Kaimana Close-Up: La Pietra's Haley Abing

By Liz Chun - bio | email

When it comes to high school student athletes who do community service, Haley Abing is on the fast track.

La Pietra may be a small school for 250 girls, but just about everyone knows Haley Abing.

She's won a couple of ILH championships for cross country, but more importantly this senior is willing to go the extra mile for her community.

That's why Haley is this month's HMSA Kaimana close-up feature.

It's hard to keep up with Haley Abing. She's a girl always on the go.

Running is actually more Haley's speed, it's what people know her most for.

"I guess it doesn't bother me that I'm identified as that anymore, it's because it's what I do with much of my time, most of my friends. It's just kind of a lifestyle that I've taken up," she said.

Haley's also a pace setter in the classroom.

"I've got AP English, AP Bio, AP Calculus," she said.

The list of her advanced placement classes at La Pietra goes on, but it hasn't stopped her from maintaining a 3.75 grade point average.

"I feel like I'll be disappointing myself if I don't try my hardest, cause my parents didn't really like say A+, they weren't like that, they were like just do your best. So I always did it," she said.

Haley also gets things done in the community and she's certainly covered a lot of ground, from helping at the Honolulu Marathon to improving the gardens at the Nature Conservancy.

"I volunteered with the Na La Heo Trails foundation, basically I just did a lot of work with the native plant area with Makiki, and weeded, watered and replanted," Abing said.

At La Pietra, Haley's a peer mentor to middle school students.

"It's more just like they have a friend whose in high school," she said.

And she's also a tutor with the National Honor Society.

"We just have this new tutoring center, and I've been helping that a lot before school and after school," she said.

Even service work has Haley moving in all different directions.

"I'm just trying to get the most out of my life as I can, volunteering is just part of it," she said.

Just about the only thing that she's willing to slow down for is talking about running. She can even carry a conversation about her running shoes.

"These are so cool they've got like this sock thing that hold the tongue to the shoe and so it's more like a sock fit," she said.

The funny thing is Haley stumbled on her favorite sport by accident.

"In 7th grade I kind of forgot that volleyball had started. And I missed it so I was like what am I supposed to do right now and Ms. Chong said, 'Hey you should do cross country.' I don't know what that is but I'll just go for it," she said.

This senior is now a proven winner, taking back to back ILH championships for cross country and a second and ninth place finish at the state tournament.

She also a state finalist for distance running for track and field.

"I'm not always happy with how I've finished but I'm proud that I've worked so hard and that I've done something with it," she said.

"When she finishes it's not like I won, it's like my teammates and congratulating everyone else, and I think that's special, and it doesn't get to her head," said La Pietra athletics director Ross Kinsler.

Abing is a grounded and gifted student athlete, who is creating an identity that really is so much more than just a runner.