Murashige leads Hilo to girls championship
By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer
WAIKOLOA, Hawai'i Following in the tiny footsteps of junior Kira-Ann Murashige, Hilo High won the David S. Ishii Foundation State High School Girls Golf Championship yesterday.
"I've believed in these girls all year," said Hilo coach Jan Watanabe, whose team shaved a large "V" out of his hair after Friday's brilliant start. "It's a very special group.... I never had a doubt about their talent from Day 1."
Watanabe's biggest fear going into the final round was the front nine. But instead of coming out cautious, his young team padded its cushion early and never let up.
Murashige followed the same game plan. She made the turn in even-par to overtake first-round leader Lehua Wise, a Kaua'i High senior, and slammed the door shut with two birdies in the final six holes.
Hilo closed with a team score of 223444 to win by 23 shots over Kaua'i High (232467), which overtook defending champion Waiakea.
"The motivation for most of the team," Raiders coach Kelli Pleas said, "was let's help Lehua out, support her and turn in good scores."
The Warriors (236) and Punahou (228) tied for third at 468. The top three scores of four players counted toward the total.
Murashige warmed up for her Jennie K. Invitational title defense next weekend with an imposing final round shot in the blazing heat of the Big Island and high school golf's biggest stage. She closed with a 1-under-par 69 the tournament's only sub-par round to finish at even-par 140.
That was five better than Wise (75) and eight ahead of King Kehaulike's Lisa Kajihara (71). Wise's first-round advantage evaporated with a triple bogey at the sixth hole.
"I really made only one bad swing today," Wise said. "It cost me. And then Kira was putting really good. I knew I couldn't depend on her to make bad shots."
She was right. Murashige, only a little bigger than her golf bag, blew her drives by everybody yesterday and finished them off with just 31 putts four for birdies on Waikoloa's big greens.
She's hitting the ball farther averaging 240 yards off the tee than when she won the Jennie K. a year ago to officially introduce herself as yet another great young Hawai'i golf gun.
Murashige never faltered in the final round by successfully blocking the opposition out of her mind.
"She started the season slow," Watanabe acknowledged. "It was just mental preparation. When she started concentrating on the course and her game nobody else's game she started playing the way she should have all along."
Hilo loses two seniors. Kaua'i High will only lose Wise, who is heading to New Mexico State. The Red Raiders will have four seniors and five juniors next year, and are expecting a big assist from incoming freshman Miki Ueoka.
"Our girls just decided the season hasn't ended," Pleas said. "They're going to work through the summer and win the title next year. It went Hilo, Kaua'i, Waiakea. Next time it will go Kaua'i, Waiakea, Hilo. We got it figured."
2003 DAVID S. ISHII FOUNDATION STATE HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
Yesterday's Final Results
At Waikoloa Beach Course (Par 70)
1, Hilo 221-223444
2, Kaua'i 235-232467
3, Waiakea 232-236468
3, Punahou 240-228468
5, Kamehameha 245-233478
6, Baldwin 240-251491
7, Moanalua 253-251504
8, Roosevelt 255-257512
9, 'Aiea 264-251515
Kira-Ann Murashige, Hilo 71-69140
Lehua Wise, Kaua'i 70-75145
Lisa Kajihara, King Kekaulike 77-71148
Mari Chun, Kamehameha 75-75150
Whitney Ueno, Hilo 74-76150
Amanda Wilson, Waiakea 75-75150
Lindsay Hong, Punahou 76-74150
Randi Ono, Pearl City 77-75152
Kristen Higa, Hilo 76-78154
Jenna Seki, Punahou 80-76156
Julia Au, Kealakehe 82-75157
Dale Gamme, St. Anthony 79-78157
Christine Kim, Waiakea 80-77157
Jenny Pleas, Kaua'i 80-77157
Kelly Nakashima, Baldwin 77-81158
Sarah Sheffield, Kea'au 80-78158
Wendee Augustiro, Kamehameha 82-77159
Kayla Morinaga, Sacred Hearts 79-80159
Kodie Nakamura, Hilo 79-80159
Rak-Kyung Oh, St. Andrew's 81-78159
Megan Sakamoto, 'Aiea 79-82161
Jayna Shimamura, Baldwin 79-82161
Tiffany Takao, McKinley 84-78162
Kimberly Tom, Punahou 84-78162
Kimberly Yama, Kaua'i 82-80162
Melanie Lee, Pearl City 89-74163
Iris Ocariza, Moanalua 82-81163
Xyra Suyetsugu, Roosevelt 80-83163
Ayumi Hori, Moanalua 84-80164
Jasmine Ching, Waiakea 83-82165
Kellie Kawahara, Waiakea 77-88165
Stacie Nishimoto, Iolani 84-81165
Kristen Atebara, Hilo 86-80166
Erica Chong, Hilo 82-84166
Jenna Fujimoto, Waiakea 82-84166
Emily Lau, Iolani 80-86166
Mary Akutagawa, Kaua'i 85-82167
Miya Argent, Sacred Hearts 91-77168
Terra Bell, Kaua'i 88-81169
Kanoelani Sakihama, Kamehameha 88-81169
Tiffany Ishihara-Paraso, Roosevelt 86-84170
Brittany Austin, Campbell 85-86171
Katrina Chong, Hilo 89-82171
Heather Golden, Radford 85-86171
Nicole Aoki, Waiakea 86-87173
Kiilani Matsuyoshi, Kaua'i 89-84173
Mari Miyamoto, Baldwin 84-89173
Kelli Nakano, Baldwin 85-88173
Sara Yamamoto, Hawai'i Prep 90-83173
Erin Matsuoka, Punahou 90-84174
Kristine Higa, 'Aiea 91-86177
Jaclyn Hilea, Moanalua 87-90177
Shari Horio, 'Aiea 94-83177
Breena Kadekaru, Moanalua 87-91178
Nancy Shon, Roosevelt 89-90179
Shelby Hoota, Hawai'i Prep 87-93180
Jenna Felechner, Lahainaluna 91-90181
Cassie Kim, Mililani 96-96192
Michelle Horikawa, Baldwin 98-97195
Melani Enten, Radford 97-99196
Tracy Tamashiro, Roosevelt 104-99203
Amanda Richardson, Kapolei 101-106207
Correction: Lindsay Hong of Punahou shot 76-74150 to tie for fourth in yesterday's girls state high school golf championships. Another score was credited to her in a previous version of this story.