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Roosevelt, Radford take OIA titles


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POSTED: Sunday, May 03, 2009

A little progress here, some damage inflicted there.

Roosevelt needled the rest of the Oahu Interscholastic Association event by event to take the league's boys track and field championship yesterday at Mililani. The Rough Riders picked their spots and held tough against a determined Leilehua team, which could have pulled ahead for the win on the last race of the day, the 4x400-meter relay.

Meanwhile, Radford blew away the competition for the OIA girls championship, its first since 1983, with a strong individual performance from freshman Tyler Whitener and complementary efforts from her teammates.

With much of the drama absent from the girls side with Radford's 140-75 advantage over runner-up Mililani, the focus gradually turned to the final boys events. Could Leilehua close the gap on Roosevelt after an impressive 1-2-3 finish in the 3,000-meter run?

Not quite. Senior Alex Fowler got Roosevelt off to a good start by winning the long jump (22 feet, 3 inches) and taking second in the triple jump. As the day of oppressive heat waned, the Rough Riders fended off the Mules by placing three pole vaulters in the top five and getting an important victory in the 800 from senior Rowan Gragas (2 minutes, 5.74 seconds).

Roosevelt then took second to Leilehua's fifth in the 4x400 to ice the victory for its first track championship since 2002 with 75.5 points. Leilehua finished second with 66. Third-place Mililani (43 points) was crippled without junior Dalaunte “;Taz”; Stevenson, who was out with a pulled hamstring.

“;It was a team effort, definitely a team effort,”; Roosevelt coach Jeff Azuma said. “;Everybody came through—points here and there, all over the place.

“;All of them contributed. We knew going into the meet, the way the trials were, that it was going to be close. It was going to come down to the end, back and forth.”;

Did Fowler have any idea that his team could threaten for the title at the start of the year?

“;I had no idea,”; he said. “;We'll train harder, and hopefully we're motivated enough to take states like how we were to take OIA. I think we can do it. Everyone has to do their part.”;

Leilehua's Bryce Jenkins shined with a record in the 1,500 (4:03.73), and led the Mules' impressive trio in the 3,000 at 9:07.33.

“;Roosevelt's a very well-put-together team,”; Jenkins said. “;We had to do two substitutions on our 4x400, and we didn't run our best, so you win some, you lose some.”;

Radford left little doubt of its girls victory from the start. The phenom Whitener took the 100- and 400-meter dashes (13.04 and 60.97), was runner-up to teammate Andrea Hinkle in the 200, and contributed on a record-breaking 4x100 team in Thursday's OIA trials (49.47). She was outdone individually by Kahuku sophomore Zhane Santiago, who won the 100 and 300 hurdles and the long and triple jumps. Radford closed the day strong with a resounding victory in the 4x400 (4:14.31), with Whitener taking the first leg.

“;There's always room for improvement, so you know, hopefully I improve little by little each weekend. In the end, it'll be a good outcome,”; Whitener said. “;When I'm running, I always hear them cheering my name and whatnot. They're really good cheerleaders.”;

Radford sprints coach Sid Patton thinks the girls are peaking at the right time, just two weeks away from states.

“;We worked all year long about improving. That's all we talk about,”; he said. “;As talented as these girls are, it's never good enough. They're talking about improving their times, getting better. That's why they're doing so well. I think it's their mind-set.”;

Kaiser junior Sage Hinthaus broke the girls pole vault record by an inch with a vault of 10 feet, 8 inches on her third and final attempt.

“;I was really confident and I knew I could win it,”; said Hinthaus, whose father, Tom, was an Olympic pole vaulter in 1980 and '84. He helped her train since she arrived from Texas to live with him this year.

Kailua's Chauncy Makainai broke the shot put record in Thursday's trials with a throw of 57 feet, 5 inches, but couldn't match the effort yesterday.

“;I guess I was just feeling it more Thursday,”; he said. “;The time of the day was pretty hot (today).”;

Campbell's Samson Anguay won the 100 dash (11.20) and helped the Sabers' 4x100 team to victory (43.54).

Kapolei's Charlinda Ioane won both the girls shot put (39.02.25) and discus (121-02). Kapolei's Hansen Ho took the 110- and 300-meter hurdles (14.93 and 41.25).