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MIL Championship Preview
May. 1, 2008
Girls race open, Baldwin favorite in boys
By RODNEY S. YAP
WAILUKU – On paper, the Maui Interscholastic League Track and Field Championships should be a runaway in the boys division with Baldwin repeating. The race for the team title in the girls division, however, is wide open between defending champion Baldwin, King Kekaulike, Lahainaluna and Maui High.
The Yamamoto Track & Field Facility will host Friday’s trials and Saturday’s finals, beginning with the field events at 4 p.m.
Insiders can expect a lot of scratches and jostling personnel in the trials, particularly in the field events where participants often established their best marks, which carries over to Saturday.
Depending on health issues and other strategies, multi-event runners often scratch from a race in the trials at check-in. All the various elements and factors are expected to contribute to Saturday’s finals results as league coaches look for ways to score from first to sixth place (10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1).
Photo: Keith Tsuji Baldwin's Joey Amescua and Kekaulike's Reid Hunter
Saturday also marks the final efforts of all senior participants, including Brittany Feiteira of Baldwin, a multi-state champion the last four years. The Hawaii High School Athletic Association State Track and Field Championships will be held at Mililani High School on May 16-17.
Feiteira has been nursing a leg injury the last two weeks and did not participate at the Trojans’ Blue & Gold Invitational on April 19. She is entered in the 100, 200 and 400 going into the trials, and normally runs the anchor leg in the 4x100 relay.
Due to the layoff, Feiteira may opt to save herself for state in two weeks and attempt to qualify in the 100 and 200 only. But her absence from the 400 would cost Baldwin between 8 and 10 points.
With the emergence of Seabury Hall freshman Kailea Tracy-Visintainer in the sprints, Feiteira will be pushed in all three races.
Besides Feiteira in the sprints, Baldwin will need a big supporting performance from sprinter Maile Thomas, vaulter/hurdler Asia Okamoto and jumpers Ayesha Pladera and Mari Cuaresma.
King Kekaulike won the girls team title at the Blue & Gold Invitational, racking up the bulk of its points in races 400 meters and longer. That is where triple-threat Bailey Massenburg has been dominate all year, owning the top-seeded times in the 800, 1,500 and 3,000.
Massenburg will get plenty of help from quartermilers Mia Minkler, Sophia Freeman and Alexa Foley. In the 3,000, teammate Kelsey Abellanida adds scoring depth.
Na Alii are weak in the hurdles, weights and jumps in comparison to Lahainaluna and Maui High. The Lunas' butter their bread will potential four-event winner Jordyn Kilgore in the long and triple jumps, plus the 100, 300 hurdles. Kilgore is the MIL’s best in all four events and at the Blue & Gold meet she added the high jump.
With the addition of Kacie Craig in the sprints/jumps and Megan Medeiros in the discus, the Lunas figure to do some damage.
Maui High is perhaps the deepest and most balanced team in the girls division. The Sabers get the job done quietly, in events like the pole vault where they have two of the top vaulters in Sheyenne Machida and Dallas Puaa. Meanwhile, Kristy Inamasu is the team’s jump specialist and Chelya Vega is versatile in the hurdles/jumps.
The other top individuals to keep an eye on are Kamehameha Maui’s Kaahumanu Rozet in the 1,500 and Seabury Hall’s Lea Lundblad in the 800 and 1,500.
St. Anthony's lone senior, Nicole Brown, has improved every week in the triple jump and 300 hurdles. She could surprise in either event.
Baldwin is favorite to win eight of the 16 events set for Saturday, with the potential of sweeping (1-2-3) the shot put, high jump, 100 and 200.
The Bears’ dominance starts in the ring events, where senior Sean Tesoro leads the league in the shot and discus. He is followed closely by teammate Leti Langi in the discus, and by Mana Rosa and Dylan Puaa in the shot put.
On the track, Baldwin has the top three sprinters in the 100 and 200 in Kalei Kamahele, Vance Rosete and John Vergara. There high jumpers are Lincoln Seto, Rowe Wilson and Mikey Marrs – all at 5 feet, 10 inches.
Judging by the way their respective times and distances have evolved from the beginning of the season, the Baldwin boys appear right on schedule for big things this weekend and then again at the state meet.
In addition, the Bears’ sport the state’s best 800 runner in Joey Amescua, who is also entered in the 1,500. In either event, however, Amescua’s fate is by no means sealed. He has been pushed all year by Reid Hunter of King Kekaulike and the rivalry is expected to continue this weekend.
The boys 400 is a wide open event, as no one in the MIL has stake their claim on the race. Kekaulike’s Jesse Henderson is the defending champion and early-season favorite, but Lahainaluna’s Matthew Lawless has come on strong in the last three weeks.
Speaking of Lunas, Bryson Williams tops the boys long and triple jumps, while teammate Dillon Soldwisch is No. 1 in the 3,000.
Maui High sophomore hurdler Joshua Diaz owns the best times in the 110 highs and 300 intermediates, but he will be challenged in the highs by part-time hurdler Lake Casco of Lahainaluna and by Wilson in the 300s.
St. Anthony's Billy Pacheco is a heavy favorite to win the pole vault, continuing the Trojans' successful history in the event. Pacheco's goal is to go 15 feet.
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