The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Hanakeawe runs ahead of the pack

As he runs up and down hills, through dirt trials in the warm California weather, Jason Hanakeawe has a smile behind all the beads of sweat sliding down his face.

Although he is only a sophomore, Hanakeawe has not showed any signs of any sophomore jitters. All Hanakeawe has showed thus far has been the desire and determination to lead his team to a conference title and be one of the top three runners in the state.

“Hanakeawe acknowledges that it is going to take hard work, leadership, dedication, sacrifice and commitment to be one of the top runners in the state,” coach Dean Lofgren said. “Thus far, he has shown all of the attributes to be a top runner.”

Hanakeawe had his best race of the season thus far two weeks ago at the Golden West Invitational at Central Park in Huntington Beach, with a time of 20:45 in the four-mile run: the fourth fastest finish on the Central Park course in Warriors’ history.

“He has run well in all his races,” Lofgren said. “He has being getting a bit more aggressive out there in the lead pack.”

Hanakeawe is an optimistic person; he believes everything will work itself out.

“I do not think about breaking records while I am running in a meet. If it happens that I break a record, it happens,” Hanakeawe said. “All I am worried about out there is winning as a team.”

Besides being on the cross country team, Hanakeawe is also on the EC track and field team as well, beginning his track and field and cross country career at Mira Costa High School.

“I decided to join the cross country team during high school because it seemed to be the easiest sport,” Hanakeawe said.

“I am glad I decided to join the cross country team because I enjoyed every single minute of it.”

Hanakeawe was considering to be one of the top runners in high school, but during his senior year he suffered an injury that kept him from competing in the state final.

After graduating high school, Hanakeawe decided to attend EC to run with some of his high school teammates and because it was the nearest community college.

Hanakeawe’s first year at EC was not what he expect it to be. He suffered from injuries throughout the year, but was optimistic that his sophomore year would be much better.

“I suffered through injuries my freshmen year, which kept me from competing,” Hanakeawe said. “I decided to train during the summer in order for me to be in top shape for my sophomore year.”

Hanakeawe’s sophomore year has great thus far. Hanakeawe has led the team to the top of the South Coast Conference and he is considered one of the top runners in the state.

“Hanakeawe had a very solid summer of training and we knew he would be among the best in the state, which he is at the moment,” Lofgren said. “He sacrificed his summer to train. That shows that he is serious about this, which is why he is the captain of the team.”

Hanakeawe has known most of his teammates for about five years because many of them came from his high school or had competed against him throughout high school.

“It is my fifth year with these guys and it is like we can read each other’s minds while we are competing,” Hanakeawe said. “These guys are like my brothers because I have known them for years.”

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