Tiffany Ikeda-Simao was one of a dozen high school student athletes from in the state named to the prestigious Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Hall of Honor 2008, Monday. The Kaua‘i High School senior was one of three athletes from Neighbor Islands to be elected and was one of two to come from a public school.
Ikeda-Simao was surprised to be in such company that includes five from Punahou School — currently No. 1 in the nation for athletic programs — three from the Kamehameha Schools system, and one each from Lahainaluna School and ‘Iolani School.
“Wow, I didn’t know that,” Ikeda-Simao said. “That’s really good, actually.”
The other athlete to come out of public school was Tani Ader of Farrington High School.
With the selection, Ikeda-Simao and the 11 other student athletes will be inducted at the annual recognition banquet June 8 at the Waikiki Sheration where she will be presented a $2,000 scholarship as one of her awards.
The announcement caps an exciting weekend for Ikeda-Simao who rose from a second seed position to finish first in the Girls 100 Meter Dash at the Island Movers State/HHSAA Track and Field Championships held at Mililani High School over the weekend.
“I was just thinking ‘reach for the finish line,’” she said. “I don’t think any of us knew who the winner was until the announcement came a couple minutes later.”
Ikeda-Simao topped that event with a 12.38 run, and pocketed another first place finish for the Girls 4×100 relay team where she is the anchor leg runner. That team, consisted of Ikeda-Simao, Jamilee Jimenez, and the sisters Kathleen and Kelsey Cadiente, finished first with a time of 49.03, just missing the state record of 48.92 set by Mililani in 1999.
“It feels great. I didn’t think I was going to get in (to the Hall of Honor), but I figured I’d just try,” Ikeda-Simao said. “I think winning the 100 and the 4×100 relay helped.”
In addition to the two gold medals, Ikeda-Simao earned a silver medal in the Girls Triple Jump with a leap of 35 feet 31/4 inches, a distance short of her 36-foot leap in her debut at a Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation meet during the regular season.
She also finished fifth in the Girls Long Jump on a 16 feet, 7 inches jump.
She now has a total 12 state championship medals, accumulated from the four years she’s been competing.
She and other members of the girls and boys track teams were honored yesterday by the Kaua‘i County Council. Among her recent accomplishments, she said winning the 100 ranks at the top.
“I’ve always wanted to be No. 1,” she said. She came pretty close her freshmen year, finishing eighth in the state.
Her sophomore year, Ikeda-Simao lost out by .02 behind the winner to finish in second place. Last year, she fell to sixth place.
“She’s a hard worker,” said Kaua‘i head track coach Richard Matsumoto. “I wasn’t expecting the win, but I knew she was capable of it. The biggest surprise was when I looked back at the video and saw that she was pretty much got left at the blocks. It just goes to show that the training protocol we’ve been using works.”
Ikeda-Simao set a new KIF record for the triple jump this year with a jump of 37 feet, 11/2 inches. She also shares the KIF record for the 4×100 with Jimenez, Kathleen Cadiente and Auika Muragin.
Of Ikeda-Simao’s induction into the Hall of Honor, Matsumoto said: “I’m proud of her. It goes to show, that public or private school, if you do the work and have the desire, it’s got to come from your heart. And with Tiffany, it comes from the heart. She’s quiet, but she let’s her running do the talking.”
Kaua‘i’s girls track team finished in fourth place overall. First-place Kamehameha Schools Kapalama’s team included Ashlee Jimenez of Lihu‘e.
Joining Ikeda-Simao for the 2008 class are Ader (Farrington), Lake Casco (Lahainaluna), Daniel Chow (Punahou), Kanani Herring (Kamehameha-Kapalama), Jeeter Ishida (Punahou), Dara Pagaduan (Kamehameha-Kapalama), Erik Shoji (Punahou), Jamie Smith (‘Iolani), Kolten Wong (Kamehameha-Hawai‘i) and Michelle Yoshida (Punahou).
Other KIF athletes who submitted applications to the Hall of Honor include John Beralas of Kapa‘a, Jamilee Jimenez and Andrew Renaud, both of Kaua‘i High School.
Of the recent KIF inductees, Futi Tavana of Kaua‘i was inducted in 2005 and Kenny Estes of Waimea High School in 2006.
The Hawai‘i High School Hall of Honor was established in 1982 by the Nissan Motor Corp. in Hawai‘i to recognize athletic excellence and accomplishments of Hawai‘i’s high school athletes.
Twelve student athletes are selected for induction by an independent selection committee. Along with the induction into the Hall of Honor, each student athlete receives a $2,000 college scholarship which can be used to offset college education expenses.
Criteria used to select an inductee include athletic achievement. Other factors considered include: Contributions to the team, versatility in sports, sportsmanship and dedication, character and behavior on and off the playing field, standards as a student, role in school activities outside sports and involvement in the community.
Ikeda-Simao plans on attending the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa this fall.
Family: Parents Sandy Ikeda and Daniel Simao; brothers Austin, Cameron, Braden
100 Meter Dash 13.2 — 2nd KIF
200 Meter Dash 27.3 — 1st KIF
4×100 Relay 51.8 — 1st KIF
100 Meter Dash 12:90 — 1st KIF; 13.36 — 2nd state
200 Meter Dash 26:69 — 1st KIF; 26.81 — 3rd state
100 Meter Dash 12.85 — 1st KIF — 6th state
200 Meter Dash 27.40 — 1st KIF — 5th state
4×100 Relay 50.75 — 1st KIF; 49.56 — 2nd state
Long Jump 15 11 3/4 — 2nd KIF
100 Meter Dash 12:38 — 1st KIF; 12.38 — 1st state
4×100 Relay 50.75 — 1st KIF; 49.03 — 1st state
Long Jump 17 7 1/2 — 2nd KIF; 16 7 — 5th states
Triple Jump 37 1 1/2 — 1st KIF; 35 3 1/4 — 2nd state