King Kekaulike High School is playing this low-key.
Baldwin may be among the favorites going to this week's Island Movers Boys State Track and Field Championships - and 32-time champion Punahou always is - but Na Alii are in position to strike should there be slippage for the top teams.
The Bears rolled to their seventh straight Maui Interscholastic League title with a 77-point victory over runner-up Na Alii 12 days ago, but King Kekaulike has nine marks in the state's top 10 this year, led by Michael Teves' state-best pole vault of 14 feet, 3 inches.
Maui Prep’s Troy Otto clears 6-foot-1, tied for the sixth-best mark in the state, during the Victorino Ohana Invitational last month.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
"If we can get that team thing, I think it would be good for us," Teves said before practice on Tuesday. "If we all do what is possible, we could be right there. The guys up here work hard, those boys they work hard over here and the coaches keep us straight."
Teves' 14-3 leap came in the Punahou Relays last month against a loaded field. He finished third in the MIL championships.
"I can't wait for that (state meet), hopefully I can clear 15 feet," Teves said. "I have been working hard at it, just trying to do good."
Kihei Charter's Lucas Zarro has the second-best pole vault in the state so far, 14-0 at the Kamakea Invitational on April 5.
Na Alii have big potential points in the jumps. Jansen Agapay and Billy Joe Bonete have each gone 6-1 in the high jump - tied for the sixth-best state mark, but only one inch from second.
"If everybody has their best on day, it is not out of the question," King Kekaulike coach Jesse Henderson Sr. said of a state title. "It is not something we are planning for, not something we are going after. All we are planning for is each individual to do their best."
Maui High's Vincent Keomoungkhoune's state-leading 6-5 high jump is two months old and Maui Prep's Troy Otto is also in the group at 6-1.
Agapay is fifth in the long jump (21-6 1/2), and Seabury Hall's Jay Braun is tied for seventh, just a half inch behind.
Na Alii's Luke Brown and Agapay are fourth and fifth in the triple jump, respectively, with Brown just 2 1/4 inches from the top mark.
King Kekaulike's Keegan Gregg is ranked fourth in the 800, 2.54 seconds from the top mark, and Jake Jacobs has the sixth-best time in the 400 meters, less than a second from first. The school's 1,600 relay team is ranked ninth.
Braun is second in the 200 and third in the 100, Maui High's Tau Lotulelei is second in the shot put and the Sabers' Nicola Perez-Garreaud is third in the 1,500 and fourth in the 3,000, Kamehameha Maui's Connor Yap is fourth in the 300 hurdles and tied for seventh in the 110 hurdles and the Warriors' 1,600 relay is seventh and their 400 relay eighth.
"Since I have been here, and this is my seventh year, this is the deepest group of young men that we have had," Henderson said. "We have got some very talented youngsters who are really working hard to reach their potential."
In the girls rankings, defending state 3,000 champion Dakota Grossman of Seabury Hall leads that event and is ranked fifth in the 1,500.
Lahainaluna's Sydney Mc-Kinney is third in the 3,000, Teianna Collins-Shirota of King Kekaulike is fourth in the discus, Maui High's Christina Lotulelei is sixth in the shot put, Seabury's Kiana Smith is seventh in the 1,500 and 10th in the 800 and teammate Roxanne Gaedeke is eighth in the 300 hurdles, Seabury's 1,600 relay is eighth, King Kekau-like's Kaysea Hashizaki is eighth in the pole vault, Kamehameha Maui's 400 relay is 10th, Seabury's Alyssa Bettendorf is ranked 10th in the 200 and Lahainaluna's Kiana Yamat is 10th in the pole vault.
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com