Pestano and Galdeira win BIIF crowns on Day 1
KEAAU – Two athletes were crowned league champions in track and field on Friday during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation track and field qualifiers at Cougar Stadium.
Hilo’s Katon Pestano won the boys pole vault event by getting across the bar at 13 feet, while Konawaena’s Lia Galdeira took the girls high jump clearing 5 feet.
“I cleared 13 feet on my first attempt,” Pestano said. “I used a 15 foot pole which is made for 160 pounds which is a big pole for me because I’m 146 pounds.”
Pestano was splitting his time between the long jump, an event he only took up last week, and his main event the pole vault.
Pestano finished third in the BIIF championships last year and redeemed himself by taking it all on Friday.
“Today was a personal best for me and when I get my technique down and stop being afraid I hope to clear 14 feet,” Pestano said.
While Pestano was splitting his time between two events Galdeira was all over the field.
“We plan on running her (Galdeira) in the maximum six events during the BIIF championships,” Wildcat Coach Kuulei Karratti-Saole said.
Galdeira split her time between the high jump and winning the 100 hurdles, then went back onto the oval to race in the 100 dash.
After clearing 5 feet and with the BIIF title assured Galdeira had the bar raised to 5-3.5 in an attempt to break the BIIF record.
“We ask the officials what the BIIF high jump record was and they told us it was 5-3.25 so we decided to let her try for the record,” Coach Karratti-Saole said.
Following her high jump victory the Kona coaches stated that Kona had a good chance to win the girls league team title with Galdeira expected to generate 60 points and teammate Ua Ruedy another 30 to 35, according to Karratti-Saole.
Galdeira failed in her attempt to set the new league record in the high jump, but was impressive in everything else that she attempted, at least until her final race of the day.
Teammate and defending state champion in the 300 meter hurdles, Ua Ruedy, had another flawless showing in her showcase event.
“I started out strong in the 300 and I wanted to see where everyone was at before pulling back with 100 to go,” Ruedy said.
Ruedy is also entered in six events and was optimistic about her team’s chances to bring home their first league championship.
“We think we have a shot at winning the BIIF’s,” she said. “Hopefully this is our year.”
Ruedy also believes that she needs to improve on her time to defend her 300 state title.
“There is a girl from Iolani that has posted some really good times,” she said. “I’m on pace to defend the state title, but I still need to improve on my time.”
“We expect Lia to win all six of her events on Saturday,” Karratti-Saole said. “With Ua (Ruedy) doing six events we have enough firepower to take the team title.”
In doing the math the Wildcats coaches figured if everything went right they should capture the team title by 10 to 15 points.
But as fate would have it doing the math wasn’t enough because the unexpected wasn’t tabulated into the final results.
It was during the final sprint event of the evening, the 200 dash which saw Galdeira get a little excited as she jumped out of the blocks too soon causing her to be disqualified for the BIIF championships. Galdeira was the only major seeded participant to be disqualified during Fridays meet.
Hawaii Prepertory’s Shane Brostek advanced in both the shot and discus throws.
Brostek threw just far enough to rank him number one going into the BIIF finals with a shot put distance of 49 feet and a discus throw of 139-8 far below his season best.
Ka Makani teammate and defending state champion in the 1500, Zoe Sims, had little trouble advancing to the BIIF finals
The top eight finishers, except in the 3K, in Friday’s Qualifiers advance to the Finals to be held today at the Cougar track. The 3K will see a larger field.
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