Tuesday | December 12, 2017
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Big Island college report: Ka’u graduate clears final hurdles

During his productive career, Wyoming senior Jacob Edwards was a record-setter in the hurdles for both the indoor and outdoor seasons, soaring high and running fast to leave a couple of all-time marks at the school.

Last year, the 2010 Ka‘u graduate ran a time of 14.74 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles to place 10th in Cowboy history.

He improved that mark with a 14.58 at his school’s Cowpoke Open in May. But he was fifth; four others were faster.

Not everyone can be No. 1. The key for most events is to not be No. 9 in the preliminaries. The finals host an eight-man field.

In the Mountain West Conference outdoor track and field championships last Saturday in the Cowboys’ Laramie back yard, Edwards finished ninth in the 110 hurdles in 14.65. The guy ahead of him was Air Force’s Casey Riggs in 14.64.

Riggs advanced to the finals, as did Wyoming freshman Jordan Charles, who placed second in 14.03.

Charles advanced to the NCAA West Regional preliminary qualifiers, which runs May 29-31 at Fayetteville, Ark., along with seven teammates. Edwards, a former Hawaii High School Athletic Association champion, wasn’t among them.

To reach the NCAA’s East or West preliminary meet, an athlete must be ranked in the region’s top 48 of his event. From there, the top 12 finishers in each event at the two regional meets will receive an invitation to the NCAA Championships on June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.

Edwards established a school indoor record as second-best in the 60-meter hurdles as a junior. He ran an 8.13 last season to set his second all-time UW mark in school history.

Maybe Charles, his young Cowboy teammate, will erase and push Edwards’ marks out of the record books one day.

But there’s something that will never be erased. Edwards is majoring in sociology. And he’s been an Academic All-MWC, a mark that lasts a lifetime.

Track and field

• Carleton College senior discus thrower Kao Sutton (Kamehameha 2010) will compete in the NCAA Division III outdoor track and field championships, which run through Saturday at Northfield, Minn.

Sutton makes her second trip to nationals as a senior after earning All-American honors by placing fourth in the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

On Saturday, she will compete in the discus as the No. 3 seed, after recording a school-record distance of 46.71 meters earlier in the season.


• UH sophomore safety Damien Packer (Keaau, 2012) was recently awarded a scholarship, fulfilling his promise to his papa to make it at a Division I school.

His grandfather, Edwin Villanueva, passed away in his senior at Keaau, and Packer turned down potential small-college offers to chase his dream. The full-ride also takes a financial burden off his mom, Angela Parker.

In nine games for the Rainbow Warriors (1-11) last season, Packer had four tackles, including two solo.


• UH senior Nainoa Calip (Kamehameha, 2009) completed his career with a round of success, finishing tied for second at the Big West championships last month in Irvine, Calif., and being named all-conference honorable mention.

Calip was in contention for the title, but the final round was canceled due to inclement weather. He shot a 3-under 69-72—141 total, and placed five strokes back of UC Davis’ Matt Hansen.

He was UH’s team leader in four of the six spring tournaments, and finished his senior year with a team-best 72.8 scoring average.

In four seasons at UH, Calip competed in 36 tournaments with a 74.8 scoring average. He posted Top 25 finishes 10 times, including four Top 10s.

• Washington State sophomore Nani Yanagi (Waiakea, 2011) finished in a tie for 39th place at the Pac-12 championships last month at Corvallis, Ore. She had a 13-over 76-76-77—229 total, 18 strokes behind medalist Alison Lee, from UCLA.

• Gonzaga freshman Ciera Min (Waiakea, 2013) tied for 87th at the NCAA Division I West Regional with a 23-over 78-77-84—239 total at the Tumble Creek Club at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Wash., earlier this month.

At the West Coast Conference championship in late April, Min tied for 12th with a 229 total, and earned All-WCC first team honors.


• Oklahoma Baptist junior Ridge Hoopii-Haslam (Hilo, 2011) and his Bison teammates will be the top seed in the NAIA World Series, taking on the winner between No. 8 Southern Poly and No. 9 Tabor on Saturday in Lewiston, Idaho.

In 60 games and 202 at-bats, Hoopii-Haslam is batting .351 with 10 homers, 53 RBIs, and has a .415 on-base percentage for the Bison (53-7).

To submit a candidate for a Big Island College Report feature, email kjakahi@hawaiitribune-herald.com.


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