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Rally of Champions recognizes teams’ efforts

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Winner and a movie?

That is the theme of today’s Rally of Champions /Sunset on the Beach event at Queen’s Surf Beach in Waikiki.

"It’s a way of letting everyone know we appreciate their accomplishments," Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said of the celebration that includes an autograph session, video highlights and the movie "Field of Dreams."

The featured guests are:

» the Hawaii Pacific University softball team, which won the NCAA Division II national championship;

» the University of Hawaii softball team, which won the Western Athletic Conference’s regular-season and tournament titles, and advanced to the College World Series;

» the UH baseball team, which won the WAC tournament;

» the Campbell and Pac-Five softball teams, which won the state’s Division I and Division II titles, respectively;

» the Punahou boys volleyball team, ranked No. 1 nationally;

» the HPU cheer and dance team, the Division II national champion;

» the Kamehameha varsity cheerleaders, six-time national champions.

Amber Kaufman, who won the high jump at the NCAA meet, is competing on the mainland.

"I’m very excited," HPU outfielder Ciera Senas said. "This is a rally where our families can come, and we’ll be honored in front of them."

Hannemann said a parade was considered. But it was decided it would be more practical to hold a pep-rally-like event utilizing the stage, screen and seats used for Sunset on the Beach shows.

The Honolulu County Sports Commission is helping to finance the rally.

Because of the time of year, several team members will not attend.

"The show must go on," Hannemann said, noting every group will be represented.

The program will include a ceremony "to honor each of them individually."

He added: "This will be good for the community to come out and celebrate our champions."

The autograph session begins at 5:45 p.m. The ceremony starts about 7:15 p.m.


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