Patience pays off for Andaya
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
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.”