Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Sims wins gold, Winters & Chung get bronze, HHSAA track championships


Ka Makani Zoe Sims came up with a gold medal of her own winning the 1500 meter run in convincing fashion and returned to the track later to take second in the 400 dash.

“The 1500 is my favorite race and I just love to run,” Sims said shortly after winning the gold medal.  “The 400 is just for fun and I worked hard all season so this was the payoff for all the hard work.”

The adrenaline rush accounted for some remarkable performances by BIIF track and field athletes competing on Maui as several personal best performances were achieved during the finals held on Saturday.


Waiakea’s Travis Winters went an incredible four inches higher in the high jump to come away with a third place medal and credits adrenaline for his accomplishment.

“I was really pumped during the finals,” Winters said after clearing 6-02.  “I only started practicing the high jump about a month ago and 5-10 was the highest I’ve ever cleared in competition.”

Winters easily cleared 6 feet on his first attempt and watched as many of the state’s best began to drop out of the competition.

“I was a little nervous coming into the championships, but as I saw the other guys start to drop out my confidence began to rise and I started to get really pumped,” he said.

Winters managed to clear 6-02 on his third and final attempt before dropping out on three tries at 6-04.

“I’m really happy with my performance and I think I have a chance to medal in the long jump as well,” he said.

While Winters was winning a state medal in the high jump on Friday, across the field the finals in the girls pole vault was taking place with Hilo’s Shina Chung trying to improve on her fifth place finish from last year.


Chung, the three time BIIF girl’s pole vault champion, was using a larger pole to see if she could compete with the state’s best.

“My coach, Sherman Viernes, told me he wanted me on a 140 pound pole and I only got to practice on it for two and a half days,” Chung said.  “The pole was way bigger than anything I’ve ever used before, but I’m glad I took my coaches advice.”

Chung sat out for the initial jumps and came into the competition at 9 feet and eventually cleared 10-06 to finish in a tie for third place.

“I was really nervous today because of the new pole and I waited as the bar was started at 7-06 and increased by six inches each time,” she said.

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May 8, 2011 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hilo’s Shina Chung wins third BIIF pole vault title

Shina Chung

KEAAU – Over three hundred athletes were vying for a spot at the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Championships on Friday as two events have come to conclusion.

Hilo’s Shina Chung and Waiakea’s Travis Winters were reaching into the afternoon sky at Kamehameha’s Pai’ea Stadium as the girl’s pole vault and boy’s high jump were having their finals.

Chung, one of the best in the state at girl’s pole vault, won her third consecutive leagues crown by clearing 9-06, not her best, but good enough to bring her a BIIF individual championship title.

“I came in at 9 feet and there were no other girls in the competition at that point,” Chung said.  “Nine feet is the starting height for the state championships and my coach (Sherman Viernes) wants me to be ready.

When Chung came in for her first jump all her competitors had already been eliminated as her closet rival Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Sydney Budde, cleared 8 feet and went out at 8-06.

“I was nervous because I came in with ‘No Height’ and everyone was done,” Chung said.

But the Viking vaulter had little trouble at 9 feet, clearing the bar on her first attempt, and then later going over 9-06 on her second attempt.

“My goal was to repeat as the pole vault champ,” she said.  “Now I’m hoping to improve on my fifth place finish at states last year.”

Travis Winters

Winters had lots of competition in the high jump as he and three others were able to clear the bar at 5-10 but Winters was declared the BIIF champ as he managed to do it on his first jump.

“I came in at 5-04 and worked my way up,” Winters said.  “This was the second time I cleared 5-10 in the past two weeks, but this is my first BIIF title.”

Also clearing 5-10 was HPA’s George Twigg-Smith and Kyle Katase, along with Keaau’s Joseph Aquino, Jr.

“I only started practice high jump four meets ago,” Winters said.  “My first time at high jump practice I cleared 5-06 and my coach said that this was an event I could excel in.”

Kaenen Akau

On the infield it was Kamehameha’s Kaenan Aukai Akua setting a new standard in the long jump with his leap of 22-09 to rank him number one in the state.

“I was looking at the other state leader and I knew I need to hit 22 feet to catch him,” Akua the two time BIIF long jump champ said.  “I was looking for a good jump and I had the speed and take off in the air.”

Akua’s leap separated himself by nine inches from the previous state leader and the junior Warrior believes it can still get better.

“I need to keep my feet out front as far as I can and I need to keep my butt off the sand,” Akua said.

Not to be outdone Konawaena’s Lia Galdeira leaped 17-10 to make her the number one contender in the BIIF going into the championships and #2 in the state.

Galdeira’s fantastic jump came moments after the gifted junior false started the 100 meter hurdles to eliminate herself from one of her premiere events.

“I was upset with the DQ,” Galdeira said. 

The disqualification is the hurdles proved to be the driving force behind Galdeira’s impressive long jump as that distance carries over into the finals.

Galdeira believes that she is capable of going over 18 feet within the next week to set her up for a possible gold medal at the state championships.

Wildcat teammate Ua Ruedy was producing eye popping results during the Qualifiers in the 100 and 200 dashes, 100 and 300 hurdles, and the long and triple jump to give her six individual events going into the finals.

Ruedy is considered by many to have the best chance to score the most points during the championship finals which would qualify her to be named female track athlete of the year.

Defending girls team champions, HPA, is considered the top contender for repeating as team champs but coach Pat Lau is taking nothing for granted.

“Anything can happen,” Lau said.  “One mistake can change the outcome.  Everything leading up to the championships has been a rehearsal and hopefully everything will fall into place.”

Since 2007 Lau’s Ka Makani girls teams have never finished lower than second.

“It’s not just about the athletes,” Lau said.  “Our coaches spend a lot of time with the kids and make a big difference in the outcome.”

Kamehameha is the defending boy’s team champion and Warrior Coach Kimo Weaver believes that any school can win it all.

“There is no clear favorite for the boy’s team title,” Weaver said.  “There are four teams in the hunt, including us, and anything can happen.

The BIIF championship begins with field events starting at 3pm and running events at 4 at Kamehameha’s Pai’ea Stadium on Saturday.  Admission charges are $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and $1 for students with activity cards.

April 30, 2011 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Hilo Pole Vaulter is #1 in State

Hilo High’s David King soared into a new time zone with his successful clearing of 15 feet during pole vault competition at a regular season track & field meet at Keaau on Saturday.

King, whose previous best height was 13’ 6”, was challenged by teammate Scott Hunter and Kamehameha’s Caleb Friel as the trio cleared 13’ 6” to raise the bar on competition.

David King is the King of the Pole Vault

David King is the King of the Pole Vault

During last year’s Big Island Interscholastic Federation championships it was Hunter leaping his way to victory by clearing the 13’ 6” barrier.

By clearing 13’ 6” all three boys vaulted their way into the top four states ranking. Both Friel and King then cleared 14 feet before King began his epoch run at vaulting fame.

King then cleared 14’ 6” then had the bar raised to 15 feet to set him atop the rest of the state.

“In my 17 years of coaching I’ve never seen anyone clear 15 feet,” Hilo coach, Bill McMahon said. “This is an incredible accomplishment.”

King next tried to clear 15’ 4” before exiting. “I didn’t feel any pressure today as it’s all about having fun,” he said after his state leading height.

“I never came in with any goals or expectations. I just feel that I’m going to do what I’m going to do. Relaxing and having fun is the most important thing in pole vaulting,” King said.

The Viking senior gave a lot of credit to teammate Scott Hunter by saying, “Scott will probably beat me next week, but that’s all good as this is about doing it for the team.”

Hilo pole vault coach, Sherman Viernes, was equally excited for his athlete. “I knew he had the talent and the speed to do it,” Viernes said. “I think he’ll be able to clear 15’ 6” before the season is over.”

Defending BIIF pole vault champion, Scott Hunter, had just returned to vaulting after suffering a broken shoulder in an unrelated accident.

“Scott was just coming off an injury so we had him on a small, 150 pound, pole and when he’s fully recovered from that injury we’ll move him up to a 175 pole.”

Hunter is currently ranked fourth in the state with Friel at number three and King is rated number one. Billy Pacheco from St. Anthony on Maui is ranked #2 with his clearing of 14’ 6”.

“These boys are good vaulters because of their running and approach to the pit and their knowing where their standard placement should be,” Coach Viernes said. “All three Big Island boys have a lot of commitment to vault.”

In the jumps it was Kamehameha’s Manta Dircks making long strides to win the long and triple jumps and placed third in the high jump.

“This is my third year doing the jumps,” Dircks said. “The long jump is my favorite as it gives me the feeling of flying through the air.”

Dircks cleared 20’ 4.5” in the long, outdistancing Keaau’s Mtume Msizkizi-Jackson by two inches.

Both boys went against each other in the triple with nearly the same result as Dircks leaped 42’ 11.25” to win by .25” over Msizkizi-Jackson.

“I want to make states in all three jumps and I need to place a higher emphasis on polymeric drills,” Dircks said. “I need to increase my speed in running up to the board and to keep my focus on the jump.”

Dircks is currently sixth in the state for the triple jump and tied for seventh in the long jump.

In the girls 300 hurdles watch for Kamehameha’s Aubrey Lea Shaw to challenge for top honors in the state.

The Warrior senior is currently ranked third in the state and has gone under 50 seconds for that event.

“I like that there is an obstacle in front of me,” Shaw said. “The 300 hurdles are unpredictable and require a lot of hard work. I’ve really improved this year with my new coach, Kimo Weaver. He knows how to push me and he knows what to say to make me want it.”

Shaw won the 300 hurdles by a second over Keaau freshman Azmera Hammouri and placed second to teammate Cheray Brzezowski in the 100 hurdles.

“I want to win the BIIF championships and hopefully medal at states in both the 100 and 300 hurdles,” Shaw said.

“I still need to learn not to be so hard on myself and to look at the positives in each race,” she said. “In the 300 I need to work on running the curves better.”

Other top rated BIIF boys and their state rankings: Kau’s Jacob Edwards and Hilo’s Thomas Delacruz, ranked one and two respectively in the state for the 110 and 300 hurdles; Hilo’s Jordon Loeffler, shot, #2; Hawaii Prep’s Elliot Kastner, discus, #4; Hilo’s Charles Clay, #3, and Chan Spikes, #4, 100 dash; Hilo’s Bronson Kahaleua, #3, 400 and #7 for 200; Kona’s Dakota Smith, 800, #2, Hilo’s Mark Turner, #2, for both 1500 and 3000 and Keaau’s Daniel Brooks, 1500, #3.

For the girls the top rated state competitors are: HPA’s Ku’uipo Nakoa ranked #1 in both 100 dash and triple jump and #2 for both long and 200 dash; Honokaa’s Tialana Greenwell, 3000 run, #4; Kohala’s Julia Naumes, shot, #4 and discus, #7; while Waiakea’s Cassie Morigaki and HPA’s Mindy Campbell are in a three way tie for first in the high jump.

The BIIF track & field season continues on Saturday with an all-schools meet at Kamehameha starting at 9 am for field events and 10 am for running.

For complete state rankings and BIIF results go to http://kautech.com/results.

April 2, 2009 Posted by | Events, Health and Fitness, High School Track & Field | , , , | Leave a comment