Pacific U. kicks into high gear
FOREST GROVE, Ore. Nearly 20 percent of the student-athletes who turned out for fall sports this week at Oregon's Pacific University are from Hawai'i.
Nine of the 18 Hawai'i high school graduates who reported for opening practices are on the women's soccer team and eight are on the men's soccer team. Pacific does not have a football team.
Women's soccer players include sophomore Moani Lau, a 2000 Hawai'i first-team all-state defender at Kamehameha who transferred to Pacific from the Division I program at the University of Nevada.
Men's junior goalkeeper Ryan Stanley, a graduate of Kaiser High, was a second-team all-conference selection last season and was second in the league in saves.
Pacific, rural Forest Grove 25 miles west of Portland, is a member of the Northwest Conference in NCAA Division III, which does not permit athletic scholarships.
Athletic director Judy Sherman says the reason for the traditionally large presence of students from Hawai'i at Pacific is that "Pacific is a good fit for Hawaiian students. We like them and they like us. We like their work ethic, their loyalties, their skill level, their teamwork. They are people of good character. They feel accepted here and know they are looked after and appreciated here."
No figures were immediately available on the number of students from Hawai'i in the record freshman class of 311 or the overall enrollment of 1,100.
Sherman said two long-time staff members with Hawai'i ties, admissions officer Jeff Grundon and Student Life program worker Edna (Doar) Gehring "go out of their way to look after, take care of and nurture students from Hawai'i."
Pacific also has two Hawai'i expatriates on its fall coaching staff. Kim Agena, a Mid-Pacific Institute graduate who played collegiate volleyball at Creighton University, is in her second year as assistant volleyball coach. Robin Park, a former Pacific standout and Pearl City High graduate, begins her first season as an assistant women's soccer coach.
Athletes from Hawai'i who were among the total of 96 who reported for fall practices:
Kasey Chun (Fr., Kane'ohe/ Maryknoll HS); Joely Gutierrez (So., Hilo/Waiakea HS); Joni Kaitoku (Fr., Mililani/Iolani); Jean Kasamoto (So., Honolulu/Mid-Pacific); Stephanie Kawamura (Fr., 'Aiea/'Aiea HS); Shanell Kawasaki (Soph., Honolulu/Kamehameha); Mariel Kim (Fr., Honolulu/Punahou); Moani Lau (Soph., Honolulu/Kamehameha, Nevada); Kalenani Titcomb (Fr., Kailua/Kamehameha).
Aaron Arakawa (Soph, Pearl City/Pearl City HS); Kevin Arizo (Jr., Mililani/Mililani HS); Elliott Hirai (Mililani/'Aiea HS); Jacob Lovell (Fr., Mililani/Kamehameha); Jordan Lovell (Fr., Mililani/Kamehameha); Jason Morita (Fr., Honolulu/Kaiser HS); Ryan Stanley (Jr., Honolulu/Kaiser HS); Kaleo Titcomb (Jr., Kailua/Kamehameha HS).
Carol Lynn Goo (Soph, Honolulu/Iolani).