The Punahou Athletic Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made significant contributions to athletics at Punahou. Initiated in 1980 by the O-Men, and revived in 2008 by both the O-Men and Na– Wa–hine Pa–’ani ‘o Punahou, this year’s honorees will be inducted at a ceremony on June 7 and have their names listed on the Hall of Fame koa plaques that hang in the Athletic Office.
Was there anything Mark Beavers ’82 couldn’t do when he was “in the zone?” He saw plays unfolding on the football field the same way as he saw a baseball heading his way from the mound – one ended in a sack, the other with a whack.
The two-sport all-star was small by some standards – listed at 6-foot and 175 pounds – but Beavers came up big when it counted, especially his senior year. The future dentist followed up his ILH all-star selection as a junior in 1980 by being named the ILH’s Defensive Player of the Year of 1981. He made 134 tackles in 10 games en route to being selected to the all-ILH first team and all-state squad.
As good as Beavers was at football, he was even better in baseball. The left-handed pitcher led the ILH in hitting with a .463 average and was second in strikeouts (37). He also led the buff ’n blue in RBI, runs scored and doubles.
“He was the best pitcher we had for four seasons,” Punahou baseball coach Pal Eldredge ’64 said. “One of the toughest players I’ve ever coached. He could have played college football, but opted for the baseball route.”
Beavers chose Eldredge’s alma mater – Brigham Young University – and left his mark on the Cougars’ record book. He holds seven single-season records, including wins (14) and ERA, both of those in 1985. The all-Western Athletic Conference selection also ranks him in the top five in four categories, wins (29) and strikeouts (244).
Billy Blanchette ’88
Billy Blanchette ’88 is no stranger to stress. He has welcomed it his entire life as an all-star Little Leaguer, an all-state and Player of the Year selection at Punahou, and an All-American at the University of Hawai‘i.
Blanchette moved to Hawai‘i as a ninth grader, enrolling at Punahou and playing JV. As a sophomore, Blanchette broke into a loaded buff ’n blue lineup as a Designated Hitter.
He hit an impressive .375 that season, a glimpse of what was to come. By the time he was a senior, it ballooned to .515 and “he was the most feared hitter in the ILH,” according to retired Punahou baseball coach Pal Eldredge ’64. “He never got a ‘take’ sign from me. He was such a strong hitter that I always wanted to keep the game within grand-slam reach if we were behind, because I knew he could get us tied or get ahead with one swing.”
That happened against Hawai‘i Baptist Academy, Eldredge said, with the buff ’n blue trailing late to the Eagles by four runs. “Billy hits one out of the park at Mid-Pac, a grand slam that ties it, and we went on to win,” Eldredge said. “When he became an air traffic controller, I thought, ‘his temperament is perfect for that job.’”
Although Punahou did not win the state title, Blanchette was named both ILH and State Player of the Year in 1988. He hit a record-tying eight home runs and was 6 – 1 as a pitcher with a 2.88 earned run average.
As a transfer to UH, he won his first 14 games his junior season, including three shutouts, finishing 14 – 2, and was awarded UH Pitcher of the Year, Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year, WAC MVP, and first team All-American honors. His senior season, he went 8 – 3 and led the Rainbows with a .389 batting average en route to being named the team’s Most Valuable Player – the first and only Rainbow to win the team’s MVP and Pitcher of the Year awards.
Dacre Bowen ’73
Everything that one needs to know about Dacre Bowen ’73 can be summed up in two words: Fast. Good.
Bowen was one of Punahou’s most dominant track athletes in the early 1970s, helping the buff ’n blue to three state championships in his four varsity seasons. So fast was the sprinter that three of his times – in the 100, 220 and 440 – are still top-12 of all-time in the School’s record books even 50 years later.
In his final state meet in 1973, held at War Memorial Stadium on Maui, Bowen won the 220, 440 and anchored the winning mile relay team. He finished second to Hilo’s Rodney Pacheco in the 100, both officially timed at 10 seconds, in what was considered one of the most exciting races of the meet. The buff ’n blue literally ran away with the boys championship with 66.5 points, with Kamehameha second with 29 points.
Two weeks earlier at the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship, Bowen warmed up for states with wins in the 100, 220 and 440. Sandwiched in between the two title meets was the legendary Punahou Relays, where Bowen did not disappoint. He anchored all three of Punahou’s winning relay teams – half-mile, sprint medley and one-mile – en route to sharing the Most Outstanding Male Athlete Award with Kaimuki’s Willard Gouveia.
“All I remember about Dacre was he was good, and he was fast,” said Radford’s Waynette Mitchell, named the ’73 Relays’ Most Outstanding Female Athlete.
Bowen went on to run for the University of Oregon, capping his four-year career as the school’s Track Athlete of the Year in 1977. Prior to his senior season, he competed for the Canadian Olympic Team in the 440 at the Montreal Games in 1976, and was also a member of the Canadian national track and field team, twice winning the 200 at the Canadian national championships.
Bowen returned to Punahou to coach track, winning five state titles, including four in a row (1996 – 99). Bowen continues to coach both American and Canadian athletes at the state, national and international level. Among his most renowned students was 2008 Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bryan Clay.
Breanna Pearson ’92 Dembroski
It isn’t hyperbole. No girl has ever dominated the league and state track and field championship meets as Breanna Pearson ’92 Dembroski was able to do in the early 1990s.
As a junior in 1991, Pearson won the ILH long, high and triple jumps, and ran legs for the buff ’n blue’s winning relays teams in the 400- and 800 meters. She added state titles with victories in the long and triple jumps, and the 800-meter relay, as well as taking silver in the high jump as Punahou won its 12th consecutive state title.
Pearson finished her career playing a major role in the School’s 12th consecutive and 20th overall state title (then both national records). She won all three of the jumps – long, triple and high – as well as lead-off runner on the 800 meter relay team to give her 10 state gold medals. She was also recognized three times as the most outstanding female at the Punahou Relays as well as one of Punahou’s three female athletes of the year and the Gatorade Circle of Champions selection from Hawai‘i.
Pearson went on to compete for Duke where she broke the triple jump for the Blue Devils. Married to Casey Dembroski, she is the director of product management for Epsilon, a global marketing technology company.
Pamela Hamamoto ’78
Basketball, Soccer, Softball
The art of diplomacy is key to athletics. Pamela Hamamoto ’78 learned that early and often when earning 11 varsity letters in three sports at Punahou. The future U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva understood how to lead by example, captaining both the softball and basketball teams.
Her lifelong fight for gender equality and empowerment of women and girls may have its foundations in playing on the first Punahou girls’ soccer team when the sport was added her sophomore year. It was a time when the squad initially wore the used boys uniforms and was coached by their peers from the boys’ team.
On the basketball court, Hamamoto was aggressive on both ends, sometimes a little too aggressive. As a senior, not only did she lead the buff ’n blue in points and defensive rebounds, but also fouls. As a junior, Hamamoto helped seventh-seeded Punahou to an upset run that ended in the state tournament championship game. The School fell to top-seeded Maryknoll, 48 – 39, in the inaugural state basketball tournament for girls. That same year, Hamamoto and the Punahou’s girls softball team also competed in the inaugural state tournament.
She went on to earn B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from Stanford, playing four years on the school’s club softball team, competing against Pac-10 teams offering full scholarships. “I lobbied the athletic director relentlessly to make women’s softball a varsity sport to ‘level the playing field, which they finally did,’” said Hamamoto. She also earned an MBA from UCLA.
In 2014, she was tapped by President Barack Obama ’79 to be the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva. There, she created an initiative focused on gender-based violence, healthcare for adolescent girls, women’s economic empowerment and women’s leadership called “The Future She Deserves.” She was asked to speak to a global audience at the International Olympic Committee on sports diplomacy and the role of sports in empowering women and girls.
In 2018, Hamamoto received the Samuel Chapman Armstrong Humanitarian Award from the Punahou Alumni Association. It recognizes alumni who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of public service, humanitarian or charitable efforts at a national or international level.
Perry Lam ’93
Unselfish and coachable. What more could any coach ask for?
Chris McLachlin ’64 never had to worry when it came to Perry Lam ’93, his point guard for four seasons and leader of the 1990 state title team as a freshman.
“The skills he possessed in basketball – great foot speed, great range from the 3-point area – just an amazing player,” McLachlin said. “It was like having another coach on the floor. Even as a freshman point guard, he got the guys to work together.”
Lam played all 32 minutes of the 1990 championship game at Blaisdell, his 12 points all coming on 3-pointers, in the 68 – 58 victory over Maui. The buff ’n blue added a second ILH title in Lam’s senior year, but were unable to win it all, upset by Aiea 39 – 38 in the state tournament semifinal. It was the top-seeded team’s only loss; Punahou finished 15-1 after defeating Hilo for third place.
As a senior, Lam was named the ILH Player of the Year and was named to his third all-state team. He also was a HHSAA Nissan Hall of Honor selection and a two-sport athlete, lettering in football as well. The versatile Lam played defensive back as a sophomore and junior, and quarterback as a junior and senior. As a junior, he shared time with senior Mike Maciszewski ’92 in a two-quarterback system that took advantage of Maciszewski’s arm and Lam’s elusiveness.
Lam went on to play basketball at Lewis & Clark College in Oregon, leading his team, as the starting point guard, to the final 16 of the NAIA District II national tournament during his senior season. He ranks No. 2 all-time in career assists (415) and No. 7 in career steals.
Kim Lung ’79
Basketball, Softball, Volleyball
Lead, follow or get out of the way. For Kim Lung ’79, there was never any option except the first: Lead.
She was active in student government, including being junior class president. She was even more active in athletics, playing three sports and accumulating 10 varsity letters. The 5-foot-3 Lung captained both the basketball and softball squads as a junior and a senior, the same two years she played varsity volleyball.
Lung graduated with academic honors and even more of the athletic kind: 1979 Senior Athlete of the Year; Most Inspirational Player in both basketball and softball; Honolulu Star Bulletin’s all-state team; and Honolulu Advertiser’s Player of the Year of its inaugural all-state team. Lung also walked off the McKinley High court with a trophy after leading the buff ’n blue to its first state championship in girls basketball, a 44 – 37 victory over University Lab in just the third state tournament held.
Lung had scored a team-high 14 points in Punahou’s 48 – 39 loss to Maryknoll in the 1977 final of the inaugural state tournament. Two years later, she only scored three points, all on free throws, but it was her defense, ball handling and ability to break the Spartans’ press that was credited with the title success.
“She was the one who controlled Punahou all the time,” Kamehameha coach Al Apo said in a 1979 interview. Lung made the all-tournament team both as a sophomore and senior. She continued her basketball career at the University of the Pacific, playing four varsity seasons for the Tigers. Again, she was named Most Inspirational, as a freshman and a senior, and made the NorCal Athletic Conference academic honor roll all four years. Lung still holds UOP’s single-game record for steals with 26 against UC Santa Barbara as a sophomore in 1980. She graduated summa cum laude in 1983.
Parker McLachlin ’97
Parker McLachlin ’97 went off-course when finding his athletic path. His was a volleyball family; father Chris ’64, a player coach at Stanford; mother Beth, a member of the University of Hawai‘i’s inaugural women’s volleyball team and captain of the U.S. National team. But McLachlin decided to take a swing – many of them – at golf.
He couldn’t completely escape the family legacy – he was a setter for three consecutive state championship teams (1994 – 1996) – but he said he realized that if he wanted to play in college, being 5-foot-11 wasn’t going to make it. “Al Scates let me have a couple of practices,” McLachlin said of the since-retired legendary UCLA volleyball coach. “I realized real quick I was extremely undersized. Once I realized that, I said, ‘Golf is my sport.’”
McLachlin arrived at UCLA with an impressive junior resumé that included three high school state championships (1995 – 97) and one individual title (1996). In the state tournament, he finished in the top 10 all four seasons and, in 1996, shot a 66 at Ha¯puna to take medalist honors by seven shots.
As a rising senior in 1996, he won the Hawaiian State Open, the Hawaiian PGA Maxfli and the Maui Invitational over four weeks. His win at the Maxfli qualified him for the PGA Junior National Championship, where he finished fourth. Also prior to his senior season, he led the Hawai‘i team to the Junior America’s Cup title, winning the individual title. His senior year included medalist honors at the ILH championship where he shot 66 twice in 54 holes. McLachlin was the ILH player of the year as a junior and senior, and part of the Nissan HHSAA Hall of Honor’s Class of 1997.
McLachlin, now home-based in Scottsdale, Arizona, continues to play on the PGA (10 top-25 finishes), although not as often. “I’ve gotten into short-game coaching and came up with this invention called Flight Lines wedges that Titleist picked up.”
McLachlin and his younger brother, Spencer ’07, are the first siblings to be inducted together into Punahou’s Athletic Hall of Fame in the same year. “It is really neat,” Parker said. “But he’s already giving me grief since it took him 15 years to get in and me 25.”
Spencer McLachlin ’07
Volleyball was the game. McLachlin was the name.
Spencer McLachlin ’07 knew the pressure of living up to it. His father, Chris ’64, coached Punahou to 11 state championships in boys volleyball. His mother, Beth, was an All-American at the University of Hawai‘i, a member of the inaugural Rainbow Wahine volleyball team and captain of the U.S. National team.
And then there was older brother Parker ’97, a two-sport all star in volleyball and golf who was on the PGA Tour. Spencer McLachlin was never one to stress, playing both volleyball and basketball for the buff ’n blue, and embracing the success with humility and grace.
“To see what he did in high school was amazingly impressive,” said older brother Parker. “Yet it never went to his head. He’s always been that same happy-go-lucky guy, the clown of the family, always with a smile on his face. But once the whistle blew, he’d flip this switch and become serious.”
In volleyball, Spencer was a three-year all-state selection and four-time all-ILH first team. In both his junior and senior years, he was both the ILH and state player of the year.
In basketball, he was a three-time all-state selection and the 2007 state co-player of the year. He capped his senior year by being named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year in basketball and the National High School Player of the Year. The two-sport standout was inducted into the HHSAA Hall of Honor as a member of the Class of 2007.
Spencer followed in his father’s footsteps to Stanford. The Cardinal won the 2010 NCAA title when he was a junior, and he captained the team as a senior. Spencer took the coaching route after graduating, his first stop as a volunteer assistant with the University of Hawai‘i men’s team. He spent two seasons with Cal’s women’s team, four with the UCLA men’s team, and gained international experience with the U.S. Men’s National team at the Pan American Cup and NORCECA Championships. Last year, he joined the Indiana University women’s staff as associate head coach.
Victoria Chang ’00 Nakayama
Cross Country, Track
A cover girl on the 2000 spring edition of American Track & Field, Victoria Chang ’00 Nakayama was the face of Hawai‘i high school cross country and track in the late 1990s through 2000. She won eight state titles, doubling up at 1,500-, 1,600-, 3,000- and 3,200-meters, and set state records as a senior at 1,500 and 3,000. Her 3,000 record was the fastest time in the country at the time and remains the state record today.
By the time she entered Stanford as a freshman in 2000, Chang had a resumé that matched, and often surpassed, that of any star runner of her era. Most impressive is that Chang never lost a high school race in the 1,500 or 3,000 during her four years. While her state meet mark in the 3,000 has been bested, she still holds the 1,500 record which she set at the 1999 Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship.
“The kid’s unreal,” veteran track and field writer Doug Speck said in 1999 after Chang shattered her national best by 18 seconds when winning the 3,000 at the state meet.
The surreal continued to be the norm – locally and nationally. As were the awards: Hawai‘i High School Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year (1999, 2000); Track & Field News High School All-American; 1999 USA Track & Field Junior All-American; Gatorade Circle of Champions; NHSCA National High School Athlete of the Year for girls cross country.
The honors piled up at Punahou as well. Twice, she was named the outstanding female performer at the Punahou Relays. She received the Billy Weaver ’62 Award her freshman year, the C. Dudley Pratt Award as the senior athlete of the year and the female scholar-athlete for the Class of 2000.
As a freshman at Stanford, she was named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year and helped lead the Cardinal to the conference title. Chang transferred to the University of Hawai‘i, was the top Wahine finisher in all seven races in which she competed, winning two, and qualified for the 2002 NCAA cross country championships.
Miah Ostrowski ’07
In a word; exceptional. How else to describe Miah Ostrowski ’07? Few would be surprised that he would go on to play collegiately in two sports, doing so at the University of Hawai‘i in both football and basketball.
Fewer would be surprised that he was selected as captain for both teams, the only UH player ever to be so honored. Ostrowski was exceptional as a leader, a trait matched by his natural athleticism and poise. While state titles eluded him, individual honors did not. He was twice first-team all-state in both basketball and football. As a senior, the wide receiver was named the Offensive Player of the Year in football after 81 catches for 1,317 yards and nine touchdowns. Just 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, Ostrowski always played bigger than his listed roster numbers.
“It’s effortless for him,” Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda said in a 2006 interview. “Everybody knew that he was the first target and, still, we had a hard time slowing him down,” Saint Louis coach Delbert Tengan added.
Credit can be given to his late father Damian “Kui” Ostrowski, who unexpectedly passed away midway through his son’s college senior basketball season in 2011. Kui was the 1985 ILH Player of the Year in boys basketball, helping lead Maryknoll to its first state championship in that sport.
Miah began going to adult league games to watch his father play starting in fifth grade and, soon, he was bringing along his best friend Spencer McLachlin ’07. The two preteens then began playing alongside Kui in the adult leagues.
“It’s one thing to watch someone play, it’s another to play with them and learn,” McLachlin said. “His dad was such a big role model for him. I’ve played with some great players, but Miah is one of the best athletes of all time. We have played together since third grade. The stuff he would do on the basketball court and football field, no one else could do.”
Ostrowski played briefly for the Hawaii Swish, a short-lived UBA franchise. He has formed Ostrowski Orthopedic Solutions as part of his involvement with Exactech, a Florida-based medical products company, where he is a sales representative.
Francis Sequeira ’79
Basketball, Football, Track
Fate can be the cruelest of thieves, robbing many of their hopes and dreams. It happened to Francis Sequeira ’79, arguably the top running back in the state in the late 1970s. A knee injury four games into his senior season ended up being the end of his football career. But what can’t be stolen is Sequeira’s accomplishments in both football and track for the buff ’n blue. He earned six varsity letters, three each in track and field and football. His junior season was nothing less than remarkable. Sequeira had scored 20 touchdowns as a freshman on the junior varsity team and was an honorable mention on the all-Interscholastic League of Honolulu as a sophomore for a 1 – 8 Punahou squad.
A year later, the buff ’n blue went 8 – 1, won the ILH and made its first Prep Bowl appearance with Sequeira as one of the stars. He led the league in rushing and scoring en route to all-ILH and all-state first-team honors. His eye-opening performance carried over to the track that spring where he earned his third ILH title in both triple jump and long jump. He also anchored the ILH and state 4×200 relay team and advanced to the final of the 100-yard dash at the state meet. (His best time was 10 seconds flat as a junior.)
In between football and track, he had dabbled in basketball as a freshman and sophomore. Growing into his 5-foot-11, 210-pound body, Sequeira was the starting center for two undefeated ILH JV teams and was twice named to the Punahou Christmas Classic all-tournament team. Sequeira opened his senior football season with eight touchdowns in the first three games before being sidelined with a knee injury. After weeks of rehab, doctors cleared him to play against Pac-Five as Punahou sought to make its second consecutive Prep Bowl appearance. Sequeira did not even make it to the coin toss, having re-injured his knee on his first carry in practice the day before. “He didn’t get hit but when he made his cut, that was it,” buff ’n blue coach Doug Bennett said. “The knee just gave out on him.”
But his drive did not. Sequeira continued to rehab, focusing first on the upcoming track season with his upcoming college career in view as well. In February 1979, he signed to play for the University of Hawai‘i saying the big factor in staying at home “was the consideration UH gave me after the injury.”
“We feel he is the best running back in the state,” Rainbow coach Dick Tomey said at the time of Sequeira’s commitment. Sequeira did go on to UH, never played, but did earn scholar-athlete recognition as a redshirt as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Estee Okumura ’99 Shizuru
There are throws. And then there are throws.
Estee Okumura ’99 Shizuru was a master at it, whether it was her clutch infield bullets to first base or her pin-point passes halfway down the basketball court. The 5-foot-6 Okumura wasn’t just good at it, she was great, as evidenced by her being named first-team all-state in both softball and basketball in 1999, her senior year at Punahou.
Okumura basically hit for the cycle when picking up the state’s major awards in softball. She earned Position Player of the Year, Hitter of the Year and Gatorade State Player of the Year in addition to all-state. On the court, she was considered the best one-on-one defensive player in the state, while also finishing second in scoring, steals and 3-pointers. The team captain helped the buff ’n blue to a second-place finish in the state tournament, a 35 – 30 loss to Kamehameha.
Her junior year, her second on the varsity, the point guard had the game-winning assist in the state tournament semifinal. Okumura rifled an 80-foot inbounds pass to Onaona Miller ’98 with seven seconds left in a tied game against Waiakea with Miller hitting the game-winning shot. The buff ’n blue then defeated Kala¯heo the next night 65 – 51 for coach Shelley Fey’s third state title in five years.
Okumura went on to a stellar softball career at the University of the Pacific (UOP), including a freshman season where the Tigers (50 – 13) came within a game of the College World Series. That 2001 team was later inducted into the UOP Sports Hall of Fame. Okumura switched from infield to centerfield as the Tigers took advantage of her “overall athleticism and quickness,” according to one reporter. She was named to the NFCA All-West Region team as a freshman and later earned all Big West and all-Big West academic honors.
Okumura is a health and lifestyle coach at “Simply Healthy with Estee,” professionally using her married name of Estee Shizuru. After 10 years as a Honolulu firefighter (and the first woman in HFD history to make it on the Search and Rescue Unit), she has put that on pause to be at home with her two young children and focus on her passion as a health coach.
Exceptional court sense and a no-nonsense approach combined to make for one of the best basketball players to wear a buff ’n blue uniform.
Ki‘ilani Spencer-Vasconcellos ’97 made her impact early, beginning with a starting role at guard as a freshman on a state championship team and culminating in her being named State Player of the Year and a state championship as a senior.
The 5-foot-5 Spencer-Vasconcellos impressed opposing coaches and players as well as her own teammates for four years. Her own coach couldn’t say enough about the guard’s leadership. “It wasn’t limited to the court,” Shelley Fey said in a 1997 interview. “Off the court, she has a lot of heart and cares about her teammates.”
Spencer-Vasconcellos averaged 9.6 points and four assists per game her senior year. In the three state tournament games, she had a combined 17 assists. She was all-ILH all four years and among the five players on the all-state team in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997. Spencer-Vasconcellos was the team’s catalyst, said Fey, who became the first woman to coach a girls’ basketball team to the state title (1994). Spencer-Vasconcellos’ athleticism also transferred easily to soccer where she played middle-fielder and forward. Spencer-Vasconcellos went on to play two basketball seasons for the University of Hawai‘i, but was hampered by leg fractures that caused her to retire after the 1999 – 2000 season. She returned to the game at Menlo (California) College in 2002, playing with rods in both tibia.
As a senior, she averaged 16.3 points for the NAIA Oaks – a school record – leading the California-Pacific Conference in scoring. Spencer-Vasconcellos scored in double figures 21 of 25 games, ranked in the top five in 3-point goals and assists, and was named the Cal-Pac Most Valuable Player, the first for a Menlo player. She was inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. Spencer-Vasconcellos has remained in the game, certified as a college-level basketball referee. She is the farmers’ market manager for Hamakua Harvest in Honoka‘a on Hawai‘i Island.