UH’s Santiago grounded by theft

While her teammates competed in the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash. on Friday, Hawaii senior Zhane Santiago was back home, her opportunity to participate stolen before the Rainbow Wahine track and field team’s departure on Thursday morning.

Santiago set a UH record in the 60-meter hurdles in the University of Washington Invitational on Jan. 31 and was set to compete in the event again as well as the long jump when the Rainbow Wahine returned for this week’s indoor meet.

The team was scheduled to board a bus to the airport at 6:20 a.m. Thursday and Santiago stopped at Longs Drugs in Moiliili with her father at about 5:50 on her way to the Manoa campus. Santiago said she was in the store for 10 minutes and came out to find their truck had been broken into and her suitcase and backpack stolen.

The theft left her without her school books and laptop as well as clothes, competition uniform and track shoes.

“I was pretty upset because that was everything I needed to travel and compete. I had everything in there,” Santiago said.

She filed a police report and by Friday afternoon she’d been told by HPD that her suitcase had been recovered in a stolen vehicle, although she didn’t know what remained of its contents, and “everything else is still missing.”

While Santiago can be re-issued a uniform and shoes by the program, the school work stored on her laptop will be tough for the sociology major to replace.

Santiago spent much of Thursday and Friday dealing with the theft and began looking ahead to the MPSF Indoor Championships set for Feb. 27 and 28 again at Washington’s Dempsey Indoor facility.

“It brought me down but it’s given me a little fire for the next competition,” Santiago said. “Just missing out makes me think real hard about what I want to do in the next meet.”

As for Friday’s competition at UW, Rainbow Wahine sophomore Rachel Toliver set a UH indoor record in the 200-meter dash. Toliver finished with a time of 25.19 seconds, breaking the record of 25.31 seconds set by Ashley Satterwhite in 2012.

Freshman Montana Martinez’s time of 17 minutes, 36.47 seconds in the 5,000 meters was the second fastest in the program’s history.

The meet continues on Saturday and UH will also compete in the UW Indoor Open on Sunday.