Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Kamehameha-Hawaii star, Jayce Carvalho, signs with HPU

Proud Carvalho family, Sandy, Jayce and Dave

Hawaii Pacific Signs Three Ball Players including a BIIF star outfielder

Hawaii Pacific University recently announced the signing of three players for the 2012 season.  The Sea Warriors have inked Jayce Carvalho, Sam Cooke and Tre Halburton-Goes according to the University’s Athletic Department.

During last season’s Big Island Interscholastic Federation Carvalho led Kamehameha School-Keaau to the Division II as an outfielder earning First Team All-League recognition.

Carvalho guided Kamehameha to a state runner up finish and was named to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association All-Tournament Team.

Carvalho with HPU head coach, Garett Yukumoto

Joining Carvalho at HPU next year will be Haliburton-Goes from St. Louis High School.  Last year Haliburton-Goeas helped the Crusaders to the Interscholastic League of Honolulu title championship and a semi final appearance in the HHSAA Division I Tournament.

Halburton-Goeas is expected to pitch for the Sea Warriors.

Joining the Halburton-Goeas and Carvalho will be Sam Cooke from Manchester College in Connecticut.

Cooke is expected to help the HPU pitching core and brings with him some collegiate experience as he made his debut with the University of Rhode Island Rams in 2010, pitching three consecutive scoreless innings against Fordham, Quinnipiac and Massachusetts.

HPU begins it baseball season with an Alumni game on February 5, before opening the regular season with a four-game series against Patton University starting on Friday, Feb. 11.

Last season the Sea Warriors set a new school record by posting a total of 39 wins and advancing to its first ever NCAA Regional.


January 24, 2011 Posted by | Baseball | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

UHH cross country to host Pac West Meet at Naniloa Golf Course

start of Pac West men’s race

Play on the Naniloa Golf Course will be suspended for 90 minutes on Saturday while the University of Hawaii at Hilo cross country teams run loops around the fairways.

UHH plays host to a Pacific West Conference Invitational Meet with harriers from Bingham Young-Hawaii, Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific University weave their way around the golf courses manicured grounds.

“As soon as I found out that there was a new golf course manager and that the Naniloa was a sponsor I gave it a shot and asked if we could host a meet on their course,” UHH Coach Jaime Guerpo said.

Guerpo jumped at the chance of using the golf course as a new venue for his UHH team and designed a spectator friendly course that has runners passing by the clubhouse and driving range.

“This is a great place to hold a cross country meet,” Guerpo said.  “We will be able to see more of the race with the runners going pass us for a mile in one direction and then passing through again, going in the opposite direction.”

Guerpo is also happy that none of the course runs on asphalt or crosses roads.

“We’re able to save money because we don’t need to rent a cop for traffic as the entire event is run on the golf course.  It is also safer in that there is no traffic and it is truly a cross country course,” he said.

Keoni Ucker

Showcasing the men’s field will be a solid BYUH team that has dominated the Pac West during the season.

“BYUH has three top men that are always leading the pack,” Guerpo said.

Thomas Puzey, Mathew Gulden and Justin Roger lead the Seasiders which won the Chaminade Invitational by 58 points over second place Alaska Fairbanks.

The Vulcan’s Keoni Ucker has been the top gun during the season breaking into the top 10 in each of his Pac West meets which included a seventh place finish at Chaminade the previous week.

Ucker, a former state track & field champion from Christian Liberty Academy, came into his own this season and has developed into a formidable competitor.

“I like the new course and it seems like it will be flat with fast times,” Ucker said.  “The race starts at the driving range and we do a couple of loops around the perimeter of the golf course, each time passing by the driving range which will give spectators a good opportunity to Csee us run.”

Ucker’s best finish this season has been fifth place overall when he ran in the Big Wave Invitational hosted by UH Manoa and when you remove an unattached runner from that race he finish fourth among Pac West competitors.

“I’m hoping to stay within the top five this week as this is our home course and we will have an advantage.  I feel more energized overall and I’m looking forward to doing well,” Ucker said.

James Imai

The Vulcan seven man squad is loaded with Big Island talent which includes Justin Pang, CLA; Nick Hagemann, Keaau; and James Imai, Waiakea.

Imai, a 2009 graduate, is in his first year of collegiate competition and is excited about running on the new course.

“It is very challenging with great competition,” Imai said of running for the Vulcan’s.  “We’ve had practice runs on the golf course twice and it should be a lot of fun this Saturday.  Running for UH Hilo is the best choice I’ve ever made.”

For the women it has been all Frida Aspnaes from HPU dominating the Pac West field.  UHH’s Krista Andrew remains the top runner for the Vulcan’s, but has had difficulty being consistent.

BYUH women dominate the team scoring as they have been able to get a solid core of five runners into the finish before any other squad.

Vulcan Women

Out of the five women racing for the Vulcan’s two are from the Big Island in Liliana Desmither, Hilo; and Kapua Lapera, Kau.

“Team wise we are not as strong as in years past, but this group of kids work just as hard as any team that I have coached.  I believe that we will fare well on Saturday,” Coach Guerpo said.

“We’d like to see people come out and support collegiate distance running.  I’d advise people who wanted to watch to go to the club house or driving range because those areas will give the best views,” Guerpo said.

The men will start at 8 am with a 4 mile race and the women will follow with a 6K (3.7 miles) according to Guerpo. 

“Collegiate men at this level usually race at 5 miles or 8 km and junior college runners will do 4 miles, but I decided to host this distance. The women in our conference will either race at the 5 or 6 km distance,” Guerpo said. 

October 8, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Luiz named Driver of the Year

Charelle Luiz in Sudden Impact III

Charelle Luiz with Sudden Impact III

     Turning 16 is an important date for many teenagers as they look forward to getting their drivers license, but for Charelle Luiz that age meant getting her competition license in the sport of drag racing.  Four years later Luiz has won the coveted “Driver of the Year Award.”

   Luiz is no ordinary girl as she grew up attending drag races at an early age with her dad, Donnley Koga.

    “I’ve always had a passion for drag racing ever since I was a little girl,” she said.  “My dad has been around drag racing since he was in high school and I was introduced to the world of drag racing at a young age.”

    Koga would bring his daughter to the track and Luiz would learn the in’s and out’s about the sport.

    “My dad would let me help him out with his race car and ever since then I got hooked on drag racing and wanted to learn more about the sport,” Luiz said. 

    In 2005, while attending Kamehameha School-Keaau, Luiz got the opportunity to race when Ellsworth Fontes chose her to drive his dragster. 

   “I was only 16 years old and a week earlier I had just gotten my driver’s license when Uncle Ellsworth asked me to drive for him,” she said.

   Ellsworth Fontes, no relation to Luiz, had torn a cartilage in his knee when he began looking for a driver to replace him in his 850 horse powered dragster.

    “I had known Charelle (Luiz) for years as she grew up at the drag strip,” Fontes said.  “I selected her to drive my rear engine dragster called “Sudden Impact III” out of several other drivers because I really felt she understood the science of racing.”

   Since those early days Luiz has been a regular at the Hilo Drag Strip and has completed her fourth year as a driver where she competes in the 7.90 index class.

   The 2009 drag racing season runs from February to October and Luiz competed in every Index race on Saturdays and in Bracket 1 races on Sunday’s.

Big Dog Athlete of the Week
Big Dog Athlete of the Week

Winning the majority of races in the 7.90 class Luiz was recently selected (Oct. 11) as “Driver of the Year” which was determined by the amount of points earned in the index races and in the bracket races.

    “All those hard times I went through, all the tears and problems we ran into with the car and what not, all paid off in the end,” Luiz said of winning Driver of the Year.”

   “Charelle has excellent reaction time.  She is very focused and extremely competitive,” Fontes said of his award winning driver.”

    Luiz graduated from Kamehameha in 2007 where she paddled and played volleyball from her freshman to junior years.  In her senior year she moved all her focus to the drag strip and in learning to drive the high powered vehicles.

    Now in her junior year at Hawaii Pacific University on Oahu Luiz majors in Human Services and is concentrating on becoming a Substance Abuse Counselor.

    “My goal one day is to help adolescents and teenagers recover from using alcohol and drugs,” she said.  “I also always had a passion in helping teenagers who suffer from domestic violence.”

    But it is her recreational weekend hobby of drag racing that gets the adrenaline going and the heart pumping.

   “We consider drag racing a family hobby and its one weekend out of the month where we can all get together and have fun,” Luiz said.  “One thing I like about drag racing is the adrenaline.  I’ve always wanted to drive something that goes over the speed limit and being able to feel what it s like is awesome.”

    Luiz is not the only woman driving a dragster at the Hilo Strip.  “There are two girls right now that are in the 7.90 index class and there are quite a few girls out there on the track, which is a good thing,” she said.

    In the 7.90 index class dragsters try to get down the quarter mile strip in exactly, or close to, in 7.90 seconds.  Often times to achieve that feat drivers are averaging between 160 and 170 miles per hour in an extreme display of speed.

    “There are over 100 competitors that try for the championship points during the drag season and Charelle beat them out to win Driver of the Year,” Fontes said.  “Not only that, she is the first woman to ever be selected for that award.”

    “Some people think that this is a guy’s sport but the way I see it is that girls are just as good as guys, if not better,” Luiz said.

   “I’m still in shock that I won driver of the year,” Luiz said.  “I’d like to thank Uncle Ellsworth for giving me the opportunity and to my crew, Sudden Impact Racing, for helping me get here.”

October 22, 2009 Posted by | Drag Racing | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vulcan Cross-Country Invitational Meet on Saturday

Vulcan harriers with coach, Jaime Guerpo (far left) prepare to host invitational meet

Vulcan harriers with coach, Jaime Guerpo (far left) prepare to host invitational meet

The University of Hawaii at Hilo cross-country will host their own Invitational on Saturday with teams from Brigham Young Hawaii, Chaminade, Hawaii Pacific and Victor Valley College participating.

    The women will kick things off at 9 a.m. with a 6K (3.73 mile) race starting at the Waiakea High softball field and finishing at on the UHH campus.

   The men will run the same course with a start time of 9:30 a.m.

   The Vulcan women are led by Kirsta Andrew and Nina Hagemann, while the men feature Stefano Rochabrun Barbis, Garrett McAllister and Keoni Ucker.

October 9, 2009 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment