Kealakehe boys track team are possible contenders in the BIIF
Kealakekua – The Kealakehe boys and girls track & field team were short in numbers on Saturday during a Big Island Interscholastic Federation all schools meet held on the Konawaena campus, but that didn’t deter them from turning in a great performance.
“We have about 15 kids missing with prom tonight, but we have a lot of depth,” Waverider coach Duke Hartfield said. “We entered this year with what we never had last year.”
According to Hartfield the Waveriders boast one of their largest teams with 35 girls and 30 boys making Kealakehe a possible contender for the league title.
“Our boy’s team is a possible contender if everybody stays healthy. We have a legitimate chance at winning the BIIF team title,” Hartfield said.
Avery Hardy-Jordan got things started for the Waverider boys when he took on two of the league’s best sprinters and won it all in a blistering 11.07 seconds.
The Waverider beat out the defending BIIF champion, Kamehameha’s Kaenen Akau and the BIIF runner up, Keaau’s Jesse Huihui to establish himself as the one to beat in the sprint.
“A lot of people asked me to come out for track this season and I was hoping that it would help me become a better football and soccer athlete,” Hardy-Jordan said.
The multi talented Waverider competed in 5 events during the day, but the 100 was clearly his best performance until the end of the day when he took to the blocks to run the 200 meter dash, winning in 22.62.
“I like the sprints and I know I can get faster if I work on my form and my block starts,” Hardy-Jordan said. “I’m still working on learning the long and high jumps and on my passing in the 4×100 relay.
Teammate Jason Fowler, a senior, turned some heads winning the 400 in a time of 52.24 seconds.
“I laid off track for the past two years in favor of canoe paddling,” Fowler said. “I initially just came out for the training and to work on my cardio conditioning and have found my event in the 400.
Fowler wasn’t sure he was going to stick around for the end of the track meet as the 4×400 relay is the climax of the day long meet.
“I’m not sure I’ll be here for the 1600 relay as I am going to prom tonight,” Fowler said. “I believe I can get my 400 time at 50 seconds flat and will work hard during the remainder of the season to reach that goal.”
Caili Ebaniz, a junior, was not headed to prom and performed well for the Waveriders in the 100, 200, and 4×100 relay.
“My favorite is the 100,” Ebaniz said. “I like the short distances and I know I can bring my 100 time down below 13 seconds. I come into the race nervous and it gets me ready and it keeps me alert.”
Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Bre Vallente made it a true West Side Story as the freshman shot out of the blocks to claim victory in the 200.
Trailing in the initial stages of her race Vallente made up ground to run down her opponents to claim her first all schools victory.
“When I’m behind someone I like it because it makes me push myself harder,” Vallente said. “The older, more experienced girls make me work harder and helps me get faster.”
Vallente ran in the 100 and 4×100 relay and also did the high jump.
“I like the sprints a lot as it gets me faster and will help me when I play soccer,” Vallente said.
Hilo sophomore Carmen Garson-Shumway had a notable performance in the 1500 bringing her personal best sub 5 minute finish.
“At states last year I ran 5 minutes flat,” Garson-Shumway said. “I have a new training partner in Mehana Sabado-Halpern who helps to push me in practice.”
The Viking managed to cross the finish line in 4:59.67 but wants to improve on that time.
“I hope to eventually hit 4:50,” Garson-Shumway said. “I’m working on believing I can get there and I want to run against Zoe (Sims of HPA).
Several state champions, including Sims and Shane Brostek of HPA and Ua Ruedy and Lia Galderia of Kona were participating at the Honolulu Marathon Invite on Oahu’s Kamehameha Kapalama campus.
Brostek, the defending state champion in the shot had his personal best on Oahu throwing the shot 56 feet and the discus 168-11. Sims the defending state champion in the 1500 won on Oahu with a 4:50.86 and had a photo finish in the 800 at 2:16.67.
The next BIIF all schools track & field meet will be held at Kamehameha on Saturday with the field events starting at 9 and running events at 10.
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