Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

“King Jacob” wins three gold medals at HHSAA Track & Field Championships

Kau's Jacob Edwards is "King of the Hurdles"

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.

Ku’uipo Nakoa

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.”

Kaopua Sutton

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.

Kelson Kawai

“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.

May 16, 2010 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 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