Star-Bulletin Sports


Upsets could be common
at state meet

By Dave Reardon

Don Takaki is an old-school guy who sponsors summer league baseball for college players. But he's grown fond of track and field over the years, enough to sponsor the Island Movers state meet for the sixth consecutive season.

"It started because my son (Ryan) was a track coach there," Takaki said. "But as I looked at it, track covers a broad cross section of talent, size, abilities and boys and girls. You don't have to go to a big school to be successful. To me that's the true essence of what athletics should be. I like it when (athletes) from my old alma mater, Maui High, win."

Although the Sabers aren't loaded this year, the state meet at Mililani -- with trials beginning tomorrow at noon (field) and 3:15 p.m. (running), and finals on Saturday at 3:30 and 5:40 p.m. -- should meet with Takaki's approval, as former bridesmaids show what they can do in the big event.

Roosevelt and Iolani ran, jumped and threw to where they'd never been before last weekend -- to league championships. The Rough Rider boys and Raiders girls won their respective league titles for the first time, Roosevelt in the Oahu Interscholastic Association and Iolani in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.

Punahou, which had won the previous 36 ILH girls titles, can't be counted out at states. Shot-putter and discus thrower Natalie Fujimoto and 800 runner Pippa Macdonald have won state championships before, and the Buffanblu always peak at the right time.

But Iolani has the state's top performer in Lauran Dignam. The sprinter won all five events she entered last week.

A dropped baton or a false start by Iolani, and Baldwin could be right in it. The Maui Interscholastic League champs are strong in the field, with state champion Zoie Sevilla at 5-3 in the high jump and Koren Takeyama at 17-6 in the long jump. Ashlyn Russell is a contender in the shot and discus.

As outstanding as Dignam is, the girl to watch might be Seabury Hall's Tia Ferguson. The sophomore spent the spring lapping everyone on the Valley Isle, going as fast as 10:10 in the 3,000 meters and 4:38.1 in the 1,500.

Those at the meet need to keep their eyes open when Kamehameha's Brandon Ala is throwing the discus. Ala flung it 196-11 in the trials at the ILH championships last week on his way to the meet record.

While Punahou won the ILH boys title as distance runner Todd Iacovelli (meet record of 9:09.4 in the 3,000 last week) led the way, Kamehameha is in the running along with Roosevelt.

Hurdler Shown Francis and sprinter Jerry Perreira are the Rough Riders to watch.

The Warriors' Jesse Lee is the defending state champion in the 300 hurdles, and should be pushed by Francis. Kamehameha baseball player Tyler Perkins has been in the top five in the state in the 100 since his freshman year, and is hungry for his first win as a senior.

"I think it will be close," said Kamehameha coach Sam Moku, who believes St. Anthony of Maui -- strong in the relays -- has a chance to win the team title, too. "It's kind of well-balanced."

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