The Mililani Trojans brought their brooms to the Oahu Interscholastic Association West Track & Field Championships yesterday.
Both the boys and girls captured titles by handy margins. The boys dethroned defending state champion Pearl City, amassing 112.5 points. The Chargers, with two key contributors limited by injuries, finished with 91 points. Kapolei followed in third place with 65 points.
"All my guys gave such a good effort. It was like desert heat out here," Mililani coach Chad Miyamoto said.
Senior Jonovan Santos was among the key performers. Santos won the 100 (11.4 seconds) and 200 (23.1) to accumulate 20 points. He also placed fourth in the high jump (5-10, four points) and won the long jump (21-1, 10 points).
Santos has shaved his 100 time by around two-tenths of a second.
"I think it's the training, and I stopped lifting weights about three weeks ago," he said. "Our coaches are cool and we have a lot of fun."
And he wasn't even firing on all cylinders.
"He wasn't feeling real well, but he wanted to go for the 4x400 relay," Miyamoto said of Santos' day-long headache. "I told him no. He's a gutsy guy, but the heat plays such a big factor."
Pearl City missed top sprinter Ricky Salvacion, who sat out with an injury. Tommy Owens, their second-best hurdler, suffered an injury in his first event and didn't return.
Mililani's girls totaled 132 points to outlast Pearl City (119), which got another sterling performance from junior Marina Gusman-Brown.
The multi-sport standout won the 100 (12.6) and 200 (26.5) races. She also won the long jump (16-9 1/2) and triple jump (34-5), all despite tight hamstrings. Gusman-Brown had a problem with one of her hamstrings last year, as well.
One of the more compelling events of the day was the girls 4x400. Pearl City trailed Mililani by a small margin for much of the race, but Chargers anchor Marjorie Jones gave her team a major kick on the final turn.
"I just left it in God's hands. I had to get aggressive because she's a good sprinter," Jones said of Mililani's anchor. "I just think of my team. If we do our best, then our coach won't complain."
Pearl City finished the event with a time of 4:21.1, three-tenths of a second ahead of Mililani.
Another Charger, Joshua Fial, provided an early highlight. The 6-footer covered the 110 hurdles in a West record time of 15 seconds flat. He also placed second in the 300 hurdles, sixth in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump to help his team.
Fial's emergence as a top hurdler is the result of hard work on the track and in the weight room since his freshman year.
"My dad used to be a hurdler, and a pretty good one. I just wanted to be like him," Fial said. "And I have a really good coach (Donaldo Hopper) who's taught me a lot of things."
The boys 3,000-meter run had its share of drama. Michael Dain of Kapolei had not trained for nearly two weeks due to a hamstring injury. He and Brian Tanaka of Pearl City were even through much of the race until Tanaka pulled away in the final two laps. Running only his second race at 3,000 this year, Tanaka finished in 10:05.
"I wanted to catch up to Mike and take my chances in a dead sprint," Tanaka said.
Dain, who gained attention after finishing the state cross country championships despite losing a shoe, finished second in 10:21.
"I thought Mike was gonna beat me. He's beaten me at cross country and everything," Tanaka said. "But he's still hurt from soccer. Today, the heat got to all of us, pretty much."
Tanaka noted that he still hasn't matched his times of a year ago. He spent most of this season as one of his team's 4x100 relay runners.
Kaiser had 156 points, 71 better than second-place Kalaheo, while Kahuku won with 183 points. Kaiser and Roosevelt tied for second with 53.
Kahuku junior Redmond Tutor won the 400-meter dash, long jump, triple jump and was a member of the winning 4x400 relay squad.
The Kaiser girls won five events, with sophomore Leialoha Bratton claiming the 800 and anchoring the winning 4x400 team. Castle junior Cheynah Farley won the 100, 200, 400 and high jump.