POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 5, 2011
Kahuku Track, soccer GPA: 3.0 College choice: Hawaii
At the center of it all, Zhane Santiago has an unlimited supply of hope.
Zhane, named by her father after a popular vocal group of the 1980s, has earned her own place. A four-time OIA Red East All-Star in soccer, she helped lead the Kahuku Red Raiders to a third-place finish in last season’s state championships.
On the track, she made a much more indelible mark. Her dedication began long ago under the watchful eye of her father, Louis, and her mom, Anue. Zhane still doesn’t consider herself a master of the many nuances of racing as a hurdler and jumper, but her skill and studying paid off with seven gold medals. Three times, she won the state 100-meter hurdles, twice she took the triple jump and twice more the long jump. She was the enduring backbone of the Lady Raiders’ squad, taking on as many as six events to help her team score points.
Santiago stays busy on Sundays at Hope Chapel Kahuku’s children’s church, setting up and breaking down and teaching lessons to keiki.
In between all the practices, matches and meets, she put extra time into practicing with Leahi Soccer Club, making the long commute from Hauula to Honolulu every week, thanks to her No. 1 chauffeur, Anue. The extra work paid off with a soccer scholarship offer from the University of Hawaii, where she will play next season.
Santiago had a 3.0 GPA and plans to study to become an athletic trainer or physical therapist so she can return to Kahuku and give back to her alma mater. The voyage to success was made sweeter by the presence of her parents; Louis is her team’s coach, and Anue works on campus.
“He’s always helped me when I need it. I love having my dad here,” she said. “I’m grateful to have my mom and dad every step of the way. I’ve gotten to share a lot of my memories with them.”