Kauaians reflect on state meet

Brevin Ako, a senior at Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama, said it was his last race and he had to give it everything.

“This is my last race for Kamehameha, and I had to give it my all,” Ako said, who is the son of Kauai residents Gerald and Mia Ako. “After being passed by Radford and another school, I just thought to myself, ‘Uh-oh’ and kicked, coming around the last turn to the straightaway. I just pushed through and caught up to the other teams. My kick is what helps me the most as I like to catch, rather than lead. I’m just stoked that our boys team won states.”

Ako was part of the Kamehameha-Kapalama boys 4×100 relay team, including teammates Quade “Laakea” Aiu, Joshua Spencer and Mario Kaluhiokalani, which topped the event on a 42.53 run, edging the Baldwin team by .24 second.

Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama soared through the boys competition, tallying 113 points at the Island Movers Hawaii High School Athletic Association state track and field championships, which wrapped up Saturday night at the War Memorial Stadium on Maui. The Kaiser High School girls topped the women’s title with 68 points, edging out the Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama women who finished with 34.50 points.

Kauai Interscholastic Federation teams Kapaa boys and Island School boys finished in a four-way tie for 24th place with two points apiece.

Kapaa High School’s 4×100 boys relay team, including Devin Green, Noah LaMadrid, Wylan Kamoku and Junard Mata finished fifth in the finals and earned the Warriors’ two points and medals for the runners after stopping the clocks at 44.07.

Coach Kahele Keawe was proud of the team’s work.

“They went in seeded 18th,” Keawe said. “They finished the preliminaries Friday in sixth place and ended fifth place overall Saturday night, edging out a Kaiser High School team who came in sixth. Coach Ron Velasco said they practiced their passing prior to going to Maui and it helped bring their time down.”

Keawe, who persistently camped out across the high jump pit during the KIF track and field season, noted that Heather Faretta, although not securing a medal at the state meet, cleared the bar with a personal best of five feet while Mata “came away with his consistent 5-10 mark.”

Mia Ako, Brevin’s mother, said other Kauai boys participating and doing well for the Kamehameha-Kapalama team included Kaeo Kruse, a Westside boy who finished second in the boys 1,500 meter run, and topped the boys 3,000 meter run, and Koa Kam, the son of Wendell and Ann Kam, who formally ran for Kauai High School before being accepted at Kamehameha Schools.

“Koa made the Friday qualifying but did not medal Saturday,” Mia said. “But the Ako ohana was cheering him on.”

Brevin, in addition to the boys 4×100 relay team, also finished sixth in the boys 400 meter dash, stopping the clock on a 52.24 run.

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