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 Season Finale Pays Dividends for DeRego

Kamehameha's Isaac DeRego clears 13-6 at Last Chance Meet

KEEAU- Sometimes in life a last chance is all one needs to prove his mettle.  Kamehameha senior Isaac DeRego was given a last chance this past Saturday during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation track & field regular season finale held at Keaau.

    DeRego, who has been pole vaulting for the Warriors for four years, had never gone higher than 12 feet prior to Saturday’s meet.  Needing to clear 13 feet to gain an automatic spot in the HHSAA state championships DeRego took full advantage of his last chance opportunity and cleared 13 feet.

   But the private school Warrior wasn’t done, having the bar raised another six inches, DeRego went on to a stellar performance day by clearing 13-6.

   “I felt good today,” DeRego said after the meet.  “There is something about being at this track (Keaau High School) that gets all us vaulters doing really well.”

   After clearing 13-6 DeRego asked that the bar be raised seven inches and attempted to clear 14-1.  Normally the bar is raised six inches at a time, but DeRego had something bigger he was shooting for.

   “I knew our school record was 14 feet and I wanted to break the record,” he said.  “I’m still really happy with what I did today and will try to go after the record at the BIIF championships in Kona.”

   While DeRego was complimentary of the Keaau track the Fully Automated Timing System or FATS was trying to get the Gremlins out of the software.  The FATS turned from an automated system to an animated system and left computer technology wizards Bob Martin, Chris Drayer and Curt Beck scratching their heads.

  The FATS crew needed to depend upon the ‘old school’ method by using hand times for the entire meet.  The only thing that remained fully operationally was the finish line photo system that came in handy during the girls 800 meter run.

  In the girls two laps race around the track Waiakea’s Kaitlyn Chock, the BIIF leader with the league’s best time in the 800 and fifth best in the state, took the lead and appeared to be in control of the race, clocking 75 seconds on her first lap with the rest of the field content to hang back.

Nishimura-Thornton

In the final 100 meters of the second lap, with Chock maintaining her pace, Keaau’s Deann Nishimura-Thornton made a late charge and closed in fast as both girls hit the line in what was a “photo finish.”

  FATS official Chris Drayer made a careful review of the finish line photo’s and declared Nishimura-Thornton the winner.  “The Keaau girl won by the thickness of her jersey,” Dryer said of the 1/1000th of a second difference.

   “I had an adrenaline rush towards the end of my race and I just went for it,” Nishimura-Thornton said of her winning kick.  “I felt really confident today, but when we hit the finish line I didn’t know if I had won or not, I just couldn’t tell.”

   For Chock it was a perfectly equal race, with the senior running 75 seconds for each of her two laps.  “It was the first time I’ve ever run even splits,” Chock said.  “I was supposed to have gone out faster, but I was tired from running the 400 race prior to doing this race.”

   “The 800 is my favorite race because you’re in pain during the entire race, but it feels really good when it’s over,” Nishimura-Thornton said. 

Mosch winning 3K

Honokaa continues to rule the 3K distance race with BIIF cross-country champions Tialana Greenwell and Chris Mosch both winning their seven and a half lap races.

   Mosch, who had the second fastest time in the state at 9 minutes and 23 seconds coming into the race, ran by himself at Keaau to win in 9:32.38.

  “I’m happy with my effort and performance, but it’s difficult to run alone,” Mosch said.  “I ran my fastest time of the season when I was in Honolulu and there were a lot of people around me to help me keep my pace.”

   Mosch was hoping to get out to a 4:52 in the first four laps and found himself already four seconds off his self imposed pace.

   “I’ll have to be able to run a sub 9-minute race to win at states and that’s not going to happen unless I try,” he said.

King Jacob

While many athletes were using the regular season finale as a spring board in preparations for this weekend’s BIIF championships, others were just out to have fun and enjoy the near end of their prep careers.

   The “King of the Hurdles,” Kau’s Jacob Edwards showed his business side by winning both hurdle events and the triple jump while finishing second in the 200 dash.

   But the “King” also entered the high jump for the first time in his four years of BIIF track and field competition.

   “I’ve always wanted to try the high jump,” Edwards said.  “Since this was the end of the regular season, it was the last chance I had to give it a try.”

  The “King” used his Midas touch and turned the high jump into pure gold by winning at 5-8.

 “I never expected to win the event, I just wanted to have fun doing it,” he said.  “If the season was a little longer I probably would like to give the 1500 a try.”

  The BIIF track & field season concludes this weekend with the league qualifiers and finals on May 7-8 at Konawaena.

May 3, 2010 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment