Just after seeing teammate Tyler Shipley dominate his portion of the Northwest Conference Track and Field Championships, junior Kelson Kawai prepared for the triple jump.
Freshman distance runner Shipley had just taken first in the 5,000 meter run, his second title of the championship meet.
“I saw Tyler had just won his race and I was really jacked about that. I just wanted to get more points for the team,” Kawai said about his thoughts before starting his event.
Kawai, with the adrenaline pumping, got up to 44 feet, 6 1/4-inches in his triple jump which put him above the rest of the competition, literally.
Not only did the outstanding performance give him a championship title, it also landed him a spot in the Pacific University track and field all-time top-10 for this event.
Shipley also got his name in the record book for both of his times during the weekend. He started his weekend by finishing the 10,000 meter run in 31:58:63, third on the all-time list. The next day of competition he completed the 5,000 meter in 15:00:47, less than four minutes shy of the best time in school history.
“He’s an athlete; I know everyone is looking forward to him next year coming in as a sophomore,” co-champion Kawai said.
“I need to just keep doing all the little things in running that keeps allowing me to stay healthy, and run a lot of miles. I just need to keep getting stronger and faster,” Shipley said. “For my goals for the rest of Pacific, I try not to look too far in advance. I just try to accomplish my running goal for each day.”
The efforts of Shipley and Kawai led the Boxers to an overall third place finish at the meet. If these two, along with the rest of the team, continue performing the way they did in the championships, the Pacific track and field program has a lot to look forward to.
Kawai was also able to take second place in the high jump, along with sophomore Budweiser Hawkins.
The two tied with a 6-foot, 6 1/4-inch jump.
“Our team did well overall. It was pretty exciting to end the season that way,” Kawai said. “I’m looking forward to getting that team first place next year.”