CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Radford runner Christopher Rainey was the outstanding male athlete at yesterday's Punahou Relays.
Villoria reclaims title as Hawaii’s fastest
The earth moved.
OK, not really, but the track almost seemed to shake a bit when the burly participants in the Power Relay event rumbled around the track at the Punahou Relays yesterday.
Kamehameha won the popular 6x67-meter race featuring relay teams whose members each weigh 200 or more pounds. The Warriors big boys clocked in at 46.82, beating Damien (47.89) by more than a second.
The key to victory?
"Smooth passing," said Warriors relay member Kahikolu Pescaia. "We practiced our (baton) passing and getting our timing down, because we thought that it would definitely come down to the passing."
League championships are coming up and the Island Movers/HHSAA state championships are only three weeks away, but for the 34 participating schools and athletes, the nontraditional relay events are part of the 63rd annual event's heritage and appeal.
Joshua Villoria won the open 100-meter dash -- dubbed "Hawaii's Fastest Human" race -- in 10.95 seconds, accelerating past former University of Hawaii cornerback Kenny Patton (11.08).
Villoria, 20, who won the 100-meter state championship as a Farrington High School senior in 2005, was jubilant after winning the race in his second try.
"I had a horrible start," said Villoria, who added that he overcame a strained hamstring that limited his training in recent weeks.
Villoria caught Patton at about 70 meters.
"I just started feeling it," he said. "My form started kicking in, my legs were flowing. As soon as I didn't see (Kenny's) hands and knees, I just said, 'Thank you, Lord.' "
Radford's Christopher Rainey won the Robert "Bob" Paris Award, given to the meet's outstanding male athlete.
Rainey, a senior, anchored the Rams to decisive wins in three races.
Rainey, Donniqtay Campbell, Jonathan Atangan and Ikaika Kamaka dominated the 4x200 with a 1:29.70 time, more than 4 seconds faster than second-place Damien (1:33.56). The foursome also outsprinted the competition in the 4x100, winning in 42.97, outpacing Saint Louis (43.75) and Punahou (44.20).
"We're just trying to take everything," Rainey said after the short-sprint relays. "Just come out here, do our thing."
Rainey and company backed up his confident words, closing out the afternoon with another decisive win, running away from the field in the 4x400 in 3:23.30.
"This is my year -- my last year," said Rainey, who moved to Hawaii in January from St. Louis. "Gonna go out with a bang."
Lahaina Zoller of Punahou won the Mary A.P. May Award for outstanding girls performer. Zoller, a freshman, led her team to wins in the 4x200 and 4x800 events, agreeing to run the latter event for the good of the team.
"I was shocked because I had never run the 4x800 in my life," she said. "I would never run an 800 in a regular meet, so I guess it's fun to try stuff I wouldn't normally do. I wanted to do it not for myself, more for my team."
The multitasking didn't end for Zoller at the meet.
"I have prom tonight," she explained. "Hair. Makeup, meet my date at 5:30."
Perhaps fatigued by a quick turnaround, Zoller succumbed to the strong finishing stride of Radford's Brittni Fuller, who anchored the Rams to a 4x100 relay win in 50.79. The Buffanblu finished second in 50.91.
"(Our plan) was just to focus on our handoffs, because we were a little shaky on Thursday," said Fuller. "And run as fast as we can."
Yasmina Taketa of Kalani topped the girls long jump, hitting the 17-foot, 2-inch mark on both her first and third attempts in the finals.
"I just trying to work on staying focused," the Falcons senior said. "Try to stay inside myself."
Kanani Herring and Kamehameha teammate Hailey Kauhane went 1-2 in the girls high jump. In her first season of high jumping, Herring rode her explosive but raw athleticism to clear 5 feet, 4 inches. Kauhane finished second at 5-2.
"I don't even know what I'm doing," Herring said. "I really don't get a chance to practice, because I'm always in volleyball, (but) I get so competitive. It's so wonderful to go up against these girls who've done it years. You learn something new from them every time you watch."