Feiteira, Kozaki Jump Into Record Books at Punahou
By Rodney S. Yap
They are two of the state’s best multi-event athletes and Baldwin High School’s best pole vaulters ever.
Tyler Feiteira and Amber Kozaki solidified their respective place in history Saturday, with wins in the boys and girls pole vault at the 2013 Punahou Relays.
The annual meet is held on Alexander Field on the Buffanblu campus in Makiki.
Feiteira won the boys pole vault by clearing 14 feet, 6 inches on his second attempt. Punahou’s Bryson Wong was second at 14-0, followed by St. Anthony’s Christopher Rickard’s 13-6 — a new personal best for the Trojan junior.
Feiteira’s winning height was five inches higher than his previous best and broke the school’s record of 14-3, held by Feiteira’s coach and former Baldwin vaulter Linden Wada in 2001.
“I’m very proud of him,” Wada said of Feiteira’s 14-6, currently the state’s No. 1 jump. “I joked with him that I was sad that he broke my record, but it’s much better than if I wasn’t coaching him.”
Feiteira said the competition and hot conditions helped to push him. Normally, the senior vaults while hurdling and long jumping, where is ranked among the best in the highs, intermediates and long jump.
“It was a little weird to just pole vault, but I was blessed to be able to jump that height,” Feiteira explained. “It felt pretty high, but before I jumped I left it in God’s hands.
“I’m pretty happy, but nothing counts until the state meet,” he added.
For classmate Kozaki, who has been on a record-breaking tour each week, Punahou was her best meet of the year, Wada said.
“Amber did so good, her 12-6 broke the meet record by one foot,” her coach noted. “The record was held by (Baldwin’s) Kristine Felix, who last year went 11-6. She’s never vaulted as good as she did today. it was her best ever. Her technique was really good. We worked really hard during he week to get her technique a little better and it worked.”
Punahou junior Sandy Marumoto was second at 12 feet, followed by Kaiser freshman Rachel Craft at 10-6.
Wada said Kozaki, who’s 12-7 at the Victorino Invitational earlier this month is the best vault by a female in Hawaii, is still scratching the surface of her potential.
“She’s hoping to go 13-3 or 13-4. I’m hoping she goes 13-7 or 13-8,” said Wada, a two-time state champion (2001-2002). “I think she can go really high, we just have to tweak a few more things. I can see her getting 13 feet out of the way this week and going high 13s.”
Wada estimates Kozaki was five or six inches above the bar on her second attempt at 12-9. She is also among the state’s best in the girls long jump and 100-meter dash.
Feiteira made two attempts at 15-1 before calling it quits. His 14-6 is the best jump by a Maui Interscholastic League vaulter since St. Anthony’s Ethan Kim went 14-6 in 2011.
Vaulters from the MIL have won three of the last four state pole vault titles in both the boys and girls divisions.
In other MIL news from the Punahou Relays:
King Kekaulike’s Jansen Agapay won the long jump in 21-11.75, finished second in the triple jump (44-1) and was fifth in the high jump (6-0). Teammate Corry Brown was fifth in the triple jump (41-0.25).
St. Anthony’s Jill Capistran was fifth in the high jump (4-8) and Kaytlin Kim was sixth in the girls discus (112-11).
King Kekaulike showed well in the relays, finishing second to Punahou in the boys 4×400 relay, 3:22.84 to 3:24.82. Kekaulike also finished third in the boys 4×100 relay in 43.22, behind winner KS-Kapalama’s 43.95 and runner-up Radford’s 43.06. Na Alii previous best was 3:32.05 and 44.14, respectively.
Seabury Hall took a handful of athletes to Waimea on the Big Island for the BIIF Track and Field Meet #4 at Hawaii Preparatory Academy.
Sprinter Alyssa Bettendorf did not compete, but classmate Dakota Grossman did, grabbing a pair of first-place finishes in the 400 and 3,000 (10:49.18).
The Spartans finished fourth in the team scoring with 57 points.
Seabury went 1-2 in the girls 400 with Dakota Grossman winning in 60.81, followed by Kiana Smith in 63.13. Grossman finished third in the 800 in 2:23.97, behind Hilo’s Carmen Garson-Shumway (2:19.98) and HPA’s Zoe Sims (2:18.16). Smith of Seabury was fourth in 2:25.95 and sixth in the 3,000 (12:35.03).
Sophomore Christy Fell was third in the 100 hurdles (16.07), third in the 300 hurdles (48.79), fourth in the long jump (15-11) and fifth in the triple jump (32-03.75).
Seabury Hall junior Jacob Higa placed second in the boys 800 in 2:02.01, behind Hawaii Prep’s Kellen Gillins who won in 2:00.87.