Pa­tience pays off for An­daya

West Hawaii Today - - Sports - BY KEVIN JAKAHI

For Kame­hameha se­nior Ice­ley An­daya, aim­ing straight was the easy part. Work­ing past her bro­ken heart was nearly im­pos­si­ble.

A few weeks ago, her sis­ter Va­lerie “V.V.” An­daya, at 14 years old and an en­er­getic Honokaa sopho­more who loved to sing, passed away.

Still, An­daya found the re­solve to win the BIIF air ri­flery cham­pi­onship in dog­fight fash­ion on Satur­day at Wa­iakea’s gym, where pa­tience was a re­quire­ment for an event that lasted nearly

seven hours.

She edged se­nior team­mate Tiari Faa­gata in a shootout, 616.8 points to 613.5. It was a closeas-it gets tail­gate after the prone, stand­ing, and kneel­ing qual­i­fy­ing round with Faa­gata slightly ahead, 533.13 to 532.14.

In the 10-shot stand­ing-po­si­tion fi­nal round, some­times good is good enough, even when other shoot­ers post higher scores. An­daya had a 84.8 while Faa­gata was at 80.5 Wa­iakea’s Shaye Nishimura, who was fifth at 610.5, had the high score with 90.5 points.

“When our former coach Keala­pua Bern­abe told me she won her ju­nior year (2013), I wanted to fol­low in her foot­steps,” said An­daya, who also plays soc­cer at Kame­hameha.

It took a while, but she fi­nally got her gold medal.

As a fresh­man, An­daya was 14th at the BIIF cham­pi­onships and nar­rowly missed the HHSAA tour­na­ment. As a sopho­more, she was the league run­ner-up and an al­ter­nate at states. Last year, she was sixth at BIIFs, 16th at states and named to the air ri­fle Hawaii all-state girls hon­or­able men­tion team.

“The key was the sup­port and dis­ci­pline in­stilled by coach Tracy (Aruga) and coach Paul (Wa­ianuhea),” An­daya said. “Tiari al­ways kept me on my toes and helped me to work harder at BIIFs. They may not know it, but she, McKenna He­witt, and Kobi Broad con­tin­u­ously pushed me to do bet­ter.”

He­witt was sixth at 605.1 and Broad 11th at 512.

The boys event started at 3 p.m. and lasted three hours. The girls started at 6:10 p.m. and also fin­ished three hours later. Then the

awards cer­e­mony didn’t end un­til 9:50 p.m.

As big as the War­riors Gym is, there isn’t enough room to run the boys and girls events at the same. The girls were there from the start and waited and waited un­til their turn. It can be men­tally drain­ing even be­fore the girls pick up their air ri­fles.

But air ri­flery is more than just shoot­ing at a tar­get.

“A few things I’ve learned from it would be pa­tience, the value of hard work, and fo­cus,” An­daya said. “To im­prove my shoot­ing, I did core work­outs and fo­cused on what I was strug­gling in.

“Wait­ing for the boys seemed like it took for­ever, but once I saw how well our boys did it amped me up to match or ex­ceed their results.”

An­daya, who has a 3.52 GPA, plans to at­tend col­lege in Ore­gon. She hasn’t de­cided on a ma­jor yet. But her par­ents, Pono, who works for the county as an equip­ment me­chanic, and Mele An­daya, who works in the state ju­ve­nile pro­ba­tion of­fice, will steer her in the right di­rec­tion.

“My par­ents play an ex­tremely large role in ev­ery as­pect of my life,” said An­daya, who also plays the trom­bone in the school’s Sym­phonic band. “They push me to be the best I can be.”

An­daya

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