STATE BOYS TRACK AND FIELD
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Radford's C.J. Rainey beat Punahou's Zach Coronas in the 100 meters last night but the Buffanblu won another state title at Mililani High School.
Punahou, Pavich go out winners
The Punahou track and field team gave coach Mike Pavich quite a going-away present last night at Mililani.
The Buffanblu came back from trials adversity on Friday and a painfully lingering injury to its top performer to edge Radford and its superb sprinters. Punahou successfully defended its state championship by less than four points, scoring 55 3/4 to the second-place Rams' 52.
C.J. Rainey of Radford was the spectacular individual. He ran to a state-meet record in the 200 meters (21.89) and shared another for the 4x100 relay (42.53) in the prelims. Rainey also won the 100 meters (10.89) and anchored the first-place 4x400 relay (3:22.46). Anchoring the 4x100 final gave him four golds.
Pavich, Punahou's head coach the past three years and a longtime assistant with the Buffanblu and at his alma mater, Kamehameha, moves to Iowa this summer. He does it after guiding the Buffanblu to their 30th state crown in track and field.
"We all knew about it and it gave us an extra boost," said Tobie Reeuwijk, who picked up six valuable points in the 800 and anchored Punahou's 4x400 relay.
"We wanted to send him out with something to remember," Reeuwijk added, pointing to a wispy growth over his lip. "He's famous for his mustache, so I tried to grow mine out for two weeks. It's my meager attempt at manliness."
Actually, a lot more was said about that in Reeuwijk's jump up to compete in the half-mile from the 400. It gave Punahou a chance at more points in a close meet.
"He started out being a solid 200 and 400 sprinter for us and really stepped up this week," Pavich said.
Sprints coach Gary Satterwhite has his dashers run longer distances full bore in practice. He noticed that Reeuwijk could point heavily in states in the 800. Satterwhite said he knew Reeuwijk was capable of coming back strong at a longer distance without a day off between trials and finals.
"It's not just about being fast , but fast and strong," Satterwhite said. "Maybe you can run fast on Friday, but if you're strong you can run fast on Saturday, too."
Reeuwijk's effort was an even bigger deal because Punahou's top middle-distance runner, Lucas Lam, was out with an injury suffered in the trials.
Punahou star Zach Coronas successfully defended his 2007 win in the 400, but didn't run in the 200, which he also won last year, or the 4x400 relay due to a painful foot injury.
But Radford had an injury problem too; hurdler Nathan Blue suffered hamstring and ankle woes during the 300 trials Friday and was on crutches. But Blue managed to gut it out for fifth place in the 110 final -- which Maryknoll's Javen Correia won in 14.60. It was .08 off the meet record.
Correia later completed an undefeated season in both hurdles races by easing to a win in the 300 (39.49).
Radford built on an early lead, missing its day-old record in the 4x100 by .02 of a second. Donniqtay Campbell, John Atangan, Ikaika Kamaka and Rainey ran 42.55.
Coronas bounced back from third in the 100 to win the 400, finishing first in 49.56. Rainey, in second, wasn't close. The Rams' Ikaika Kamaka was fifth, giving Punahou and Radford 10 points each in the event. This was where the Rams needed to pass the Buffanblu, who had taken the lead mostly with steady scoring in the field events.
"Third in the 100's not bad, but I had to defend the 400," said Coronas, who admitted pain in his injured left foot. "It's banging now."
But he had given his team a solid lead, one that Reeuwijk (third) and Ryan Nakasone (fifth) built on with eight points to none for the Rams in the 800 meters. Baldwin's Joey Amescua successfully defended his title in that race, finishing way ahead in 1:55.01.
Punahou did what it needed to do in the 4x400 -- score something, anything -- to clinch the meet. The Buffanblu were fourth without Coronas while Radford blazed to the win in the event and second in the meet.
Dawson Vorderbruegge of Kaiser broke the meet record in the 3,000 meters with 8:58.14 -- despite being ill for several days after fashioning an 8:59.99 at the Oahu Interscholastic Association championships.
"The trials (on Friday) was a great warm-up because I hadn't raced in two weeks," Vorderbruegge said.
Todd Iacovelli, whose record was broken, presented the gold medal to Vorderbruegge. The Punahou distance coach said it was a good trade for an aloha win for Pavich.
"Mike is not the type to give a speech about winning one for him," Iacovelli said. "But the kids step up and come through every year."
Punahou's Abe Markowitz provided 16 points with second place in both the discus and shot.
"Coach Pavich brought a different aura to the team," Markowitz said. "He made it more of a team sport, not just individual groups."