Star thrower hopes for a season


Taina Tanuvasa (11) has been a Varsity Track & Field athlete at Kalani High School since her freshman year, when she competed at the State Championships in both the shot put and the discus. This year she hopes to have a season, and is already training to get ready for it. Photo courtesy of Taina Tanuvasa.

Caleb Seese-O'Connell, Profile

A year ago, disks flew high, feet beat against the grass, and athletes talked as competitions went on. Today, athletes run by their lonesome selves and train individually with no place to practice or compete.

All Hawaii public high school Fall and Winter sports were canceled this school year. But some kids are still training; Atlantica-Taina Tanuvasa (11) is one of them. The 17-year-old track and field athlete keeps up with her practices as her coach pushes her forward in her training, preparing her for the next time she competes.

Tanuvasa has participated in Track and Field since she was a freshman. She’s loved the sport since day one and made some friends along the way. One of her closest friends, Jennesice Sueing, has been practicing with her for five years.

Since they met, they have done several meets together, including going to States, which is quite an accomplishment.

“States were probably my favorite,” Tanuvasa (11) stated.

It took consistent, rigorous training to get there, but they say they also had fun along the way.

“I like spending time with friends and working out,” Sueing (11) said.

Tanuvasa says she enjoys track because it is both an individual and a team sport.

“I stretch and drill with my dad, who is the coach,” Tanuvasa (11) declared.

She regularly works out to keep up with her training, which includes stretching, mobility drills, and weightlifting, in addition to throwing. Her coaches describe her as a natural athlete.

“Taina is a natural hopper when doing box jumps,” Brooke Nasser stated. 

Brooke Nasser is the girl’s head coach for cross country and track and field. She is also the journalism teacher at Kalani and has known Tanuvasa since she was a freshman.  

“For a discus- and shot-put-throwing freshman to make Varsity is quite rare,” Ms. Nasser stated.