Seabury, Baldwin make noise at Yamamoto Invite
WAILUKU — The Satoki Yamamoto Invitational track championships were all about statements on Saturday night at the Yamamoto Track & Field Facility.
From veteran performers to brand-new track athletes, the competition starts to ramp up with the first two-day meet of the season.
“Today I was a bit sore, I won’t lie, but overall pretty good meet,” Seabury Hall senior Isaiah Payne said after winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes. “It’s always nice to have the Yamamoto Invitational. Thank you to the Yamamotos for putting it on.”
The five-time defending Maui Interscholastic League champion Seabury Hall girls easily won the Yamamoto team crown with 169 points, more than double the 83 by second-place Kamehameha Maui.
The Spartans’ Veronica Winham, a two-time state cross country champion, won the 800 and 3,000, and anchored the victorious 1,600 relay. She was second to teammate Chloe Gangnath in the 400.
“This is a good way to gauge things because states is a two-day meet, a great way to prepare,” Winham said after her busy schedule. “They are all pretty close together. This is my first time doing this combination — it’s pretty hard.”
The 12-time defending MIL champion Baldwin boys also rolled to the title, piling up 184 points, 93 more than Maui High.
Payne won the 100, 200 and 400 at the MIL championships last season and has his eyes set on state crowns in the shorter distances this year.
On Saturday, he finished the 100 in 11.00 seconds, just off the Yamamoto meet record of 10.97 set by Baldwin’s Bailey Kaopuiki in 2016. Payne’s winning time of 22.14 in the 200 also missed the meet record of 21.89 set by Baldwin’s Keelan Ewaliko in 2013.
Payne, the three-time MIL Division II boys basketball Player of the Year, is eyeing a partial track scholarship at Seattle University for his college future. First, he will finish his stellar career in a Spartans singlet.
“The competition rises with every meet, and with the trials and the finals, it definitely gives you a feel of states,” Payne said. “Right now, I feel pretty good, better than last year at this time. I look better and I feel a bit better. Hopefully we keep going and peak at the right time.”
Seabury Hall hopes to give the Baldwin boys a run for the MIL title next month.
“Team-wise, we’re looking better, better than last year,” Payne said. “I mean, they are very deep — they’ve got everything, all events. I think for the events that we’ve got, we can compete with them.”
Baldwin has some new faces mixed with the old this year — MIL soccer standout Angelo Deloso-Flocco jumped 37 feet, 9.5 inches to claim fourth place in the triple jump. He never competed in track and field until his prep soccer career ended with a co-state title a month ago. He finished just under two feet behind teammate and winner Christian Reinhardt (39-8.5).
“I like it, it’s good to come out my senior year and try this stuff,” Deloso-Flocco said. “I get to wear Baldwin on my chest for a little longer.”
Like Payne, Deloso-Flocco is close to making a college choice — he is set to officially visit Nevada-Las Vegas this week. He has already visited Portland, San Diego State and UC Santa Barbara.
“I hope to decide in the next two weeks,” Deloso-Flocco said. “Track is fun right now, it’s like a totally different feel than soccer. It’s individual, it’s cool, it’s fun. I like it.”
Baldwin teammate Shawn Silva won the high jump by clearing 6 feet, 2 inches a night after he finished second in the pole vault at 12-6.
“That (6-2) was my best ever,” Silva said. “It feels good, always progressing. We’re starting to get serious as the year goes on — there’s a tradition with our team and we’re trying to hold it down.”
Lahainaluna junior Apakasi Felemi won the boys discus by more than 12 feet with a best toss of 129-7. He finished fifth in the shot put at 39-0. He is also a starting offensive lineman for the two-time defending Division II state championship football team.
“Track helps me for football, footwork and stuff,” Felemi said. “This is only my second year — I threw 139 last week. To win tonight is pretty cool. I felt pretty confident. I feel amazing, but then I was also nervous. This is when things start to get serious.”
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org