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Hawaii Beat

For Friday, July 1, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:22 a.m. HST, Jul 1, 2011

Gesser joins Idaho coaching staff

Saint Louis graduate Jason Gesser has been hired as an assistant coach with the Idaho football team, the school announced Thursday.

Gesser, a former All-State quarterback for the Crusaders, will coach the Vandals' running backs and recruit in the northwest and Hawaii.

"He'll have some influence recruiting in Hawaii as well as the Seattle area, where he is a household name, and all over the northwest," Idaho head coach Robb Akey said in a release from the school. "And obviously he will be a leader and a mentor to not just the running backs but all the guys on our team as well."

Gesser was most recently the head coach and associate director of athletics at Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Wash. After graduating from Saint Louis, Gesser had a highly successful college career at Washington State. Akey was an assistant at WSU while Gesser was playing for the Cougars.

"It really is a dream come true working for a guy like that," Gesser said. "I've been trying for the last handful of years to see if he'd let me join his staff and I finally got him to bite."

Kono reaches Publinx quarterfinals

Honolulu golfer Stephanie Kono won both of her matches on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship in Bandon, Ore.

Kono, the 21st seed in the match-play bracket, will face Brianna Do this morning. The winner will play Cheyenne Woods or Annie Park in the semifinals in the afternoon.

Kono never trailed in her round-of-32 match against Hanule Seo and won 3 and 2.

In the round of 16, Kono lost the first hole against Catherine Dolan, but tied the match with a birdie on the par-3 fifth hole and took the lead with a par on No. 7. She then held on for a 2-and-1 win.

Mariel Galdiano of Pearl City was eliminated in the round of 32 with a 6-and-5 loss to Julie Yang. Galdiano, 13, will be the youngest player in next week's U.S. Women's Open in Colorado Springs, Colo. Kono has also qualified for the Open.

Wong earns fourth All-America honor became the latest publication to recognize former University of Hawaii standout Kolten Wong, naming him to its All-America team Thursday.

Wong, a second baseman, has earned the same honor from Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger, Baseball America and Perfect Game USA.

The junior from Hilo led the Rainbows (34-25) with a .378 batting average, seven home runs, 23 stolen bases and 42 walks this past season.

Wong, a first-round draft pick of St. Louis, is playing for the Quad City River Bandits, the Cardinals' Class A affiliate.

He hit leadoff in an 8-5 loss to Clinton on Thursday, finishing 2-for-2 with a double, two walks and three runs scored.

BYUH's Hwang an ITA All-Star

Brigham Young-Hawaii sophomore Annie Hwang has been named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Star team for the 2010-11 season.

Hwang, of Tainan City, Taiwan, went undefeated and finished as the top-ranked singles player in NCAA Division II.

She and the other All-Stars will be honored Aug. 27 in New York.

Also honored in New York will be Seasiders men's player Agnel Peter, the NCAA D-II winner of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.

Three win Special Olympics gold

Hawaii's Nick Pang, Louie Perry III and Jenny Bensman have won gold medals at the Special Olympics' World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

Pang, of Waipahu, took gold in the deadlift Thursday with a score of 125.0 and placed fourth in both the bench and squat. His total scores from the disciplines allowed him to also claim gold in combination 3 (265 points).

Also Thursday, Perry, of Pahoa, won the 3,000-meter run in 10:32.14.

On Tuesday, Bensman, of Kaneohe, won the 100-meter freestyle in 1:56.07.

The competition runs through Monday.

Bustos to give softball clinic

Operation Military Kids, in collaboration with Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Youth Sports and Got Bustos Clinics, will host a Military Youth Softball Clinic for girls ages 8-17 on Aug. 3 at Lynch Field Baseball Complex.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Crystl Bustos will run the clinic, which will be age and skill appropriate.

The clinic is free and open to youth girls from families in all branches of the service.

Call 956-4125 for more information.

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