Once in a while, you learn highly interesting things that you weren’t expecting.
Such was the case Saturday night. Walking out of Kamehameha’s Kunuiakea Stadium, Punahou pole vault coach Tom Hintnaus was spotted heading the same way.
The Island Movers/HHSAA State Track and Field Championships had just ended, and Hintnaus, a former Olympian, knows a thing or two about track and field.
He’s headed this way, so might as well say goodbye and see you next year. A few weeks earlier, Hintnaus watched one of his student-athletes — J. Kai Yamafuhi — hit the highest pole vault height (16 feet) ever in Hawaii.
“What a meet,” we both agreed about the athleticism on display at Kamehameha.
“And Andrei Iosivas had an amazing meet,” again we both agreed.
Earlier in the night, Iosivas had mentioned Hintnaus and Punahou head coach Gary Satterwhite and how much they had an infleunce on his track career.
That coaching led to five gold medals for the Buffanblu senior, including records in the 200-meter dash (21.67 seconds), the 4-x-100 relay (42.18) with teammates Tanner Ono, Vincent Terrell and Justin Pu’u-Robinson, and the 4-x-400 relay (3:19.74) with Pu’u-Robinson, David Tamura and Micah Williams. Iosivas also won the the 100 (10.85) and the long jump (23 feet, 3 inches on Friday).
And then came the unexpected. This was just a way to end the evening on the way to the parking lot, not a real interview, but the following is almost verbatim what Hintnaus said:
“If he wants to work on it, he can do the decathlete and he can be great. He can be better than Bryan Clay.”
This is not Pinocchio talking. This is a former Olympian. He’s not blowing smoke. Clay, the Castle alumnus, went on to stardom for the U.S. in the decathlete.
Iosivas, however, will be off to Princeton to play football and run track and field.
The football part could get in the way of the track and field part, especially if he eventually takes Hintnaus’ mild prodding and trains to be an Olympic decathlete.
Those in the know at Punahou say Iosivas could really blossom into a top wide receiver with the Tigers, who run a wide-open offense. But football training and track and field training are two different things. Per se, as everyone knows, you get banged up in football a lot more.
But football is why Princeton came calling in the first place, according to Iosivas.
“After the times I put up this season, the track guy (coach) came for me, too,” he said.
The only other boys double-event winner was Baldwin’s Rey Cadiz. After breaking the meet record in the 110 hurdles (14.20) in Friday’s trials, he came through with a win in 14.53. He also won the 300 hurdles (38.90).
After Friday’s record, Bears coach Tracy Enos said the accomplishment was a complete shock.
Cadiz didn’t deny it when asked Saturday.
“It was totally unexpected,” he said. “I was just trying to run a clean race and try to qualify and the outcome was a record.”