The last time Kamehameha’s Davis Kaahanui approached the starting line at a cross country meet, he dusted a field of Hawaii’s best runners by more than 30 seconds last October.
The next time he toed the line, he might have been even more impressive.
Kaahanui finished second in the Honolulu Marathon/Kaiser Invitational cross country meet on Saturday, beating all Hawaii competition but losing to Jackson Marshall of Woodbridge (Calif.) by 12 seconds.
That’s OK, though, Kaahanui was just happy to be there.
The senior won the ILH and state championships last year before suffering a stress fracture that kept him out of last year’s track and field season. He trained hard over the summer, but hadn’t run against real competition since.
He put in a time of 17 minutes, 7.9 seconds at the state meet and was even faster on Saturday with a 16:23.80. He beat his closest competition from the ILH, Jaques Hebert of Punahou, by a full 24 seconds in the warm-up.
Makai Clemons of Kalaheo finished three seconds behind Kaahanui at Kaiser, but has the early time to beat on Oahu with a 16:12.84 in a preaseason meet in Radford. Clemons has the top two times among OIA boys in the early going, but teammate Pierce Humble (16:47 at Radford), Mililani’s Jakob Dewald (17:06 at Aiea) and Carlos Rodriguez of Radford (17:18 at Radford) are within striking distance.
Grossman’s still got it
Seabury Hall’s Dakota Grossman began her quest for a fourth straight state championship with a win in the Kamehameha-Hawaii Preseason Invitational on Saturday.
Grossman clocked an 18:38.77 and nobody was even close, beating Hilo’s Kamahena Sabado Halpern by a full minute. Grossman has never cracked 19 minutes in a state championship race, but made it look possible over the weekend.
Amanda Beaman of ‘Iolani seems to carry Oahu’s best hope in the early going, winning at Kaiser with a time of 19:36.33 to become the first Oahu girl to break 20 minutes in a varsity competition.
That meet was dominated by the ILH, with Punahou’s Kailey Totherow finishing second in 20:02 and Kai Hoshijo of Kamehameha taking third in 20:08. Pearl City’s Maile Shigemasa paced OIA runners with a 20:29 after running a 20:56 at Aiea.
The ILH’s next meet is Saturday at Kamehameha, while the OIA splits into three competitions the same day.