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HHSAA boys track and field: Konawaena perseveres to finish second

May 14, 2017 - 12:05am

KEAAU – No pain, no gain.

Konawaena’s Hauoli Akau felt it and gutted it out for bronze in the 400-meter dash, and Lawrence Barrett’s multiple groans told the story as he doubled over in the infield after taking silver in the 800.

It turned out to be the senior’s final race and it was his favorite race, and Barrett wasn’t going to leave anything on the track Saturday at the HHSAA championships.

“I’ve never had that before,” said Barrett, who at one point said he might throw up. “I was so mentally prepared, so I pushed myself.

“I made my parents proud, finally, with them watching.”

Actually, everyone in Wildcat green at Cougars Stadium left with a smile.

Barrett thought he might have to sub in for Akau in the 1,600 relay, but he was able to watch as the Wildcats’ Josiah Vallez, Kala’i Santiago, Akau and Reyson Ching teamed up for gold to lead Konawaena to a runner-up finish.

“Just the feeling of states itself, it’s beyond what I have ever run before,” Vallez said.

Konawaena had its disappointments along the way – including a disqualification in the 400 relay preliminary – but it got resourceful to click in the end.

Take the case of Ching, who didn’t advance in the triple jump, but he grabbed silver in the 200, taking advantage when Seabury Hall’s Isaiah Payne slipped and fell near the the end.

“Horrible start as always, and then I ran a good turn,” Ching said. “Sadly (Payne) fell, he really deserved it.

“I don’t know what happened in the long jump, but I pulled it together in the 200.”

“Give me a few minutes, and I’ll be ready for the relay,” he added.

Ching was right.

In a reversal from BIIFs, where Vallez ran down Barrett to win the 800, this time it was Barrett who held on, with Vallez taking bronze.

“It’s my third time running that race out of my years doing track,” Vallez said. “I tried and I ran as hard as I could. I got third, and I’m happy for that.”

“I didn’t feel anyone,” Barrett said. “That’s the hardest I’ve pushed in a race, ever.”

In one of the most thrilling races of the day, Hilo’s Riley Patterson, Devin Albrecht, Kahale Huddleston and Lukas Kuipers took silver in the 400 relay, fining just behind an impressive team from Damien (42.60-42.68). Damien’s Christian Padron anchored the relay team, which matched the stadium record, and claimed the 100 (10.63) and 200 (21.97), setting a meet and stadium record, respectively.

Leilehua senior Damion Scandrick, who started his high school career at Keaau, finished third in the 110 hurdles.

Punahou finished comfortably ahead the rest of the field.

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