HIGH SCHOOL REPORT
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kahuku's Redmond Tutor added hurdles to his repertoire this year and won the 110- and the 300-meter event at the Oahu Interscholastic Association Eastern Division championships. He's trying to lead the Red Raiders to league and state titles.
Tutor takes over
Kahuku's multi-event star is not offering any more excuses
IN a sport of discipline, technique and technicalities, the Kahuku boys track and field team hopes to have reasons it won rather than excuses it didn't after Saturday's league championship meet at Mililani.
Today:ILH trials at Kamehameha, 3 p.m.
Tomorrow:OIA trials at Mililani, 3:45 p.m.
Friday:ILH finals at Kamehameha, 4 p.m.
Saturday:OIA finals at Mililani, 3:45 p.m.
Defending champs:Mililani (OIA boys and girls), Kamehameha (ILH boys) and Punahou (ILH girls)
The Red Raiders were favored to take the Oahu Interscholastic Association title last year, but uniform infractions cost Kahuku precious points.
So did a sleepless night before the finals, coach Sean Makaiau said. Key athletes were ragged the day after an all-night school event called "Senior Lockout" at the Kahuku gym. The centralized celebration is designed to keep young revelers sober and off the streets. But it also kept the Red Raiders off the victory stand as the host Trojans won.
"They didn't have enough rest. They didn't perform to nearly their potential," Makaiau said. "Mililani held steady, even though we had them outnumbered in a number of events, 3-1. But some of our best people finished last."
The spring sports season -- full of proms and banquets and baseball games -- has claimed many a track team's potential, and that's something Kahuku multi-event star Redmond Tutor, a thoughtful young man, can somewhat accept; he's all about staying positive. But attire is something you can control.
"This year, everyone's going to be wearing the same tights, the same white tights. We're going to be checking everything extra careful, down to the T, the dot of the I," Tutor said.
DQs for uniform violations in track aren't always called; in the same meet that Kahuku lost two potential scorers in the 200 meters, athletes from another school in another event wore different colored undershirts, but no one called them on it. But Tutor refuses to believe the Red Raiders are targeted.
"The more you think people are out to get you, the more it gets into your mind and eats away at you," he said. "It's better to just stay positive, get over it, and come back stronger, and let them know with no doubt we're the real deal."
And who is there to blame for the Kahuku track being under a foot of water most of this season?
Makaiau would rather credit the guy who made it usable again -- assistant coach Louis Santiago.
Santiago works for Grace Pacific, and was allowed to bring a tractor to campus to repair the oval after the water receded.
"It's something I usually do when I have a job on this side of the island," Santiago said. "It only took 3 or 4 hours, just enough to get the track a little bit level so the kids could run on it."
Santiago's contribution to the program goes beyond creating an even playing field, though. He tutors Tutor in the hurdles.
"Redmond's a hard-working kid, and he has a good build for a hurdler because he's tall and lean," said Santiago, the 1981 state champion in the highs. "He does extra work to get proper technique."
Few athletes jump into the hurdles and win right away. But Tutor won the 110 and 300 at the Eastern Division championships.
"At first it was hard," Tutor said. "The technique was hard for a new guy to the event. I hurt my hips a little bit. But I have such a good coach."
Tutor is also entered in the long jump, triple jump and 4x400 relay this week, and he's favored to win them all.
"That guy's a beast. He's a phenomenal athlete," said Mililani coach Chad Miyamoto, who favors Kahuku to win, largely because of Tutor. "He's got a lot of guts, the kind of guy who loves to run the 400. He always steps up to the challenge."
In addition to Tutor's talent, the Red Raiders have emotion on their side. John Cummings, the father of Kahuku sprinter Jon Cummings, died before the season started at age 48. The elder Cummings was president of the Ko'olauloa Track Club, which produced many of the current Red Raiders.
"He's Uncle John to me," Tutor said. "We're dedicating our season to him. I'm glad Jon's running because that's exactly what his father would want."
Jon Cummings is among the contenders in the 400 meters and also runs in relays.
"I think of my dad pretty much every minute of every day," the junior sprinter said. "He taught me to run aggressively, so that's what I'll be doing."
Santiago said the Red Raiders might not be contenders today without John Cummings' influence.
"He did a lot for track out here," he said. "A lot of our kids started running at a younger age because of him and learned what to expect."
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kahuku senior Redmond Tutor is among the state's most talented and versatile track and field performers
Tutor has won every individual event he's entered this season
110 hurdles: 15.0 seconds; 300 hurdles: 40.2; long jump: 22 feet 9-1/4 inches; triple jump: 45-1-34
Started at wide receiver for Kahuku's state championship football team
Running track at BYU
IN HIS WORDS
"We come into states with seven or nine guys against squads with maybe 30. They've got the pole vaulters, the distance runners. We just have to come out and do what we were trained to do and represent ourselves and our community to the best of our abilities."