On February 21, the East Hawaii P&R Age Group Track & Field meet showcased athletes with exceptional talent beyond their years, and athletes of immense exuberance that created a positive atmosphere in the sport of track and field. Athletes were, once again, blessed with sunny skies, but this time with some trade winds and moments of shade that created conditions favorable for all.
The day started with Waiakea Elementary’s Lukohao Lapera claiming his first medal, with a silver in the standing long jump (5′ 5.50″) for the 8 and under division. In his second event, Lapera took off quick to narrowly claim the top time (11.60secs) by four-hundredths of a second over Paauilo Tiger’s Clay Ching (11.64secs) in the 70m dash. Lapera’s final medal was earned with the joint efforts of Keona Gomes, JD Hironaka, and Jacob Tajiri to create a foursome of quick-footed 4×25 relay members, and claimed gold over another Waiakea Elementary Royals team.
In the older divisions, a trio of Sunrise Athletics athletes: Skylar Macomber-Cobile (age 9-10), Kapana Kanae-Kane (age 11-12), and Keala Pule (age 13-14) each showed their versatility in jumps and sprints. Macomber-Cobile dominated in the more technical standing triple jump, where he hopped, skipped, jumped to a length of 19’3.5″, which was good for gold over his closest competitor, Pauilo Tiger’s Kiandray Rideout who claimed silver with an equally impressive length of 17’9.5″. Cobile-Macomber pocketed another gold and silver in the 200m (32.01secs) and the 100m (14.85secs) dashes respectively. Kanae-Kane was consistent throughout the day in claiming three silvers. Kanae-Kane’s first silver was in the running long jump (14’2.75″), with another talented Pauilo Tiger jumper, Deann Conners, of whom claimed the gold for this event and the running triple jump. When the races began, Kanae-Kane demonstrated his speed in the 100m (13.67secs), and 200m (29.88secs) dash to claim his last two medals. Teammate Pule demonstrated equal performances to his teammates by also pocketing three medals with bronzes in the 400m (1:07.60secs) and 200m (26.38secs) sprints, and the running triple jump (29′ 5.75″).
Among female sprinters, Na Wai Ola, a charter school in Mountain View, featured a talented spinter (age 9-10) in Jonaiya Saragosa. Saragosa represented her school in a hard earned gold and bronze in the 100m (15.65secs) and 50m (8:09secs) dashes respectively. In the longer sprints, Sunrise Athletics’ Ella Shapiro took command and claimed gold in the 400m (1:17.37secs) and 200m (34.87secs) sprint races to create a margin that was too great for her closest competitors.
With the 13-14 age division, Sunrise Athletics’ Sydirah Aricayos completed her middle school years in fine fashion, and it is evident that she will make a name for herself during her high school years. Aricayos ended her final middle school meet in claiming two bronzes in the 400m (1:10.95) dash and the running triple jump (12’3.5″), and a gold medal by anchoring the 4x100m relay (58.97secs) that also consisted of talented eight-grade athletes in Ella Johnson, Ella Kusch, and Kaela Soberman.
In the middle distance events, which requires a certain type of mindset with a combination of endurance and stamina, Sunrise Athletics and Kamehameha Middle School exhibited their talents and featured exciting races that unfolded dramatic finishes. In the 1500m (age 13-14) event, Kamehameha and Sunrise Athletics athletes exchanged positions several times throughout the 3 and 3/4 laps of the track, and with no sure winner established early on. However, John Marrack (5;17.68) strategically surged the final 300m to claim gold, Kamehameha’s Jake Toci (5:21.37) with a silver, and Sunrise Athletics’ Isaiah Waxman (5:39.30) with a bronze. Meanwhile, Ella Johnson (5:23.58), the sole female among runners, almost equaled her last meet’s time and came in third among all runners.
In the 1200m race, middle school cross-country standouts, Phoebe Wyatt and Kederang Ueda, each secured gold medals in their event. However, what was most stunning was their established time of 4:19.04 and 4:19.79 respectively, which were both unseen of for their age. Sunrise Athletics’ Wyatt also claimed gold with teammates Akemi Tominaga, Devin Buttz, and Cathryn Krueger in the 4x100m (1:02.63) relay. Meanwhile, Ueda also claimed gold in the 4x100m (1:04.18) relay with teammates Garet Jones, Owen Laliberte, and Alika Dedman.
Close to wrapping up the day, another thriller came in the 800m race (age 13-14). Kamehameha Middle School harriers, Trey Tina and newcommer Elijah Carigon, controlled the tempo of the race from the onset. The duo distanced themselves from the pack with a blistering pace, with Tina (2:33.91), another cross-country standout, edging Carigon (2:34.10) in an exciting finish. The bronze medal, on the other hand, was up for grabs. Sunrise Athletics Deylan Okinaka made up ground like an unknown biker chasing the peloton, and out of nowhere he surged in a fabulous kick to claim his first silver out of two medals earned.
As always, the Parks and Recreation crew is greatly appreciated for their time and efforts in creating an atmosphere of fun for all, and providing the opportunity for youth athletes across the Big Island to test their abilities and gain a sense of sportsmanship that track and field has to offer! Great job to ALL athletes at the February 20th Age Group track meet!