Kamehameha’s Aukai Akau shooting for the starts as the best in the state long jump
KEAAU – Shooting for the stars is what champions strive for. And Kamehameha’s Aukai Akau was exploring the outer boundaries of the universe on Saturday on his home track as the Big Island Interscholastic Federation hosted an East Division Track & Field Meet.
Akau, the state champion in the long jump, displayed why he is number one by leaping 21-11.5 to rank himself as the lead jumper in the state.
The Kamehameha senior failed to reach a mark on his first two attempts before settling down on his third and final attempt to nail his picture perfect leap.
“When I warmed up my stride got longer and I needed to move my mark,” Akau said of his two fouls. “I knew I had one more jump and I tried hard to keep that one behind the board.”
Akau comes in as the defending BIIF and State champion in the long jump and he didn’t disappoint the crowd with his massive leap.
“My goal this season is to go for the stars,” he said. “I know I can go 23 feet or beyond so I’ll just go as far as I can.”
While Akau was exploring the outer limits of the stratosphere Kau’s Alika Kaopua decided to get a lift on the adrenaline rush and followed suit by leaping 21-9.5 to rank himself as the number 2 long jumper in the state.
“I believe that practice makes perfect and that is what I’ve been doing for the past several weeks,” Kaopua said. “I’m just learning to get my mark down and when I perfect that, I’ll be ready.
“I just set a personal record today,” Kaopua said. “I’m the BIIF champ in the triple, but I shooting to become the best in the state at the triple.”
The confident Trojan also stated that he is looking for double gold medals at the state meet in May by winning both the long and triple.
“I know I can do better in the triple as I believe I can go 45 feet,” he said. “Last year was the first year that I ever did the triple.”
Over at the high jump it was Keaau Cliff Eriksson also setting a personal record by going over the bar and qualifying for state.
“I came in at 5-10, which is two inches high than I’ve jumped before,” Eriksson said. “My best last year was 5-8, but this year I am expecting to clear 6-4.”
By the end of the day Eriksson managed to clear 6-0 to establish himself as one of the top jumpers in the league.
“My dad was a high jumper in high school and he cleared 6-8,” Eriksson said. “I need to work on my form and not let negative thoughts get in the way in order to get anywhere near what my dad did.”
“The 110 hurdles is going to be my main focus this season along with the 300 hurdles,” Packer said.
Packer was sidelined last season and did not compete, but seems better prepared this season.
“I want to come back with a vengeance,” Packer said. “I want to lead by example and help our team reach its goals.”
Packer was the lead runner in the boys 4×100 relay which hit the tape as the number one Fully Automated Timing System rated relay team in the state, according to the FAT crew.
In the boys 3000 it was St. Joseph’s Andrew Langtry running away from a large field to easily win with a sub 10 minute time.
“My goal this season in the 3K is to get somewhere in the 9:30 range,” Langtry said. “Today no one tried to push me and I had to run alone which makes it harder to run faster.”
Langtry feels that his 9:59 is okay at this point of the season and looks forward to running with a more competitive field.
“I tell myself to push harder and not get sidelined by the ‘green monster’, that tells me to slow down or to rest,” Langtry said.
On the other side of the Warrior campus, and far away from the track, the throwers were competing with the discus and shot put.
“I think I can throw between 33 and 35 feet,” Brown said.
An obstacle standing in the Dagger way is that she is coming off the wrestling season where she injured her shoulder and still has some discomfort in her neck.
“I’m undergoing physical therapy and my arm is very sore,” Brown said. “Once it heals I plan on getting back in the weight room and will then also work on my technique in the circle.”
Even with an injured shoulder Brown is barely off the state qualifying mark of 31 feet.
“I’ll make it to states before the end of the season,” she said.
The BIIF season continues on Saturday with split meets at Hawaii Prep for the West Side Schools and Keaau for the East Side.
Both venues start at 9 am for field events and 10 am for running events.