Mililani track and field seniors face a difficult choice. Go to their graduation on May 13 or run in the state meet.
The team has known for months about the conflict, and coaches Nate Aragaki and Dane Matsunaga have left it up to the individual to decide what’s best for them.
The Trojans’ victory on the boys side in the Oahu Interscholastic Association championship meet Saturday complicates matters a bit, but the team is taking it in stride.
“Winning the OIAs doesn’t necessarily equate to doing well at states,” Aragaki said. “It’s unfortunate, but we kind of just want to move on already. They let us know about this a long time ago and we’ve accepted it already. It is what it is.”
Mililani’s OIA champion 4-x-100 team with three seniors — Kaleo Pogue, Jaymen Yadao and Jaratt Kaopuiki-Ota — and sophomore Ryan Chang plans to compete at states.
“It looks like they will be sacrificing graduation to run,” said Aragaki, who added that this is what he believes the runners will do and is not 100 percent sure of their final plans.
Pogue also qualified for states in the 100- and 200-yard dashes as well as the 4-x-400 relay along with fellow seniors Hamilton Howard and Mic Chapur Ferrera and junior Rafal Soberman.
Howard, who is a state qualifier in the 200 and 400, plans to run at states. Chapur Ferrera is planning to attend graduation.
Senior Tyler Stiles, a state qualifier in the 3,000, is planning on attending graduation, as are Mililani girls Maya Hoeft (a state qualifier in the 3,000) and Kinsey Tsuruta (a state qualifier in the 1,500).
Mililani is the only public high school in Hawaii to hold graduation ceremonies the weekend of May 12-14.