BIG ISLAND ROAD RUNNERS $1,000 SCHOLARSHIP WINNER
YEAR MALE FEMALE
2006 Stefano Barbis – Hilo Malia Williams – Hilo
2007 Eamon Harriy – Kona Sarah Chitwood – Hilo
Keoni Ucker – CLA (50%)
2008 Nick Hagemann – Keaau Jamilia Epping – Keaau
Nick Ucker- CLA (50%)
2009 Bryce Harada – Waiakea Amy Eriksson – Keaau
Kaitlyn Yamamoto-Kamehameha (50%)
2010 Sai Weiss – Hilo Kaitlyn Chock – Waiakea
2011 Rogelio Barroga – Keaau Hana Scully – HPA
2012 Robert Connors – Honokaa Deann Nishimura-Thornton – Keaau
The money for the BIRR scholarships was provided by Richard and Virginia Alderson. Each year the BIRR five member scholarship committee reviews the numerous applications to made the awards.
“It was the sheer love of running that initially drew me to this masochistic sport, but it was the camaraderie of the runners that made me stick with it,” Kaitlyn Chock said.
It takes a special breed to become a long distance runner. A person becomes self-reliant on their own motivation and perseverance. As a high school cross-country coach for many years I have witnessed firsthand the multitude of prep runners that become distance runners.
Recently, at Waiakea High’s athletic awards night, I noticed that the 20 girls getting their letters in cross-county all had an asterisk next to their names in the school program. The asterisk noted that those athletes also attained a 3.5 or higher grade point average, making them scholar athletes.
The boy’s cross-county team had 27 of their 31 participants with asterisks, not surprising when you consider the demands made on a distance runner which require them to have a high level of internal motivation.
Chock was one of those represented at awards night as she closed out her high school career with four years on the cross-country and track teams.
“During my senior year I became a Team Captain and I wanted to apply the values and lessons I learned from my running to inspire those around me,” she said. “I wanted to bestow upon my teammates not only my love of the sport but give them experiences that would fuel their development into confident runners and individuals.”
Little wonder why Chock along with Hilo’s Sai Weiss were recent winners of the Big Island Road Runners $1000 scholarship award. Both Chock and Weiss have demonstrated their deep love of running, coupled with their commitment to community service and a high GPA.
“While practicing to run we must train our minds to be vigilant in any sort of situation that may come across us,” Weiss said. “To this end, running has taught me to be a determined individual inside and outside of the classroom.”
On Sunday Weiss and Chock were on hand for the BIRR Scholarship 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk held at Coconut Island. Both youngsters had just graduated over the weekend and participated in the event, which culminated in them being recognized as the BIRR scholarship awardees.
At the start of the 5K race several runners jockeyed for the lead position and by mile one a pack of four had developed with Jackson Halford, Justin Pang, Alan Ryan and Rick Michels.
“We hit the first mile in 5 minutes and 53 seconds,” Ryan said. “I didn’t want to push the pace and I just let them lead with Justin (Pang) doing most of the work.”
Pang, a University of Hawaii-Hilo cross-country runner and former Christian Liberty standout, led for the first two miles with Waiakea’s Jackson Halford just a step behind.
“All three of us worked together as we did the second mile in 6 minutes flat,” Ryan said. “With about a half-mile to go Jackson (Halford) and myself pulled away from the pack and by Nihhon I was in the lead.”
The duo ran a blazing 5:36 final mile to distance themselves from the rest of the 80 plus runner and walkers in the field.
Ryan won the exciting race by clocking in at 18:07 with Pang one second behind. Pang finished in third at 18:15, followed by Michels, 18:57; Steve Pavao, 20:07; Tchad-Tu Henderson, 20:24; and Stewart Miyashiro in 20:30 rounded out the top men.
For the women it was all Lory Hunter as the Hilo High cross-country and track coach finished in 22:29 with Kim Rojo second, 24:40; Shell Hamilton third, 25:23; and Joanne Pocsidio, 27:01, rounding out the top women.
“This was a fun race,” Hunter said after winning the women’s division. “I’m not only glad that I got to run, but I’m also happy to be here to support both Sai and Kaitlyn in winning the BIRR scholarship award.
At the finish line Kaitlyn Chock was handing out finishing numbers and helping race officials while Sai Weiss was running in the race and finished eighth overall.
“I just graduated the night before and went to grad night at the Yacht Club,” Chock said. “I felt too tired to run, but I wanted to help.”
Weiss graduated on Friday night and was all smiles and filled with energy in doing the 3.1-mile race.
“I’ve always liked coming out and participating in community races,” Weiss said. “Running is something I enjoy and look forward to doing.
Big Island Road Runners president Steve Pavao presented Weiss and Chock with their $1000 checks in an official ceremony after the race. “The BIRR is very proud of our community involvement and in our two selections for this year’s awards,” he said.
“I look forward to sunny long afternoon runs,” Weiss said. “I enjoy the opportunity to be able to appreciate my natural surroundings. I realize that as a runner we are blessed with a gorgeous place called Hawaii.”
Athlete of the Year: Ku’uipo Nakoa, Hawaii Prep
Coach of the Year: Pat Lau, Hawaii Prep
Hawaii Prep – Ku’uipo Nakoa, hurdles & triple jump; Zoe Sims, 400;
Kamehameha – Kaopua Sutton, disc; Victoria Evans-Bautista, long jump
Honokaa – Athena Oldfather, 1500; Tialana Greenwell, 3000
Waiakea – Kaitlyn Chock, 800; Erika Cushnie, high jump
Hilo – Shina Chung, pole vault
Teisha Nacis (Waiakea), Ua Ruedy (Konawaena), Randi Estrada (Kea’au), TraciPalermo (Hilo), Lana Queen (Hawaii Prep), Sydney Budde (Hawaii Prep), Jacquelyn Kaio-Goo (Kea’au), Matelita Tamoefalau (Konawaena)
Honorable mention: Alyssa Hoshida (Hilo), Bronte Kaneakua (Kamehameha), Katie Aguilar (Honoka’a)Kaila Voss (Kealakehe) Autumn Miyares-Thompson (Kea’au), Deann Nishimura-Thornton (Kea’au), Kela Vargas (Hawaii Prep), Mary Josephine Osorio(Kohala), Alexis Mabuni (Makua Lani), Kelsie Kobayashi (Waiakea), Shalila De Bourmont (Hilo), Grace Choe (Makua Lani), Karina Lawrence (Hilo), Erin Carvalho(Kamehameha), Natasha Ah Chong (Kamehameha), Bree Delacruz (Hilo), ChelseaAshimine (Hawaii Prep), Alyssa Lehua McGuire (Kamehameha), Jasmine Ward(Konawaena), Azmera Hammouri-Davis (Kea’au), Marley Strand-Nicolaisen (Ka’u),Holly Lambert (Waiakea), Kelsi Nishina (Hawaii Prep), Carissa Bell-Chase(Honoka’a), Jo-Lynn Kahala-Minczer (Kealakehe), Natalie Orevella (Hilo), McKenna Davidson (Kealakehe), Jasmine Fojas (Hawaii Prep), Pamela Lynn (Hawaii Prep), Misilosa Uulopa (Konawaena), Tiffany Kerr (Hilo), Linda Sunia (Hilo), Janna Urakami (Waiakea), Angeline Hoke (Waiakea)
On Sunday, May 23, the Big Island Road Runners along with Big Dog Productions will host the Scholarship 5K run/walk starting at 7:30 am in the parking area of Moku Ola, Coconut Island.
Following the fun run/walk the BIRR will presents a check for $1000 to Hilo’s Sai Weiss and to Waiakea’s Kaitlyn Chock. The public is encouraged to attend both the run/walk and the scholarship ceremony. For more information contact the Big Dog at 969-7400.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.