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Kalani's Cole runs 1,500 in under 4 minutes at OIAs

May 5—1/2

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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Mililani's Deiona Carter won a tight race in the girls 100-meter dash at 12.37. Radford's Amelia Stebe clocked in at 12.38 and Kalaheo's ChaWei Quinn at 12.42.

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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Mililani's Timothy Wallace, center, was en route to victory in the boys 110-meter hurdles during Saturday's OIA Track and Field Championships at Mililani.

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Yuta Cole became the first Hawaii runner to post a sub-four-minute time in the 1,500-meter run at the Oahu Interscholastic Association track and field championships on Saturday at Mililani's John Kauinana Stadium.

The Kalani senior posted a time of 3 minutes, 56.57 seconds to take gold in the 1,500. He also won the 3,000 run shortly after. In Thursday's preliminaries, he ran the 800 in 1:53.08 — the top time in the state this season — but on Saturday he focused on the 1,500 and 3,000.

Cole's time easily beat his personal record of 4:02.20. The state championship meet record is 4:01.23, set by Jac Hebert of Punahou in 2014.

"Yuta is the first one from Hawaii to go sub-four minutes in the 1,500. The 800 was so competitive this year. He didn't really want to go in and just run it. He's at this point, I let him make his decisions and he wanted to run a really good 800, so he did it in the trials," Kalani coach Matt Sanders said. "It'll be the same thing next week (at states). We always have him on standby to do our 4×400."

Cole recovered quickly after his 3,000 run.

"I knew today for the 1,500 I was trying to go for my own record. I set it last year and I wasn't going to go slower than last year," Cole said. "My main focus today was the 1,500, get under four minutes. Now that I've done it once, I'm very confident that I can do it next weekend (at states)."

A hot and sunny afternoon turned into a cool evening in Mililani with light tradewinds. It was a major change from Thursday's wet and windy conditions. The Island Movers/HHSAA Track and Field State Championships will also be at Kauinana Stadium.

Mililani four-peated as OIA girls team champions with 100.5 points, followed by Radford (99), Kalaheo (84.5), Campbell (49) and Kaiser (43).

Campbell (95) edged defending boys champion Mililani (92) by 3 points. Radford (47), Roosevelt (38), and Moanalua and Kaiser (both 34) followed.

Amari Branch was a relentless competitor, partaking in six events and winning the triple jump for the Sabers. He anchored the 4×400 relay team to a crucial runner-up finish. After Thursday's preliminary round, Branch told his coach that he would improve on his times and distances. No more boba drinks.

"Thursday, I went back home. I was mad at myself, like dang, I really lost bad. These dudes are fast," he said. "I was doing nothing but eating junk food. Friday, I had a good sandwich from Subway. I had rice cakes. Carbs are good. Rest is good on Friday. I woke up early (Saturday) and mentality-wise I was there. I didn't really have much for breakfast. I went to volleyball practice in the morning."

It is the first Campbell boys title since 2016, and the fourth under longtime coach Wyatt Tau.

"On Thursday, we didn't do too good. I knew it was going to be a tight one. Everybody had to perform and I'm glad they showed up tonight as a team. Winning second place in the 4×400 secured our win," Tau said.

Timothy Wallace sparked the Trojans with a win in the 110-meter hurdles and a record-breaking time of 38.8 seconds in 300 hurdles.

He posted a 14.18 for the gold, slightly off his PR of 14.14 in last week's OIA Western Division Championships. The state meet record is 14.19, set by Rey Cadiz of Baldwin in 2019.

"Some of the things I did right today was coming into today's race with the right mindset, making sure I'm mentally prepared. Always putting God first. Putting my head down, working all year just for this week and next weekend," said Wallace, a junior. "There's some strong competitors like Diamond (Hanohano-Pastushin) from Campbell. I'm excited to see how we push each other next week."

Campbell's long-distance powerhouse, Ashlyn Jacobsen, won the girls 1,500 run.

"I try to take it out conservative and grind it out, and work for it in the end," the sophomore said. "I'm so excited for states. I can't wait to run with all of the girls from all the islands."

That includes Kekaihulali Halpern of Hilo, who has the fastest time of the season statewide.

"I don't know how she's been running. She runs each of her events just once (per meet), so she has really good times. I don't know what she's going to do at states," Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen also ran for Campbell's winning 4×800 relay team.

Kalaheo broke the boys 4×400 relay mark with a time of 42.29 seconds. The group began with junior Cody Salas, who handed the baton to Carson Fernie, then to Davidson Kathman and then Jalen Keller.

Fernie, a senior, is a wrestler who had never run track before. His spring sport was volleyball until this year. Keller was especially stoked with his crew's win. The senior had false-started in the 100 dash, but helped the Mustangs to the record-breaking 4×400 win, and later won the 200 dash.

"I felt good going into (the 200). I didn't want lane 3. I wanted lane 6, it's more comfortable coming into the curve," Keller said. "It's good to be with my boys."

Kathman made up a 15-meter deficit before handing the baton to Keller.

"I still can't believe we broke a record. I just moved here four months ago from Louisiana," Salas said.

Kathman talked Fernie into coming out for track.

"We used to play soccer together," Fernie said of Kathman.

"I am surprised. I knew he was fast, but I was waiting to see how fast he is on the track," Kathman said.