Prep Beat

By Star-Bulletin Staff

safety a concern

BY Jason Kaneshiro

High school track and field coaches who wish to include pole vaulting in their programs will be required to attend an instructional clinic at the University of Hawaii athletic complex Jan. 31-Feb.1.

The requirement was established by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association's committee on pole vaulting safety earlier this week. The committee was formed to address safety issues following a series of pole vaulting accidents on the mainland in recent years.

The clinic is open to coaches and athletes and will include classroom and hands-on instruction.

Olympic silver medalist Mike Tully headlines the group of instructors at the clinic. Tully broke the U.S. pole-vault record three times and won the silver at the 1984 Games.

In addition to sending their coaches to the clinic, schools that have pole vaulting are also required to meet new safety guidelines instituted by the National Federation of State High School Associations for the upcoming season.

HHSAA executive director Keith Amemiya said there was preliminary talk of eliminating pole vaulting from high school competition, but said the event will continue into the future.

He said schools in four of the state's leagues are in the process of purchasing larger padded landing pits to meet the new NFHS requirements. The Kauai Interscholastic Federation does not have pole vaulting.

Amemiya also said an HHSAA committee exploring the possibility of creating classified state tournaments is scheduled to meet in early January. The committee, made of representatives of all five leagues, held an introductory meeting last month and will reconvene to discuss their leagues' positions on classified state tournaments.

Recruiting buzz: Five members of the state champion St. Louis football team are among those who have been offered scholarships by the University of Hawaii.

Defensive linemen Tolifili Liufau and Wilson Afoa, offensive lineman Jeremy Inferrera, safety Timo Paepule and receiver Jason Rivers have been extended offers by UH, according to St. Louis athletic director Cal Lee.

Liufau and Afoa are scheduled to take recruiting trips to Washington State this weekend. Both said they are considering visiting Washington next week. Liufau also has a trip to Southern California set for January.

Kahuku, the state champion the previous two years, also has several players drawing interest from Division I schools. Red Raider coach Siuaki Livai said defensive backs George Perry and Viliami Nauahi and defensive lineman Quin Ah You received offers from UH. Nauahi is also slated to visit Brigham Young and Washington. Livai said he also expects offensive lineman Joseph Napeahi and linebacker David Alisa to receive college offers.

Kailua coach Darren Johnson said offensive linemen Pat So'oalo and Xavier Ho'olulu also have offers from UH.

The first day high school seniors can sign national letters of intent is Feb. 5.

Iolani forfeits matches: The Iolani boys soccer team will open the Interscholastic League of Honolulu season with two losses after forfeiting its matches this week.

Iolani athletic director Carl Schroers declined to comment other than to say the forfeits stemmed from a disciplinary issue with the team. The Raiders were scheduled to play St. Louis yesterday and Kamehameha on Saturday and will resume their season next week.

Tip-off tonight: The fourth annual James Alegre Invitational Basketball Tournament opens today with four games at Radford Gym.

The eight-team event includes four of last year's state tournament qualifiers, including defending state champion Iolani and runner-up Kalaheo.

The tournament opens with Kailua taking on Kamehameha at 3 p.m. Iolani plays Leilehua at 4:30. Kalaheo faces Punahou at 6 and host Radford meets Honokaa in the feature game at 7:30.

The semifinals are tomorrow with the finals set for Saturday.

Iolani and Punahou met in the finals of last weekend's Kalaheo Basketball Classic, with the Raiders prevailing 64-45. Kalaheo finished third in the tournament.

The Iolani Prep Classic, one of the state's most prestigious holiday tournaments, runs Dec. 16-21. The ninth annual Palama Settlement boys tournament begins Dec. 17 with four teams from California and seven from Canada joining five local squads in the five-day event.

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