The talent level at Saturday’s BIIF track and field meet may have been watered down in certain events, but that doesn’t mean the results necessarily were always diluted.
In some cases, the cream that rose to the top at Waiakea was all the more noticeable.
Warriors senior Cheyn Tam-Switzer took off in the 200-meter dash as if he was running against his prime competition, recording a personnel-record off 22.95 seconds — a time that Hilo’s Riley Patterson and Kealakehe Calvin McHone can take note of because it’s the one to beat so far in the BIIF this season.
“I would have preferred to have them here, because not only do they push me, but it’s good to see my friends doing well,” Tam-Switzer said. “That time today is the top sprint, but Riley really hasn’t got back into it.”
Tam-Switzer finished the meet by showing a touch more endurance and getting Waiakea off to a fine start in the 4×400 relay, a victory that gave Waiakea its seventh win in 16 boys events.
All of that was fine and dandy for coach Tim Carigon, but the “next meet (Saturday at Keaau) is the important meet,” he said. “People have been gone, next meet everyone comes. It’s a night meet at Keaau, and everyone loves Keaau. It’s a fast track.
“You’ll see what everyone has and what they are willing to do.”
Carigon has healthy roster of 50-some boys, but in the end he’s looking for eight to 10 to emerge “that get all the points.”
One is Tam-Switzer, a threat to medal, if not win, his coach said, in the sprints as well as the long jump and possibly the 400.
Another is Magnus Namohala-Roloos, the runaway favorite, right now, in the 800. His personal-best in the event, 2:01.85, came March 16 at Konawaena and is the fourth-best effort in the state this season.
“We know he can break 2 minutes, he just needs to be pushed, but I don’t know who is going to do that,” Carigon said.
When push comes to shove at the BIIF championships, Tam-Switzer would like to compete in six events. He’ll find competition in the 400 from teammate Samuel Frazier-Jenkins, who reached a PR of 51.80, a BIIF-best this season.
Tam-Switzer ranks third in the 100, an event he won Saturday, and long jump, an event he felt he could have done better.
“I practice it maybe twice a week,” he said, “I just haven’t been able to hit the board lately. If I get back on to it I should be in the running.”
He was a freshman on the last Waiakea team to win the BIIF title in 2016, when Louie Ondo did much of the heavy lifting by sweeping the three distance races.
“That team was pretty much Louie,” Tam-Switzer said. “This year, it’s more of a team effort. No one powerhouse guy, but we have a bunch of guys who compete hard.
“I don’t pay too much attention to the team (race) yet. Once we put our cards on the table, we should have a decent chance.”
With Eric Cabais-Fernandez and Deylan Okinaka, the Warriors have been good for a one-two finish in the pole vault — each cleared 13 feet, 6 inches Saturday — and Abel Pacatang has been the BIIF’s best thrower.
On a day when Carigon said the lack of participation in some events made competitive waters murky, he was crystal clear on one point: Kealakehe, the defending champ, is the favorite.
“In both boys and girls,” he said. “Kealakehe has the numbers on us. Depth in sprints and distance.”
She high jumps, too
If Kamehameha standout Chenoa Frederick should choose to compete in the heptathlon in college, she can check off the high jump.
The junior is likely to produce a noteworthy result each time she competes, and Saturday she reached 5 feet in her first go-around at the high jump, a height that tied her for third-best in the state.
“It’s definitely not coaching,” Manly Kanoa joked. “Just a couple of days of work and relying on athleticism at this point.”
For the record, Frederick owns a top-three state effort this season in six events: 100, 200, 400, high jump, long jump and the triple jump.
She won her five events Saturday, not competing in the 400, and reeled off 2019 Hawaii-best distances in the long jump, 17-9, and triple, 38-7.25. Those were two of the three events she struck HHSAA struck gold in as a sophomore.
“We’re trying to get her to understand to focus on beating herself every week,” Kanoa said.
Frederick’s workload varies from week to week, and in the end, Kanoa doesn’t expect the Warriors girls to be in the running for a third consecutive team title.
“I watched her in the 200, her last event, and I think she probably could pop six events a couple of times this season,” he said. “We want to be smart. Coming off states at soccer, we want to balance recovery with honing those skills.”
Frederick teamed with Saydee Aganus the past two season, but with Aganus gone, Kanoa said, “We don’t have any depth.”
Kay-Leigh Polido won the shot put and was second in the discus behind Hilo’s Arielle Mendes, recording a pair of PRs.
Kamehameha’s depth was better on the boys side thanks to the baseball team having a day off. Left-handed ace Tai Atkins claimed the long jump and triple with PRs, including a dramatic improvement with a 42-2 in the latter event, which ranks sixth in the state.
“Now that he’s gotten over that 40 plateau, we hope with a little bit more training,” Kanoa said, “coming down in the evening (after baseball practice), that he can bust that 42 and let go.”
The BIIF baseball and track and field championships are each scheduled for April 27, track at Kamehameha and baseball at UH-Hilo.
Atkins should be free to compete at the state track and field championships, May 3-4 on Maui.
• Keaau thrower Cody Ah Nee set a PR in winning the discus (135-5) and also captured the shot put. Ah Nee is 6 inches off Pacatang’s best distance in the shot this season.
• Konawaena’s Jayda Flenory ran the best time in the BIIF this season in winning the 300 hurdles, 48.98.
The Wildcats swept the girls relays, and their winning time of 4:23.41 in the 4×400 is the fastest on the island this season.
• Kealakehe sent a contingent to the Ruby Tuesday Invitational at Moanalua High in Honolulu. McHone’s 100 PR of 11.09 is the best for a BIIF boy this season, as was the 4:26.33 run by Jahren Simpliciano in the 1,500. That was also a PR.