Freshman UH Track Star Shines Indoors

SEATTLE - The Hawai'i women's track and field team returned from its indoor season debut, last weekend, setting seven new school indoor records at two indoor competitions at the University of Washington.

Redshirt freshman, Ku'ulei Karratti dashed to a new record in the 60m sprint (7.98) on Saturday, and lowered her record again the next day to 7.97. In doing so, Karratti, the 2003 Hawai`i State Champion in the 100m from Ka`u High School, defeated former 2002 Hawaii State 100m Champion, Iolani's Lauren Dignam, now a junior at Washington. They ended up side by side in their 60m race.

"I'm on fire to run fast again," Karratti said. "I really needed to sit-out last season and focus on my school, grow-up and appreciate the chances I have here at UH. That time really allowed me to set my priorities."

This season, Karratti is also picking up the hammer throw where she is proving to be a "natural" says UH throws coach Garrett Collier. "Her hula and surfing have given her all the quick foot work and balance she needs allowing her speed to come into play ... give her two years in this event and stand back," Collier said.

While Karratti was busy on the straightaway, junior Tasha Monroe rolled out records in the 200m (25.66) and 400m (57.13), and then led off the 4 x 400m relay to another record with teammates Dana Buchanan, Ashley Monfort and Kelly Young. Earlier in the day, Young knocked four seconds off the old Hawai`i record in the 800m, striding out 2:08.46 to win the event.

Not to be outdone in the field, sophomore Patricia Gauthier jumped a record mark of 3.56 meters (11' 6 3/4") in her first ever Indoor competition, while freshman Meghan Weaver asserted herself with a victory and UH best of 13.37m (43' 8 1/2 ") in the shot put. Junior Novelle Murray won Sunday's 20lb weight while approaching top form in preparation for the upcoming WAC Indoor Championships at the end of February in Boise, ID.

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