Kozaki Continues to Raise the Bar in Girls Pole Vault
By Rodney S. Yap
Baldwin High School’s Amber Kozaki continued her record-breaking tour of the Maui Interscholastic League track and field season Friday at the Victorino Ohana Invitational trials.
Kozaki broke the meet record in the girls long jump with a distance of 17 feet, 7 inches before tackling the pole vault, where she raised her personal best by one inch to 12 feet, 7 inches — another meet record. She later took three attempts at 13 feet but failed.
The Baldwin senior broke meet records in her field specialties — long jump and pole vault — at the Ken Kamakea Meet last week and the Yamamoto Invitational the week before that.
She was reportedly ranked No. 18 in the nation among prep female vaulters following her record-breaking feat of 12-1 at Yamamoto on March 22. At that time she was using a boys pole which she had never used before.
Kozaki currently leads the state in the girls long jump at 17-10.75 and now 12-7 in the vault. Punahou’s Tori Houston has the next best long jump at 17-3, and Punahou’s Sammy Marumoto is the only other 12-foot female vaulter. The next eight best heights are between 8-6 and 10 feet.
Finals of the Victorno Ohana Invitational Track & Field Meet will be held Saturday, April 6, at the Satoki Yamamoto Track & Field Facility, beginning at 4 p.m.
Baldwin High School is the defending girls champion, while Maui High is the defending boys champion.
The Victorino Ohana Invitational is hosted by St. Anthony Junior-Senior High School and sponsored by former St. Anthony track sensation Shane Victorino.
The former state champion and record-holder is now playing professional baseball with the Boston Red Sox. His parents, Mike and Joycelyn, annually present the trophies and take pictures with the winning teams and selected individuals.