Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Keaau and Kona win first BIIF Titles in Track & Field

Keaau boys celebrate first team title

KEAAU – The Wildcats and Cougars were running wild on Saturday as their track and field teams swept the girls and boys titles at the Big Island Interscholastic Federation championships.

For the Konawaena girls and the Keaau boys this was their first league championships in school history and a big reason to celebrate.

Keaau Coach Vicky Chai-Guerpo was at a loss for words in what was an emotional journey over several years.

“This was a team effort,” the tearful Cougar coach said.  “I’m so proud of them and they did it for themselves, their parents and for their school.”

The Cougars relied on the experience of a sprint core made up of Jesse Huihui, Damien Packer, and Alexander Engdahl with teammate Cliff Ericksson handling the jumps and hurdles.

Packer and Eriksson got the Cougars started going one, two respectively in the 110 hurdles to give the Cougars 18 team points and from that point forward Keaau never relinquished the team lead.

“It feels very exciting and I’m just glad to have had the opportunity,” Packer said of his 110 victory.  “I think I can do better at states if I remain determined and focused.”

Sprinting also translated into victory in the 4×100 with Keaau showcasing their multitalented corps, not only winning the BIIF relay title by posting the best time in the state with a 43.10 time.

Egdahl, Packer, along with Raskassa Johnson and Jessie Huihui were instrumental in the picture perfect sprint relay for the Cougars.

Balance in Keaau’s firepower could be found everywhere with Cougars Engdahl and Eriksson going 1 and 3 respectively in the 300 hurdles for 16 points.

“It feels awesome to win,” Engdahl said.  “This year I think I can do good at states and I will try my best.”

“This was our first BIIF title, in any sport, in school history,” Keaau Athletic Director Iris McGuire said.  “We entered the BIIF during the 1998-’99 season, so this title means a lot to our school.”

Chai-Guerpo has been the track and field coach at Keaau since 2000.

Keaau’s talent all started with middle school coach Randee Arkin

“Everyone in this school will know that it is possible,” Chai-Guerpo said.  “I’ve been coaching for a while and this has been a long time in coming.”

While the Cougar boys were racking up an enormous lead in the team standing, eventually winning by more than 40 points over a talented Kealakehe squad, the Wildcats girls were in a seesaw battle for their team title.

 Kona using their two big guns in Ua Ruedy and Lia Galdeira were heavily relied upon to score the big points, but it was the few unexpected points that helped put them over the top in a close battle.

Wildcat Coach Kuulei Karratti-Saole had predicted the team’s victory the day before saying, “We should win by 10 to 15 points.”

The Kona coach knew her team well and relied upon Galdeira to score 50 points and Ruedy to add another 34 to keep a talented Hawaii Preparatory Academy team at bay during most of the day.

At one point, with just three events to go, HPA trailed the Wildcats by 14 points with the 3K, 200 dash and 4×400 relay left.

Four pivotal points were scored by Kona’s little known freshman, Shayli Nakamoto in the 3000 run with her fourth place finish.

“I just wanted to keep my team in first place,” Nakamoto said.  “I feel really important.”

Nakamoto’s contribution managed to keep the Wildcat lead and it was a surprise victory in the 200 that sealed the team win for Kona.

The 200 dash saw Galdeira get disqualified in a false start the day before and it became a surprise victory for teammate Ruedy that sealed the deal.

“I never thought I could win the 200,” Ruedy said.  “It is a big win for me and our team.”

“I think this is the first time Kona has won a BIIF team track title,” Karratti-Saole said.

Karratti-Saole is in her fourth year at the helm of the Wildcat track program.  She is also a former state champion in track winning the gold medal in the 100 back in 2003.

Kona edged out HPA for the girls team title by 11 points.

The upset of the day may have come in the girls 1500 run with Hilo’s Carmen Garson-Shumway taking on defending state champion, HPA’s Zoe Sims.

HPA, known for their talented distance runners, took a pack of four runners immediately to the lead.

“I didn’t want to get boxed in so I moved out with 300 to go,” Garson-Shumway said.

It became an all out sprint to the finish with Sims and teammate Kristiana Van Pernis staying on the heels of Garson-Shumway.

All three girls crossed the finish line under the meet record, with Garson-Shumway winning in 4:53.36, Sims 4:54.63, and Van Pernis 4:55.23.

“I didn’t expect to win,” Garson-Shumway said.  “We are all friends and this is not about winning, it’s about the experience.”

Garson-Shumway was quick to give credit to her teammate, freshman Mehana Sabado-Halpern for helping to push her during practice.

“Mehana helps to push me and she is a real nice running partner,” Garson-Shumway said.

Sims later returned to the oval to redeem the situation in the 800 winning in a meet record time of 2:18.46 to edge out Garson-Shumway, 2:20.02.

The girl’s pole vault title went to HPA senior Sydney Budde at 8-6 with Kealakehe sophomore Kristi Lovell finish second.

The senior, who has vaulted all four years, was excited about her first BIIF title.

“That’s insane that I made it this far,” Budde said.  “I’ve been second in my previous three years.”

Keaau will play host to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association track and field championships on Friday and Saturday, May 11 and 12.


May 7, 2012 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BIIF Track & Field Officials Recognized

Pictured left to right: Dick Sutton, Keith Tolentino, Bob Martin, Kimo Weaver, Myron Isherwood, Iris McGuire, Tom Correa


    Dick Sutton, President of the Hawaii Association USA Track & Field, presented five Big Island Interscholastic Federation officials certificates for their contributions to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association State Track and Field championships held at Keaau in May 2009.  This was the first time that a State track meet was held on the Big Island.   

   Pictured are President of the Hawaii Association USA Track & Field  Dick Sutton, Honokaa’s Keith Tolentino, Kau’s Bob Martin, Kamehameha’s Kimo Weaver, Myron Isherwoon, Keaau’s Iris McGuire, and Waiakea’s Tom Correa. 

   Myron Isherwood, previously recognized as the State Official of the Year.

   Sutton also acknowledged the many people, behind the scenes, who made contributions to the state track & field meet held at Keaau last May.  Vicki Chai-Guerpo, Joel Peralto, Jaime Guerpo, Faith Nance, Randee Arkin Joseph, Curt Beck, Chris Drayer, Jordan & Ipo Rosado, Sherman Viernes, Sally Wilburn, George Ikeda, Jerry Lomongo and more made the first ever state track & field meet at Keaau a success.  Congratulations to all!

April 14, 2010 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Massive Coaching Layoffs in Prep Sports

Waiakea lost 5 of 13 football coaches

Waiakea lost 5 of 13 football coaches

Public school athletic directors from around the state are scrambling to make the necessary budget cuts as fall sports begin to practice for the upcoming 2009-2010 season.

    The statewide budget deficit has resulted in high school sports programs having to make severe cuts to keep pace with the states looming crisis.

    At a recent emergency meeting called by Waiakea’s athletic director, Thomas Correa, head coaches discovered that besides the more than 50 percent cuts in athletic equipment and transportation to all public high schools throughout the state athletic directors will also be required to cut nearly 40 percent from coaching salaries.

    “We received over $116,000 from the state to pay for our coaches last year and this year our budget has been reduced to slightly over $72,000.” Correa announced.

    As a result every public school athletic directors need to shave nearly 40 percent off last years coaching budget and for Correa that meant cutting many assistant coaching positions altogether.

    “We’ve reduced the number of paid assistant coaches here at Waiakea in order to keep all of our team sports,” Correa said.

    All head coaches have been retained and all 54 sports teams will continue at Waiakea, but many paid assistant coaching positions have been terminated to meet the budget requirements set forth by the Department of Education.

Football hit hard
Football hit hard

At Waiakea five football, two cross-country, four volleyball, two soccer, two basketball, one swimming, two track, three baseball, two softball, one judo, one air riflery and one pep squad assistant coaching positions have been terminated in order to meet the new budget requirements.

   “We’ve had to unilaterally make the cuts so that no one sport was favored over another and we held our head coaches meeting this past Saturday to show transparency,” Correa said.

   The DOE has been hit with a $1.2 million reduction to athletics and on top of that has been ordered to reduce the state athletic coaching budget of $4.6 million by 40 percent.

   The Hawaii High School Athletic Association has received $400,000 in donations in an ongoing effort to help the public schools, but according to Correa all those monies will go to help pay for equipment and transportation cost and none of those funds are earmarked for coaching salaries.

   “We have very dedicated coaches, but now that they will become volunteer coaches and it will place an additional burden on them and their families.    

   We’ll just have to make do with what we have and as far as getting additional funds for coaching positions, I wouldn’t hold my breath,” Correa said.

   Pahoa High School athletic director, Ron Tomosada, is facing the same percentage cuts in coaching salaries as Waiakea and all the other public schools across the state.

   “We have 40 teams at Pahoa and we need to take a look at which of those teams would feel the least impact by taking away an assistant coach,” Tomosada said.

   According to Tomosada the athletic budget for coaching salaries for Pahoa was at $80,000 for the 2008-09 season and that amount has been reduced to $50,000 for the upcoming 2009-10 season.

   “We’re brainstorming ways to cut $30,000 out of our coaching budget.  Like everyone else, we’re feeling it,” Tomosada said.

   Tomosada has called a coaches meeting for Thursday evening at the Pahoa campus and will disclose which assistant positions will be eliminated at that time.

Iris McGuire
Iris McGuire

Iris McGuire, athletic director for Keaau High School, has one of the largest coaching budgets in the BIIF due to a large number of coaches being full time DOE teachers.

   “Coaching salaries for certified teachers are higher than other coaches and 71 percent of our (Keaau) coaches teach,” McGuire said.

   The Cougar payroll for coaches last season was $127,000 and McGuire needs to trim that amount to $78,000 for the upcoming 2009-’10 year.

   “I’m working with our principal to see which assistant coaching positions we need to cut.  We don’t want to cut any sports teams that we currently have, so we will retain the head coaches for those sports,” McGuire said.

   McGuire has set August 11 as the date to meet with her coaches and the final decision on cuts will be announced at that time.

   “It’s a very difficult thing for me to do as many of our coaches have been here (Keaau) for a long time.  I’m hopeful that some money will be restored when the economy gets better and we can bring back those coaches,” she said.”

   HHSAA Executive Director, Keith Amemiya, has led the charge in trying to help the dwindling public schools athletic budget by donating $30,000 of his own money.

   If you want to help, make checks payable to HHSAA SOS Fund and mail checks to HHSAA, P.O. Box 62029, Honolulu, Hawaii 96839.  For more information call HHSAA at (808) 587-4495.

August 5, 2009 Posted by | Editorial | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NFL Pros Work with Big Island Youth

Seth Joyner, Timmy Chang, J.D. Runnels, along with other football stars worked at Keaau in the Chade Ikei Performance Football Camp

Seth Joyner, Timmy Chang, J.D. Runnels, along with other football stars worked at Keaau in the Chad Ikei Performance Football Camp

    Super Bowl legend, Seth Joyner, former University of Hawaii quarterback, Timmy Chang, Arizona Cardinal safety, Aaron Francisco, were among some of the greats in football at the Ikei Performance Football Camp held at Keaau.

    Weight lifting giant, Chad Ikei, brought the National Football League stars to the Big Island to participate in a three day football camp.

    Ikei, who is a 1989 graduate of Kaiser High School on Oahu, went on to set 21 national records in power lifting in Colorado Springs while broking eight world records.

    Today Ikei trains some of the best athletes in the world and many of them are in professional football.

    “Our coaches working with the kids over the past three days are Tala Esera, offensive line; Anthony Arceneaux, wide receivers;   J.D. Runnels, running backs; Vaka Manupuna, defensive line;  Aaron Francisco, defensive backs; Timmy Chang, quarterbacks; and Seth Joyner working with the linebackers,” Ikei said.

   The list of high profile coaches is a who’s who in the sport of football and all of them were trained in strength and conditioning by Ikei.

   “This is the second camp I’ve done with Chad,” Seth Joyner said.  “I like to come out and do these things, when my schedule permits.  I used to train with Chad after I got out of the game.  He is a phenomenal product and I’m willing to help anytime I can.”

   Joyner played linebacker for a number of NFL teams during his 13 professional seasons and ended his career with the Denver Broncos and a Super Bowl ring.

   “The year before joining the Broncos I played with the Packers (Green Bay) and we just missed winning the Super Bowl.  Winning the Super Bowl was the cherry on the top of my career,” he said.

   Joyner now heads the Joyner-Walker Foundation a non-profit organization that gives back to the community and he is working on becoming a transitional/motivation speaker.

   Aaron Francisco, safety for the Arizona Cardinals and a former Kahuku Red Raider, also enjoyed the spot light playing in the Super Bowl.

   “Making it to the Super Bowl was a dream come true, something that doesn’t happen to most players in their lifetime,” Francisco said.

    “I’ve been helping Chad do these camps for the past three years and I’m happy to share my experiences with them.  I hope the kids learned some basic fundamental skills as Chad has a unique skill and knowledge to pass on to them.”

    Ceci and Ty Kahooilihala were instrumental in bringing Ikei and his coaching crew to the Big Island.  “I went on the internet and looked for football camps that would help kids from our island,” Ceci Kahooilihala said.

    The three day two night camp offered everything from running technique, to weight training, and included nutrition and supplement training.

    “I came to this camp because I wanted to learn ways to train at a higher level, so that I can play in college,” Keli’I Kekuewa a soon to be senior offensive lineman from Kamehameha-Hawaii.

   “I found everything that they taught us to be helpful.  The agility and cone drills were difficult, but they taught me a lot.  If you’re really serious about football this camp will get you to the next level,” Kekuewa said.

    Blake McCormick, a center on the Konawaena football team, was equally impressed with his three days of camp.

    “I spent the past three years playing center because I weighed 260 pounds, but because of my height I knew that I needed to lose weight and change position,” McCormick said.

   Over the past year McCormick dropped his weight to 199 and is now looking at becoming a linebacker for the Wildcats.  “I needed to come to this camp and learn to make the transition to a different position,” he said.  “I’ll be a senior this year and I’d like to be able to play at the college level next year.”

   Tyrone Kahooilihala, Jr., echoed the same praise for the Ikei Camp.  “I’ve been to the Maui Just Win Camp and the two camps held at Kamehameha, but this one was tougher and more challenging,” he said.

    “We spend eight hours each day working on weight and drills and we got a lot of individual, one-on-one help,” he said.

   Kahooilihala was also impressed with the healthful food served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  “They fed us well and they gave us healthy snacks throughout the day.  I also got to work on my footwork so that I can be faster and quicker,” he said.

    According to Keaau athletic director, Iris McGuire, the student/athletes were asked to pay $200 for the three day camp, but on Oahu the camp typically cost between $400 and $500 per athlete.

    “We had several kids that couldn’t afford to pay so our Booster Club picked up the balance for them,” McGuire said.  “We will be doing a lot of fundraising during the year to cover our expenses, but it is all worth it.”

    “I’d like to see more kids, from other schools, come and participate in this camp.  We’re giving these kids a positive activity and hoping that they will learn to enjoy the comradraire with players from other schools.”

    “We’re hoping to do this as an annual event and we need to find the help of some sponsors,” McGuire said.

    “This is more than just a football camp,” Ikei said. “We teach these young people how to become successful in real life.”

   “We are all volunteers and we only ask for the cost of travel arrangements,” Ikei said. 

    At the end of the final day of camp Ikei gathered the athletes around and was heard saying, “Someday I hope you can give back to your school and to your community.”

Keaau Athlete Director Iris McGuire

Keaau Athlete Director Iris McGuire Strength & Conditioning Coach, Chad Ikei, provides campers with words of wisdom

Strength & Conditioning Coach, Chad Ikei, shares words of wisdom with camp participants

Strength & Conditioning Coach, Chad Ikei, shares words of wisdom with camp participants

July 10, 2009 Posted by | Events, Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BIIF Runners Set to Leave Mark at HHSAA Championships

Kau's Jacob Edwards leads the state in 110 & 300 hurdles
Kau’s Jacob Edwards leads the state in 110 & 300 hurdles

      Runners, jumpers and throwers from around the state are flocking to the Big Island for the Hawaii High School Athletic Association track & field championships to be held at Keaau on Friday and Saturday.

    The Punahou boys and Kamehameha-Oahu girls are the defending state champions and are loaded with talent in what should be a well contested meet in Keaau.

   Several Big Island Interscholastic Federation athletes will be in the mix to compete for individual state titles.

    Leading the way is Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Ku’uipo Nakoa who is the BIIF Female Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

    Nakoa is ranked No.1 in the state long jump with a leap of 17 feet 9 inches, more than seven inches further than any other girl in the state has jumped.

   The Ka Makani junior is also ranked third in the triple jump, 36’ 10.25”, third in the 400 meter dash, 59.57 seconds, third in the 200 dash, 26.03 seconds and third in the 100 dash with a hand time of 12.5 seconds.

   “I think my best chance of winning a gold medal would be in the long jump, but who knows,” Nakoa said.  “We’ll all be pushing each other and we’ll all have our adrenaline pumping, so anything can happen.”

   “I’d really, really like to win the 100 and I’d like to do my best in that event as well,” Nakoa said.

   Hilo’s Cory Schattuaer, the BIIF champion in the 100 dash, is ranked second in that event, 12.70, behind state leader Punahou’s Ashley Satterwhite of Punahou who has clocked 12.53.

   A pair of BIIF girls is ranked in the 300 hurdles, with Kamehameha-Hawaii’s Aubrey Lea Shaw listed as third, 47.61, and HPA’s Kini Shuping, who won the BIIF title, fourth at 47.48.  Shuping is also fourth in the state in the triple jump with a leap of 35-05.5.

   The BIIF champions, Kamehameha girls, 4×100 team of Heidi Hall, Lilinoe Heaukulani, Bronte Kaneakua and Jessica Marote ranks fourth in the state at 51.08 seconds while the HPA girls 4×400 team of Nakoa, Shuping, Hana Scully and Noelani Vargas is ranked fifth at 4:13.61.

   Adding to the list of top BIIF girls are HPA’s Mindy Campbell and Waiakea’s Cassie Morigaki who are in a four way tie for high jump clearing five feet two inches early in the season.  Radford’s Kaeli Patton sits in first place at 5-4.

  “We are hobbling through some injuries, as Mindy, who jumped 5-2 in the first three meets sat out the last three weeks prior to the BIIF championships because of a foot injury,” HPA coach, Pat Lau said.

   “Ku’uipo (Nakoa) has been experiencing some pain somewhere, but she won’t tell me, it might be in her thigh or hip, but that won’t stop her from running at states,” Lau said. 

   HPA is taking ten girls to Keaau for the state championships and they are listed in 19 events and the two relays, which has Lau hopeful that his girls can advance into 14 events and two relays in the finals, on Saturday.

     “Our goal is to be in the top five.  If the gods are on our side and the planets are lined up right we could score 85 points, but realistically 48 to 55 points is a more real number,” Lau said. 

    “The way the different girl teams look 65 points will win it.  There are no dominating teams.  Punahou and Radford have the sprinters, Maui has a great middle and distance running, and Kahuku is good in field events,” Lau said.

    For the boys it is the BIIF’s most outstanding male athlete, Kau’s Jacob Edwards, has the best chance at bringing home two or three state individual titles.

  1. The Trojan is also ranked fourth in the triple jump with his hop-skip-and jump of 45-06.5.

   “I like my chances in the 300 hurdles as there is more room for adjustment during the race,” Edwards said.  “I need to keep my head up, but I don’t want to put the cart before the horse and I must remain humble.”

    Edwards placed second in the state last year in both the 110 and 300 hurdles and was sixth in the triple jump.

   Close behind Edwards is a talented Thomas Delacruz of Hilo who ranks third in the state for the 110 at 14.97 and second in the 300 at 40.05.

   Hilo also brings to the track some of the best sprinters in the state with Charles Clay, No. 3, in the 100 dash at 11.09 and No. 3 in the 200 at 22.51.

   Teammate Bronson Kahaleua follows Clay in the 200 with the fourth fastest time in the state, 22.53, with Waiakea’s Ka’imi Scott fifth at 22.66.

   The Viking boys 4×100 relay team of Chan Spikes, Kahaleua, Clay and Karl Ancheta is ranked fourth in the state at 43.17 seconds.

   Konawaena’s Dakota Smith holds down the No. 2 state position in the 800 meter run, 1:59.81, with Kamehameha-Hawaii’s Jordan Lerma at No. 3, 2:00.15.  King Kekaulike’s Reid Hunter brings the fastest time in the 800 clocking 1:58.61 earlier in the season.

   In pole vault it is Hilo’s David King bringing his early season clearance of 15 feet as the No. 1 height in the state.  King has been hampered with some nagging injuries and was only able to clear 13 feet during the BIIF championships.  Teammate and defending BIIF champion in the pole vault, Scott Hunter, cleared 13-6 to win the event.

   Kamehameha’s Caleb Friel is ranked No. 3 in pole vault with his early season height of 14 feet.

   The Vikings should also score points in the shot with Jordan Loeffler ranked No. 5 at 52-05.5 toss.

   “Our boys and girls are just hoping to make second day appearances in all events,” Kamehameha-Hawaii coach, Troy Souza said.  “Our girls have a better shot at getting points and whatever points we get will be greatly welcomed.”

   The Warrior girls won the BIIF team title last week at Keaau and are hoping to carry their success into this week’s championship.  “The girls are really motivated and trying to carry any momentum into this week state track meet,” Souza said.

   The HHSAA track and field state championship begins this Friday at Keaau with the qualifying heats for each event.  On Saturday the championships conclude with event finals.

   General admission tickets are $7, students in grades K-12 are $5; students, and Senior Citizens are $5.  No outside food will be allowed within the stadium, no coolers, no tenting anywhere in the stands and parking will not be permitted at Keaau’s upper gym parking lot, that area is reserved for officials and workers, according to Keaau athletic director, Iris McGuire.

May 15, 2009 Posted by | High School Runners, High School Track & Field, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment