Hawaii Grown Report

Air Force gets
mixed reviews

Jarett Hamamoto has flourished
as a Falcon, but Zach McAngus
is happier in Pullman

Record-setting Hamamoto
balances schoolwork
and golf

Jarett "J.T." Hamamoto says the academics at Air Force Academy are harder than sinking a breaking putt with a golf match on the line.

But the 2002 Waiakea High School graduate is handling the dual pressures of military-academy academics and Division I college golf pretty well.

Waiakea alumnus Jarett Hamamoto set Air Force Academy records for 36 holes (136) and 54 holes (205) in last week's Wyoming Cowboy Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

This past week, he shot the lowest scores ever by an Air Force Academy golfer for 36 and 54 holes in the Wyoming Cowboy Classic at Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hamamoto's scores were 69-67-69 in the three-day tournament at Talking Stick Golf Course, and his totals of 136 for 36 holes and 205 for 54 holes are Academy records. He was 5 under par. Hamamoto was second by one stroke in the tournament, equaling his best Air Force finish.

"He had a little bit of extra determination," Air Force coach George Koury said. "There were some fellow Hawaiians in the field, and he wanted to show them who was boss."

Koury was referring to Gabe Wilson, a former Waiakea teammate (class of '03) of Hamamoto, and Christian Akau (Kamehameha '02 of Waipahu), who play for Idaho.

They did pretty well, too. Wilson shot 209 and Akau 210 for eighth and 13th places. But Hamamoto ruled the Hawaii players in this event.

"I wouldn't say he has broken through, but he is breaking through," coach Koury said. "He's a shotmaker. There is not a situation where he doesn't find the most creative ways to get the ball into the hole."

Also, J.T. is very even-tempered, even-keeled -- a plus in the game of golf.

"It all came together ... everything," Hamamoto said of the tournament. "I hope it is (a breakthrough)."

Said Koury: "It's all about his confidence right now. He needs to understand that he can compete at top levels of collegiate golf and believe in himself as I do. I think this is the start of many great things for J.T."

19th hole: Junior Kala'e "Chris" Leong (Kamehameha '01 of Manoa) was fifth for Air Force and 78th overall at the Wyoming Classic with 79-73-76--228.

Another Waiakea alum, Kellie Kawahara, a freshman at Jackson State in Mississippi, took fourth place this week in the Southwest Conference women's championships. Her scores were 80-82--162.

At the West Coast Conference championships last week at Riverbend Country Club in Madera, Calif., Pepperdine junior Rachel Kyono (Kauai '01) tied for fourth with 75-70-79--224 and San Francisco's Mariko Joan Shimozaki (Seabury Hall '01 of Kihei) tied for eighth with 78-74-79--231.


Kamehameha alumnus
finds happiness at
Washington State

Zach McAngus, a freshman All-America baseball player at Air Force Academy last year, is flying high again this season -- but he is now playing for Washington State.

McAngus is hitting .532 (17-for-32) in his last eight games and .337 (34-for-101) for the season for WSU.

Zach McAngus, a Kamehameha Schools graduate, has found success and happiness after transferring to Washington State from Air Force Academy.

A 2002 graduate of Kamehameha Schools from Hawaii Kai, McAngus accepted an appointment to the Air Force Academy because "I kinda wanted to fly," but he was miserable there.

"It was a horrible, demoralizing place," he said. "Academy life is real hard, definitely not for me. I didn't think it was worth staying for four years to try to get into pilot school, and maybe not even pass the exam to get in."

Washington State has been perfect for him. "Nothing can beat Pac-10 baseball," he said. "I'm liking it a lot out here."

Coach Tim Mooney and Cougar fans such as Tim Marsh of Pullman are liking McAngus a lot, too.

"He really can get hot and has the potential to drive in runs," Mooney said. "His defense is getting much more consistent."

WSU moved McAngus from second base, where he made the Louisville Slugger freshman All-America team at Air Force, back to his high school position of third base, where he made Star-Bulletin all-state in 2002. He was fielding .926 (seven errors in 30 games) through Friday.

"We are challenging him to be more consistent at the plate, to cut down the free outs -- outs that don't move runners," Mooney said.

Said Cougar fan Marsh: "What a great addition to the team. He has been an impact player from the beginning. Both at the plate and in the field, Zach makes a difference."

Extra innings: Washington State has the only FieldTurf baseball field in the U.S., Mooney said. The only dirt is at the pitcher's mound and home plate. The areas around the bases and the outfield warning track are FieldTurf painted brown.

"It's great," McAngus said. "You usually get real great bounces, and that builds up your confidence. The only downfall is bits of rubber bouncing up in your face."

Field turf composition includes small chunks of rubber and sand beneath the artificial grass.

McAngus set a WSU baseball vertical-leap record of 33 inches last fall.

At Air Force in 2003, he hit .331 in 34 starts, including four home runs and 53 runs produced (runs and RBIs minus homers). He was one of four second basemen chosen to the freshman All-America team by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.

McAngus said he went on a West Coast campus tour, including Washington State, in the summer after his junior year at Kamehameha.

"In Pullman, everything revolves around the school," he said. "It's not too big, but not like a small school, either."

Air Force Academy athletes from Hawaii

(High school, year graduated and residence in parentheses)

Women's Swimming
» Carly Omizo (Iolani '02 of Kailua)
Men's Swimming
» Kimo Yamashiro (Iolani '02 of Kaneohe)
» Billy Sullivan (Damien '01 of Kailua)
Water Polo
» Chris Nary (Kamehameha '01 of Hawaii Kai)
Men's golf
» Jarett Hamamoto (Waiakea '02)
» Kala'e "Chris" Leong (Kamehamaha '01 of Manoa)
Women's tennis
» Miclynn Crail (Iolani '01 of Waipi'o)
» Kellie Crail (Iolani '02 of Waipi'o)
» Kelly Morgan (Punahou '03 of Mililani)


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