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Rugby combine picks 14 from Hawaii

Fourteen rugby players from Hawaii were selected for USA Tomahawks national 7s team and the new AMNRL pro franchise team on Maui through a combine process held earlier this month at the War Memorial Complex in Wailuku and the University of Hawaii’s Ching Field.

Qualifying for both teams were Mone Mamao, Kelly McGill and Andrew Malafu. Mike Tuala and Tomasi Fuller qualified for AMNRL Hawaii and provisionally for the USA Tomahawks, while Touanga Talakai qualified for AMNRL Hawaii and its Australia Rugby League Season Abroad Program.

Also qualifying for the AMNRL Hawaii team were Malakai Vaka, Sam Tolua’u, Palauni Seumanutafa, Kingsley Le’i, Joshua Rice, Mata Mamao, Jake Heun and Jayson Rego.

In addition, Vili Tolata’u, was named a finalist for Game Plan Academy — NZRFU Rugby Academy scholarship for training in New Zealand.

Two players from Hawaii are current members of the USA Tomahawks, which competed in last December’s Atlantic Cup of Rugby League test matches. Pila Taufa and Vaka Manupuna helped the U.S. retain the Atlantic Cup and both are expected to make the roster for the U.S. that will compete at September’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Maui High product Andrew Malafu, playing professionally, also is a member of the USA Tomahawks.

Marathon AJA baseball games

Baseball has been described as the "perfect" game because it has the potential not to end.

Eternity seemed possible in the Oahu AJA Baseball League game earlier this month between Pearl City and McCully. It lasted 18 innings, started at Ala Wai field on a Thursday and was completed at Hans L’Orange on the following Monday with Pearl City winning 9-8.

Manoa led 8-4 with two outs in the top of the ninth with a runner on first when Pearl City used a walk, a hit batsman, a single and a three-run double by Kevin Fujioka to tie it. The game was suspended after the top of the 14th and, when it resumed four days later, Pearl City scored the eventual game-winner in the top of the 18th on Bryant Katahura’s RBI single.

Daven Hermosura, who entered the game in the top of the 15th, threw five scoreless innings, giving up just one hit, to earn the win. In the marathon, both lead-off batters went to the plate nine times — Manoa’s Austin Sloan struck out 13 batters in 13 innings — the teams combined for 149 at-bats.

Pearl City continued its marathon adventure that same Monday when it met McCully for a berth in the AJA Championship Tournament. That game went 14 innings before being suspended — two days later, McCully won 3-2 in the 17th.

This past Wednesday, Waialae defeated McCully 5-4 as Paul Nishimura drove in Chad Itokazu with a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth inning. Waialae advances to the 76th Hawaii State AJA Baseball Championship Tournament in Hilo on April 2-3, representing Oahu for the third time in the past four years.

Mau wins at swim sectional

Kamehameha Swim Club’s Jasmine Mau won the 50 freestyle in the 15-16 girls, helping KSC to 11th place out of 154 teams at last week’s Speedo Northwest Short Course Sectional Championships at Federal Way, Wash.

Mau was timed in 23.35 seconds, one of 13 Hawaii state swimming records set by KSC. The 11th-place finish was the highest ever for a Hawaii swim club at sectionals.

Mau also anchored two relay teams that broke two 15-16 girls state records, the 400 free with Summer Harrison, Anu Nihipali, and Natsuko Muranaka; and the 400 medley with Kira Fox, Nihipali and Harrison that shattered the state record by 10 seconds.

Also, KSC’s Kacy Johnson finished fourth in the men’s 100 back.

The Lahaina Swim Club finished tied for 39th. Also competing from Hawaii, but not scoring, were: Hawaii Swimming Club, Hilo Aquatic Club, Punahou Aquatics, Rainbow Aquatics, South Maui Sharks, Sunshine Aquatics Swim Club and Swim Kauai Aquatics.

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