Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

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.

 Kaopua came back later in the day to establish himself as the number 1 triple jumper in the state with his eye opening 44-7.

“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.”

  Cougar teammate Damien Packer was entered in four events and excelled in his favorite, the 110 hurdles which has ranked him at number 3 in the State.

“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.

    Pahoa’s Ariel Brown who was second in the shot last season had a winning toss of 30-10.

“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.

April 3, 2012 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

BIIF Track & Field from Kona

Kam-Hawaii 400 relay team of McKee, Akau & Dirks -missing Grace

Kam-Hawaii 400 relay team of McKee, Akau & Dirks -missing Grace

     For the second week in a row Kau’s Jacob Edwards took on the rest of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation and scored big for the Trojans at Julian R. Yates Field on the campus of Konawaena High School.

    The one man wrecking crew won the long and triple jumps and scored remarkable times in his signature events, the 110 and 300 hurdles.  Edwards went on to finish second in the 200 meter dash and sixth in the 100 dash to single handedly score 49 points for Kau.

   The previous week Edwards scored 50 points and his point totals continue to rank the Kau in the top half of the BIIF team standings each week.

   Edwards’s times in both hurdles events were personal best for the Kau junior and rank him number one in the state.  “Jacob became the first runner in the BIIF ever to break the 15 second barrier in the 110 hurdles,” Kau coach, Bob Martin said.

   Edwards clocked 14.94 seconds in the 110 hurdles and in the process eclipsed Kona’s Nick Berry’s time of 15:04 that was set earlier in the decade.

   “One of my goals going into the season was to get under 15 seconds in the 110,” Edwards said.  “I’ve gotta practice hard and when I run in a meet it’s just me against the clock.”

   Edwards later returned to set another personal best in the 300 hurdles with a flawless performance to clock 39.23 seconds, winning the event by more than three seconds over his closest competitor.

   To improve Edwards will watch You Tube video’s of various high profile hurdle athletes in an attempt to continue to perfect his technique.

   “I You Tube the best triple jumpers and the best 110 hurdles to try to emulate the best,” he said.  “My favorite hurdler is the Chinese Olympian, Lui Xiang.  I am always learning, always trying to perfect my technique, and always trying to do whatever it takes to get better.”

   “If I could come out here and score 60 points during a meet, I would, he said.  Edwards’s weak spot on the day came in the 100 meters where he finished in sixth place scoring a single point.

    “I wanted to do the 100 for speed to see how I could do.  It doesn’t hurt me to do the 100,” Edwards said.  “Coach Bob (Martin) is always helping me at Kau and when I get to the meets Coach (Kimo) Weaver (Kamehameha) helps me.

    “I can’t claim credit for any of his (Edwards) talent,” Martin said.  “He makes the best of what he has and works very hard at practice.”

    Kau doesn’t have a track and the athletes work out on a grass surface.  “We set up five hurdles to simulate a race,” Martin said.  “Jacob has raw talent and we try to harness that energy and steer it in the right direction.”

    “Coach (Angela) Miyashiro helps with endurance and fitness training and we add on lots of 200 repeats to Jacob’s workouts.”

    Also at Yates Field this past Saturday saw the Kamehameha boys 4×100 relay team break a Warrior school record by clocking in at 44.79 seconds.

   “This is the second time in two weeks that these boys broke the all time school record for this event,” Kamehameha second year coach, Troy Souza said.

    “After seeing them today it looks like we can go under 44 seconds.  They had the best passes we’ve seen, but there is still room for improvement,” Souza said.

   The foursome leads off with sophomore Maka McKee followed by freshman, Aukai Akau, senior Pono Grace and anchored with junior Manta Dirks.

    “I’ve run the 100 in 12 flat,” McKee said.  “I know I need to improve the way I run my curve, I was too straight up and didn’t have enough lean.”

   “I’ve run the 100 in 11.4 and today I received a perfect handoff from Maka, he got me the baton right on the arrow,” second leg runner, Akau said

   Kamehameha trailed Kealakehe on the second leg, but Akau, who has the fastest 100 on the relay team, made up the difference and passed the baton to Grace with the Warriors in the lead.

   “We did good, but we can do better,” team anchor, Manta Dirks said.  “I’m the second fastest on the team and the coach either put me into the anchor position because I’m the best looking or because he knows I hate to lose,” Dirks said with a grin.

    Waiakea’s Kaitlyn Chock became the first BIIF girl to get an automatic state time in the 800 meter run this season, clocking in at 2:29.41.

    “I was trying to run my personal best (2:28.1) but came up a little short,” Chock said.  “I’m still pretty satisfied, even though I ran my first lap too fast.”

    Chock did the first 400 meters in 67 seconds which separated her early from the rest of the field.  “I was trying to run the first lap in 71 or 72 and when I heard the first lap time I got scared,” she said.

   “I tightened up with about 200 to go and I felt I was dragging myself in, it was really tough.  I think I can get under 2:25 if the conditions are right,” Chock said.

BIIF BEST – RANKED IN TOP 5 of STATE

GIRLS:

HPA – Ku’uipo Nakoa #1 triple, #2 in both 100 & 200, #3 long – 4×400 #3

Kona- Kaua Wall #3 400

Keaau – Randi Estrada #4 400 – 4×400 #5

Honokaa – Tialana Greenwell #4 3000

Kamehameha – Aubrey Lea Shaw #2 300 hurdles

Kohala – Julia Naumes #5 shot

Waiakea – Cassie Morigaki three way tie for first with HPA’s Mindy Campbell in High Jump

BOYS:

Hilo’s – Bronson Kahaleua, #2 200, Jordan Loeffler, #5 shot, Thomas Delacruz, #3 300 hurdles, Mark Turner, #4 3000, David King, #1 pole vault, Scott Hunter, #3 pole vault, 4×400 relay #3

Kona – Dakota Smith, #1 800

Kamehameha – Jordan Lerma, #3 800, Caleb Friel, pole vault #2

Keaau – Daniel Brooks, #5 800

Kau – Jacob Edwards, #1 in both 110 & 300 hurdles, #3 triple jump

Waiakea – Ka’imi Scott, #4 400, 4×400 relay #5

April 27, 2009 Posted by | High School Runners, High School Track & Field | , , , , , , | 1 Comment