Punahou girls push through


POSTED: Sunday, May 17, 2009

HILO » They were battered, bruised and weary.

No matter to the Punahou Buffanblu, who captured the Island Movers/HHSAA Girls Track and Field Championship with 71 points in a resilient display yesterday at Keaau High School.

The Buffanblu saw their star sprinter, Ashley Satterwhite, go down halfway through the meet and another key member taken off the field in an ambulance not long afterward.

“;We put ourselves in a good position after the trials—people came through when they needed to,”; Punahou coach Duncan Macdonald said. “;Then things happened in the finals. Losing Ashley midway through the race, you'd normally think that would be a disaster, but the others stepped it up a notch.”;

Kamehameha, the defending champion, got a victory from Ashlee Jiminez in the 400-meter dash (57.82), and Jiminez surged past Punahou for a come-from-behind effort to take second in the 4x100.

But besides that, the Warriors couldn't keep the pace with the Buffanblu, who captured their 31st girls track title overall and 11th in the last 14 years. Kamehameha was second with 52 points.

Punahou's chances took a big hit when Satterwhite collapsed on the final leg of the 4x100. Satterwhite—who had just won the 100-meter dash in 12.63 seconds—was running for the victory against Radford when she pulled something in her leg and took an awful tumble. She was carried off the track, but was in high spirits afterward. And why not? Her teammates came through with a smattering of point placements across the board.

“;(My leg) is kind of numb,”; Satterwhite said. “;All of us are just broken down, pretty much. It might be the volcano action over here. (But) this is the best, this is awesome. We really all pulled together.”;

Fellow sprinter Lahaina Zoller had battled injuries heading into the meet, and Jenny Ching was taken to a hospital after she fainted. Macdonald said it was mainly as a precaution.

Julia Brand picked up a big victory for the Buffanblu in the 300-meter hurdles (helped in part with a scratch by Kahuku's Zhane Santiago).

Radford took third place with 51 points.

Hawaii Prep placed seventh—the best among the Big Island schools—behind the versatility of Ku'uipo Nakoa. In the long jump, the junior outdid Santiago, the defending state champion, with a distance of 17 feet, 11 1/2 inches.

Though she sat out the 300 hurdles, Santiago defended her state title in the 100 hurdles. The rest paid dividends and Santiago came away a winner in the triple jump, too, at 36-9.

Bailey Massenburg of King Kekaulike outdueled Hailey Grossman of Seabury Hall for the 1,500-meter run title in 4:49.82, more than 3 seconds faster than her rival out of the Maui Interscholastic League, and followed up with a win in the 800.

King Kekaulike won the 4x400 in a stunner to end the day in 4:02.78.