POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 07, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 03:41 p.m. HST, May 07, 2011
All in all, Kristine Felix did pretty well for someone who had a broken leg four months ago.
The Baldwin athlete broke her own state record in the pole vault with a height of 12 feet, 6 inches yesterday at the trials of the Island Movers/HHSAA State Track and Field Championships at War Memorial Stadium.
The junior didn't do it alone. Teammate Amber Kozaki matched Felix on the way up. Both broke Felix's previous state mark of 11-8, set in 2008, by topping the bar at 12-0.
Felix then launched at 12-6, contorting her way over the bar for the mark. Neither had cleared their new heights before, at meets or practice. Felix fractured her fibula at a pole vaulting camp. Months of grueling practice paid off last night.
"I never cleared 12-6 before, but I cleared 12 one time when we were getting ready for the pole vault summit in January," Felix said, recalling the trip to California, where she was injured. "It was hard trying to get back. Two months on crutches."
She wore a big brace on her leg and recovered with work in the pool.
"Amber pushed me every single day," Felix said.
Felix and Kozaki are former gymnasts and credited coach Linden Wada, a two-time former state champion pole vaulter at Baldwin.
"I used to be afraid of heights, actually," said Kozaki, who began learning the event a year ago. "We push each other."
The girls pole vault and the boys high jump were the only finals held yesterday.
Mark Thayer of St. Anthony won the high jump at 6-4, edging Ervan Jean Pierre of Mililani (6-4) and Travis Winters of Waiakea (6-2).
All other events will have finals today.
Kapolei sprinter Devin Jenkins did his part to keep a boisterous crowd at War Memorial Stadium festive. The junior broke the 200-meter dash state record with a time of 21.45 seconds. He topped his own previous best of 21.48.
The previous record of 21.89 was set by Radford's Christopher Rainey in '08. Bryan Clay did the 200 in 21.41 in '98, a wind-aided effort. Casey Flores of Konawaena did a hand-timed 21.2 in '96.
Jenkins was frustrated just a bit by gusts at the Wailuku facility. He ran a 10.66 100-meter dash, but with the wind above 2 mph, it was deemed wind-aided — not eligible to qualify for a state record.
"I would rather have it without the wind, so it's more legit," Jenkins said. "I did enough to make the finals."
The standing state mark in the 100 belongs to Shane Victorino, the current Philadelphia Phillies outfielder. Running for St. Anthony, he posted a 10.80 at the '99 state meet. Clayton Mahuka holds the hand-timed best (10.6) and Clay has a wind-aided best of 10.52.
Kahuku's ironwoman, Zhane Santiago, competed in six events. The three-time defending champ in the 300 hurdles came up just short in the event this time and is an alternate. Still, she will compete in five events for the Red Raiders in today's finals.
She had hoped to post strong numbers in the long jump and triple jump — and succeeded. However, in the long jump, her 18-01.25 is 2 inches shy of Konawaena's Lia Galdeira. They can attempt more long jumps in today's action, though yesterday's distances will carry over.
Saint Louis' Jeremy Tabuyo figures to help his team give favorite Punahou a serious challenge. Tabuyo had the second-best times in the 100 (10.87) and 400 (51.11), and third-best in the 200 (22.48). He also anchored their 4x100 team, giving the Saints an edge over Punahou in the trials.
"I popped up a little bit," Tabuyo said of his never-ending process of refining his form, especially out of the blocks.