RECORDS CRUSHED IN FINAL MEET

RECORDS CRUSHED IN FINAL MEET

📅25 May 2013
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The boys finals of the 110m hurdles get underway as hundreds of athletes and fans came out to the Leo Palace Track to end the 2013 IIAAG sports season. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The boys finals of the 110m hurdles get underway as hundreds of athletes and fans came out to the Leo Palace Track to end the 2013 IIAAG sports season. (photo by Jesse Castro)

By Derek Mandell

After seven weeks of regular season competitions, it all came down to one night to claim bragging rights as top high school athletes and teams on the island. Friday evening at the Leo Palace Track athletes pushed their abilities to the limits as high school records were broken, personal bests were shattered, and when the dust all settled, the Guam High Panthers boys team and the John F. Kennedy Islanders girls were crowned as 2013 IIAAG Track & Field team champions.

The defending champion JFK’s boys team placed second overall and the GW Geckos earned the third spot in the standings. On the girls side, GW’s solid overall performances helped them claim second place, holding off the defending champion Guam High squad.

Guam High Aaron Whitaker

Guam High’s Aaron Whitaker

“Words can’t explain,” said Guam High’s Aaron Whitaker on winning the boys team championship. “My senior year, it’s just the best way to go out. I wanted to leave my mark here and the school definitely left its mark for sure. It’s indescribable feelings, honestly.”

The Panther senior definitely left his mark on the track, showing an impressive range, as he completed an unprecedented sweep of the 100 meter, 400 meter, and 800 meter runs. Whitaker also recently returned this week from the 2013 DODDs Pacific Far East Championships in Japan, where he broke the Far East 400m record with a time of 49.86 seconds.

JFK senior Naomi Blaz credited her teammates for their determination in winning the elusive team championship. Blaz led her team to victory by winning the triple jump, 400m, 300m hurdles, and was the anchor-leg of the winning 4x400m relay team.

McDonald's Athlete of the Meet Naomi Blaz

McDonald’s Athlete of the Meet Naomi Blaz

“I’m especially proud of my team and how they performed today from where they started,” said Blaz.  “We worked hard during the whole season and right when the first event started I knew from each of the girls’ eyes that they wanted it so bad and they were hungry for that championship.”

Records Broken

While the Islanders and Panthers earned the team championships, several individuals stood out in their respective events, with some even breaking high school records in the process.

Lianna Urbino, a junior at Simon Sanchez High School, threw a whopping 30.74 meters to win the girls javelin throw. According to officials, her mark broke the IIAAG high school record for the event.

Simon Sanchez's Lianna Urbino

Simon Sanchez’s Lianna Urbino

“Throughout the season, I slowly progressed each meet,” said Urbino. “I tried beating my personal best each meet and I did, except for one meet. When I started the season I was throwing 25 (meters), then I moved up to 27, 28, and the last meet I threw 29. Today I threw a 30. Javelin is definitely my specialty; I favor it so much.”

Friday’s victory was Urbino’s third consecutive year of winning the gold in the javelin. She said she did not expect to be where she is at.

“Miracles do happen because freshman year I barely qualified for All-Island (in the javelin). Then one meet my (personal record) jumped from a 18 to a 26.”

GW’s Ray Dionisio also stood out in the field events as he broke a longstanding record in the discus throw with a distance of 49.13 meters. He also went on to win the shot put in 12.19 meters later in the evening.

“If I’m not mistaken, the record was 47.89 meters by Justin Andre of Simon Sanchez,” said Dionisio, who in the process also shattered his personal record of 43.95 meters. “Honestly I’ve been working my whole year for this and made it a goal to break that record since the beginning of this year. I can safely say that I put in all the work I could and apparently it was enough.”

GW's Ray Dionisio

GW’s Ray Dionisio

“I want to thank God and my parents for being a really factor in why I threw far today. They’ve basically been my biggest supporters in all four years of high school,” Dionisio added.

JFK’s Blaz also ended the evening with a new record in the 400m. Her time of 60.26 seconds broke the record of 60.75 seconds held by Haley Savoy of Guam High in 2011. Blaz, who has run 60 seconds in international competitions, had her mind set on running under 60 seconds. She will have another chance of reaching her goal at the 2013 Oceania Championships in Tahiti in June.

“I was mad, but happy at the same time,” said Blaz on barely missing her goal. “I could’ve broken that 60 (second barrier), but I’m proud that I’m still hitting consistent times in my 400m and not going up and down. I’m done with the 61’s. I’m going to be hitting 59 sooner or later; I will break it in Tahiti!”

Event Recaps

JFK distance phenom John Aquino IV ruled the 1500m and 3000m events. His winning time in the 3000m (9:25.17) was short of his high school record, but was nearly 45 seconds ahead of his nearest competitors, Michael Murphy of JFK (10:10.33) and Southern’s Rainier Porras (10:12.99).

In the 1500m, Aquino ran 4:22.11 for the top spot and held off Okkodo’s Mark Yoshida (4:32.33) and Joseph Cook of Guam High (4:36.26).

Aria Perez-Theisen of JFK is the new queen of the middle distance on Guam as she won the 3000m (11:48.25), 1500m (5:25.78), and 800m (2:35.09). Her regular season dominance continued on to the championship meet as she seemed untouchable in all her events.

In a showdown many anticipated in the 800m, Aaron Whitaker overtakes John Aquino down the stretch for win to help the Panthers win the boys champioship. (photo by Jesse Castro)

In a showdown many anticipated in the 800m, Aaron Whitaker overtakes John Aquino down the stretch for the win to help the Panthers win the boys championship. (photo by Jesse Castro)

In the 100m, Whitaker won in 11.41 seconds with his teammates Mark Ecija (11.70) and Damian Dimmick (11.73) not far behind. In the 400m, Whitaker outclassed the field in 50.89 seconds, beating Ecija (51.34) and Okkodo senior John Acuna (53.20).

Whitaker had to come from behind in the final 100m to catch JFK’s Aquino, edging him at the finish line in 2 minutes and 3.19 seconds while Aquino hit a very respectable time of 2:03.82.

“All the credit goes to God, honestly. That’s where I draw my strength from; it was not me,” said Whitaker.

Sophomore sensation Raquel Walker of GW blew away the competition in the 100m (12.99), 200m (26.99), beating freshman standout Regine Tugade of JFK in both events (13.58 and 27.29). Walker also won the high jump with a height of 4 feet and 6 inches.

Alexandria Daughtry of GW ended her high school career as the top 100m hurdler (17.64) over JFK’s Chantay Benitez (17.81) and twin sister Sierra Daughtry (18.15). In the 110m hurdles, JFK’s Logan Stafford edged (16.66) out GW’s Aaron Rolinksi (16.74) for the top spot.

Guam High’s boys swept both 4x100m (45.28)  and 4x400m (3:38.13) relays. Okkodo’s 4x100m team was a second in 45.81 while Southern High’s 4x400m team was second in 3:43.31.

Keri Brooks of Guam High won the girls discus in 25.02 meters and Okkodo’s Frances De Leon won the girls shot put in 8.02 meters.

Paul Dimalanta of JFK defended his long jump title with a jump of 6.07 meters, while teammate Mark Macatuno took the triple jump with distance of 12.71 meters.

Tugade of JFK won the girls long jump with a distance of 4.71 meters, beating GW’s Walker who jumped 4.57m.

Next Stop: College

For some athletes, their track and field careers continue after high school and into the collegiate ranks. Graduating seniors Whitaker and Blaz have set their sights on taking this challenge and have been in talks with college teams in the U.S. mainland and Alaska.

“I’m getting looks from colleges so I told them I wasn’t going to choose until I’m done with track,” said Whitaker. “But I’m looking at going to University of Anchorage, Alaska and am going to pursue track, and if they have a soccer team I’m going to try to walk on, because that’s my first love.”

Blaz has competed in track and field since middle school and has been in the top tier throughout her whole high school career. She will be moving to Ohio this summer to live with her aunt and will be pursuing the next level at Ashland University.

“I’m going to miss running high school meets. I’m going to miss competing with everyone that’s my age and having that high school track feeling is what I’m going to miss.”

OFFICIAL RESULTS WILL BE POSTED HERE UPON RELEASE

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/

Islanders’ Aria Perez-Theisen lead the girls 3000m run from start to finish. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Islanders’ Aria Perez-Theisen lead the girls 3000m run from start to finish. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Guam High’s Dimitrius Willingham jumps 5’ 8” to take the gold in the high jump. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Guam High’s Marcus Domingo jumps 5’ 8” to take the gold in the high jump. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Juwan Jacobs jumped 6.04m in the boys long jump. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Juwan Jacobs jumped 6.04m in the boys long jump. (photo by Jesse Castro)

John Aquino wins gold in the 3000m and 1500m but comes up short in the 800m with the silver. (photo by Jesse Castro)

John Aquino wins gold in the 3000m and 1500m but comes up short in the 800m with the silver. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The FD 4x100 relay team hand off the baton in the second leg of the race. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The FD 4×100 relay team hand off the baton in the second leg of the race. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Southern Dolphins Lono Brady heaves the first attempt at the shot put. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Southern Dolphins Lono Brady heaves the first attempt at the shot put. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Naomi Blaz was the big star of the night, breaking the girls record in both the 400m and 300m hurdles. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Naomi Blaz was the big star of the night, breaking the girls record in both the 400m and 300m hurdles. (photo by Jesse Castro)

 

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