Radford girls, Mililani boys prevail
by Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer
Radford's track & field team gathered on the track's last turn in the meet's last event, cheering for its 4x400-meter relay team and creating a wave when they ran by.
The support is always there for each other on a team where they consider each other as family, and the cheers were frequent throughout last night's O'ahu Interscholastic Association championships that the Radford girls won for the second year in a row.
"It was very motivating, it helped so much to hear our team on the side cheering for us," said Radford's Andrea Hinkle, who won the 200 and was on the winning 4x400 team and record-setting 4x100 relay team. "It made us push harder; it was very motivating."
The Rams finished with 131 points, scoring points in 13 of 16 events at Kaiser. Radford's 4x100 relay team of Sade Myers, Tyler Whitener, Hinkle and Kaeli Patton set an OIA record of 48.94 seconds. Whitener, Hinkle and Patton were on last year's team that held the record of 49.57.
"I'm glad I had a chance to do it with the rest of the girls," Hinkle said. "We all push each other to run faster and it comes from hard work in practice."
Patton won the high jump, Briana Dingle won the 800 and Jessica Kafer's sprint in the final 100 helped her win the 1,500 run. Mililani's Kristin Ali Keith led a pack of five runners in the 1,500 until Kafer made a move on the final turn.
"I've always looked up to Kristin Ali and (Mililani's) Kimberly (Pugliese)," Kafer said. "They're really good runners. I just wanted to stay with them and then give it all I got in the end and see if it's enough to win in the end."
Pugliese later broke the record in the 3,000, winning in 11:03.50.
Kahuku finished second with 120 points, led by junior Zhane Santiago's five first-place finishes. Santiago broke her record of 14.77 in the 100 hurdles from Thursday's trials with a winning time of 14.61. She also won the 100, 300 hurdles, long jump and triple jump and tied for fifth in the high jump. There was enough space in between events for her to recover for the next one.
"It's my first year actually doing 100. I felt her (Patton) on the side of me and it was just push and try my best just to finish," said Santiago, won the 100 in 12.53, edging Patton by 0.02 seconds. "I just had to get that lean at the end to help me win that event. It was a great race."
MILILANI BOYS WINS
Senior Andrew Longboy said his team's first team title since 2007 was for God and a teammate who passed away last month.
To the public, senior Sheryl Wolfe was the reigning Miss Hawai'i Teen United States and Hawai'i Teen Princess. To Longboy, Wolfe was the fellow high jumper whom he'd walk home with and whose smile lit up the field. Wolfe died last month after suffering a stroke. She tied for fourth in last year's OIA high jump.
"We all keep Sheryl in our thoughts," said Longboy, who won the high jump, placed fourth in the pole vault and ran on the sixth-place 4x400 team. "She lived two streets down from me and we walked home on occasion after practices. We were close.
"She had a smile that would light up the track field. This was for two people. One is for God and the second is for Sheryl."
Mililani freshmen Royce Yamane and Zach Carvalho finished second and third in the 3,000 run, the second-to-last event, to give the Trojans 14 points and enough separation from Radford in the team standings. Mililani finished with 66, Radford with 62.
"We knew we had a chance, we knew we could take it, but we had to push because of their strong 4x400 team," Longboy said. "We knew they had the last say in the point standings. We had to push early."
Mililani's Eric Roth, who won the pole vault, said "it was our top priority coming in to win OIA."
'Aiea, which finished third with 52, had two double winners in Lawrence Lagafuaina (shot put and discus) and Colin Honeker (1,500 and 3,000).
"I had some good guys that had throws that were close to mine," Lagafuaina said. "It kind of pushed me a little bit further."
Kaiser's Saint Thompson was the other double winner, winning the 200 and 400.
For meet results, see For the Record.