Sun among four swimmers hoping to make big splash
Stanford junior Hongzhe Sun knows about Hawai'i's swimming past and has a chance to add his name to its long history this weekend.
Sun is ranked in the top five nationally in all three individual events he will compete in for the NCAA Championships, giving him a chance to be the first from Hawai'i to win an individual swimming title in recent history.
"I think back in the 50s, there were a bunch of people from Hawai'i at Ohio State (who won individual titles)," Sun said. "I never thought about it (that I would possibly be the first in more than 50 years to do it again). It would be exciting to win any type of NCAA championship. It would be an honor, especially to represent Hawai'i, and Stanford as well."
Entering the championships, the 2003 Iolani graduate has posted the second fastest times nationally in both the 200 individual medley (1:44.49) and 200 backstroke (1:41.17). In his third event, the 100 backstroke, he has the fifth fastest time in 46.79 seconds.
He competes in all three at the NCAA Division I Men's Swimming & Diving Championships at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta from March 23 to 25. He is also entered in the 200 and 400 medley relays.
He isn't the only swimmer from Hawai'i in the men's NCAA championships.
Stanford sophomore Noa Sakamoto, a 2004 Punahou graduate, is competing in the 500 and 1650 freestyle.
"It's definitely exciting," Sun said. "Noa's a great teammate, he trains really well."
California-Berkeley sophomore Mark Eckert, a 2004 Iolani graduate, is swimming the 200 individual medley and 200 backstroke.
Florida senior Nick Borreca, a 2002 graduate of Punahou, "has been a key member of the 200 and 400 free(style) relays this season" according to the school's Web site.
He swam the opening leg of the 200 freestyle at the SEC Championships and helped the team record a season-best time of 1:19.24. He also swam the third leg of the 400 freestyle at the SEC Championships, where the Gators recorded a season-best time of 2:54.95.
Individually, he will compete in the 50 and 100 freestyle.
"It's pretty good representation," Sun said of the four Hawai'i swimmers in the NCAA Championships.
Nagata finished seventh in the 100 butterfly in 53.76 seconds. She was the fourth fastest qualifier in the event with a UCI record time of 53.18.
Nagata is the first UC Irvine female swimmer to qualify for the finals at the NCAA Championships. She also finished 34th in the 100 backstroke preliminaries in 55.54 and 42nd in the 50 freestyle preliminaries in 23.21.
Wilson batted .545 (6 for 11) with three doubles, five RBIs and four runs.
Yamaguchi was nominated for the Northwest Conference Player of the Week award on March 6 and 13. Pacific senior Chris Loo (Iolani '02) was nominated as the NWC Pitcher of the Week on March 13 and Willamette freshman pitcher Kelsey Nakata (Mililani '05) was nominated for NWC Pitcher of the Week on March 6.
An RBI single by sophomore catcher Jowen Murray-Thornton (Saint Louis '04) in the third inning gave Hartnell a 3-2 lead.
Charette had seven kills, three digs and two blocks in a 27-30, 30-24, 30-21, 32-30 win over Ohio State on Friday.
Pepperdine junior outside hitter Jon Grobe (Iolani '02) had nine kills, three digs and a block in the loss.
Smith, who was the lone player from Hawai'i in the tournament, took two shots, missing both, and had a block.
Lee, the California Pacific Conference Player of Year, set program records for points (491) and scoring average (17.5), eclipsing the marks former guard Ki'i Spencer-Vasconcellos (Punahou '97) — Menlo's only previous All-America selection — set during the 2003-04 season.
Lee also led the Oaks in rebounds (196), rebounds per game (7.0), field goals (203), free throws (71), steals (42) and minutes per outing (28.1).
TRACK AND FIELD
Dignam won the 400 hurdles (1:03.87) and Te'o-Nesheim won the shot put (51-6.25).
Ma, who shot 79-77-70—226, carded the lowest score of the tournament with a 2-under 70 in the final round.
As the Gauchos' starting setter, Dutro ranked fourth in the Big West Conference with 12.0 assists per game in 2005.