King Kekaulike’s Agapay Sets New Record in Boys LJ
By Rodney S. Yap
There is a reason the Maui Interscholastic League has never seen a 23-foot long jump — until Friday.
King Kekaulike High School’s Jansen Agapay landed the longest jump in MIL Track and Field Championship history by combining all of the elements — speed, power, timing and technique — on his third attempt.
The jump, immediately drew “oh’s” and “ah’s” from the small crowd of onlookers at the Satoki Yamamoto Track & Field Facility.
After stretching the measuring tape, long jump officials asked MIL head referee Allan Fernandez to sign the event sheet, before announcing: “New MIL record, 23 feet, 3-and-a quarter inches.”
The 5-foot, 6-inch Agapay had just gone one foot farther than his previous best this year. His 23-3.25 not only broke the league championship record of 22-10.5 set in 1994 by Baldwin’s Mark Fujiwara-Herbert, but is the state’s new No. 1 mark, surpassing the previous best of 23-0.75 held by Pearl City’s Daicorri Briscoe.
It was a feat so difficult to achieve, it had never been done in more than a half century of MIL championship competition.
Agapay’s record was one of three new marks established Friday, April 27, at the MIL Track and Field Championship Trials.
The other two new marks came in the girls division, with Baldwin pole vaulter Amber Kozaki shattering the meet record of 11-7 with the first ever 13-foot vault by a female in Hawaii. Maui High’s Christina Lotulelei also broke the discus record with a toss of 137-7.
Finals for the MIL Track and Field Championships are set for Saturday, April 27, beginning at 4 p.m.
When asked if he knew it was a record-breaking jump after he landed it, Agapay said: “It was hard to tell. It felt like it was a high 22-foot jump.”
Once the distance was announced, Agapay said, “I got excited . . . it feels good.”
“I was trying to catch that guy from Oahu that went 23 feet,” the senior and MIL all-star basketball player said.
“I thought he finished well into the pit for a change, usually he just sits in the pit and this time he reached his legs out into the pit,” said King Kekaulike jump coach Aris Banaag.
“He hit the board perfect, I asked him to move back his mark just the right amount after fouling his second attempt. We had the whole board on that jump, which was nice.”
Banaag said Agapay can still go farther.
“I’ve seen him go farther than 23, so I’m glad he finally did it in a meet,” said Banaag, who is also an assistant coach on the boys basketball team. “He’s been working hard this week and we’ve been working on our finish a lot so I’m happy for him.”
Besides the girls pole vault, the boys high jump finals were held Friday, and Agapay finished in a three-way tie for third place at 5-10 with teammate Jordan Romero and Maui Prep’s Troy Otto. Maui High’s Vincent Keomoungkoune won the event at 6-2 and Kamehameha Maui’s Davis Neizman was second at 6-0.
Agapay won the high jump last year at 6-1 and his brother, Jay-ar, won a state championship in the high jump in 2009 when he went 6-6.
Still not done, Agapay produced a season best in the triple jump at 44-01.25.
“My goal is to try and get a 44,” he said before the event started Friday.
Agapay leads the triple jump by more than three feet. Kamehameha Maui’s Ian Armitage is next at 40-11.25, followed by teammate Corry Brown at 40-6.75.
King Kekaulike continues to do a lot with a little team.
“We have a good group of kids that have been working really hard and it is all coming together at the right time, so I am real pleased with all of them and the effort they’ve put in,” said King Kekaulike boys head coach Jesse Henderson.
King Kekaulike’s Jake Jacobs has been the league’s top quarter-miler all year, posting the best time in the trials at 51.18, followed by Jamal Jones of KS-Maui in 52.15. Jones, however, has a season best of 50.52 compared to Jacobs’ 50.70.
Sprinter Jay Braun and middle-distance ace Keegan Gregg are Kekaulike’s other two horses. Braun, continues to fight through injuries, clocking a very impressive 11.01 in the 100, where he is currently No. 2 behind Baldwin’s Keelan Ewaliko’s 10.90. And Gregg’s owns the best 800 time at 1:59.41. He ran a qualifying time of 2:03.69 on Friday.
“There is really no limit to what they can do,” said Henderson. “We do the best that we can to get them ready and now the rest is up to them.”