Vallejo High School's Lovina Akuola lets loose with her third discus throw of the day in Thursday's meet between American Canyon and Hogan at Corbus Field. (Mike Jory/Times-Herald)
Akauola propels Apaches in league meet By Jose San Mateo / Times-Herald
Vallejo High School junior Lovina Akauola's varied sporting interests have taken her to the Apaches basketball team and even club rugby. Yet arguably her best decision may have been picking up track and field this spring.
This is my first year throwing and I still don't know what I'm doing now, Akauola said. I'm relying on my coaches to help me.
Akauola won both of her throwing events at a dual meet with Hogan and American Canyon at Corbus Field on Thursday afternoon to help Vallejo girls and boys sweep with scores of 88-6 and 97-21, respectively. Her shot put throw of 39 feet,
4 inches was a personal best and is currently third in the Sac-Joaquin Section, according to Athletic.net, a website that helps track athletes across the state.
Coach Wilson has been trying to get me to come out here since my freshman year, Akauola said. I'm very surprised. I never expected to be this good.
Only the top three placers at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet at Hughes Stadium on May 26. That throw is the third best in the section behind Rebecca Hammar (44-7) of Buhach Colony and Brianna French (41-8) out of Vacaville, according to the site.
Akauola also won the discus with a throw of 103-7, which was far off from her personal best of 120-5. Vallejo head coach Mike Wilson said that it's entirely possible for her to add the extra
5 feet, which would qualify her for state. She currently sits in fifth place.
On the boys side, Vallejo's Nigel Frazier Advertisement Vallejo Nissan also won both of his throwing events with a personal best 45-5 in shot put and a 118-7 in the discus.
With the Meet of Champions at Hughes Stadium looming on Saturday, Wilson limited the number of events for many of his top runners. The Apaches 4-by-400 team qualified for the event along with Ziel Davis in the 100-meter hurdles and Akauola in the shot put and discus.
We're really banking a lot of money on the 4-by-400 this season in sections this year, Wilson said.
Sprinter Travis Lee opted out of the 100- and 400-meter dashes and only ran the 4-by-100 relay and the 200. He won the 4-by-100 relay (43.5) with Mario Smith, Elmo Caldwell and Cedric Braziel and won the 200 with a time of 21.80. Lee will be running in the 4-by-400 at Hughes along with Brazeil, Caldwell and Daveon Overton.
Davis, a state qualifier the past two seasons, won the 100-meter hurdles with time of 16.58 and the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 56.88. She also ran the 4-by-100 meter relay (54.71) uncontested with Zina Davis, Vanessa Miller and Kenaysia Weaver.
Miller also won the 200-meter with a time of 27.04 and Xu Luping won the 800-meter with a time of 3:00.34. Reyanna Stowes also won the triple jump with a best jump of 32-8.
With few track meets left in school history, Hogan senior Marcus Fernando won the long jump with a top leap of 20-4.
We don't have a very big team but we try our best, Fernando said. Coach Santos has been trying to get me out since my freshman year, so I thought that I'd give it a try.
While American Canyon only brought its junior varsity team, Wolves freshman Taylor Crowder was good enough to run varsity events. Crowder won the 100-meter dash (13.11) and the long jump (15-10) in her second stint against varsity competition.
It's good representing a new school, Crowder said. After starting out on junior varsity, I did varsity because it was a challenge, Crowder said. I was nervous at first but it's not that bad now.
Reach Jose San Mateo at (707)553-6839 or email@example.com.