Seabury again aims high
PUKALANI – Before a torrential downpour halted the Kamehameha Maui Relays on Friday night at a packed Kanaiaupuni Stadium, the storm brewing between the Seabury Hall and Baldwin girls track and field teams showed it will most likely last all season.
While the Bears were winning the shorter races, the Spartans flexed their muscles in the longer ones.
The teams that have alternated Maui Interscholastic League titles the last four years are clearly on a collision course in 2014.
“I think we look really good and we’ll be tough to beat,” said Seabury coach Bobby Grossman, whose team was one point away from a state title last season. “We have everybody back. Next year will be some battles and stuff, but as long as we stay healthy we’re the strong team in the league right now.”
Baldwin coach Keoni Tengan smiled when asked about the rivalry.
“I hope it does come down to a battle at MILs,” Tengan said. “Right now we are just trying to stay healthy, get girls in the right slots, make sure everybody comes to practice and work from there.”
Baldwin senior Thayna Guedes won the 100-meter dash in 12.73 seconds as Seabury’s Alyssa Bettendorf sat out her top event – she ran a state-best 12.38 last week.
Bettendorf won the 400 (58.02) and long jump (16 feet, 7 inches) on Friday.
The Spartans and Bears often train simultaneously at Yamamoto Track & Field Facility.
“We start early in the preseason and this year I saw some Baldwin kids out there,” Bettendorf said. “They are starting to build because last year we beat them and I know that they took a lot of it personally because they have so many people. I think it is even more intense than last year.”
After the Bears’ Sanoe Anguay won the girls 100 hurdles in 16.05, just in front of the Spartans’ Christy Fell (16.51), Seabury Hall’s Dakota Grossman, Ally Smith and Kiana Smith went 1-2-3 in the 1,500.
“I felt pretty good, it’s a fast track,” said Anguay, who is set to join the Navy after graduation. “That was my best time of the season.”
Grossman’s time in the 1,500 was 4:43.97. Ally Smith finished in 5:28.71.
Fell won the MIL 100 hurdles last season and was seventh in the state. Anguay was second in the MIL championships.
“I’d like to beat them,” Anguay said. “Christy always pushes me to go faster, so it’s good. It should be like that all year, even last year.”
Dakota Grossman, headed to Utah on a full track scholarship, won the state 3,000 last year, placed second in the 1,500 and was third in the 800. Bettendorf, who will run next season at Northern Colorado, was third in the long jump, 100 and 200, and second in the 400.
“This year, I have actually told them that I will be disappointed if we don’t win (the state title),” Bobby Grossman said. “We have to have people step up, we can’t just have it be the Alyssa and Dakota show. We need some other people on our team. We have the ability – it’s just a matter of working and wanting it.”
Baldwin’s boys – the two-time defending state champions, who lost many of last year’s top performers to graduation – showed they are still the MIL team to beat based on their sprinters.
The Bears’ Dylan Leigh (11.13) and Bailey Kaopuiki (11.16) claimed the top two spots in the boys 100, and Anthony Kahoohanahano-Davis placed second in the 110 hurdles in 16.34, 0.83 seconds behind Lahainaluna’s Emerson Liburd.
The Lunas’ 1-2 punch from cross country, Corban Kaikkonen and Will Thorbecke, took the top two spots in the 1,500 in 4:19.03 and 4:22.77, respectively.
“I felt pretty good,” Kaikkonen said. “Our team is pretty good this year. I saw 4:19 on my watch when I finished. I think I’m doing pretty good. My best last year was 4:20, so 4:19 would be a (personal record). I think our long distance team is kind of doing good because we had such a successful cross country season.”
The nonscoring meet was stopped shortly before 8 p.m. with more than 90 minutes of competition still on the docket.
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com