Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Vikings producing some of the best pole vaulters in the state

Coach Viernes

KEAAU – Hilo keeps churning out athletes that can leap tall buildings with a single bound.

The Vikings over the past years have produced some of the best pole vaulters in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation and in the Hawaii High School Athletic Association.

Viking pole vault coach, Sherman Viernes, who coached his own daughter Daysha to an individual state gold medal continues to produce some of the best vaulters in the state.

 This past Saturday the Viking pole vaulters Shina Chung and Katon Pestano showcased what they do best, by leaping to new levels.

Shina Chung

Chung recorded an early season best 10’ 6” clearance to set a new Kamehameha stadium record as she continued to hold the lead on state competition, tied for first with Punahou’s Sammy Marumoto.

“I changed poles and got onto a 130 pounder, which made all the difference today,” Chung said.

“I really didn’t like the 125 pole that I used previously and earlier in the week I managed to practice on the heavier one for two days.”

 The larger pole, which takes more strength to manage, produced big dividends for Chung as she recorded her best height of the season.

“It’s harder using a bigger pole as it’s stiffer and doesn’t bend, but my off season conditioning helped me with the physical aspect and it paid off today,” she said.

Katon Pestano

Chung recorded an early season best 10’ 6” clearance to set a new Kamehameha stadium record as she continued to hold the lead on state competition, tied for first with Punahou’s Sammy Marumoto.

Teammate Katon Pestano also went with a bigger pole, using a 155 pound stick for the first time this season, as he cleared 14 feet.

“This is the highest I’ve ever gone,” Pestano a sophomore said.  “It was my goal going into the season to be able to clear 14 feet, but I never expected to do it so early in the year.”

Since clearing 14 feet and being ranked as the number one vaulter in the BIIF, Pestano has raised the bar again as he now hopes to go even higher.

“I’d like to go after David King’s BIIF record of 15 feet 6 inches,” Pestano said.  “I didn’t even make states last year as a freshman and now I’m hoping to be able to place in the top six and possible win the BIIF title.”

Randi Estrada

While the Vikings were dominating the pole vault competition a Cougar was tearing up the track.

Keaau’s Randi Estrada had victories in the 100, 200, high jump and helped her 4×400 relay team set a new Kamehameha stadium record.  The Cougar also joined her teammates to a second place finish in the 4×100 relay.

 “The 200 is my favorite event, although the 400 has been my main event during the past two years,” Estrada said.  “I like the 200 better than the 400 because it’s shorter and it’s over more quickly.”

Estrada feels that her confidence is growing in the 200 as she learns the more technical aspects of racing faster.

“I’m doing way better this year in the 200 because I’m using more arms and doing knee drives,” she said.  “I think I would have done even better today if we had more competition as it is harder for me to race in an East side only meet as there is no one to push me.”

 The BIIF track & field venue was divided with Kamehameha hosting the East side schools and Hawaii Preparatory Academy hosting the West.

Jackson Halford

In the distance races it was Waiakea standout, Jackson Halford racking up wins in the 800 and 1500 meter races, along with helping his 4×400 relay team to victory.

“I would have done a 3K if they would have held the race earlier in the day,” Jackson said.  “I am just discovering that I like to do the 800 as I usually only do the longer distances in the past.”

Halford ran a personal best 2 minutes 8 seconds in the 800 and is now looking at making that distance his premier event.

“I hit my first lap in 64 seconds,” Halford said, “and came back with another 64 second final lap.”

The Warrior also took 8 seconds off his previous 1500 time and ran the second leg of the distance relay to help his team to victory.

Kaenen Akau

Another pair of Warriors was also wowing the crowd in the field events as Kamehameha’s Kaenen Akau and Hawk Hanoa were establishing themselves as the best in the league and in the state in what they do best.

Akau, a junior, the defending champion in the boy’s long jump leaped 21’ 7.5” to establish himself as the league’s best and rank him as one of the best in the state thus far.

“The long jump is my favorite event because it requires a lot of speed and I like the feeling of flying through the air,” Akau said.

During practice Akau has gone 22’ 1” and he believes that as the season continues he’ll be able to deliver a 22 foot jump during meet time.

Hawk Hanoa

Warrior teammate, Hawk Hanoa, was also reaching new distances as the powerful built senior threw the shot 51 feet to win the meet and ranked himself as the number 2 thrower in the BIIF behind HPA’s Shane Brostek. 

“I was really disappointed with my 134 foot discus’ throw that when I went into the shot ring I turned my disappointment into positive anger and was able to motivate myself into my best toss ever,” he said.

Hanoa, who set his goal going into the season as trying to reach 50 feet in the shot, found himself well ahead of his preseason dreams and has now set the bar higher.

“The majority of what we do is mental,” Hanoa said.  “I don’t feel that I’m doing everything I can and that I still have this hunger to go further.  Visually I can do it and it will happen.”

Brostek launched a 52-01.5 on his home turf this past Saturday and also managed to outdistance his competition in the discus throw with a toss of 150-03.5.

The BIIF track & field season continues on Saturday with an all schools meet at Konawaena with field events getting under way at 9 am and running at 10.


April 4, 2011 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BIIF Track & Field Season begins on Saturday at Keaau

Start of girls 100 meter race

Sizes does matter!  Just ask Hawaii Preparatory Academy track & field coach Pat Lau and he’ll tell you that having depth plays an important factor in making a run for the island team championships.

“Our 2011 track team is the largest in school history,” Lau said.  “With 89 athletes, 62 girls and 27 boys, we have a lot of depth.”

Lau, who begins his fifth season at the helm, has a reputation for winning Big Island Interscholastic Federation team titles, capturing a boy’s title in 2007 and two girl’s titles in 2008 and 2010.

“For me and my coaches our biggest achievements is producing six individual state champions over the past four years,” Lau said.

The defending girls BIIF champs look overwhelming on paper as they return Kela Vargas, 800 & 1500 meters, Lana Queen and Chelsea Akamine at hurdles, Sydney Budde and Taylor Esaki at pole vault, along with Hana Scully, Mackenzie Buckner and Pam Lynn at sprints.

“Joining us also are most of the girls from the 2010 BIIF cross country championship team which gives us a lot of depth in the distance events,” Lau said.

Ka Makani boys return Shane Brostek in the throws with teammates George Twiggsmith and Rokas Cesnuievicius in the jumps.

“With our new track and HPA’s reputation for having a successful track program we are working hard to defend our 2010 girl’s championships.  As for the boys we will be very competitive, but Kamehameha looks to be the team to beat with Hilo and Keaau teams to watch,” Lau said.

Kimo Weaver returns for his third season at Kamehameha with impressive credentials.  The Warrior girls were the 2010 BIIF runner-up to the Ka Makani and their boys captured the league team crown.

“We continue to maintain the same team goals as we would like to contend for the league title and improve on our number of state qualifiers,” Weaver said.

Kamehameha boy’s top returnees include Everett Maka McKee at hurdles, Kaenaen Aukai Akau, long jump and sprints along with Hawk Hanoa in the throws.

For the lady Warriors Corin Kim and Kera Akiyama returns at the 400, Erin Carvalho at the distance events, Hi’ilani Evans-Bautista at jumps and hurdles along with teammates Kimberly Kalei Hodson and Alyssa Lehua McGuire taking on Pole Vault duties with McGuire also taking on the hurdles.

“We still need to fill the slots of those that have since graduated,” Weaver said.  “We need to better our times and marks each week and we want to keep working hard and peak at the right time.  If we can do this and have fun doing it good things will happen.”

Across town the other Warrior team, Waiakea, returns top distance runners, Kelsie Kobayashi for the girls and Jackson Halford for the boys. 

Waiakea coaches, Lance and Mary Jane Tominaga are carrying 20 girls and 35 boys on the team and are looking to improve on last year’s third place team finishes for both their boys and girls.

“We did lose a few key seniors, however, with the returnees coming back stronger and the addition of young recruits, the team hopes to better last year’s finish,” Lance Tominaga said.

Waiakea will have a strong sprint and jump corp. lead by Travis Winters and Michael Morikawa for the boys and Teisha Nacis for the girls.  Stephen McCauliffe will take on the middle distance, 400 and 800 events.

Keaau’s Vicky Chai also carries 55 athletes on their team, which Chai describes as a young and talented squad.

Jesse Huihui is the Cougars top sprinter with Damien Packer taking on the hurdles and horizontal jumps.  Look for Kevin Olsen in the distance events and a talented Nelson Enos in the pole vault.

For the Cougar girls it will be Randi Estrada in the high jump and 400 meter events and Deann Nishimura-Thornton running the distance events.

“I think most schools want the same thing as we do, to win a championship” Chai said.  “Having never accomplished this it would be especially sweet for us and this year I think it’s possible.  We continue to grow together as a team, most of who have been together for three years.  We’re looking forward to an exciting season.”

For Hilo it is first year head coach Jonathan Peralto taking over a large and talented Viking squad.

“Right now we are carrying about 45 boys and 35 girls on our track team,” Peralto said.  “A pretty large group, but they are motivated and working hard each day and I have a great coaching staff helping me.”

The Viking girls return Shina Chung at pole vault, Shalila de Bourmont at 3000 meters, Alyssa Hoshide, sprints; Linda Sunia, throws with boys Tyde Kaneshiro, distance, Rick Michels and Dan Taylor in the hurdles.

“I’m not sure who will be in the running for the team titles this year,” Peralto said.  “Each year new athletes come out, mixing things up a bit, but I am really looking forward to what the BIIF, as a whole, will produce this year.”

Peralto believes that the level of competition on the island has been increasing each year and is excited about what this season may have to offer.

The 2011 track and field season got under way with a preseason meet at HPA on Saturday, March 5 followed by the Kamehameha preseason invitational on Saturday, March 19.

The regular BIIF season starts on Saturday, March 26, at with an all schools meet at Keaau.  Field events get under way at 2 pm followed by running events at 3.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HPA girls, KS-Hawaii boys win BIIF Track & Field Team Titles

KS-Hawaii scored 15 pts in the 110 hurdles with Blas, McKee & Tanimoto. Also pictured Hilo's Calistro, Keaau's Packer & HPA's Oakes

KEALAKEKUA – The Hawaii Preparatory Academy girls and Kamehameha boys are flying high after winning the Big Island Interscholastic Federation track & field team titles Saturday at Yates Field in Konawaena.

   HPA got a spectacular performance and 58 points from the “Queen of the Hurdles” Ku’uipo Nakoa.

Ku’uipo Nakoa

Nakoa, a state leader in the 100 and 300 hurdles, captured the BIIF individual crown in both events and also won the 100 and 200 dashes, along with the triple jump.  Nakoa’s long jump second place finish, by half an inch, during the first event of the day ignited the senior Ka Makani to a near perfect performance.

    Kamehameha’s Victoria Evans Bautista saved her best jump for last leaping 17’ 3.75” to set a new meet record in edging out Nakoa for the long jump crown.

     Moments later Nakoa responded by winning the 100 meter hurdles and in the process set a new meet record in a blistering time of 15.16 seconds.  Later in the day Nakoa won the 300 hurdles of 46 seconds flat also set a new championship meet record.

   “The 100 (dash) felt comfortable for me as I needed to play catch up,” Nakoa said.  “This season I learned that I needed to run for me and not for anyone else.  I always run for improvement and today I achieved what I had set my heart to do.”

   HPA also showcased another “Queen” in the hurdles, Lana Queen; running on the heels of Nakoa all season long Queen helped her team by placing second in the 100 hurdles and third in the 300.

   Ka Makani also gained points from middle distance runner Kela Vargas who finished fifth in the 800 and third in the 1500.

  The real surprise for HPA came from freshman Zoe Sims in the 400 dash when she ran the race of her life winning in 59.55 seconds.  “I’ve only run the 400 a couple of times this season, but I really enjoy this distance,” Sims said.

   “We decided to save her (Nakoa) for the individual events and pull her out of the relays,” HPA coach Pat Lau said.  “We needed her to carry us, points wise, in those events and she did extremely well.”

   Lau also had high praise for his coaches.  “We (coaches) make decisions together that are best for the team.  Everything is a group effort and this year was tough for us as our track is under construction,” he said.  “I also give a lot of credit to our AD (Steve Perry) who made sure we got what we needed to produce a good track program.”

   While Nakoa was tearing up the track with her blistering speed the Kamehameha boys were racking up points with their sprinters.

Kana Silva

Warrior Kanakalele Silva dominated the 100 and 200 meter dashes and provided the additional fire power to anchor the boys 4×100 relay team to victory.

   Silva was aided in the sprint department by teammates Kaenen Akau and Everett “Maka” McKee and Francis Blas III in scoring which propelled Kamehameha to the team title.

   Blas, in the 110 hurdles, took advantage of Kau’s Jacob Edwards false start during the preliminaries on Friday by winning the finals.

   Akau, along with fellow Warrior Manta Dircks added points in the jumps with Akau winning the long, 21’ 5.5” and Dircks taking second. Dircks returned later to the jumping pit, taking second in the triple.

   Discus thrower David Kekuewa placed second in the finals and scored additional points by finishing second in the shot put with teammate Hawk Hanoa taking third to round out the major scoring efforts for the Warrior boys.

  In the finals of the boy’s pole vault, held on Friday, Warriors Isaac DeRego and Max Shimamoto went one-two respectively to aid 18 points to the team count.

  Kamehameha coach, Kimo Weaver, was all smiles with his team’s title.  “Our boys had real team depth,” Weaver said.  “Our goal was to come into the championship meet and try to score points in all 16 events.”

   Weaver contributed a lot of the Warrior success to the confidence gained while participating on Oahu during the season.  “After going to Oahu the kids confidence level went really high,” he said.  “We believe our team can get into the top 10 in the state and our relay teams will be very competitive.”

  Last season it was Hilo winning the boys team title with Kamehameha edging out HPA by two points for the girls crown.  This season Ka Makani runners and jumpers left little doubt on reclaiming the BIIF crown beating runner up Kamehameha girls by more than 40 points.

   “Every year people expect HPA to win team championships,” Coach Lau said.  “Those expectations make us work harder and is the reason why we have such a good program.”

   A total of eight BIIF championship records were set, according to track official, Bob Martin. 

“We had two records broken during Friday’s preliminaries and six more broken during Saturday’s finals,” Martin said.  “This was the most records set during a championship meet this past decade.”

May 9, 2010 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment