STATE TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Punahou gets 29th crown by holding off Baldwin
Cabreros is the Buffanblu's only two-event winner in the narrow victory
The blue and yellow -- Buffanblu -- came at all opposition in wave after wave.
By the end, Punahou captured its 29th title in the Island MoversHHSAA Girls Track and Field State Championships last night at Kamehameha Schools' Kunuiakea Stadium.
The Buffanblu used their depth to wear down a talented Baldwin squad late in the meet. Coach Duncan Macdonald credited his top guns and those who stepped up.
"Chelsea (Oda) going fifth in the 1,500 and Piper (Marshall) fourth in the 800, that was part of the difference," he said of the narrow win.
Punahou finished with 82 1/3 points to Baldwin's 78. Samantha Cabreros was the lone two-event winner for the Buffanblu, taking the long and triple jumps for a second year in a row.
"It's still pretty shocking. This year, by far, was more exciting for us. There's more pressure, and as much as we want to win, it's hard," she said.
Neither Baldwin nor Punahou could say with certainty where the points added up going into the final three events, but Macdonald was a bit stunned to learn that the top Bear sprinters finished third and fourth in the 200.
"I was expecting them to go second and fourth," the longtime Punahou coach said.
Neither team had entries in the 3,000-meter run, which meant that Baldwin had to make up points in the 4x400 relay.
Punahou ran lights-out in that race, winning by a large margin.
"We knew it was gonna be close," Buffanblu anchor Marisa Schoen said. "We didn't know the exact score."
Stephanie Ratte, Alexa Untermann and Kim Culver ran the first three legs. Untermann, unlike Schoen, knew the pressure was on.
"We were really anxious. When the coaches added up the points, it was really close. They said, 'It's up to us,' " Untermann said.
The relay team won handily, though Schoen wasn't so sure.
"I thought they were right behind us, from the way the crowd was cheering. You're not supposed to look back, but I looked twice," she said.
"It's a really great feeling. For the past two years, it's been a team effort. Not everyone is in first place, but everyone contributes in every event."
Baldwin anchor Brittany Feiteira, who earlier won the 100 sprint, made a strong surge on the turn to help the Bears place second.
For a tiring Bear team that didn't have the depth of Punahou, a state title was just a bit out of reach.
"We did talk about being close (to Punahou) before the (4x400). We gave everything we had," Feiteira said. "As a team, we decided that whatever happens, we'll be happy. We have no regrets. We laid it all down here."
There was little question that the two-day format, a change from last year's three-day span, played a role in the girls events, at least in the mind of Baldwin coach Neil Takayama.
"Back-to-back days, it's hard to tell them to hold back on the first day," Takayama said with a request of the state's athletic directors.
"I really hope they rethink it for the benefit of the kids, which is really what it's about."
The Bears, who have only two seniors, will be a serious threat next year to become the first Maui Interscholastic League girls team to win a state title.
"They're really strong. They'll be really competitive next year," Schoen said.
Punahou, with the strength of Cabreros in the long and triple jumps, had no surprises. The junior broke her own state-meet record in the triple jump by 3 inches with a 38-6 1/2 leap. She also finished first in the long jump with a distance of 18 feet, well ahead of Leilehua's Vanessa Drake (17-3) and St. Anthony's Tiara Dole (17-3).
Dole, interestingly enough, posted her mark on Friday and rejoined her basketball teammates yesterday on Maui. St. Anthony met Molokai for the MIL's second berth in the Division II state basketball tournament.
Baldwin's hopes surged through the meat of the races. Feiteira's victory in the 100 (13.34), literally by a head, edged out Kauai's Tiffany Ikeda-Simao (13.36) and Mililani's Britney Stephens (13.37). June Ann Lusk, in her second event of the day, gave the Bears four more points in the team standings by placing fourth (13.4).
Baldwin's smooth-running machine got off to a good start on the track when Lusk overcame last year's nightmarish turn in the 100-meter dash.
Lusk defaulted by touching the starting line, crumbling in sheer frustration. This time around, the junior roared to victory with a time of 15.57. Last year's champion, Sarah Nicolaisen of Ka'u, was second at 16.54.
"I was very worried," Lusk admitted about the start. "I was surprised that I got out that fast. Starts are usually my downfall. It's something I need to strengthen."
It was the first of five events for Lusk, who became much more of a student of the sport in the past year.
"I pay attention to the rulebook, and since last year, we practice an inch-and-a-half behind (the starting line)," she said of Takagawa's method.
"I really wanted to show my talent. I love the 110 hurdles more than any event," Lusk said.
Careena Onosai, who recovered from an offseason back injury, had her best performance of the year. The Word of Life Academy senior heaved the discus 150 feet, 3 inches to win handily over runner-up Nete Tolutau of Baldwin.
"I feel great, but my body's aching from my basketball games," said Onosai, who played on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as the Firebrands qualified for the Division II state tournament.
In addition to her third discus state title, she earned her second shot put crown with a distance of 39- 1/4. That was, again, enough to keep Tolutau in second place (38-434).
Anna Hildebrand's up-and-down career ended on a peak. The senior, who was disqualified last year for warming up with her iPod on, made no such mistake yesterday. She won the pole vault in windy conditions with a height of 10-6, edging Baldwin's Kaimana Rebolledo.
For Hildebrand, it was a good season that met a glitch in the ILH championships.
"It was a really bad meet. I mean, I just didn't feel good," she said. "This week, I concentrated on keeping my left leg long and getting my feet back. I didn't want to concentrate on winning or losing or the height."
That approach worked wonders for Hildebrand, who will compete for USC next season on a combined academic and athletic scholarship.
Radford senior Natasha Minor had the best of both worlds in the past week. Having qualified for the state meet earlier, she skipped the OIA championships last weekend to attend her senior prom.
"It was great. I told my coach that if I went to prom, I'd win state," Minor promised.
That bold prediction came despite a regular-season time that was only third-best statewide. Yesterday, she won the 400 dash with a time of 58.99, outpacing King Kekaulike's Erin Wooldridge (59.63).
State Track and Field Finals
HHSAA State Championships
1. Punahou, 82.33; 2. Baldwin, 78; 3. Kauai, 36.33; 4. Kamehameha, 31; 5. Mililani, 27; 6. Word of Life, 20; 7. Maryknoll, 18; t8. Radford, Leilehua, 16; 10. Kau, 15; t11. King Kekaulike, Mid-Pacific, 12; 13. Hawaii Prep, 11; t14. Waipahu, Maui, Seabury, 10; 17. Kamehameha-Hawaii, 9; 18. St. Anthony, 8.33; 19. Kaiser, 8; t20. Kapolei, Iolani, Honokaa, 7; t23. Kahuku, St. Joseph, Kaimuki, Hilo, 6; t27. Kamehameha-Maui, La Pietra, 5; 29. St. Andrew's; t30. Lahainaluna, Pearl City, 2; t32. Castle, Kalani, Moanalua.
--1. Careena Onosai, WOL, 150-03; 2. Nete Tolutau, Bald, 133-08; 3. Joni Green, StJ, 125-09; 4. Ilissa Aalona, Kah, 121-03; 5. Chante Ching, KSH, 113-02; 6. Megan Burtan, Iol, 112-00.
--1. Nete Tolutau, Bald, 38-4.75; 2. Careena Onosai, WOL, 37-11.50; 3. Chante Ching, KSH, 37-0; 4. Charmaine Mokiao, Kam, 36-2.50; 5. Charnelle Ioane, Kapo, 33-0; 6. Joni Green, StJ, 32-10.50.
--1. Samantha Cabreros, Pun, 18-00.00; 2. Vanessa Drake, Lei, 17-03.00; 3. Tiara Dole, StAnt, J17-03.00; 4. Renee Elbourne, Kaim, 17-02.25; 5. Tiffany Ikeda-Simao, Kauai, 17-01.50; 6. Jordyn Kilgore, Lah, 16-10.25.
--1. Samantha Cabreros, Pun, 38-06.50*; 2. Vanessa Drake, Lei, 35-09.75; 3. Jessica Brown, Hon, 35-06.25; 4. Joy Piotrowski, Pun, 34-09.25; 5. Renee Elbourne, Kaim, 34-09.00; 6. Jordyn Kilgore, Lah, 34-06.50.
--1. Chelsea Machida, Maui, 5-02.00; 2. Alexa Untermann, Pun, J5-02.00; 3. Maya Coelho, Kam, 5-01.00; 4. Caroline Ritson, Pun, 4-11.00; 4. Jill Uehara, StAnt, 4-11.00; 4. Savannah Rollins, Kauai, 4-11.00.
--1. Anna Hildebrand, Pun, 10-06.00; 2. Kaimana Rebolledo, Bald, J10-06.00; 3. Daysha Viernes, Hilo, 10-00.00; 4. Dana Harada, Pun, J10-00.00; 5. Nadia Romero, Mil, J10-00.00; 6. Charina Sumner, Kam, J10-00.00.
--1. June Ann Lusk, Bald, 15.57; 2. Sarah Nicolaisen, Kau, 16.54; 3. Kharyse Thompson, Rad, 16.69; 4. Rachel Won, Iol, 16.77; 5. Ili Wong, Iol, 16.91; 6. Kealani Gangwes, Kau, 16.93.
--1. Brittany Feiteira, Bald, 13.34; 2. Tiffany Ikeda-Simao, Kauai, 13.36; 3. Britney Stephens, Mil, 13.37; 4. June Ann Lusk, Bald, 13.40; 5. Nicole Smith, KSM, 13.78; 6. Jessica Brown, Hon, 13.82.
--1. Chelsea Smith-Wishard, Kauai, 4:54.69; 2. Julie Besenbruch, Mryk, 4:55.77; 3. Mallory Kurosumi, MPI, 4:55.84; 4. Haley Abing, LaP, 5:02.92; 5. Chelsea Oda, Pun, 5:06.16; 6. Noelani Vargas, HPA, 5:09.64.
--1. Baldwin, (Cheyna Tallant, Brittany Feiteira, June Ann Lusk, Maile Thomas), 49.92; 2. Kauai, 50.49; 3. Mililani, 50.83; 4. Punahou, 50.89; 5. Kahuku, 52.03; 6. Kapolei, 52.41.
--1. Natasha Minor, Rad, 58.99; 2. Erin Wooldridge, KK, 59.63; 3. Kim Culver, Pun, 59.98; 4. Jennifer Tanaka, StAnd, 60.40; 5. Keilyn Tanimoto, PC, 61.41; 6. Yasmine Taketa, Kaln, 61.99.
--1. Alana Meditz, Kam, 46.10; 2. Alana Durrett, Kam, 47.41; 3. Sarah Nicolaisen, Kau, 47.75; 4. Noelani Roach, Waip, 48.42; 5. Carrie-Beth Komatsu, Maui, 48.72; 6. Kathryn Nickerson, Moan, 49.03.
--1. Keri Ogden, HPA, 2:19.08; 2. Marisa Schoen, Pun, 2:20.44; 3. Leialoha Bratton, Kais, 2:20.45; 4. Piper Marshall, Pun, 2:24.75; 5. Maya Coelho, Kam, 2:26.02; 6. Monika Frazier, KSH, 2:26.03.
--1. Britney Stephens, Mil, 26.20; 2. June Ann Lusk, Bald, 26.73; 3. Tiffany Ikeda-Simao, Kauai, 26.81; 4. Brittany Feiteira, Bald, 26.97; 5. Nicole Smith, KSM, 27.39; 6. Ciara Quarles, Mil, 27.49.
--1. Julie Besenbruch, Mryk, 10:45.71; 2. Lucy Pollard, HPA, 10:54.12; 3. Mallory Kurosumi, MPI, 11:00.54; 4. Bailey Massenburg, KK, 11:10.76; 5. Kelli Ishihara, Mil, 11:20.34; 6. Haley Abing, LaP, 11:20.94.
--1. Punahou, (Alexa Untermann, Stephanie Ratte, Kim Culver, Marisa Schoen), 4:05.69; 2. Baldwin, 4:11.26; 3. Waipahu, 4:11.57; 4. Kapolei, 4:11.63; 5. Kaiser, 4:14.54; 6. Castle, 4:14.55.