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.

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

HPA girls, KS-Hawaii boys win BIIF Track & Field Team Titles

KS-Hawaii scored 15 pts in the 110 hurdles with Blas, McKee & Tanimoto. Also pictured Hilo's Calistro, Keaau's Packer & HPA's Oakes

KEALAKEKUA – The Hawaii Preparatory Academy girls and Kamehameha boys are flying high after winning the Big Island Interscholastic Federation track & field team titles Saturday at Yates Field in Konawaena.

   HPA got a spectacular performance and 58 points from the “Queen of the Hurdles” Ku’uipo Nakoa.

Ku’uipo Nakoa

Nakoa, a state leader in the 100 and 300 hurdles, captured the BIIF individual crown in both events and also won the 100 and 200 dashes, along with the triple jump.  Nakoa’s long jump second place finish, by half an inch, during the first event of the day ignited the senior Ka Makani to a near perfect performance.

    Kamehameha’s Victoria Evans Bautista saved her best jump for last leaping 17’ 3.75” to set a new meet record in edging out Nakoa for the long jump crown.

     Moments later Nakoa responded by winning the 100 meter hurdles and in the process set a new meet record in a blistering time of 15.16 seconds.  Later in the day Nakoa won the 300 hurdles of 46 seconds flat also set a new championship meet record.

   “The 100 (dash) felt comfortable for me as I needed to play catch up,” Nakoa said.  “This season I learned that I needed to run for me and not for anyone else.  I always run for improvement and today I achieved what I had set my heart to do.”

   HPA also showcased another “Queen” in the hurdles, Lana Queen; running on the heels of Nakoa all season long Queen helped her team by placing second in the 100 hurdles and third in the 300.

   Ka Makani also gained points from middle distance runner Kela Vargas who finished fifth in the 800 and third in the 1500.

  The real surprise for HPA came from freshman Zoe Sims in the 400 dash when she ran the race of her life winning in 59.55 seconds.  “I’ve only run the 400 a couple of times this season, but I really enjoy this distance,” Sims said.

   “We decided to save her (Nakoa) for the individual events and pull her out of the relays,” HPA coach Pat Lau said.  “We needed her to carry us, points wise, in those events and she did extremely well.”

   Lau also had high praise for his coaches.  “We (coaches) make decisions together that are best for the team.  Everything is a group effort and this year was tough for us as our track is under construction,” he said.  “I also give a lot of credit to our AD (Steve Perry) who made sure we got what we needed to produce a good track program.”

   While Nakoa was tearing up the track with her blistering speed the Kamehameha boys were racking up points with their sprinters.

Kana Silva

Warrior Kanakalele Silva dominated the 100 and 200 meter dashes and provided the additional fire power to anchor the boys 4×100 relay team to victory.

   Silva was aided in the sprint department by teammates Kaenen Akau and Everett “Maka” McKee and Francis Blas III in scoring which propelled Kamehameha to the team title.

   Blas, in the 110 hurdles, took advantage of Kau’s Jacob Edwards false start during the preliminaries on Friday by winning the finals.

   Akau, along with fellow Warrior Manta Dircks added points in the jumps with Akau winning the long, 21’ 5.5” and Dircks taking second. Dircks returned later to the jumping pit, taking second in the triple.

   Discus thrower David Kekuewa placed second in the finals and scored additional points by finishing second in the shot put with teammate Hawk Hanoa taking third to round out the major scoring efforts for the Warrior boys.

  In the finals of the boy’s pole vault, held on Friday, Warriors Isaac DeRego and Max Shimamoto went one-two respectively to aid 18 points to the team count.

  Kamehameha coach, Kimo Weaver, was all smiles with his team’s title.  “Our boys had real team depth,” Weaver said.  “Our goal was to come into the championship meet and try to score points in all 16 events.”

   Weaver contributed a lot of the Warrior success to the confidence gained while participating on Oahu during the season.  “After going to Oahu the kids confidence level went really high,” he said.  “We believe our team can get into the top 10 in the state and our relay teams will be very competitive.”

  Last season it was Hilo winning the boys team title with Kamehameha edging out HPA by two points for the girls crown.  This season Ka Makani runners and jumpers left little doubt on reclaiming the BIIF crown beating runner up Kamehameha girls by more than 40 points.

   “Every year people expect HPA to win team championships,” Coach Lau said.  “Those expectations make us work harder and is the reason why we have such a good program.”

   A total of eight BIIF championship records were set, according to track official, Bob Martin. 

“We had two records broken during Friday’s preliminaries and six more broken during Saturday’s finals,” Martin said.  “This was the most records set during a championship meet this past decade.”

May 9, 2010 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment