Punahou sweeps state titles Buffanblu, Radford, Felix, Santiago set meet records
• Photo gallery: State Track and Field
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 event, the Buffanblu won the 4x400-meter relay to capture the boys team title at last night's Island Movers State Track & Field Championships at Kamehameha's Kūnuiākea Stadium.
"With everything on the line, our goal in this race was to come in first," said Punahou senior 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 for most of the race with Pedrina, Tim Kamana, Brian Suite and KT Tuumalo winning in 3:24.53. Kamehameha was second in 3:26.14.
In the final standings, Punahou tipped Kamehameha, 70 to 66.33.
Saint Louis needed a third-place finish in the 4x400 last year to edge Punahou by 0.5 points for the team title.
"He (Kamana) was behind coming down the back stretch and (then) took the lead," said Suite. "That just fired me up, showed how much heart he has and how much he cared for this team. I couldn't let him down. I just gave it my all."
Kamana was an alternate for the race and got the start after an injury to Michael Zane late in the meet. The start of the relay was then delayed for about 45 minutes due to an injured runner.
"I was always ready, but I can't say that I was expecting it to happen," Kamana said. "I knew I would have to step up and bring it home for my team."
It was a difficult finish for the Warriors, who did a team bonding on Thursday where they talked about their contributions to the team. They tightened the point standings late in the meet after Isaiah Sato, Alexander Ortega and Jordan Thibodeau finished first, third and fourth in the 800. Joshua Freitas was 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 Zane set the boys record in the 4x100 relay with a time of 42.20, lowering their record of 42.38 set in Friday's trials. Kaiwi Crabb won the discus for Punahou.
Jacob Edwards of Ka'ū 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."
Kelson Kawai of Kohala won the high jump after clearing 6 feet, 6 inches.
"I knew I just had to get vertical," Kawai said. "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 guys as much competition as possible."
Pierce Murphy of Island School from Kaua'i won two races in near record times. Murphy won 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.
Ethan Kim of St. Anthony won the pole vault. Lawrence Lagafuaina of 'Aiea won the shot put and Kaiser's Saint Thompson won the 400.