Mililani's Mei Li Nickles finished first as Iolani's Susan Mukai fell at the tape in the 4x100 meter relay yesterday.

Nickles sisters shine,
but Iolani wins title

The Raiders girls and Kamehameha
boys capture the track and field state crowns


Monday, May 12, 2003

» Yesterday's B1 article on the state track meet contained a pair of errors: Kamehameha's Nick Frazier did not win the boys 200 meters. That event was won by his teammate Travis Beyer. Also, the Iolani girls team won more than one event. Besides the 3,000 meters, the team got a win from Kelly Higa in the high jump.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at

Mililani's Nickles sisters stole the individual show, but Iolani's girls defended their team championship with only one first-place finish, and the host Kamehameha boys led from nearly start to finish yesterday at the Island Movers Hawaii High School Athletic Association Track and Field championships.

The Warriors completed their first season at Kunuiakea Athletic Complex by blessing their new home track with 68.5 points. Second-place St. Anthony scored 27.

Iolani's girls clinched the victory before they won an event; the Raiders' lead was insurmountable before sophomore Nicole Anderson won the 3,000 meters (the second-to-last event) with a personal best of 10 minutes, 36.35 seconds.

The Raiders finished with 49.5 points. Mililani was second with 34 and Punahou finished third with 32.5.

Anderson said Iolani's superstar of last year, Lauran Dignam, was with the team in spirit.

The University of Washington sprinter who won five golds in last year's state meet sent her former teammates an e-mail earlier in the week, saying, among other things, "Only you can control the outcome."

"We did it with a lot of teamwork this year," Anderson said. "Everyone had to pitch in as much as they can because we didn't have a great star like Lauran this year."

Iolani coach Earl Hedani said he didn't expect the Raiders to repeat.

"We have a nice young bunch who doesn't seem to want to let each other down," he said. "We're surprised we'd be in the running. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year without Lauran."

The Warriors, however, were not a surprise. Coach Sam Moku knew he had the makings of something special.

"I told the boys at the beginning of the season it's like a puzzle. You open the box and you look for your corner pieces and you fill in. Our corners were (sprinters) Nick (Frazier), Travis (Beyer), (and distance runner) Sam (Wescoatt) and we found the fourth corner in (3000 meter-runner) Jeremy Kamakaala.

Frazier led Kamehameha with victories in the 200 and 400 meters, and a second-place finish in the 100. He also anchored two relays -- a victorious 4x400 and second-place 4x100.

The Nickles sisters were as outstanding as Frazier, combining for 29 points, but Mililani didn't have much depth. The Trojans may have lost any chance of taking the meet when their 4x400 relay team failed to qualify on Thursday.

Mei Li Nickles anchored the winning 4x100, and won the long jump (17-8 3/4) and triple jump (37-1 3/4). She was also fourth in the 100 hurdles.

Chun Mei Nickles won the pole vault, ran the third leg of the 4x100, and was second in the hurdles.

Mililani took early command, but Iolani hung in, picking up points -- though no firsts -- in almost every event. The Trojans barely beat the Raiders in the 4x100 as Mei Li Nickles edged Susan Mukai, who fell a foot from the tape, but still managed to finish second.

Athletes and relay teams from 16 different schools won individual events.

Two individual meet records were broken, as Chun Mei Nickles pole vaulted 11-4, and Kahuku's Jerrod Avegalio got the day off to an exciting start with a record discus throw of 186 feet.

After vaulting 11-1, Nickles was embraced by Kim Higa, who set the record of 11 feet for Roosevelt in 2000.

"I ran down and it felt good. All my other jumps were (lousy)," said Chun Mei Nickles, who might walk on at USC next year. "At 11-4, it was like, I almost touched it, and I was, like, 'Don't move.' I was happy with 11-4, but my goal was 12."

Avegalio topped the previous mark of 181-11 set by Ed Ta'amu of Iolani in 1997.

Avegalio, a heavy favorite in the event, was worried when he woke up yesterday morning with a case of the sniffles.

"I was so mad about that. I think it actually helped me focus more," said Avegalio, who might be heading to Arizona on a scholarship.

At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Avegalio is the smallest Hawaii state champion in a weight event in recent memory.

"It's all technique for me. You're always going to run into guys who are huge and amazingly strong, but it's better to build strength on technique than try to build technique on strength."

St. Anthony's boys 4x100 relay team also set a new standard of 42.98. They broke the 1999 mark, also by St. Anthony, of 43.01.

Beyer and Frazier started Kamehameha's dominance of the sprints, finishing first and second in the 100 with 11.27 and 11.33.

"My start was pretty good," Beyer said. "I was worried about them catching up in the middle because that's what usually happens and that didn't happen. My friend Nick Frazier was right behind me and it stayed like that. I'm glad nobody was next to me to make me feel worried."

Ku'ulei Karratti from tiny Ka'u High School on the Big Island won the girls 100. Karratti surprised everyone, including herself, with a time of 12.87. The multi-sport athlete has no track to train on at Ka'u, and she was third in the 100 at the BIIF championship meet.

"We practice on the football field, on the grass," she said.

Radford's Andrew Maixner doubled. He took the 3,000 meters in 9:15.50 and was a surprise as the winner of the boys 1,500 meters. Iolani's Patrick Morrissey led, followed by Kamehameha's Wescoatt, most of the race. But Maixner caught the ILH stars on the final lap.

"I think I was overlooked a little bit. It feels awesome now," Maixner said. "I got boxed a little bit, but I popped out there on the back stretch and told myself this is the state meet, so go for it. I was a little nervous about being able to hold on, but I did."

Kamehameha grabbed eight points in the 4x100 relay, as Peter Pang, Josh Guth, Beyer and Frazier were second to St. Anthony's record-breaking foursome of Panfilo Bascar, Jamaal Rivers, Jerub-James Pacheco and Brad Somers.

Then Frazier took the 400 meters in 50.28, with Beyer third.

"We came as a team and we did our best," Frazier said. "I was so stoked I won the 400. That's my event. We're comfortable on our home track, and we try to just do enough to win because we have so many races."

Wescoatt won the 800 meters in 1:58.66 and ran a leg on the winning 4x400 (3:24.67), along with Beyer, Teal Cross and Frazier. Kamakaala was third in the 3000 in 9:28.21.

Waika Spencer added nine points with a second in the triple jump, third in the long jump and fourth in the high jump.

Punahou's Pippa Macdonald completed an eight-year sweep of the 800 meters for her and sister Eri. She ran 2:16.56.

"I wasn't that confident going into the race, but I wasn't worried about upholding tradition," she said. "Every year there's been a formidable field. Just the fact that I won the year before doesn't mean I'll win again."

Prep titles

Results from yesterday's high school playoff action

Track: Kamehameha boys and Iolani girls win state team titles

Tennis: Punahou boys and girls win state team titles; Robbie Lim of Punahou wins boys individual title, and Heidi Kaloi of Kamehameha wins girls individual title

Golf: Hilo wins state girls title; Kira-Ann Murashige of Hilo wins individual title

Baseball: Kailua beats Aiea 2-1 for OIA title

Water polo: Kahuku beats Roosevelt 5-2 for OIA title



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