Kamehameha's Moku named GATORADE Hawaii Boys Track & Field PLAYER OF THE YEAR
In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company on Monday announced Tanner Moku of Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama as its 2018-19 Gatorade Hawaii Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Moku is the fifth Gatorade Hawaii Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Moku as Hawaii’s best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Moku joins an elite alumni association of state track & field award-winners, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2013-14 & 2014-15, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound junior won the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.54 seconds and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 38.72 at the state championship meet this past season. Moku set a state-meet record of 38.07 in the preliminaries of the 300 hurdles, and he also ran legs on the third-place 4x100 relay and the sixth-place 4x400 quartet.
Moku has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and youth track programs. “Tanner’s dedication to excellence and his commitment to his team are truly what set him apart,” said Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama coach JP Plencner. “He’s had to overcome adversity [on the track] time and time again and he takes the setbacks in stride and keeps a positive attitude.”
Moku has maintained a 3.13 GPA in the classroom. He will begin his senior year of high school this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Moku joins recent Gatorade Hawaii Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Rey Cadiz (2017-18, Baldwin High School), Christian Padron (2016-17, Damien Memorial School), Anthony Kahoohanohano-Davis (2015-16, Baldwin High School), Kayson Smith-Bejgrowicz (2014-15, Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama) and Dylan Kane (2013-14, Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Moku also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.