Kamehameha's William Ho falls short of distance sweep at ILH track championships

·6 min read

May 15—None of the seasoned officials could recall the last time a runner won the 800-, 1, 500-and 3, 000-meter events at the ILH boys track and field championships.

William Ho of Kamehameha came about as close as one can without sweeping on a soggy, sunny afternoon at Alexander Field, taking first in the 800 and 1, 500, and finishing a close second in the 3, 000.

'Iolani, coached by Shane Hedani, won the team championship with 163 points, 30 ahead of second-place Punahou. Kamehameha was third with 90, followed by Saint Louis (56 ), Maryknoll (24 ), HBA (16 ) and Mid-Pacific (14 ). The Raiders were paced by wins from Brody Bantolina (100 yards ), Noah Gaudi (200 ) and Evan Georgia (400 ).

Complete results for team standings and all individual events were not released as of late Friday evening.

Ho didn't achieve his triple crown, but he had plenty of onlookers in the bleachers and on Punahou Street on their feet.

"I feel tired, but I feel really good about my races today, " said Ho, who also ran a 4 ×400 leg for Kamehameha in about 53 seconds.

The ILH cross country champion won the 1, 500 with relative comfort in 4 minutes, 13.78 seconds.

"The strategy was to run as comfortably as I could and try to kick the last 100 meters pretty fast, " Ho said. "I knew I had to conserve a little energy on that one."

William Ho of Kamehameha with a surge at the final turn to win the ILH championships 1, 500-meter run. Possible he's also going for gold in 800 and 3, 000, too. We shalll see.—Paul Honda (@PupulePaul )

After a break, the senior won his second gold in the 800.

"Well, in the 8, I knew it was going to be a fast race so I had to get out strong. Luckily, I got out in second or third place, which is right where I wanted to be. I just had to kick the last 200 meters. It was definitely the fastest sprint I've done all season."

In the 3, 000, however, Mid-Pacific's Parker Wagnild was waiting. Wagnild exploded to a huge lead in the first half of the run. In the final two laps, Ho nearly made up a gap of about 60 yards. Wagnild's kick in the final stretch was enough to stave off Ho and his bid for a rarity.

"Honestly, I'm kind of used to that (gap ) in cross country. That was the game plan. We knew that he was going to go out fast, so my coaches said to run comfortably and try and reel him in, " Ho said. "He told me that he heard my teammates cheering for me, so he knew he had to go."

William Ho of Kamehameha does it again, this time gold in the 800. He stayed off the lead until the final turn.—Paul Honda (@PupulePaul )

Next stop : Duke.

"If I can get on either one (cross country or track ), I'll be happy, " Ho said.

The math whiz has taken college courses from HPU while at Kamehameha.

Ho's feat didn't satisfy his goals, but he earned a lot of respect.

"That was amazing what he did, " Saint Louis sprinter Keanu Wallace said.

"That guy was just crazy, " Punahou hurdler Christopher Paige said. "He just came off a 3, 000 and he jumped in the 4 ×400. That's unreal."

Wallace had a heartbreaking week. After losing the 2020 track season, then his senior year of football to the pandemic, the blazing-fast wide receiver had two football scrimmages with the Crusaders this spring. He also took aim at a potential record in the 100-yard dash. That opportunity, however, was another takeaway by COVID-19 when a classmate tested positive for COVID-19. In the ensuing days, Wallace tested negative twice and was cleared to return to campus.

The ILH has a longer quarantine requirement, 10 days. That meant Wallace had to sit out of the ILH boys track and field trials on Wednesday. His dream of setting a record dissolved.

On Friday, he competed in events that didn't require participation in the trials. Wallace placed third in the long jump, his first try at the event in two years. He also anchored the 4 ×100 relay team to victory.

The Crusaders placed third in the 4 ×400, won by Punahou. Facing a gap of roughly 40 yards on the anchor leg, Wallace ran an unofficial 49.5 seconds, according to coach Alika Fonseca.

"That's my PR. That was my goal, to catch up with 'Iolani. It's all mental. Fifty percent physical, 50 percent mental, " Wallace said.

He long-jumped 21 feet, 6.25 inches. The 4 ×100 was fun.

"I knew I couldn't run the 100 today. They clocked it at 10.1 hand-timed, " he said.

Despite the circumstances, Wallace hasn't complained once.

"He really gets it, " Fonseca said.

"It is what it is. We've just got be grateful for what we have, " Wallace said. "I pray for everyone who's affected by this. My prayers go out to anyone who's had this (virus )."

Paige won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.48 seconds and the 300 in 38.39 seconds. His recovery from an ankle injury suffered during Punahou's spring football workouts went smoothly.

"Today, I felt great. This whole week, really, I was running with no pain, so I was stoked to come out here and have some fun. I didn't have to wrap or anything, " Paige said. "I worked a lot with my Punahou trainers and my (personal ) trainer, Randy Morris. It was a lot of me lying down resting my ankle and drawing some shapes (with his ankle )."

The nonstop training on the beach through the pandemic kept Paige in relatively good condition through the two weeks of inaction.

"The first week coming back, it was a little bit of pain, so I was kind of taking it easy, just going maybe 50 percent. That second week, I was able to run fully, " the 6-foot-2 wide receiver said. "All that beach training really paid off."

Paige plans to study computer science and pursue both sports at Princeton.

"They should've let Keanu run, " he said. "Even if he ran at Saint Louis and they time it there."

Scott Dikilato of Kamehameha emerged as the shot put champion. He is only a sophomore, but he saved his best for the championships.

"I threw a 46-4. It was my second one, " he said of his PR. "I put in the work at my house (during the lockdowns ). I have a gym in my garage. All-around compound movements. A lot of squatting and also bench."

Other winners were Rayden Kiaaina-Caires of Punahou (long jump ) and Lev Van Delden of Punahou (pole vault ).—For more Hawaii high school sports, visit the.