The convergence of track and football in the spring season was a blessing in the eyes of Christopher Paige.
After seeing football cancelled at the league level, the Punahou senior was just glad to have a return to his event, the 300-meter hurdles. Then came an ankle injury on the football field two weeks before the ILH track and field championships.
Oh, the young do recover quickly. The Princeton-bound wide receiver won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 38.39 seconds and the 110 hurdles in 14.48 on Saturday.
“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 going into the two weeks of inaction. He missed one of Punahou’s exhibition football scrimmages, but the comeback was relatively smooth — and satisfying. His sophomore season in 2019 showed promise, but junior year was knocked out by the pandemic.
“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. He still thought about Saint Louis wide receiver Keanu Wallace, who was held out of the trials because of the ILH’s mandated quarantine. He tested negative twice, but the 10-day quarantine didn’t end until after the trials.
“They should’ve let Keanu run,” he said. “Even if he ran at Saint Louis and they time it there.”