Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Hilo’s Shina Chung wins third BIIF pole vault title

Shina Chung

KEAAU – Over three hundred athletes were vying for a spot at the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Championships on Friday as two events have come to conclusion.

Hilo’s Shina Chung and Waiakea’s Travis Winters were reaching into the afternoon sky at Kamehameha’s Pai’ea Stadium as the girl’s pole vault and boy’s high jump were having their finals.

Chung, one of the best in the state at girl’s pole vault, won her third consecutive leagues crown by clearing 9-06, not her best, but good enough to bring her a BIIF individual championship title.

“I came in at 9 feet and there were no other girls in the competition at that point,” Chung said.  “Nine feet is the starting height for the state championships and my coach (Sherman Viernes) wants me to be ready.

When Chung came in for her first jump all her competitors had already been eliminated as her closet rival Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Sydney Budde, cleared 8 feet and went out at 8-06.

“I was nervous because I came in with ‘No Height’ and everyone was done,” Chung said.

But the Viking vaulter had little trouble at 9 feet, clearing the bar on her first attempt, and then later going over 9-06 on her second attempt.

“My goal was to repeat as the pole vault champ,” she said.  “Now I’m hoping to improve on my fifth place finish at states last year.”

Travis Winters

Winters had lots of competition in the high jump as he and three others were able to clear the bar at 5-10 but Winters was declared the BIIF champ as he managed to do it on his first jump.

“I came in at 5-04 and worked my way up,” Winters said.  “This was the second time I cleared 5-10 in the past two weeks, but this is my first BIIF title.”

Also clearing 5-10 was HPA’s George Twigg-Smith and Kyle Katase, along with Keaau’s Joseph Aquino, Jr.

“I only started practice high jump four meets ago,” Winters said.  “My first time at high jump practice I cleared 5-06 and my coach said that this was an event I could excel in.”

Kaenen Akau

On the infield it was Kamehameha’s Kaenan Aukai Akua setting a new standard in the long jump with his leap of 22-09 to rank him number one in the state.

“I was looking at the other state leader and I knew I need to hit 22 feet to catch him,” Akua the two time BIIF long jump champ said.  “I was looking for a good jump and I had the speed and take off in the air.”

Akua’s leap separated himself by nine inches from the previous state leader and the junior Warrior believes it can still get better.

“I need to keep my feet out front as far as I can and I need to keep my butt off the sand,” Akua said.

Not to be outdone Konawaena’s Lia Galdeira leaped 17-10 to make her the number one contender in the BIIF going into the championships and #2 in the state.

Galdeira’s fantastic jump came moments after the gifted junior false started the 100 meter hurdles to eliminate herself from one of her premiere events.

“I was upset with the DQ,” Galdeira said. 

The disqualification is the hurdles proved to be the driving force behind Galdeira’s impressive long jump as that distance carries over into the finals.

Galdeira believes that she is capable of going over 18 feet within the next week to set her up for a possible gold medal at the state championships.

Wildcat teammate Ua Ruedy was producing eye popping results during the Qualifiers in the 100 and 200 dashes, 100 and 300 hurdles, and the long and triple jump to give her six individual events going into the finals.

Ruedy is considered by many to have the best chance to score the most points during the championship finals which would qualify her to be named female track athlete of the year.

Defending girls team champions, HPA, is considered the top contender for repeating as team champs but coach Pat Lau is taking nothing for granted.

“Anything can happen,” Lau said.  “One mistake can change the outcome.  Everything leading up to the championships has been a rehearsal and hopefully everything will fall into place.”

Since 2007 Lau’s Ka Makani girls teams have never finished lower than second.

“It’s not just about the athletes,” Lau said.  “Our coaches spend a lot of time with the kids and make a big difference in the outcome.”

Kamehameha is the defending boy’s team champion and Warrior Coach Kimo Weaver believes that any school can win it all.

“There is no clear favorite for the boy’s team title,” Weaver said.  “There are four teams in the hunt, including us, and anything can happen.

The BIIF championship begins with field events starting at 3pm and running events at 4 at Kamehameha’s Pai’ea Stadium on Saturday.  Admission charges are $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and $1 for students with activity cards.

April 30, 2011 - Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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