Posted with permission, article and pictures, courtesy of University of Hawaii Hilo
The UH Hilo Athletic Department won the Hawai’i Challenge for the first time in department history.
by Kevin Hashiro – Chaminade Univiersity Sports Information Director
HONOLULU – For the first time ever, theUniversity of Hawai’i Hilo claims the local bragging rights among the three Hawai’i NCAA Division II schools by winning the 2021-22 PacWest Hawai’i Challenge.
In the closest differential since the inception of the Challenge in 2015-16, the Vulcans out-pointed five-time defending champion Hawai’i Pacific University by a single point. UH Hilo accumulated 22 points during the year while HPU had 21. Chaminade finished third with 13.
“UH Hilo is pleased to finally capture this title in our friendly competition between the island schools,” Director of Athletics Patrick Guillen said. “Our student-athletes, coaches and staff work very hard on- and off-the-court and field and behind the scenes that made this season possible. I am proud of our entire program and honored to finally win this title between friends.”
The Vulcans and Sharks both captured four first-place points but UH Hilo had the benefit of not having any of its teams finishing third in any of the nine sports which the competition comprises. Chaminade had one first-place finish (volleyball).
UH Hilo staved off a late run by HPU, which captured all three first-place points in the spring (men’s golf, women’s tennis, softball). The Vulcans secured at least a share of first place when men’s golf finished ahead of Chaminade at the PacWest Championships in Arizona on April 20. They captured the title outright on April 30 – the final day of the competition – when their softball team defeated CUH in the first game of their doubleheader in Hilo.
The Challenge resumed this academic term after taking 2020-21 off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Past PacWest Hawai’i Challenge Champions:
2015-16: BYU-Hawai’i and Hawai’i Pacific (co-champs)
2016-17: Hawai’i Pacific
2017-18: Hawai’i Pacific
2018-19: Hawai’i Pacific
2019-20: Hawai’i Pacific
2020-21: No competition due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021-22: Hawai’i Hilo