Waiakea pole vaulters smash stadium record; win trophies on Maui

Courtesy photo Analissa Paressa holds her trophy on Wednesday night at War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku, Maui.

Courtesy photo Shelbey Cabais-Fernandez poses with the ribbon and trophy he won at the MIL Ken Kamakea Invite in Wailuku, Maui.

WAILUKU, Maui — Waiakea pole vaulters Shelbey Cabais-Fernandez and Analissa Paressa have been smashing PRs and stadium records at Big Island Interscholastic Federation (BIIF) meets all season, and took their talents to Maui this week, where they blew away the competition and received special honors at War Memorial Stadiums.

The Warriors attended the Maui Interscholastic Association (MIL) Ken Kamakea Invite and competed among a field of all of Maui’s high schools — including KS-Maui, Lahainaluna High, King Kekaulike High, Baldwin High, Seabury Hall, Maui Prep and more.


Paressa set a new stadium record for War Memorial, clearing a mark of 12’6 to surpass her previous PR of 11’7. Both she and Cabais-Fernandez placed first in their events, and were each awarded trophies and named ‘Most Outstanding’ male and female athletes for all field events.

“Rarely do you see girls at this level hit the mark of 12 feet,” WHS pole vault coach Sherman Viernes said. “It’s incredible.”

Waiakea’s Tallen Soi also PR’d, clearing 13’6 to place third in the boys’ event — and teammate Ausity Urubio PR’d at nine feet to place fourth among the girls.

Despite all of their successes at the meet, Viernes and his athletes did not expect to return home with special honors. The Warriors were about to leave the meet when a man pulled Viernes aside and told him something along the lines of “stick around, you’re gonna like this.”

“I tell him ‘no, we cannot go any place because I gotta pack up and we don’t live here,’” Viernes said. “But other coaches helped me pack up all of my poles, all of that stuff, because ‘something big’s gonna happen.’”

Thankfully, they did stick around, and received their awards.

It was not the only time that the Warriors were celebrated during their trip. Viernes said that as Paressa was attempting to beat the stadium record, the meet’s other events were put on hold and the other athletes came to watch and cheer her on. The pilot of their flight back to Hilo from Kahului also made an announcement to the plane about the Warriors’ accomplishments, and their oversized baggage fees for their poles were waived.

Pole vault events were cancelled for Saturday’s BIIF meet in Waimea. BIIF pole vaulting will resume at the upcoming meet this coming Saturday at Kea‘au High.

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