KS Maui track team shows mettle for MIL medals

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Photo by Kalani Ruidas

Sophomore Kala'i Yap flies over the high hurdles at the 2011 Maui Interscholastic League Track and Field Championships at War Memorial Stadium, April 30. The Mau Warriors girls team placed third, and the boys team placed second overall.

By Kalani Ruidas, staff writer

The KS Maui track and field team competed for titles and a last chance to qualify for the state championships last night, April 30, in the  Maui Interscholastic League championship meet.

The Warriors’ combination of hard work and training this season paid off in the MIL championship with two first-place finishes and multiple silver and bronze medals for both team and individual competitors.

The highlight of the night was the 1,600-meter relay run by Jared Toba, Billy Ayakawa, Tyler MacArthur and Jordan Nauka. The entire rest of the team stood at the side of the track to cheer on the runners. Anchor Jordan Nauka crossed the finish line first with the team’s time of 3:39.80.

“Our team ran perfectly in sync,” Nauka said.

Sophomore Billy Ayakawa said, “I’m excited for states, we have a good shot.”

The boys relay teams also placed second in the 400-meter relay.

The girls relay teams placed second in the 400-meter relay and third in the 1,600-meter relay.

“Our runners are finishing strong, like we’ve been telling them this whole season. Everyone’s peaking at the right time,” Coach Bala Spencer said.

Overall, the girls team finished third with 66 points. The boys were second with 77 points.

In addition to the team awards, eight students earned MIL medals in their respective events.

Raven Poepoe, sophomore, placed second in high jump with a height of 4′ 10″.

Jessi Bista, senior,  placed second in shot put with a distance of 31′ 9″.

Diondra Gomes, senior, placed third in the discus throw with a distance of 106′ 4″.

Kaimalu Stanich, senior, placed first in the 100-meter dash with a time of 00:11.20. Stanich also placed second for long jump with a distance of 20′ 4″.

Jordan Nauka, junior, placed second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 00:23.13.

Daylan Machado, junior, placed third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 00:23.23.

Nainoa Bright, senior, placed second in shot put with a distance of 49′ 2.5″.

Kai Ka’aukai placed third in the discus throw with a distance of 137′ 10″.

Coach Bala said that he hopes more students will be involved in track next year, as he has more planned for them.

He said he was also proud of his team’s improvement over the season. He cited junior Makana Pundyke who shaved almost a full second off her time in the 200-meter dash.

“I ran well tonight, but I know I could have done better. I’ll be training very hard for states,” Pundyke said. She has qualified for the 100-meter and 200-meter dash as well as the 4 x 1 relay.

The state championship meet will be held at War Memorial Stadium Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7.