Back home in Hawaii, Ryly Yee and Mimi Manatad were running rivals on the track. Yee, who is from Honolulu, and Manatad, who is from Kaneohe, Hawaii, ran against each other in high school. Four years later, they are teammates at the same school, cheering each other on.
When they found out that they were going to be teammates, Yee and Manatad were ecstatic.
“We ran in the same division back home, but I didn’t realize she was coming here until we both accepted,” said Manatad, a freshman kinesiology major.
Yee found out right before Christmas.
“I was very excited. (I was) going to Chapman, going to run. (I was) set. Then I found out that Mimi was coming later on, and I was excited to be teammates,” said Yee, a freshman biological sciences major.
When Yee toured colleges, she knew she wanted to come to California, and the school had to have a good science program and a track team.
“As soon as I stepped on campus, I knew this was my first choice,” Yee said. “The new science building and being able to emphasize in anatomy and physiology helped me decide on Chapman.”
Yee is working toward becoming a pediatrician.
“When I was younger, I always looked up to my pediatrician,” Yee said. “As I grew up, I loved working with children, and I had my mind set on becoming a pediatrician. I know it’s something I’ll love doing.”
Manatad is considering a career in either physical therapy or orthopedic surgery.
“I’ve always been involved in sports, whether it be soccer or track, so I would always be injured,” she said. “I would always be at the athletic trainers or in rehab at physical therapy, so it was natural for me to be in that environment.”
Yee and Manatad have both always loved running. Although they both started out in soccer, they realized that their true love was track.
“I’ve been running since I was 6,” Yee said. “I’ve always had a passion for running.”
Because track events happen so fast, there is not much time to think, Manatad said.
“When it comes down to the actual event, as soon as the gun goes off, I’m just booking it,” Yee said. “Nothing is on my mind.”
While Yee and Manatad both like Chapman and California, they miss their homes in Hawaii. When asked what they miss most, they both yelled out “the food!” in unison.
“I think the biggest thing was having to ‘adult’ and do everything on my own,” Manatad said of leaving her family in Hawaii and moving to Orange County. “Coming here it’s different, culture-wise.”