BIIF track and field: Hamilton, Ankrum ready to go distance for formidable Kealakehe

  • JARED FUJISAKI photo
    Kealakehe’s Leann Hamilton, right, won the 1,500-meter run Saturday at Keaau High along with the 800 and 3,000.

KEAAU —When Kealakehe’s Alec Ankrum trudged onto the infield Saturday at Keaau High after winning the 3,000, he was greeted by a teammate who reminded him of the good news.

His day was done.

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The Waveriders’ Leann Hamilton wasn’t as lucky. Hamilton did have to turn around and compete in the 4×400 relay after winning her 3,000, and she almost summoned up enough stamina to pull off an impressive quadruple accomplishment.

Give the junior another 10 meters in her anchor run, and she probably would have made up enough of a deficit to vault Kealakehe to third.

“When I was over there,” Hamilton said, pointing to the first turn, “I thought I don’t have it, but as soon as I was at the 100 I thought, “OK, I’m just going to try, this is the last 100 I’m going to have to run today.”

As it was, Hamilton went home with a another triple sweep of the distance races, also claiming the 1,500 and 800 for the second consecutive BIIF track and field meet.

“Feeling very accomplished but a little tired,” said Hamilton, who was happiest about her negative split in the 800, which she won in 2 minutes, 28.18 seconds, the fourth-best time in the state this season. “Great day for me.”

Ankrum and Hamilton are familiar talents contributing to what is shaping up to be a fun season for Kealakehe coach Duke Hartfield, but there are new faces as well.

Ebriheem Muhammad, who transfered to the school from North Carolina along with his sister, Saidah, jumped right into it Saturday, winning the long jump and the triple.

“He’s only been out two days, we’re not sure what he is,” Hartfield said, “but he definitely jumped well today.”

Saidah Muhammad, competing in her second meet, finished second in both sprints and anchored the Waveriders to victory in the 4×100 relay in a state-qualifying time.

With Crystal DeLos Santos adding points in the hurdles, Hartfield said, “We won by so much today it’s scary.”

Team scores at this point in the season are used primarily for entertainment purposes, but Kealakehe’s girls beat out Waiakea 131-93 for the top spot, while the boys edged the Warriors 128-127.

“It’s fun, because you never know year to year,” Hartfield said. “I knew we had scoring potential in both the distance and the sprints, and everything else is starting to look better than anticipated, which is great news.”

He likes his balance on the boys side, with Ankrum and Jahren Simpliciano in the distances, Kainoa Raymond in the 400, sprinter Calvin McHone-Todd, Muhammad in the jumps and depth on hand to add points here and there.

Ankrum and Hamilton could be the biggest points-winners.

If you combined their talents, you might have the perfect candidate to sweep the distance races at a championship meet.

Ankrum, the reining BIIF cross-country and 3,000 champ, is working on his speed to try to tackle the 800.

“I try to go out hard and try to build it up,” he said.

He was third Saturday behind Waiakea’s Magnus Namohala-Roloos and Simpliciano. Ankrum won the 1,500. Last season at states, he was fourth in the 3,000.

“I love the 800, it’s fast, and it’s got a lot of competition,” Ankrum said. “It’s the most challenge, but I love it because the 800 is just a fun race.

“Magnus is super fast in the 800, and Jahren is also pretty fast.”

Hamilton already has the 800 covered. She won that and the 1,500 last season at BIIFs, but has yet to catch Honokaa’s Sophia Cash at the longer distance.

Cash, a four-time BIIF cross-country champion and three-time winner in the 3,000, hasn’t run in the first two meets of the season. There are six more scheduled before the BIIF championships April 27 at Kamehameha.

“I’m definitely going to need endurance to stay with (Cash),” Hamilton said.

Distance sweeps are neither rare nor commonplace at the BIIF championships.

On the boys side, Waiakea’s Louie Ondo last accomplished the feat in 2016, while Kealakehe’s Keili Dorn did it in 2015 in girls races.

“That definitely a goal,” Ankrum said, “it could happen.”

Same for Hamilton, though she might have another relay in store at the end as well.

“I would love to run all four when it counts,” she said.

Also

• The other double winners Saturday were: Konawaena’s Caiya Hanks (100, 200); Waiakea’s Taysia Rocha (long jump, triple jump), Keaau’s Simaima Lavemai (shot put, discus) and Waiakea’s Abel Pacatang (shot put, discus).

Pacatang recorded a throw of 46 feet, 7 inches in the shot, third-best in the state so far.

• Riley Patterson’s winning time of 11:14 in the 100 for Hilo was the second-best effort in Hawaii this season.

• Waiakea’s Cheyn Tam-Switzer (200, 23.19) and Namohala-Roloos (800, 2:03.28) rank fourth in their respective events.

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• In the March 2 opener at Hawaii Prep, HPA sophomore Dean Connors cleared 6-2 in the high jump, tops in the state.

• Also at HPA, Waiakea’s Eric Cabais-Fernandez and Deylan Okinaka cleared 14-0 in the pole vault and remain tied for the top spot in Hawaii.

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