HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
OFFICER GREG ESTEBAN
MAY 19, 1999
The ninth annual Hawaii Police Commemorative Fund Tournament held last weekend (May 14-16, 1999) raised about $3,500 for worthy causes.
The tournament, coordinated by Officer Greg Esteban and held at the Carvalho Park Complex, featured a total of 27 teams, 37 runners and 28 walkers who took part in four sports events during the three-day tournament.
The “Shige 5K” run continued a tradition of never having anyone repeat as overall winner when Tai Blechta crossed the finish line with a time of 17:36. Diane Kohara was the overall Women’s Division winner with a time of 21:49.
The absence of a repeat winner and the relatively modest times were due to the challenging nature of the course. Even at 7:30 a.m., the asphalt heats up rapidly, baking the runners, and the series of hills between Waianuenue and Mohouli loom larger on the return route.
Other Men’s Division winners and their times were Jesse Ebersole, Open, 18:05; Stewart Miyashiro, Masters, 18:29; Wayne Joseph, Golden Masters, 19:56; Nathan Osorio, Junior, 23:54; Waiau Wong, Student, 30:42; and Edward Rodrigues, Seniors, 38:33.
Other Women’s Division winners were Marie Kuramoto, Golden Masters, 28:16; Laurie Kaneta, Masters, 30:01; Jackie Joseph, Student, 30:40; Lynn Miyamoto, Open, 30:55; and Stacy Leialoha, Junior, 32:55.
The first police finisher was Mike Rushton, who came in with a respectable time of 21:30. This year’s final 5K finisher was Chris Gali, who finished the grueling course in time for lunch.
The overall winners for the 1.5-mile walk were Clarence Andrade, with a time of 17:14, and Kailina Morita, with a time of 21:43.
Division winners were: Erin Goya, Student; John Briski and Sue Fujiwara, Junior; Garret Komatsu and Michelle Macanas, Open; Francis Rodillas and Sweetie Osorio, Masters; Steve Sakoda and Madeline Silva, Golden Masters; and Chuck Yogi and Dorothy Kennell, Seniors.
The “Shige 5K” and 1.5-mile walk are named in honor of the memory of Ronald Shigeru “Shige” Jitchaku, a veteran police officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 7, 1990, while he and fellow officers were trying to quell a large riot on Banyan Drive in Hilo.
The team of Keaukaha edged out Tuff Stuff in two sets to win the first place plaque and a perpetual trophy in the annual Daison M. “Froggie” Morita Mixed Volleyball Tournament. Outstanding players included Lance Rowe and Kaui Wakita of Keaukaha, and Juju Baldogo and Malia Kelly of Tuff Stuff. Froggie’s took third place among the eight teams.
The volleyball event was dedicated to Morita, a state airport firefighter killed in a traffic accident who was an active contributor to the annual tournament events.
The team Most Wanted defeated 2 Sexy to take first place in the finals of the annual Kenneth K. Keliipio Softball Tournament. Eddie, Jesse and Clarence Kekaulua and Anthony Galardo of Most Wanted, and Gadi Pulgados, Norman Medeiros, and Fabian Medeiros of 2 Sexy provided some outstanding play during the game. Team Sports took home the third place trophy, while the Hawaii Police Department’s Outlaws took fourth among the 11 teams in the tourney.
The softball tournament was named in honor of Hilo police officer Kenneth K. Keliipio, who died in a traffic accident on March 28, 1997, while he was trying to help a stranded motorist.
In the basketball tournament, Most Wanted beat AK Service with score of 86-76 to take first place. The crowd watched outstanding plays by Clarence Kekaulua and Clifford Kawaha of Most Wanted and Lua Siufanua and Keenan Quinores of AK Service. Hilo Police finished third among the eight teams.
A portion of the proceeds from the event will go towards the construction of a memorial to honor police officers killed in the line of duty. Another portion will fund scholarships at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and the Hawaii Community College in memory of Officers Jitchaku and Keliipio.
Since the tournament’s inception, $6,400 has been donated toward the monument and $6,800 in scholarships has been awarded.
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