Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Kam girls, Hilo boys win BIIF Track Championships

   The Kamehameha girls and Hilo boys scored big to win the Big Island Interscholastic Federation track & field team championships held in Keaau on Saturday.

     Kamehameha upset defending girl’s champion, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, to win the girls team title by four points, 142 to 138, in what was a nail biting battle all the way to the final event.

    The Warriors managed to score points in all 16 events in a well balanced attack with senior Aubrey Lea Shaw, Cheray Brzezowski, Jessica Marote and Heidi Hall leading the charge.

   “It’s all good,” Kamehameha coach, Troy Souza said of his team’s victory.  “Nothing was going to stop these girls.  They threw everything out and held nothing back.  We were strong in the throws, the hurdles, and the horizontal jumps.”

    Souza’s Warriors came out running hard from the very first event, the 100 meter hurdles, with Shaw and Brzezowski going one-two respectively.

     Later it was the Warrior 4×100 relay team upsetting a good HPA team and setting a new stadium record in a blistering time of 51.08 seconds.

     “My team gave me a great lead,” Warrior anchor Jessica Marote said.  “I was nervous when I took the baton and I just wanted to run as hard as I could and not let my teammates down.”

     “Everybody did what they were supposed to do and they all stepped up today.  I ran the numbers last night and on paper I had us beating HPA.  I wasn’t able to sleep last night as I kept thinking about what we needed to do to pull this out,” Coach Souza said.

    It was an evening of upsets on the track as the girls 1500 saw the favorite, Honokaa’s Tialana Greenwell, outkicked in the final 120 meters by HPA’s Noelani Vargas.

    Greenwell and teammate Athena Oldfather went out quickly and separated themselves from the pack during the first 300 meters of the race.  Vargas, an experienced senior waited until the bell lap to make her move.

    “I was put into that race to get a third place finish and score some points for our team,” Vargas said.  “I knew the Honokaa girls were fast starters so I was okay with staying in the second pack.”

    But with just 300 meters to go Vargas decided to start her kick and began to make up the distance between the leaders.  “When I got to the final turn I just decided to go for it.  I don’t know where that came from,” she said.

   Vargas moment of inspiration was the deciding factor as Ka Makani motored down the straightaway to victory.

    Later Vargas stepped back onto the track for the 800 meters and won in the same fashion, passing Waiakea’s Kaitlyn Chock in the final 100 meters to win the event.

    HPA’s Ku’uipo Nakoa led the way for the Ka Makani by winning the 200 meter dash and the long and triple jumps, while taking second in the 100 to be selected as the meet MVP.

   Nakoa also helped the Ka Makani to a second place finish in the 400 relay and first place finish in the 1600 meter relay.

    “I had a solid long jump and my 200 was pretty good,” Nakoa said.  “In the triple jump I hurt my knee after my first jump and I wasn’t able to get any farther, but I was satisfied,”

   Nakoa, who had the fastest time in the BIIF in the 400 meter dash and is the third fastest in the state at 59.74 seconds going into the weekend, dropped out of that event in order to stay within the track and field rules which allow an athlete to compete in a maximum six events on the day.

HPA's Ku'uipo Nakoa was selected BIIF Track Athlete of the Year

HPA's Ku'uipo Nakoa was selected BIIF Track Athlete of the Year

   The Warrior girls had an impressive showing from their throwers, Kaopuanani Sutton and Brianna Vargas-Hafoka made headway in the discus and shot by scoring big for Kamehameha.

   For the boys it was Hilo winning yet another team title.  The Vikings got great balance and a team effort from sprinters Charles Clay, Chan Spikes and Bronson Kahaleau while hurdler Thomas Delacruz challenged Kau’s Jacob Edwards in both the 110 and 300 meter events.

   Veteran Viking coach, Bill McMahon, is the most prolific active BIIF track and field coach and by clinching another title brings his total team count, for both boys and girls titles, to 18.

   McMahon has been coaching at Hilo for the past 19 years and was quick to hand out praise to his team for the Viking success.

     “We had a very strong effort from our sprinters, distance runners, throwers and pole vaulters,” McMahon said

     “I think our 4×100 relay team overachieved and they set a stadium record and should be ranked second in the state,” he said.

    The relay team made up of Spikes, Clay, Kahaleua and Karl Ancheta won in 43.17 seconds and was just the tip of the Viking success as the team rolled up a 64 point victory over number two Keaau.

   Spikes and Clay had earlier in the day led Hilo to a one-two winning punch in the 100 meter dash and finished two and three respectively in the 200 dash later in the evening.

    “We were hoping to go 1,2,3 in the 100 and 200 with Bronson (Kahaleua) being in there with us,” Spikes said.  “We all worked hard together during practice and we always try to push each other to get faster.”

     “I joined track last year to get faster and condition for football and this year I asked Chan (Spikes) to join too,” Clay said.  Spikes plays quarterback and Clay wider receiver for the Vikings

    “I’m excited, but more nervous for our team,” McMahon said.  “It seems that the older I get the more nervous I feel for each of these kids.  This is a wonderful, fantastic group of kids and I’m very proud of their effort.”

   Kau’s Jacob Edwards was selected as the meets MVP with his wins in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles and the triple jump, while finishing second in the long jump.

May 10, 2009 Posted by | Events, High School Runners, High School Track & Field, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment