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Nawai Kaupe is Hawaii's only qualifier for Hershey's North American track meet

August 1, 2013 - Robert Collias
We learned of Nawai Kaupe two years ago when she was one of the best players on the Central East Maui state championship Little League team — a unit coached by her dad, Napa Kaupe; cheered on by her brother, Branden Kaupe, a then-Baldwin baseball standout and eventual fourth-round draft choice of the New York Mets in 2012; while mom, Joy Kaupe, sat back and quietly enjoyed the show.

That team became the first in the history of the LL West Regional to use an all-female battery, with Kaupe pitching to Mayumi Kamau.

Saturday, Kaupe, the former 8th grade president of Iao Intermediate School, will be the only Hawaii qualifier to participate in the Hershey's Track & Field Games North American Final in Hershey, Pa.

She qualified for the event from the region that includes Hawaii, California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. She broke an old record at the Maui County Kiwanis Track Meet twice and her long throw was 238 feet.

She played the last baseball game of her eight-year career as an infield standout for the Maui Blue team that advanced to the championship game of the Hawaii Regional at Maehara Stadium last month.

Upon returning from Pennsylvania, she will take her 3.7 GPA from Iao to Baldwin, where I'm sure the softball coaches are drooling over the possibilities.


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