The Scene: Patterson’s scores take dive, but still worthy of silver

  • Hilo High senior Sydney Patterson, a former gymnast, finished second at the state diving meet not even two years after taking up the sport.

You could call it a sudden rise and then a splash, but that sort of applies to every springboard dive.

This was a little different for Hilo High School senior Sydney Patterson a week ago at the state championship swimming and diving meet on Maui. The splash was a little too big, too many times, and she wound up placing second in the state meet, not exactly what she was looking for, but for a talented girl who gave up gymnastics almost a year-and-a half ago, bringing home silver in the state finals isn’t the worst thing that could happen.


She had been an active gymnast for 12 years until she decided to try something new, “but that’s not what I wanted to do in college,” she said.

So she contacted DJ Freedman, head coach of Hilo HI-Diving and gave it a try.

“This was a remarkable achievement,” said Freedman, “to get started in this less than a year-and-a-half ago, but to do this well against divers that had many years of training behind them, it was just very impressive.”

Patterson trained year-round with Freedman at his diving club at Kawamoto aquatics xenter, and also with Malia Naukana at Hilo High in the fall high school diving season.

“It was a collaborative effort,” Freedman said of Patterson’s work with her two coaches, “but the credit all goes to her. She was committed and worked for this.”

The awkward surprise came at the end. She knew it took a 380 score qualify for the state meet and that 400 and up was very good.

“My goal wasn’t to win at states,” she said, “my goal was to get over 400 consistently, or at least get there toward the end of the season.”

That didn’t take long. She scored over 400 in her first meet and topped out at 430 in a regular season meet at Kamehameha, then it all went the other way at Maui.

“It was my worst meet of the season,” she said of her final score of 380. “I wasn’t really nervous so much as just excited, but I went over too far — landed too much on my back and that was it.”

Others from Freedman’s club who were in the meet included Hilo senior Taryn Oda, (seventh), Alexis Allen from Parker (eighth), Keli Hanley, also from Hilo, (12th), and Kamehameha’s Starlyt Derasin who also competed in the state finals.

“I liked (diving) from the very start,” Patterson said. “It feels so good to get up in the air, kind of a floating feeling, and after that my goals were basically just to keep improving. In diving, it’a all on your, you don’t have a teammate to pass to or whatever, so its bout focus and staying disciplined.”

She is, at 17, the middle of three children, which includes two soccer-playing brothers, Riley, 18 and Parker, 14.

Freedman’s diving team meets weekdays at Kawamoto from 3:45 until 5:30 pm. For more information, contact him at

A Special Golf Tournament

It has been 41 consecutive years that one of the most meaningful one-day golf tournaments has operated on the Big Island, and with all manner of tournaments occurring virtually every weekend, this would be a good time to find a playing partner and sign up for an important community involvement tourney March 15 at Waikoloa Village Golf Course.

It is the Brantley Center tournament, the nonprofit organization that serves special needs adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the districts of North Hilo, Hamakua and South Kohala.

“It’s open to everyone, it’s being played on a pretty great course and we hope we can raise a lot of money for these people in need,” said Roland Kaneshiro of the tournament organizing committee.

Over the years, the tournament has received anywhere from 60 to 80 teams, but Kaneshiro said they are pushing hard to get up to 100 teams entered in the two-person scramble format.

Check-in is at 7 am with a 7:45 shotgun start.

The entry fee of $125 includes green fees, door prizes and a luncheon. If you roll in a hole-in-one, you go home with $10,000.

For more information, call the Brantley Center at 775.7245.

Run For Fun On The Clock

Get up and go, and don’t sweat the details.

The Big Island Road Runners have a fun run scheduled Sunday (Feb. 23) at 7:30 AM at Waikaumalo Park, at mile marker 19 on Highway19.

There will be two courses, one of four and one of seven miles, with the accent on fun. BIRR is inviting runners and walkers of all abilities on the Mamalahoa Highway. Cost is $5 for BIRR members or $10 for non-members, with no advanced sign-ups.

The concept is a noncompetitive run, but it will be timed. BIRR is under new leadership this year and says, “We look forward to building the club back up and providing quality running events throughout the year.”

Scholarship Possibilities

If you run and take care of business academically, you might want to sign up.

The Wayne “Big Dog” Joseph Scholarship Committee announced it will award four more $1,500 scholarships to Big Island graduating seniors who “best exemplify excellence in running, academics, volunteerism, and overall citizenship.”

That’s $6000 a year, so if you don’t qualify as the top applicant, you can still win. All applicants need to be or have been a member of a running team — preferably with an emphasis on long-distance running — and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher.


This not necessarily two boys and two girls, the Big Dog folks say the recipients will be “… selected from among all candidates through a rigorous evaluation process. To be selected means the student-athlete has demonstrated not only a willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to excel in his or her running activities, but also strives toward excellence in all aspects of school and community endeavors.”

Download an application on the Big Island RoadRunners website.

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