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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, May 9, 2004

Pearl City sweeps OIA track and field titles

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By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Marina Gusman-Brown of Pearl City won the long jump and three other individual events at the O'ahu Interscholastic Association championships yesterday at Mililani High School.

Photos by Rebecca Breyer • The Honolulu Advertiser

Mililani's Jonovan Santos won the high jump at 5 feet, 10 inches.s
The Pearl City boys and girls swept the O'ahu Interscholastic Association track and field championships — in very different ways.

The boys depended on the last race to claim their victory, but the girls sewed up their title before their last race in yesterday's meet at Mililani High School.

The boys race came down to the 4x400-meter relay. Pearl City, which won their first OIA track and field championship since 1987, had 96 points entering the final relay, and Kahuku was close behind with 89.

With 10 points for first-place, eight for second, and six for third, the Chargers needed to guarantee the Red Raiders did not have a finish that would give them less than an eight-point advantage.

"We knew during the 4x400, as long as we beat Kahuku, we were going to come out on top," Pearl City senior Nathaniel Nasca said.

The Chargers didn't win the event, but a second-place finish to the Red Raiders gave Pearl City 104 points. Kahuku was second with 99 and Mililani was third with 52.

Nasca led the Chargers with three individual wins, in the 100-meter (11.16 seconds), 110 hurdles (15.05) and the long jump (21 feet, 3.25 inches).

The other relay for the boys also proved important to Pearl City. The Chargers were initially disqualified from the 4x100 when it was ruled that one of their runners raced with a rubberband on his wrist, which counts as jewelry, which is not allowed.

The Chargers lost the six points they received for third place. The points were later restored after it was ruled the runner was wearing the rubberband for the race to tie his hair up, and moved it to his wrist after the event was done.

"It helped us out a lot, it was points we wouldn't have had," said Nasca, who anchored the relay.

The Chargers were also helped by first-place finishes by Bryson Pascua in the 800 (2:00.68) and Michael Hardy in the triple jump (42-3.25).

They earned at least one point — meaning they had a finisher in the top six — in 11 of the 16 events.

"We had a couple of key guys who won events," Nasca said. "That helped us out a lot."

The Pearl City girls — who won their first OIA track and field championship — were led by sophomore sprinter Marina Gusman-Brown and senior distance runner Kari Tanimoto. Pearl City earned 98.5 points. Mililani was second with 83 and Kalaheo was third with 60.

"We got points in every area — sprints, distance and field — and our coaches told us it was the first time in a long time," Tanimoto said.

Gusman-Brown, in her first varsity meet, won the 100 (12.74), 200 (26.2), long jump (16-4.75) and triple jump (33-2). She also anchored the Chargers' winning 4x100 relay team, catching a Mililani runner who was about 10 yards ahead of her.

"I saw Mililani slow down, and knew I needed to pull through for my team," she said.

Tanimoto won the 1500 (5:07.1) and the 3000 (11:22.2).

"I'm still not really confident because my times aren't where everyone else's are," she said.

The Chargers earned a point in 10 of 16 events.

Other multiple-event winners were Lorin Milotta of Waialua, and Rosela Faaiu of Farrington.

Milotta won the 100 hurdles (15.46) and the 300 hurdles (48.93).

"It gives me a lot of confidence, but it all comes down to what happens that day at states," she said of her momentum heading into the state meet that starts Thursday. "I just have to maintain what I've been doing."

Faaiu won the discus throw (115-10) and the shot put (35-8.75).

Reach Leila Wai at lwai@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-2457.