UH Track Star Sets Sight on Beijing

Amber Kaufman
Amber Kaufman
Carmyn James
Carmyn James

Honolulu (KHNL) -- In less than three months the summer Olympic games in Beijing get underway, and for one University of Hawaii track star, she's hoping she'll be part of the US track team, despite the fact she only recently found out there was a real chance for her to be a part of the games.

For Rainbow Wahine high jumper Amber Kaufman, this jump of six feet one half inch was more than just a personal best.

"I was able to win the WAC, break the school record and it's the Olympic 'B' standard for the trials," said Kaufman.

The feat surprised herself, since she never dreamed the Olympics could be a reality.

"I never thought that I would go, I never thought that I would be good enough," said Kaufman.

But a different story from her coach, who wasn't surprised Amber qualified for next months trials.

"She was one of the top high jumpers in the country when she graduated, so it wasn't like she just came out of nowhere," said Wahine Head Track Coach Carmyn James.

But before the trials begin, Kaufman is focusing on this weekend's regional meet in California where she wants to prove the critics wrong.

"I want to do it again of course, I don't want it to seem like a fluke where i'm not going to do it again, I dunno I just want to do really well, it's what I think about just beating as many as people as I can," said Kaufman.

And whether it's the regionals, or the Olympics, Coach James knows Amber will be ready to go.

"There's some people that will crumble because of the pressure, there's some that will rise to the occasion, and Amber's demonstrated already that she's a riser to the occasion."

The regional meet begins on Wednesday and Amber is one of nine athletes UH will be sending over, the most the school as ever had. It will also be Amber's first time in a regional competition.