Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

“King Jacob” wins three gold medals at HHSAA Track & Field Championships

Kau's Jacob Edwards is "King of the Hurdles"

Long Live the King!

   Kau’s Jacob Edwards retained his title as the “King of the Hurdles” by successfully defending the state crown at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association track and field championships held at Kamehameha-Kapalama on Saturday.

   Edwards began by winning the 110 meter hurdles and later returned for a repeat performance by winning the 300 hurdles in a blistering time of 38.27 seconds, nearly two seconds ahead of his closest competitor.

   Between his hurdle performances Edwards was claiming his third state medal by winning the triple jump and added a sixth place medal in the long jump to singlehandedly accumulate 31 team points for the Trojans.

   “I’m grateful for how things turned out today,” Edwards said.  “My goal coming in was to keep my state hurdle titles and to try to survive the triple jump.  I was really feeling it today in the 300, but I like all three of these events.”

   Edwards passed on two of his three triple jump attempts during the finals and watched as fellow Big Island Interscholastic Federation athletes performed.  “It was a really cool meet to watch and I was excited for Kelson (Kawai from Kohala) in winning the high jump,” Edwards said.  “We’re all part of a family and we cheer each other on during the state meet.”

  Anuenue’s Joshua Gante leaped 45-05 on his final triple jump to close in on Edwards, but fell 1.25 inches short of passing the talented Trojan.  “I knew I had the best jump from Friday and I wanted to rest between the hurdle events,” Edwards said of his passing on two attempts.

Ku’uipo Nakoa

The BIIF’s other defending state track & field champion, Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Ku’uipo Nakoa, won the gold medal in the 300 hurdles and the triple jump and needed to settle for silver medals in the long jump, and 100 hurdles, Nakoa’s four medals added 36 points to HPA’s total team score.

   “I knew I was running against some amazing athletes,” Nakoa said.  “During the trials I felt intimidated, but today I blocked it out and focused, using tunnel vision.”

   Nakoa’s runner-up status in the 100 hurdles and long jump was due to Kahuku’s superstar Zhane Santiago who won gold in the long jump while setting a new state record for the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.92 seconds.

  In the triple jump Nakoa had to come back from a mediocre trials performance to win the event during the finals in 38-08.25.  “I knew what I had to do in the triple and I didn’t even think about it, I just went for it,” she said.  “I had no idea that I had the winning jump until after the event was over and one of the girls came over to congratulate me.”

Kaopua Sutton

Kamehameha’s Kaopua Sutton came into the finals leading in the girl’s discus with her preliminary toss of 134-4 inches which stood up in the finals to claim the gold medal.

   “The conditions were just perfect on Friday,” Sutton said.  “The ring was smooth enough for me to gain rotational speed and the wind was just right.  I thought I had better form during the finals as I threw another 134 feet, but yesterday (prelims) everything just clicked.”

Kohala’s Kelson Kawai brought home the gold in the boy’s high jump when he cleared 6’ 6”.  Kawai’s previous best clearance this season was 6-4 as the 5 foot 7 inch leaper defied the laws of gravity.  Kamehameha’s Manta Dirks finished in a tie for fourth.

Kelson Kawai

“This might be the first time that Kohala has had a state champion,” Coach Tom McCue said.  “We’re absolutely thrilled at what Kelson has accomplished – to jump 11 inches beyond his height is incredible.”

   Kawai cleared 6-6 on his first attempt, and then went after the 6-9 state record by asking that the bar be raised to 6-9.25.  “I kept my head positive and I practiced a lot of mental imagery,” Kawai said after winning the event.  “I tried for the state record because I just wanted to see what I could do in my senior year.”

   “A lot of credit goes to my high jump coach, Maria Bunyi, as she helped me get to where I am,” Kawai said. 

Other BIIF finalist on Saturday:

  • Kamehameha’s Francis Blas III finished third in the 110 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles with teammate Everett “Maka” McKee in eighth for the 300.  Teammates Manta Dirks was seventh in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump with Kaenan Akau fourth in the long.  Not to be outdone Victoria Evans-Bautista captured third in the long jump for the Warrior girls.
  • HPA’s Shane Brostek took third in the shot put and fourth in the discus – Kamehameha’s David Kekuewa finished eighth in the shot.
  • In the 800 Keaau’s Daniel Brooks took fifth for the boys while Waiakea’s Kaitlyn Chock finished sixth for the girls.
  • Kamehameha sprinter Kana Silva finished fifth and Waiakea’s Ka’imi Scott seventh in the boys 200 and Waiakea’s Teisha Nacis was eighth in the girls 100.
  • Waiakea’s Ka’imi Scott was fifth in the boys 400 and Keaau’s Randi Estrada finished fifth for the girls.
  • Honokaa’s Athena Oldfather was fifth in the girls 1500 with teammate Joshua Robinson finishing in sixth for the boys.  (Island School – Kauai’s Pierce Murphy established a new meet record for the 1500 with his time of 4:02.1)
  • High jump finals for the girls were held on Friday with Waiakea’s Ericka Cushnie winning the silver medal and HPA’s Mindy Campbell, the defending state champion, finishing in sixth.
  • Konawaena’s Ua Ruedy third in the girls 300 hurdles.
  • Hilo’s Shina Chung finished tied for fifth in the girl’s pole vault. “I feel good about today,” Chung said.  “I still have two more years to get better.  There is tough competition at the state meet.”

   The top six boys and top six girls in each of the track and field events took home medals and scored points for their respective schools.

   Punahou claimed the girl’s team championship, accumulating 95 points and surpassing runner up Radford with 63.  The top BIIF girl’s team was HPA with 37 points – 36 of those points coming from Nakoa.

   Punahou also won the boy’s team title with 70 points with runner-up Kamehameha-Kapalama 66.33.  Tiny Kau, on the back of Jacob Edwards, finished fourth in the state with Edwards scoring all 31 points for the Trojans.

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May 16, 2010 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

BIIF Track & Field Stars Advance to Finals of HHSAA Championships

State Championships held at Kamehameha-Kapalama

Big Island Interscholastic Federation track & field athletes left their mark at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association preliminaries held at Kamehameha-Oahu on Friday.

  BIIF athletes made the championship finals, to be held Saturday, in 22 different events as the top eight competitors in each event advanced.

  Kau’s Jacob Edwards demonstrated why he is the state champion in both the 110 and 300 hurdles by taking both events in convincing fashion.   KS-Hawaii standout Francis Blas III will be joining Edwards in the finals of the 110 (No. 4) and 300 (No. 3) with Warrior teammate Everett McKee also making the 300 (No. 6) hurdles event.

  In the triple jump Edwards made the furthest distance and will be seeded No. 1 going into the finals along with KS-Hawaii’s Manta Dirks seeded No. 7.

  Edwards also made the finals of the long jump (No. 6) and is joined by KS-Hawaii jumpers Kaenan Akau (No. 4) and Dirks (No. 5).

Hawaii Repertory’s Ku’uipo Nakoa had the second fastest prelim time in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles and in the second best long jump distance, with Kahuku’s Zhane Santiago edging Nakoa out in each of those events during day one of the championships.

   Nakoa also advanced in the triple jump, but was not too pleased with her overall placement.  “I’m a little frustrated in the triple,” she said.  “My 300 was a little off too as I was concentrating so much on not messing up the fourth hurdle that I missed a step and went off stride.”

Shane Brostek

   HPA big man, Shane Brostek, qualified for Saturday in the shot put (No. 3) along with Kamehameha’s David Kekuewa (#8).   Brostek also made it into the finals of the discus (No. 7).

  For the girls it was Kamehameha’s Kaopua Sutton’s impressive discus throw of 134’ 4” that gives her the No. 1 seed going into the finals. 

  In the boys 800 Keaau’s Daniel Brooks opened with the second fastest time while the girls saw Waiakea’s Kaitlyn Chock qualify (#8) with her fastest time of the season.

   It was a tough day for BIIF athletes in the 100 and 200 meter dashes as league champion, Kana Silva, was disqualified in the 100, but came back to place #3 in the 200.  The lone BIIF girl in the sprint finals will be Waiakea’s Teisha Nacis (No. 7) in the 100.

  Waiakea’s Ka’imi Scott had a good showing in the 400 dash (No. 2) for the boys while Keaau’s Randi Estrada (#7) for the girls made finals.

   “It was really windy today,” Scott said.  “I short of laid up on my 400 in the last 50 meters, so I think I can go under 50 seconds during the finals tomorrow.”

Randi Estrada

Estrada finished the third in the state last year as a freshman and is hoping to do the same again this year.  “I know I need to run faster in the finals and I really like to get back to finishing in the top three,” she said.

   In the distance races it was Honokaa’s Athena Oldfather #5 and HPA’s Kela Vargas (#6) making finals in the 1500 meter run for the girls with Honokaa’s Chayse Moniz (#8) for the boys.

   Distance hopeful, Honokaa’s Chris Mosch, scratched from the 3000 meter run with a stress fracture in his foot.  The Dragon junior had the second fastest time in the state going into the prelims, but was forced to withdraw.

Ericka Cushnie

   Not all was rosy for BIIF relay teams as no island school made it into the finals of the 4×100 while the Keaau girls were eighth and Waiakea boys (No. 8 ) got in for the 4×400.

  The girl’s high jump and boy’s pole vault were the only two events that held their finals on Friday as Waiakea’s Ericka Cushnie earned the BIIF’s first medal by taking second in the high jump, clearing 5’ 2”.  Defending state champion in the high jump, HPA’s Mindy Campbell, managed to clear 5 feet and took home the sixth place medal.

   The HHSAA championship finals will conclude today with 32 events with medals being award to the top 6 in each event.

May 15, 2010 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Defending Champions Falter in BIIF Track Qualifiers

Jacob Edwards

KEALAKEKUA – It was a day filled with highs and lows as the Big Island Interscholastic Federation held the Track & Field Championship Preliminary’s at Yates Field in Konawaena on Friday.

   During the first running event of the day Kau’s BIIF and state champion in the 110 meter hurdles, Jacob Edwards, jumped the starting gun and received a disqualification, false start, to leave him out of Saturday’s championships.

   “It happens,” Edwards said of his false start.  “I guess I was a little excited going into the race, but its okay.”

   Edwards went on to win the 300 hurdles in 39.53 seconds and also set a new BIIF championship record in the triple jump with his leap of 45’ 4”, eclipsing Waiakea’s David Doll record of 45-2 set in 2004.  The Trojan also qualified for the BIIF finals in the 100 and 200 dashes and the long jump.

   Along with Edwards’s disappointment in the 110 hurdles was Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Mindy Campbell in the high jump as she failed to make her opening height of 4’ 8” and failed to advance.

 The high jump event was delayed for nearly an hour while event officials scrambled to find a cross bar.  By the time the event got under way showers came in which made footing challenging.

Ericka Cushnie

Campbell came into the meet as the defending state champion in the high jump and with her dropping out early, opened the door for Waiakea’s Erika Cushnie and Keaau’s Randi Estrada to compete for the BIIF crown.

   Cushnie won the high jump event by clearing 5 feet on her second attempt while Estrada cleared the same height on her third attempt with neither girl going higher.

   “Today was a very weird day,” Cushnie said after winning her gold medal.  “It normally never rains when we come over to Kona, but the rain made it difficult to warm up and to stay warm.  I wish I could have gone higher, but I know I will when we go to states next week.”

   The BIIF held two finals on Friday, the girl’s high jump and the boy’s pole vault, with Kamehameha’s Isaac DeRego winning the event by clearing 13 feet.

   “After letting the BIIF wrestling title slip away this past season winning the pole vault title is redemption for me,” DeRego said.  DeRego was the BIIF wrestling running up in the 171 weight class.

   Leading performances during the qualifying day came from HPA’s Ku’uipo Nakoa in the 100 and 300 hurdles, 100 and 200 dashes, and the long and triple jumps.

  Ka Makani teammates Zoe Sims in the 400 dash, and Shane Brostek in the shot put and discus throw.

   Kamehameha sprinter Kanakalele Silva will lead Saturday’s finals in the 100 (11.14) and 200 (22.66) dash and teammate Kaopua Sutton discus throw of 126 feet 6.5 inches will separate her from the rest of the field.

   The private school Warriors boys 4×100 relay team ran a 43.71 qualifier time and ranks as one of the state’s fastest, but will be challenged by strong Keaau and Kealakehe squads.

   Of note is Kona freshman Ua Ruedy who clocked in at 47.49 seconds in the 300 hurdles and is only a step behind Nakoa in that event. 

   The Hilo boys and Kamehameha girls are the defending BIIF team champions. Going into the finals the HPA girls and Kamehameha boys come in as favorites.

   “Kam boys are really strong and have solid sprinters, but don’t count out Hilo,” HPA coach Pat Lau said.  “We have a good team, but anything can happen.  We’re keeping Ipo (Nakoa) out of the relays and she’ll concentrate on six 10 point events.”

   The BIIF finals will begin with field events at 3 pm and running events at 4pm on Saturday at Yates Field in Konawaena. 

May 8, 2010 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , | 1 Comment