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

Pestano and Galdeira win BIIF crowns on Day 1

KEAAU – Two athletes were crowned league champions in track and field on Friday during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation track and field qualifiers at Cougar Stadium.

Hilo’s Katon Pestano won the boys pole vault event by getting across the bar at 13 feet, while Konawaena’s Lia Galdeira took the girls high jump clearing 5 feet.

“I cleared 13 feet on my first attempt,” Pestano said.  “I used a 15 foot pole which is made for 160 pounds which is a big pole for me because I’m 146 pounds.”

Pestano was splitting his time between the long jump, an event he only took up last week, and his main event the pole vault.

Pestano finished third in the BIIF championships last year and redeemed himself by taking it all on Friday.

“Today was a personal best for me and when I get my technique down and stop being afraid I hope to clear 14 feet,” Pestano said.

While Pestano was splitting his time between two events Galdeira was all over the field.

“We plan on running her (Galdeira) in the maximum six events during the BIIF championships,” Wildcat Coach Kuulei Karratti-Saole said.

Galdeira split her time between the high jump and winning the 100 hurdles, then went back onto the oval to race in the 100 dash.

After clearing 5 feet and with the BIIF title assured Galdeira had the bar raised to 5-3.5 in an attempt to break the BIIF record.

“We ask the officials what the BIIF high jump record was and they told us it was 5-3.25 so we decided to let her try for the record,” Coach Karratti-Saole said.

Following her high jump victory the Kona coaches stated that Kona had a good chance to win the girls league team title with Galdeira expected to generate 60 points and teammate Ua Ruedy another 30 to 35, according to Karratti-Saole.

Galdeira failed in her attempt to set the new league record in the high jump, but was impressive in everything else that she attempted, at least until her final race of the day.

Teammate and defending state champion in the 300 meter hurdles, Ua Ruedy, had another flawless showing in her showcase event.

“I started out strong in the 300 and I wanted to see where everyone was at before pulling back with 100 to go,” Ruedy said.

Ruedy is also entered in six events and was optimistic about her team’s chances to bring home their first league championship.

“We think we have a shot at winning the BIIF’s,” she said.  “Hopefully this is our year.”

Ruedy also believes that she needs to improve on her time to defend her 300 state title.

“There is a girl from Iolani that has posted some really good times,” she said.  “I’m on pace to defend the state title, but I still need to improve on my time.”

“We expect Lia to win all six of her events on Saturday,” Karratti-Saole said.  “With Ua (Ruedy) doing six events we have enough firepower to take the team title.”

In doing the math the Wildcats coaches figured if everything went right they should capture the team title by 10 to 15 points.

But as fate would have it doing the math wasn’t enough because the unexpected wasn’t tabulated into the final results.

It was during the final sprint event of the evening, the 200 dash which saw Galdeira get a little excited as she jumped out of the blocks too soon causing her to be disqualified for the BIIF championships. Galdeira was the only major seeded participant to be disqualified during Fridays meet.

Hawaii Prepertory’s Shane Brostek advanced in both the shot and discus throws.

Brostek threw just far enough to rank him number one going into the BIIF finals with a shot put distance of 49 feet and a discus throw of 139-8 far below his season best.

Ka Makani teammate and defending state champion in the 1500, Zoe Sims,  had little trouble advancing to the BIIF finals

The top eight finishers, except in the 3K, in Friday’s Qualifiers advance to the Finals to be held today at the Cougar track.  The 3K will see a larger field.

May 5, 2012 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defending state champs Galdeira, Ruedy and Akau peaking in track & field

KEAAU – Three defending state champions sunk their spikes into the all weather track at Kamehameha to rise to the top of their competition at a Big Island Interscholastic all schools track and field meet held on Saturday.

Konawaena’s Lia Galdeira and Ua Ruedy along with Kamehameha’s Kaenen Akau distanced themselves from the rest of the league as they prepare to defend their state crowns in three weeks.

Galdeira opened the day running away from the field in the 100 hurdles in a blistering time of 14.8 seconds, then moments later returned to win the 100 dash in 12.54.

The amazing Wildcat managed to squeeze in the long jump between the two 100 races, winning with a giant leap of 17-11.75 and finished the day with a triple jump victory of 35-08.5.

The state champion in the 100 hurdles complemented her coaches for much of her track success.

“Our coaches are great, as they know what they are talking about,” Galdeira said.  “I wasn’t even going to come out for track this season because I wanted to focus on academics but they convinced me to come out.”

Galdeira needed to get up early to catch the 5 am bus from Kona to Kamehameha and forgot something in the process.

“I forgot to pack my track shorts and just brought this ordinary pair of shorts,” she said. “I think I could have done better had I brought my correct shorts, especially in the long jump.”

Teammate Ruedy brought all the right equipment and dazzled the crowd in the 300 hurdles racing away from the rest of the field.

The defending state champion in the 300 ran a flawless race while looking like a gazelle traversing the obstacles in perfect strides.

“It was okay today because I got a slow start,” Ruedy said.  “I know I can improve my time a lot and I need to get out of the blocks quicker and not slow down.”

During the girls long jump 8 girls jumped over 15 feet.

“It shows the level of competition is at an all time high and at a state level,” Jordan Rosado the long jump official said.

Kamehameha’s Akau was up to his normal patterns in the long jump, fouling in his first two attempts before making the final jump count.

“I know that my first jump is the most important, but I have marks from the previous weeks so I can give my all on every jump,” Akau said.

The defending state champ in the long jump decided to take two steps back on his final jump then unleashed his personal best launching a 22-.75 and in the process setting a new stadium record.

“On my final jump I moved back 2 steps, but I know that getting a mark on my first jump is most important,” Akau said.  “I’m shooting to reach 23 feet by the BIIF championships.”

Akau also started his day winning the 100 meter dash and in the process set a new stadium record at 11.04 seconds.

“I’m still working on being relaxed in the 100,” Akau said.  “I tense up and my stride lessens.”

In the 100 Akau was challenged by Keaau’s Jesse Huihui in a battle to the finish.

“Jesse is a great competitor and I felt the urge to push myself harder with him in the race.” Akau said.

The 400 dash saw the return of Kealakehe’s Luca Walter to his first all schools meet this season.

Walter wasted no time reminding people who the BIIF champion is by clocking a 50.7 second time to place himself as the second best time in the state.

“I want to hit 49 seconds by the BIIF championships,” Walter said.  “I need to work on my start out of the blocks to be faster.”

Walter clocked a league leading time in the 800 with a 2:01.87.

“I’m pretty excited with my 800 time and I think I can bring that under 2 minutes within the next two weeks,” he said.

In the 200 dash it was Keaau’s Damien Packer winning his second race after taking the 110 hurdles.

“My 200 time can improve if I kick out of the turns better and have faster feet,” Packer said. “I need to get faster and not tense up as much.”

Another defending state champion in the shot put, HPA’s Shane Brostek, was at the Punahou Relays on Oahu and was selected most outstanding for winning both the shot and discus.

Running around the oval and not getting much attention is Pahoa sophomore Micah Davis.

Davis, for the past two weeks, has decided to run in every event from the 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 and 3000.

“I thought it was amazing that someone who finishes last in every event would have the will power to do all the running events,” Kamehameha Coach Ryan Cabalse said.

“I feel like I’d rather run than sit in the bleachers,” Davis said.  “I’ve been second to last twice and I beat my times from the week before.”

Davis has a twin brother, Josh, who also runs for the Daggers, but it is Micah that will take on the task of doing every running event that the league has to offer.

“I’m improving each week and I want to get faster,” Micah said.  “I do it just for me and not for anyone else.”

The BIIF regular season concludes with an all schools meet at Hawaii Predatory Academy on Saturday starting at 9 am.

April 23, 2012 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

BIIF Girls track & field All League Team for 2011

HPA girls track champions 2011

2011 BIIF Track and Field   Girls All-League Team

Girls MVP: Emalia Galdeira, Jr., Konawaena

Girls First Team

Hawaii Prep: Zoe Sims, So; Kristiana Van Pernis, Fr; Pamela Lynn, Sr; Lana Queen, Sr.
Hilo: Shina Chung Jr.; Linda Sunia, Jr.
Konawaena: Emalia Galdeira, Jr.; Ua Ruedy So.; Matelita Tamoefalau, Jr.
Waiakea: Kelsie Kobayashi, Sr.

Girls Second Team:

Hawaii Prep: Mariah Haight, Fr.; Sydney Budde, Jr.
Hilo: Carmen Garson-Shumway, Fr; Kaimi Kela-Napeahi, So.
Ka’u: Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, So.
Keaau: Randi Estrada, Jr.
Kealakehe: McKenna Davidson, Jr.
Pahoa: Ariel Brown, So.

Girls Honorable Mention:

Hawaii Prep: Mackenzie Buckner, Sr.; Hannah Scully, Sr.; Kela Vargas, Sr.; Veronica Ladwig, Fr.; Emily Evans, So.; Kelsi Nishina, Sr.; Catherine Thorbecke, Jr.; Taylor Esaki, Jr.; Kanani Wishard, So.
Hilo: Aloha Bohol, Sr.; Shalila de Bourmont, Jr.; Kaylee Rapoza, So.; Bree Delacruz, Jr.; Tressie Kapono, Jr.; Tiffany Kerr, Sr.;
Honokaa: Hildhang Adona, Fr.
Kamehameha: Chelsea Poe, Jr.; Alyssa McGuire, So.; Schae-Ann Like, Sr.; Jaimee Finn, So.
Ka’u: Kristina Padrigo, So.
Keaau: Shani Cosma, So.; Deann Nishimura-Thornton, Jr.; Natalie Hagemann, So.; Katharina Brohmeyer, Jr.
Kealakehe: Caili Ebaniz, So.; Cheyanne MacMullen, Jr.; Kaila Voss, Jr.; Lana Terwilliger, Fr.; Rachael Bianchi, Jr.; Lorelei Nakagawa, Jr.;        Waiakea: Alyssa Buyuan

Girls Coach of the Year: Pat Lau, Hawaii Prep

May 27, 2011 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kona’s Galdeira and Ruedy score 5th place team finish at HHSAA track

Galdeira and Ruedy

Konawaena Duo, Lia Galdeira and Ua Ruedy accounted for all the points scored for the Wildcats which placed them as the top Big Island Interscolastic Federation team at the HHSAA track & field championships on Maui.

HHSAA State Track and Field Championships – 5/6/2011 to 5/7/2011

                    War Memorial Stadium – Wailuku Maui

                           Team Rankings – Through Event 32

1      Punahou School Girls                 PSCG                     6633

   2      Seabury Hall                             SEA                      64

    3      Kahuku High School               KAHU                     51

    4      Iolani School Girls                      IOLG                     34

    5      Konawaena                                KONA                     30

    6      Hawaii Preparatory Academy               HPA                      29

Lia on left & Ua on right

Konawaena’s Ua Ruedy won gold in the 300 hurdles, becoming the “new queen of the hurdles.”

Ruedy, just a sophomore, saved herself just for the 300 and came out of the blocks quickly, running into a strong headwind.

“I knew I had to come out fast and finish really strong,” Ruedy said.  “I really wanted to win and I wanted to become the new Queen of the Hurdles.”

 While Ruedy was laying claim to her Queen status teammate and multitalented superstar athlete, Lia Galdeira, finished second in the long jump, third in the 100 dash, fourth in the 200 and fifth in the triple jump.

The multi talented Wildcat, better known for her leaping ability on the basketball court, had qualified for five events in the finals, more than twice the amount of any other BIIF athlete on her way to claiming four individual medals.

Only two weeks ago Galdeira surprised herself by surpassing 17 feet in the long jump and one week later went beyond the 18 foot mark to rank her as the number one long jumper in the state.

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