Girls Varsity Track Team Win OIA Championship

Trey Yamamoto, Reporter

     Last month the Girls Varsity team made history, placing first in the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) Varsity Track and Field Championship Finals; the last time this was accomplished was in 2007. The competition lasted from April 18 to 20 and was hosted by MHS at John Kauinana Stadium where the Boys Varsity team also competed and placed sixth. Following the OIAs, the HHSAA (Hawai’i High School Athletic Association) State Championships was held on May 3 to 4 at the Maui War Memorial Stadium where the Girls Varsity team came in fourth place.

    “We’re all just like a big family at track, we’re all supporting each other, if someone doesn’t have like necessarily the best day, we’re still there, supporting them, keep(ing them) going, ‘cause as long as we can be there for eachother and we can all get through the meet, (and) that’s what brings us on top in the end,” said Senior Mackenzie Reed.

    When competing in both the OIA and HHSAA championships, teamwork served as a key component for success. It was the support and camaraderie from working as a team that allowed for the girls Varsity team to place high in the competition. “Just having others around you going through the same things helps. You’re all nervous and want to do your best, so you always have someone who you can talk to and relate with,” said Reed.

Girls varsity team captain Senior Ryanne Navarro added, “During OIAS I think the girls all worked together really well and because this was also our senior night, it was overall a great atmosphere to compete in as we all supported and cheered our teammates on. Also, the girls in running and field events did their part to help with the team points, many of them placing in finals.”

    As in any competition, the girls team faced their share of challenges, whether it be physical or mental. In order to place high in their events, the team needed to put in extra effort and push through adversity. “The weather was horrible, it was raining the whole time while I was jumping. And I got cold while waiting for my turn, so I mentally thought I couldn’t jump anymore ‘cause of how cold and tight my body was,” said Junior Zakia Kierstedt. “My mom and Coach Tucker motivated me to never give up even though it was raining.”

Reed added, “It was very tiring, and it was hard to push through. Running all out event after event can take a lot out of you and your body. Even though my body was aching, I had to just tell myself that I wasn’t tired, and that I’ll get through it.”

    While competing in their events, the boys team was also tasked with dealing with and overcoming a set of challenges. The injury of teammate Junior Isaiah Trice lowered morale and in turn negatively affected the team’s work ethic. “I personally felt like the whole team was affected by it, but one of our good runners, on the team ended up getting hurt and it kind of really affected all of us. ‘Cause you never want to see your friend or even someone on your team get hurt, it can kind of just ruin the mood and kind of can affect your performance and so I think that was kind of one of the impacts about OIAs,” said Boys varsity team captain Senior Noah Holcomb.

    It was the problems faced at the competitions that allowed for reflection in self-improvement. After competing, Reed learned how to better handle with running under pressure. “Don’t stress too much, make sure you have fun. Just being there at the state championship is a opportunity that a lot of people don’t have, so you should make sure that you make the most out of it. It’s good to focus, and get the job done, but before you know it, it will all be done, so you want to make sure that you make as many memories as you can so you have something to look back at years from now,” said Reed.

With the HHSAA competition marking an end to the track season, most runners will be preparing for the next cross-country season, which will begin in September.