Punahou wins boys state track and field title
By Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer
It came down to the final race again to determine the team title.
This time, Punahou was determined to finish on top.
Leading by just 1.67 points going into the meet's final events, the Buffanblu won the 4x400-meter relay to capture the boys team title at tonight's Island Movers State Track & Field Championships at Kamehameha's Kunuiakea Stadium.
"With everything on the line, our goal in this race was to come in first," said Punahou's Kawika Pedrina. "Every other week, we're just going for times. This time, it's coming in first. Us being seniors, we had to go the hardest."
Punahou led Kamehameha, 60 to 58.33, going into the 4x400. Punahou held a slim lead over Kamehameha throughout the 4x400. The team of Pedrina, Tim Kamana, Brian Suite and KT Tuumalo won in 3:24.53. Kamehameha was second in 3:26.14.
In the final standings, Punahou edged Kamehameha, 70 to 66.33.
Saint Louis edged Punahou for the team title last year, needing a third-place finish in the 4x400 to secure the championship and edge the Buffanblu by 0.5 points in the standings.
"Coming in from last year, we lost to Saint Louis by half a point," Pedrina said. "To end it with a bang my senior yer, I couldn't ask for more."
It was a difficult finish for the Warriors, who tightened the points standings late in the meet with Isaiah Sato winning the 800 and his teammates finishing third and fourth in the same event. The Warriors also got a fifth in the 3,000 — the second to last race.
"We tried our hardest, we kept our heads up, we left everything on the field," said Kamehameha's Loa'a Pine, who ran on the 4x400.
Punahou's team of Kamana, Suite, Pedrina and Michael Zane set the boys record in the 4x100 relay with a time of 42.40. They lowered their record of 42.38 set in Friday's trials. Kaiwi Crabb won the discus for Punahou.
Neighbor Island runners also put on a stellar show in a meet that was at times rainy.
Jacob Edwards of Ka'u defended his state titles in the 110 and 300 hurdles and also won the triple jump.
"The goals I set was to win the hurdles again and the triple, and I medaled in long jump," Edwards said. "I'm very happy and doing what I love. I love high school track."
Fellow Big Island competitor Kelson Kawai of Kohala won the high jump after clearing 6 feet, 6 inches.
"That was only my second time attempting 6-6," Kawai said. "I knew I just had to get vertical. I cleared it and I was stoked."
Moses Fierro of Waimea won the 100 and defended his title in the 200. Teammate Torrey Santiago of won the long jump.
"I didn't expect to win that one," Fierro said of the 100. "I expected to give these guy as much competition as possible."
Fellow Kaua'i competitor Pierce Murphy of Island School ran at record-breaking paces in the 1,500 and 3,000. Murphy held off Jordan Thibodeau of Kamehameha to win the 1,500 in 4:02.1, beating Thibodeau by 0.6 seconds.
Murphy missed the 3,000 record by less than a second, winning in 8:53.47. The record is 8:52.90. His time in the 1,500 was faster than the record of 4:03.98, but since that race was hand timed due to a computer error, it was not considered a state record.
"I was on a good pace and I felt really good on the first half of the race," Murphy said of the 3,000. "Towards the second half I slowed a second or two. When I kept going hard, I think I held it up."
Ethan Kim of St. Anthony of Maui won the pole vault. Lawrence Lagafuaina of 'Aiea won the shot put and Kaiser's Saint Thompson won the 400.
Reach Stanley Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 535-2451.