LIHUE — With the Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship qualifying looming this week, six Kauai girl athletes and two boys put in Hawaii High School Athletic Association state standards during Thursday’s KIF qualifying meet at Vidinha Stadium.
“The athletes have to start thinking,” said Richard Matsumoto, one of the Kauai High School coaches. “When the KIF qualifiers take place, athletes are able to enter just four events. In the qualifying meets, they can enter up to six events. Now, they have to figure out where they’re going to place their efforts.”
Olivia Omey’s participation, a runner from California, in the last KIF qualifying meet raised the bar in the events she ran in as an unattached runner, and was the sole runner to make a state-qualifying time in the 100-meter dash, tripping the clock at 12.83 seconds. Kauai’s top finishers, Mia Takekuma and Britney Ehia, tied at 13.25 seconds.
Omey coupled with another unattached runner, Caroline Stack, in the girls 400-meter dash, topping the field at 59.80 seconds and pushing Kapaa’s Heather Faretta to a 1:02.40 finish, a state-qualifying mark.
Ehia went on to make a state mark in the girls long jump on a leap of 16 feet, 3.25 inches, after falling short on the girls high jump, which was taken by Anne Cushnie of Island School with a leap of 4 feet, 8 inches.
“The girls came in late,” said Jamilee Jimenez, the Kauai coach in charge of the event. “Heather Faretta and Britney Ehia, both state contenders, came in at 4-10 along with Cushnie. All three failed, but Cushnie got a height at 4-08 while Faretta and Ehia both finished with no heights.”
Kauai’s Kay Bronwyn topped the 300-meter hurdles event with a 49.18 run for an individual state standard.
The Kauai girls A 4×100-meter relay (52.26) and the Kauai girls A 4×400 relay (4:19.02), and the Kapaa girls A 4×400 relay team (4:39.62), all earned state marks on the track.
Kauai’s Taegan Keep rebounded from her loss to Kapaa’s Paea Tafea during last week’s Rotary Track Meet to toss the discus 113 feet, 5.50 inches, to reclaim the lead over Tafea’s 109 feet, 0.50 inch toss, both throwers making the state cut.
Kauai’s Kane Casillas stopped the clock for top honors in the boys 3,000-meter run at 9:42.58, and Kauai’s Mark Tabalbag cleared 5 feet, 10 inches in the boys high jump, for a state standard.
The KIF championship qualifier takes place at Vidinha Stadium Thursday, starting at 4:30 p.m. The KIF Championship meet will be held April 28.