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Sunday, May 8, 2005



HIGH SCHOOL TRACK & FIELD


art
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Moanalua freshman Tasia Thomas won the long jump, the 100, the 200 and the 400 at yesterday's OIA Championships.


Mililani sweeps
track titles

The toughest high school dress code is enforced on weekends -- at track and field meets.

Clashing underwear colors may have cost the Kahuku boys the Oahu Interscholastic Association championship. Host Mililani won both titles yesterday, but the Red Raider boys probably lost at least 10 points (and the Trojans likely gained some) when two runners were disqualified from the 200 meters.

The Mililani girls won despite four first-place finishes by Moanalua freshman sprinter/jumper Tasia Thomas, and the record-breaking efforts of Menehunes distance runner Courtney Clement.

Those achievements were nearly lost in the controversy of "Tightygate."

Some Kahuku entrants in the 200 meters wore white underwear and some wore black. It wouldn't have mattered, except that the garments extended beyond the bottom of the runners' shorts.

"I asked if I could roll it up, but they said 'No,'" said Kahuku's Suaesi Tuimunei, who qualified third in the 200. "Bogus. I know we could've won (the meet)."

AJ Victoria, who qualified fourth, also was disqualified, and Al Afalava dropped out with a pulled hamstring to make matters worse.

Kahuku coach Sean Makaiau downplayed the effect of the disqualifications, though.

"There were a lot of areas we could've done better in," he said. "The bottom line is Mililani beat us one-on-one. They were the better team. They've got good kids and good coaches."

It's possible that the DQs in the 200 might not have been the difference, but Mililani's Jonovan Santos and Makini Sosa combined for 14 points for finishing second and third in the race. The presence of Tuimunei and Victoria might have cut into that, while giving Kahuku more points. The Trojans finished with 100 and Kahuku 86.

"We were lucky, no doubt," Mililani boys coach Chad Miyamoto said, moments before "Hawaii's Fastest Human" dodged an attempted Gatorade shower by his team.

Mililani was also good.

Santos, who was fighting off a cold, won the long jump without getting near the runway yesterday -- his 21-11 1/2 from Thursday's trials held up.

He was also second in the 100 (won by Farrington's Joshua Villoria in 11.25) and ran a leg on the second-place 4x400 relay.

"On Friday, I started feeling something in my throat. I was clogged up and I had a hard time breathing," Santos said. "I don't mind all those second places if it means first place for the team."

Said captain Edwin Takahashi: "He's a hard worker, and even if he's sick or injured he scores a lot of points."

The Trojans did get some firsts. Freshman David Aponte took the triple jump (41-6), Mark Wetter won the 300 hurdles (40.25) and Matt Montoya captured the pole vault (13-0). In a rare double entry, Montoya also picked up 2 points for fifth in the 3,000 meters.

Kahuku got off to a good start with Spencer Hafoka's win in the 110 hurdles (15.35). Then the Red Raiders cleared a figurative hurdle as Hafoka, Mauhe Mosia, Afalava and Victoria broke the meet record for the 4x100 with a 43.29 effort.

"We had trouble with our handoffs early in the season and almost botched it at Punahou Relays," Victoria said. "I guess our practice paid off."

Redmond Tutor's convincing win in the 400 (50.96) appeared to give Kahuku a cushion. But, when the 200 came around, the Red Raiders learned there are many different ways to lose control of a track meet.

Pearl City's Bryson Pascua provided an individual highlight, winning the 1,500 (4:22.66) and 800 (1:59.90) before dashing off to the senior prom.

The Mililani girls scored 99 points to 78 for Moanalua, despite only two first-place finishes to six.

"They sure did give us a scare," Trojans girls coach Dane Mitsunaga said. "Radford (75 points) did well, too. There's good competition in the OIA."

Sophomore Britney Stephens anchored both winning relay teams. She was also second to Thomas in the 100 and 200.

"Our 4x100 was really strong," Stephens said. "It's a race we were all looking forward to because it's the same girls who ran last year, but we didn't win."

Nicole Mitani, Ciera Senas, Jennifer Henna and Stephens combined to run 51.31. Jasmine Pratt, Ciara Quarles, Michelle Lee and Stephens turned in a 4:11.13 to win the 4x400 going away.

Moanalua figures to be a threat next year -- if not at next week's state meet -- with Thomas taking the 100 (12.88), 200 (26.09), 400 (60.99) and long jump (17-3), and Clement, a junior, who broke the meet records in the 1,500 (4:59.77) and 3,000 (11:11.2)



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