HIGH SCHOOL TRACK & FIELD
Punahou hopes to end 4-year state track drought
Punahou has won 27 boys Hawaii state track and field championships, but the Buffanblu hope to end a four-year drought today and tomorrow at Maui's War Memorial Stadium.
Tomorrow's finals of the Island Movers/HHSAA meet start at 3:30 p.m. (field events) and 5:40 p.m. (running). Trials are today.
Mililani, Kamehameha and Baldwin could challenge, but Punahou has the most well-balanced team in the meet, and -- going by best marks -- figures to score in around 12 of 16 events.
"At our last team meal, several of the comments were about how we haven't done this in a while," Punahou boys coach Mike Pavich said. "I like to think we're excited to go out and do our best. But I think everyone will be doing that."
The Buffanblu girls are also favored to win, which would be the 30th for Punahou's girls, and fourth in a row. But Baldwin has a legitimate chance for an upset.
Pavich said he and his staff tried to treat this week of practice like the rest of the season.
"We don't spend a lot of time talking to them about where they stand. We approached it the same way we did the first meet, in March," Pavich said. "We just told them go out. I told them we're not going to coach any different this week. Just listen to what the coaches tell you and go.
"We always tell them your p.r. (personal record) will be good enough. If you do your p.r. tomorrow and Saturday we'll be fine. As coaches we dope it out, but we keep it to ourselves."
Shot putter Drew Uperesa (54-7 1/4), 400-meter runner Zach Coronas (49.57) and the 4x400 relay team (3:26.96) all come into the meet with the top marks in their events.
Colin Saxby of Hawaii Prep also has a 49.57 to his credit in the quarter mile, and his race with Coronas should be one of the best in the meet.
Other individuals to watch include Keoni Ucker of Christian Liberty, who has the top time in the 1,500 meters (4:07.88) and the 3,000 (9:16.41), Mililani's D'Andre Benjamin in the hurdles (15.00 in the 110) and (39.93 in the 300), sophomore Billy Stutzmann of Saint Louis in the 200 (22.39) and Brandon Hardin of Kamehameha, who is tops in the long jump (22-8 1/4) and third in the triple jump (44-0). Hardin will be coming back from an Interscholastic League of Honolulu meet where he was DQ'd for being entered in too many events and lost four gold medals.
The pole vault should be one of the best competitions, with Erik Rasmussen of St. Anthony having cleared 14-9, Iolani's Colby Takeda at 14-6 and Cameron Daugherty from Mililani at 14-0.
Two-time state champion Samantha Cabreros of Punahou is 23rd in the nation after triple-jumping 39-8 1/2 at the ILH championships to break her own meet record.
"I was shouting inside my head, 40!, 40!, 40!," she said.
That's her goal for this week.
Sarah Nicolaisen of Ka'u in the hurdles, a state champion in 2005, and June Ann Lusk (hurdles, jumps, relays) and Brittany Feiteira (sprints, relays) of Baldwin, along with Kamehameha's Alana Meditz and Alana Durrett (hurdles) are among the top female competitors.