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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 15, 2005

Punahou girls win 2nd title in a row

By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer

MILILANI — Rallying around an early setback, the Punahou girls won their second straight Hawai'i High School Athletic Association/Island Movers State Track and Field Championships at Mililani High yesterday.

Kealakehe's Fran Weems won the 400 meters, one of her three victories at the state high school track championships.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

"It was a bad start," Punahou girls coach Duncan Macdonald said of Punahou, which won its 28th overall title, with 80.3333 points, followed by Baldwin with 60 and Kealakehe with 36.

After a disqualification from one of its top performers, the Buffanblu needed assistance from everyone, and was helped by a record-setting performance by sophomore Samantha Cabreros, who won the triple jump with a distance of 38 feet, 3.5 inches.

She broke the record set by Sara Yap of Punahou in 1998 (37-8.5), and broke her own personal record by two feet.

"It just felt good, I was really scared that I fouled, so I was nervous," said Cabreros, who also took second in the long jump.

Macdonald said Cabreros' long jump, "changed the flavor of the meet all of a sudden."

Punahou earned points in nine of 16 events, including sweeping the top three places in the triple jump for 24 points.

The meet also featured outstanding performances from two athletes, who both won three individual events.

Kealakehe senior Fran Weems won the 100-meter dash in 12.43 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 25.38, and the 400-meter dash in 57.04.

"I owe a lot to my history; It's made me who I am today," said Weems, who grew up in foster care, but has become successful on and off the field. "My theory is, I'm not going to let my past determine who I am."

Hawai'i Baptist junior Lauren Ho won the 800 (2:16.54), 1,500 (4:44.93) and the 3,000 (10:35.67).

She was pushed by Hawai'i Prep's Keri Ogden in the 800, winning by about a half-second, the first time this season another runner was so close to her.

"I was kind of worried, because there was only the 200 in between (the 800 and the 3,000)," she said. "I just got to talk to my coach and then I had to go."

"It feels awesome," she said of her three titles. "I got to see (Seabury Hall's Tia Ferguson, now at Duke) do it last year."

Careena Onosai, of Word of Life, captured the discus and shot put.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

Word of Life junior Careena Onosai won two events, the shot put (39-8) and discus (130-8).

"Discus wasn't too good," she said. "I was concentrating too much, instead of having fun.

"I guess I was expecting to throw big, because everyone else was expecting me to throw big. The main thing is that I won."

Yesterday's state meet started off bad for the Buffanblu when junior Anna Hildebrand was disqualified from the pole vault for having an illegal electronic device (an Apple iPod) on the infield.

Hildebrand was the state's top pole vaulter entering yesterday's meet, with a height of 10-6 set during the season, six inches higher than her nearest competitors.

"I'm unhappy that it happened, but the fault is mine," Punahou girls high jump coach Arnold Morgado said.

But Claire Schiff won with a height of 10-0, to earn 10 points for first place, and Punahou picked up another point with a sixth-place finish by Lauren Pocherova (8-6).

"I feel awfully bad for (Hildebrand), but I feel elated that Claire Schiff came through," Morgado said. "Everything is hypothetical, but there are other areas where we will score points. We will prevail."

"It was really a lot of pressure," Cabreros said. "We all knew we wanted to get points."

Another major disqualification occurred when Baldwin sophomore June Ann Lusk, who was the top seed in the 100-meter hurdles, was called for a false start after the starter ruled that her fingers were touching the starting line, a track violation.

"If I can't see color between her finger and the line, it's a violation," starter Gary Hamakawa said. "I warned her when she was warming up on the blocks."

Instead, Ka'u's Sarah Nicolaisen won the 100 hurdles in 16.09 seconds, and followed it up with a win the 300-meter hurdles (45.98).

"I feel so bad, because (Lusk) was supposed to win," said Nicolaisen, who said she was called for a false start for the same event in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation championship meet.

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