HIGH SCHOOL TRACK & FIELD
Hair and injuries are biggest news at state track trials
WAILUKU » Leilehua's Joshua Bay made the best of a hairy situation at the Island Movers/HHSAA Track and Field Championships trials last night at War Memorial Stadium.
Bay came into the meet as the state's fifth-fastest 800-meter runner, having posted a winning time of 2 minutes, 3.35 seconds at the Oahu Interscholastic Association championships two weeks ago.
But Bay was disqualified before his trials heat yesterday for having artificially colored hair.
Leilehua coach Shawn Nakata protested the ruling because other participants with colored hair were allowed to compete. The ruling was eventually reversed, but there was one problem: The four heats of the 800 trials were done.
Officials decided to let Bay run in a special heat at the end of the meet with any of the second-place finishers from the heats who wanted to improve their times (the four first-place finishers automatically advanced to the finals). None of the second-place finishers decided to run, leaving Bay to run by himself and try to better the time of 2:05.72 posted by eighth-place Travis Renshaw of Kamehameha.
Bay, with people cheering for him all the way around the track, ran a 60-second first lap and finished in 2:05.31, qualifying by 0.41 seconds.
"I wouldn't have made it without them," said Bay, of the cheering.
Kamehameha then filed a protest that was denied.
"They should let all nine run. (Renshaw) earned it," Warriors coach Sam Moku said. "You're getting rid of a boy who legitimately made his way in. We're not trying to knock (Bay) out."
Injuries were also a story line at yesterday's trials, where no records were broken.
The door might have opened a bit in the boys meet and slammed shut in the girls because of injuries to Punahou's Matt Tsujimura and Baldwin's June Ann Lusk.
Tsujimura, a Buffanblu senior team captain, pulled a hamstring while warming up for the long jump. He was also entered in the 100, 200 and 4x100. His absence as anchor in the relay may have hurt favored Punahou the most; a botched 3-4 handoff knocked the third-seeded Buffanblu out of the event.
"I'm proud of them no matter what they did. It's just a tough break," Tsujimura said. "After a hamstring injury there's nothing else I can do, so I'm not going to beat myself up over it."
The loss of Tsujimura pulls Punahou back a little closer to the other contenders, including Mililani, ILH rival Kamehameha and Baldwin.
The Warriors' Brandon Hardin qualified for today's finals in the 100, 200, 4x100, long jump and triple jump (where he stands first, at 42 feet, 11 inches). Hardin had been disqualified from last week's ILH championships because he was entered in too many events; the limit for the ILH meet is four and for the state meet it is six.
The Oahu Interscholastic Association champion Trojans thought they might get a boost from sprinter Ikaika Payomo, who had been injured most of the season. But Payomo pulled a hamstring near the end of his heat in the 100.
"Things have to really go our way, but we have a chance," said Mililani's D'Andre Benjamin, who has a shot to win both hurdle events.
The Bears girls once again had their hopes for a championship knocked out as a nagging hip injury forced Lusk out of the 300 hurdles, long jump and both relays.
"It's physically and emotionally frustrating," said Lusk, who did manage to qualify first in her heat of the 100 hurdles in 15.84.