Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, May 14, 1999

H A W A I I _P R E P _ S P O R T S

By Andrew Jacoby, Special to the Star-Bulletin
Punahou's Victoria Chang bettered her 1999
national-best time at 3,000 meters yesterday in
a trial heat of the HHSAA Track and Field Meet
at War Memorial Stadium on Maui.

Chang betters
her national best

The Punahou runner trims
nearly a second off her time in
the trials of the 3,000 meters

By Pat Bigold


For those who were rubbing their eyes over her national girls' prep best time for 3,000 meters last Saturday, Punahou junior Victoria Chang went out and ran an even more remarkable time last night at the HHSAA Track and Field Meet on Maui.

In conditions her distance coach, Duncan Macdonald, described as "cool and still," Chang clocked an official 9 minutes and 38.03 seconds in a trials heat of the 3,000 at War Memorial Stadium.

That not only gives Chang the two best girls' 3,000 times in the nation this year, but the conversion of her time to 3,200 meters (the country's most widely used prep distance) will almost certainly rank her No. 1 at that distance, too.

Jennifer Donovan of Half Hollow Hills (N.Y.) had the nation's best 3,000 time (9:42.41) up until last weekend.

Chang's time yesterday lopped .91 second off of her stunning 3,000 run of 9:38.94 only five days ago in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championships at Punahou.

"The kid is unreal," said Doug Speck, a national track writer from his California home last night. Speck specializes in girls' prep records.

"She does things all by herself that are spooky. Nobody in the country has run a couple of times like that this year."

Macdonald recorded unofficial splits for Chang of 72 seconds for the first lap, 77 seconds for the next three, 78 for the fifth, 79 for the sixth, 78 for the seventh and 36 for the last 200 meters.

"Very consistent," he said.

"It was the first time I ran on Maui, and it was colder than it was at Punahou," Chang said.

She said she has no explanation for why she was able to run faster.

Chang, who won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter state titles as a freshman and sophomore, has never been challenged at the HHSAA meets. Those distances have been changed to 1,500 and 3,000 this year and Chang has been putting even more distance between herself and her pursuers.

It was only the fourth time that Chang has run the 3,000 and she has been clocked under 10 minutes in her last three efforts. Each of those efforts were confirmed as national bests at the time they were run.

"I'm happy," said Macdonald, who was hoping to see Chang better her Saturday performance.

Chang's 3,000 time at the ILH meet was converted to 10:21.7 for 3,200. That put her four-tenths of a second behind the national leader (Lauren Fleshman, Canyon Country, Calif.). But having shaved nearly a second off her 3,000 time last night, the latest conversion should move Chang ahead of the country at 3,200 meters also.

The 3,000 finals are tomorrow.

Chang ran in three events yesterday. She had the day's best time in the 1,500 with a 4:38.83.

Chang finished second to Punahou senior Eri Macdonald, the state meet record holder, in the 800.

Dana Navarro-Arias of Maui High nipped the 18-year-old state meet record of Pearl City's Jason Bennerman in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles.

Michelle Mizo (Iolani) and Josha Baker (Maui) tied for the state meet record in the girls' pole vault at 10 feet. The old record belonged to Mizo (9 feet, 6 inches).

Meanwhile, defending state high jump champion Kris Cuaresma-Primm topped the finals of that event with 6 feet, 7 inches.

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