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 and field season gets a running start on Saturday

     It’s never easy to dethrone a champion and this track & field season won’t be any different as the Big Island Interscholastic Federation defending girls and boys champions look for a repeat.

The Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s girls and Waiakea boys look to defend their team titles when the BIIF gets a running start with dual season openers at Kamehameha and Konawaena on Saturday.

“We return a young, but experienced girls team,” Veteran Ka Makani Coach Pat Lau said.

“Our strength will be with our distance girls in events of 400 meters and above.”

Lau has the luxury of having the entire 2011 girl’s state champion cross country team on the track.

Zoe Sims, last year’s 1500 meter state champion along with Kristiana Van Pernis who placed in both the 1500 and 800 meter events at states, will headline the talented Ka Makani distance squad.

“Besides our distance girls we have two strong finishers in pole vault, Sydney Budde and Taylor Esaki,” Lau said.

Experience is the name of the game with HPA having two hurdlers in Emily Evans and Katie Case which give firepower and depth to Ka Makani track squad.

“In the rest of the events we have a lot of new girls and they should do well,” Lau said.

Lau also has a host of talent to choose from with another large turnout on the track.

“This year we have another big  team with 47 girls and 32 boys, most are still learning,” Lau said.  “Pole vault alone will have 11 athletes with only 4 having experience.”

Lau points to his coaches which are working hard at finding the right events for each of his athletes.

“Our coaches will spend time with each and every one of them to find how they can best contribute to the team,” Lau said.

The HPA boys return state shot put and discus champion Shane Brostek and Lau feels that he will have another great year.

“Our senior leader is Kayden Haleakala in the pole vault and sprints,” Lau said.  “We expect a few surprises in the hurdles and jumps with our young boys.”

Defending boy’s team champions, Waiakea, return most of their squad from last season which have coaches Mary Jane and Lance Tominaga looking for a repeat.

“We’re expecting our returnees to contribute in their events,” MJ Tominaga said.

The Tominaga’s have high expectations for Mauna Palama-Danielson, throws, Jackson Halford, Ian McQuate and Keoni Rice in the mid to long distance races, Michael Morikawa and Kevin Nicolas in the hurdles and jumps and Colton Austria in sprints.

“We have about 40 athletes on the boy’s side and we expect some of our new additions to be key contributors to this year’s team,” Coach Tominaga said.  “We feel the team will be competitive as we have the depth to field athlete in every event except for pole vault.”

Waiakea has a small girl’s team with 15 and the Tominaga’s agree that they lack the depth of the boy’s squad.

Key individuals for the Warrior girls will come from Kelsie Kobayashi in distance, Haley Rasse, mid distance and Teisha Nacis in sprints.

Around the rest of the league:

KEAAU will field a large squad of 77 athletes, but according to Coach Vicky Chai-Guerpo most are young and have raw talent.

“We have a close knit group of kids who are focused on doing their best,” Chai-Guerpo said.  “Our goal is to be a ‘brotherhood’ caring about each other and if we accomplish this, then a win may follow.”

The Cougars will rely on the experience of a sprint core made up of Jesse Huihui, Damien Packer, and Alexander Engdahl. Teammates Cliff Ericksson, jumps and hurdles; Nelson Enos, pole vault; Talon Ota, jumps and 400; Joey Aquino, high jump; Randi Estrada, sprints; and Deann Nishimura-Thornton at distance events.

HILO with veteran coach Bill McMahon has a good turnout of mostly young girls and he is trying to see how they will develop.

“Our girls will bring back Carmen Garson-Shumway at distance, along with Shina Chung at Pole Vault,” McMahon said.

The Viking boys will see Zack Atagi in the discus and shot.

“Our boys had a good turnout but almost all are new guys so we don’t know what we have yet,” McMahon said.  “We are going to try to be competitive.”

HONOKAA – One of the league’s best distance coaches, Josh Abner, brings with him one of the strongest 1500 and 3K runners on the track in Chase Moniz along with brothers Robert and Tony Conners handling the mid distance. 

“I also have high expectations for our 4×400 meter relay team and sprints with the addition of Dylan Oanadasan, Brooks McVey, and Koa Phenice returning,” Abner said.

Abner also noted that Josh Tobias will join the team, after a fantastic soccer season.

For the Dragon girls Abner has high hopes for Hildhang Adona and Kelly Greenwell in the distance races along with Nahe Lau and Yvonne Daniels in the sprint events.

KAU – has a new coach, but a familiar face on campus, Kapua Lapera returns to her alma mater after graduating and running cross country for the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

The Trojans return one of the islands fastest sprinter and jumper in junior Christina Padrigo. 

Marley Stand-Nicolaisen, triple jump and hurdles along with teammate Alika Kaopua, the BIIF triple jump champion will also be a highlight for Kau.

KAMEHAMEHA – Under head coach Kimo Weaver always produces outstanding hurdlers who have gone on to win state titles.  Weaver is a master coach in the hurdles as that is his area of expertise.

The Warriors will carry between 20 and 30 boys and another 20 to 30 girls, according to Weaver.

Outstanding returnees include Kaenen Aukai Akau in the long jump and sprints along with Chelsea Poe in sprints and relays and Alyssa Lehua McGuire in the hurdles, pole vault and relays.

“Our strengths are in the jumps, but we are a young and inexperienced team,” Weaver said. “Our main goal is to simple get better every week and having fun doing it.”

KONAWAENA –  Wildcat coaches Kuulei Saole and Kuulika Taveras return some super star power in Ua Ruedy, the defending state champion in the 300 hurdles and Lita Taomoefalau who placed third in the BIIF throws.

The big question was whether or not basketball great Lia Galderia will compete as she was questionable going into the preseason while she was still working on preparing for college, according to a school source.

Galderia, a muli talented athlete will appear in action on the BIIF track scene, as her presence will add a boost to the Wildcat program according to sources within the BIIF.

The BIIF regular track and field season gets a leaping start this Saturday as West side schools head to Kona with East side running on the Kamehameha Keaau track.

Both venues start with field events at 9 am and running events commencing at 10 am.

March 30, 2012 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

Pole Vault Results from HPA has Chung seeing Purple

Hilo’s Shina Chung

Hilo’s Shina Chung moved to a purple pole to go with her purple shoes this past Saturday at the Stanford W. Shutes Track at Hawaii Prep in Waimea.

 
“Purple is my favorite color,” Chung said. 
 
Despite not clearing 10-06 Chung intends on staying with her purple pole throughout the BIIF championships and going into the HHSAA state championships on Maui.
 
The Viking junior is a foot above her local competition and is looking to medal during the state compeition.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Girls Pole Vault

 BIIFQualify: B  6-00                                                         
  HHSAA Auto: A  9-00                                                         
  HHSAA Cons: C  7-06                                                          

1 Shina Chung               JR Hilo                   10-00.00A  10     
2 Sydney Budde              JR Hawaii Prep             8-00.00C   8     
3 Taylor Esaki              JR Hawaii Prep             7-06.00C   5     
3 Rose Nakamura             SO Hilo                    7-06.00C   5     
5 Kanani Wishard            SO Hawaii Prep             7-00.00B   2     
6 Molly Mackay-Smith        SR Hawaii Prep             6-06.00B   1     
7 Christi Lovell            FR Kealakehe               5-06.00   
 8 Tehani Guieb              SR Kealakehe               5-00.00 
Boys Pole Vault BIIFQualify: B  9-00          HHSAA Auto: A 13-00                                                             HHSAA Cons: C 11-06                                                            1 Billy Ray                 SR Hilo                   12-00.00C  10     2 Kayden Haleakala          JR Hawaii Prep            11-06.00C   8                  3 Katon Pestano             SO Hilo                       11-06.00C   6     4 Nelson Enos               JR Keaau                  11-00.00B   4     5 David McMahon             SR Hawaii Prep            10-06.00B   1.50   5 Greg Matias               JR Keaau                  10-06.00B   1.50   7 Matthew Winters           SO Keaau                  10-00.00B

 

BIIFQualify: B  9-00                                                         
  HHSAA Auto: A 13-00                                                          
  HHSAA Cons: C 11-06                                                         
  1 Billy Ray                 SR Hilo                   12-00.00C  10  
  2 Kayden Haleakala          JR Hawaii Prep            11-06.00C   8                 
3 Katon Pestano             SO Hilo                       11-06.00C   6    
 4 Nelson Enos               JR Keaau                  11-00.00B   4    
 5 David McMahon             SR Hawaii Prep            10-06.00B   1.50  
5 Greg Matias               JR Keaau                  10-06.00B   1.50  
7 Matthew Winters           SO Keaau                  10-00.00B

April 24, 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