,” Akau said.

During practice Akau has gone 22’ 1” and he believes that as the season continues he’ll be able to deliver a 22 foot jump during meet time.

Hawk Hanoa

Warrior teammate, Hawk Hanoa, was also reaching new distances as the powerful built senior threw the shot 51 feet to win the meet and ranked himself as the number 2 thrower in the BIIF behind HPA’s Shane Brostek. 

“I was really disappointed with my 134 foot discus’ throw that when I went into the shot ring I turned my disappointment into positive anger and was able to motivate myself into my best toss ever,” he said.

Hanoa, who set his goal going into the season as trying to reach 50 feet in the shot, found himself well ahead of his preseason dreams and has now set the bar higher.

“The majority of what we do is mental,” Hanoa said.  “I don’t feel that I’m doing everything I can and that I still have this hunger to go further.  Visually I can do it and it will happen.”

Brostek launched a 52-01.5 on his home turf this past Saturday and also managed to outdistance his competition in the discus throw with a toss of 150-03.5.

The BIIF track & field season continues on Saturday with an all schools meet at Konawaena with field events getting under way at 9 am and running at 10.


April 4, 2011 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment