Saint Louis by a nose


POSTED: Sunday, May 17, 2009

HILO » Talk about a thriller.

Saint Louis edged Punahou for the Island Movers/HHSAA Boys State Track and Field Championships team title yesterday in an unbelievable finish that came down to half a point and two-hundredths of a second between victory and defeat.

The Crusaders took third in the 4x400 relay—won by the Buffanblu—by the slimmest of margins ahead of Kamehameha (3:56.51 to 3:56.53), giving them just enough points to claim their first track state title, 44.33-43.83 over Punahou.

Saint Louis led by about five points entering the race over the two-time defending champions, and it wouldn't have been enough if not for a last-gasp effort by anchor Taylor Spencer. When the final results were announced, the Crusaders mobbed each other on the Keaau High School field.

“;These boys, most of them came in the seventh grade; we really didn't have a program,”; said coach Geoff Garvin. “;We had some bad luck the last couple years and even this year ... but they never looked back, they only looked forward. (Myself and assistant coach Carolyn Parcheta) grew with them.”;

No one sacrificed more over the weekend than Trevor Mau, the Crusaders' senior do-it-all jumper/sprinter/heart of the team. He screamed in triumph at Spencer's effort, after giving whatever he had left in the 4x400 third leg.

Mau accounted for 34 total points for the Crusaders. His state record long jump of 23 feet, 8 inches from Friday's preliminaries stood up, and he placed third in the high jump, third in the triple jump, and was anchor of Saint Louis' 4x100 team.

“;I did what's best for the team,”; Mau said. “;I've been at state meets since my sophomore year, and this by far had the biggest toll on my body. When I started we didn't have much but for ourselves. But these past few years we've been building and I'm just happy I can contribute to a team now.”;

Hilo finished third at 33.5 points.

King Kekaulike senior Reid Hunter set a state record in the 1,500-run with a time of 4 minutes, 3.98 seconds. Todd Iacovelli of Punahou had the old mark of 4:05.79 in 2002.

Hunter would have preferred to run against Leilehua's Bryce Jenkins (who scratched) but understood his desire to shoot for the best 3,000-meter time possible.

“;I stuck with it until the last lap, and that's when I let loose,”; Hunter said. “;I think it would have been a really good battle between us. But I understand his desire to run a huge record.”;

Hunter followed up with a victory in the 800 (1:58.13).

Jenkins didn't disappoint, breaking his own record set the day before in the 3,000 by an amazing 5 seconds with a 8:52.90.

Jacob Edwards of Ka'u was victorious in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles after finishing as the runner-up in both last year.

Kailua's Chauncy Makainai took the discus with his first-day mark of 156-11, then followed up with a personal best to claim the shot put at 58-08.75 yesterday.