High School Western Regional Cross Country Races
Races held on Dec. 4 at Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, California
Several of Hawaii best pre harriers participated in the Footlocker cross country regional races recently and the group was headed by HHSAA champion Margarito Martinez who finished 14th overall (16:07) and Island School’s Pierce Murphy 32nd in 16:26 in the seeded races.
Margarito’s younger brother, Dylan placed 36th in the All West freshman/sophomore race in a time of 17:54. The Martinez brothers represent Leilehua as the Mules brought several runners to participate in the prestigious race.
Honokaa’s Chris Mosch clocked the fourth fastest time for runners from Hawaii finishing in 17 minutes 41 seconds in the Senior Boy’s race for a 45th overall finish.
Kapolei’s Gianni Cuadrado was 11th in the freshman/sophomore race finishing in a time of 17 minutes 45 seconds. Pearl City’s Zachary Villarmia clocked 19:02 and placed 58th.
Runners at the Western Regional’s needed to finish in the top 10 to qualify for Nationals. No Hawaii runner qualified.
For more information on finishers results go to: http://www.footlockercc.com/2010/results/west/Results/4S.pdf
HONOLULU – An excited Hawaii Preparatory Academy cross country coach could hardly keep from running his own race at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association cross country championships held at the Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park on Thursday.
“I was jumping up and down at the end of the race that I lost track of some of our kid’s placements,” HPA Coach Michael Franklin said after the race.
Punahou won the girls title for the sixth year in a row with HPA finishing in the runner up position.
“It went great for our seniors and I’m proud of all of them,” Franklin said. “This was our best race ever today as we probably got four of our girls in the top 20.”
Franklin also had high praise for his freshmen. “I couldn’t be happier as they all stepped it up today. Our freshmen did great and I am extremely pleased with the entire team’s performance,” Franklin said.
Ka Makani harrier Zoe Sims and Kela Vargas led the charge for HPA as they’ve done all season long.
“It was a great race and I was better prepared for this year compared to last year,” said an excited Sims of her seventh place finish.
“Kela (Vargas) and I were together almost the entire race, but it wasn’t planned that way, it’s just the way it worked out,” Sims said.
Vargas, a senior, improved on last year’s 14th place finish by coming in eighth place which helped propel HPA into a solid overall team finish.
“It must have rained last night because a portion of the course was muddy,” Vargas said. “This was the fourth year that I ran at a state meet and this was by far my best race. It feels good to be going out on top.”
Included in the top 50 for HPA was freshman Kristiana Van Pern, 14th, Emily Evans, 17th, and Mariah Haight, 34th.
Punahou won their sixth consecutive girls state championship, placing six of their seven girl’s in the top 19 spots. (The top 20 girls and boys are awarded medals.)
But it was freshman Dakota Grossman of Seabury Hall that claimed top individual honors making it the second year in a row that a freshman girl has taken the top spot. Last year Punahou’s Elli Brady won the overall race as a freshman. Brady finished second overall this year.
“Punahou definitely won the team title,” Franklin said shortly after the race. “They were really strong up front, but I’m hoping our team got a top three finish.”
Other BIIF girls breaking into the top 50 were Honokaa’s Tialana Greenwell, 23rd, Hilo freshman Carmen Garson-Shumway, 35th, and Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi, 50th.
Besides HPA’s second place girl’s team finish Hilo took 12th and Honokaa was 13th.
In the boys three mile race it was Big Island Interscholastic Federation Champion, Chris Mosch of Honokaa leading the way.
Mosch stuck with his game plan of not going out too fast in the early going and found himself in 10th place at the first mile marker.
“I hit the first mile at a 5:28 pace,” Mosch said. “I was trying to keep a pack of three guys within striking distance as they were 20 to 30 yards ahead of me.”
Mosch improved on last year’s state finish of 14th place when he crossed the finish line in 9th place.
“I didn’t have that extra gear during the second half of the race to reel those guys ahead of me in,” he said. “I’m a little disappointed, but it was a great season for me overall.”
Parker’s Jesse Tarnas (28th) finished in the top 30 and was extremely pleased with his performance.
“Last year I was 82nd overall, so this is a big improvement for me,” Tarnas said. “I liked the course, but it was really hot and humid and the weather seemed to have affected everyone differently.”
Tarnas led the Bulls to a BIIF team runner up spot which allowed Parker to bring their entire seven man squad to compete at the state championship and as a result the team had a seventh place finish.
Leilehua senior and the defending state champion Margarito Martinez had a close battle with Island School’s Pierce Murphy (the state runner up last year and third this year) and Kamehameha-Oahu’s Jordan Thibodeau (second) with Martinez retaining his individual crown.
Other BIIF boys breaking into the top 50 besides Mosch and Tarnas were: Waiakea’s Jackson Halford, 24th; Parker’s Daniel Gregg, 32nd; Christian Liberty’s Jordan Grotenhuis, 34th; Honokaa teammates Joshua Robinson, 38th; Chayce Moniz, 42nd and Shawn Correa-Doll, 46th; Kamehameha-Hawaii.
Kamehameha-Oahu successfully defending their team crown with Leilehua taking second. The top BIIF scoring teams were Honokaa, 5th; Parker 7th, and HPA 14th.
It has been more than a decade since a Big Island school has won a state cross country championship, but come Thursday that may all change.
The Hawaii High School Athletic Association cross country championships will be held on Oct. 28 at the Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park and a very strong Hawaii Preparatory Academy girl’s team has a legitimate chance at winning it all.
Last week the lady Ka Makani won their third consecutive Big Island Interscholastic Federation team title in impressive fashion beating out runner-up Honokaa by more than 70 points.
HPA’s Kela Vargas won the individual title with teammates Zoe Sims, Emily Evans and Kristiana Van Pernis finishing second through fourth respectively while teammates Mariah Haight, Sam Neal and Hanna Scully took the seventh through ninth spots.
“Our success this season was from our focus on team goals instead of individual performances,” HPA Coach Michael Franklin said. “We will keep that same focus at States.”
HPA is no stranger to runner success as their teams over the past four decades have won numerous state cross country championships.
In 1994 HPA swept the boys and girls state championships under former coaches Karl Honma for the boys and Phil Conley for the girls.
No BIIF team, other than Hawaii Prep, has won a state championship and Honma’s 1995 boys’ team was the last time a Big Island school had taken center stage.
“If we are successful at States, then it is our runners’ love of a challenge that is the key,” Franklin said.
The Punahou girls come into the state championships as the five time defending champion and is considered to be the favorite to win their sixth title, but with HPA’s ability to bunch their runners in the lead pack they are recognized as serious contenders.
Punahou returns sophomore Elli Brady who won the state individual championship as a freshman, but it is another freshman, Dakota Grossman of Seabury, Maui, that is the favorite to win the state crown.
“I hope we can make the top five again this year,” said a humble Franklin. “Punahou is the obvious favorite, but magical things can occur on race day. As usual, we will run together and we will embrace the challenge.”
Vying for the boy’s state team title is defending champion Kamehameha-Oahu and the 2007 and ’08 champions Leilehua along with a talented Iolani squad.
Four time boys BIIF team champion, Honokaa, is expected to improve on their fifth place finish from last year.
“Kamehameha, Iolani and Leilehua will score well, but with all the individuals busting up the top runners who knows how the cards will fall,” Dragon Coach Josh Abner said.
During the BIIF championships Honokaa claimed the top individual spots with Chris Mosch successfully defending his title and teammates Joshua Robinson and Chayce Moniz following close behind.
If their top three runners can break into the top 20 at the state championships, while keeping their fourth and fifth runners close behind, then anything is possible.
“I often talk about how anything can happen on any given day and with that mentality any day can be the Dragons day,” Abner said.
Leilehua’s Margarito Martinez is the defending state champion and will get a stiff challenge from Pierce Murphy of Island School from Kauai for the individual crown.
Mosch, an experienced senior, is expected to be somewhere in the top five and if the rest of the Dragon team stays close to Mosch there could be an upset.
“My highest finish was 14th overall last year,” Mosch said. “My goal going into this race is to finish within the top five and my plan is to stay with Iolani’s Troy Esaki, Leilehua’s Dylan Martinez and Mid Pac’s Ryan Hobson during the race.”
Earlier this year Mosch ran on Oahu at the HHSAA site during the Kaiser Invitational and learned a lot from the experience.
“What I learned from the Kaiser Meet is that a lot of people go out too hard and burn out, so I’m going to try to run under control during the first mile and not get too crazy,” he said.
Honokaa’s best team finish, fourth, came when Mosch was a freshman and the upper classman now thinks of improving on that placement.
“I think we can make it into the top three on a good day,” Mosch said.
“This is more than trying to win championships,” Abner said. “When Dragons are ready to leave the program I hope they’ve learned that hard work and big goals bring the biggest prizes in life.”
The HHSAA championships was moved from a Friday to Thursday because of a County Furlough Day, according to HPA Athletic Director and BIIF cross country coordinator.
“My understanding is that CORP is a county facility on Oahu and HHSAA made the final decision,” Perry said.
BIG DOG’s Top 20 BOYS in HHSAA Cross Country – Predictions
1) Margarito Martinez, Leilehua, senior, will repeat as HHSAA champ
2) Pierce Murphy, Island School, senior, state runner-up will give Martinez a strong challenge.
3) Jordan Thibodeau, Kamehameha-Oahu, senior
4) Dylan Martinez, Leilehua, sophomore
5) Chris Mosch, Honokaa, senior, defending BIIF champ
6) Ryan Hobson, Mid Pacific Institute, senior
7) Troy Esaki, Iolani, junior
8) Justin Higa, Iolani, senior
9) Nikolai Scharer, Punahou, sophomore
10) Gianni Cuadrado, Kapolei
11) Royce Yamane, Mililani, sophomore
12) Zach Furguson, Maui Prep, senior
13) James Pearson, Baldwin, senior
14) Chad Nakaoka, Hawaii Baptist Academy, senior
15) Charles Akiona, Kamehameha-Oahu, sophomore
16) Zachary Carvalho, Mililani, sophomore
17) Angelito Cuaremsa, Maui High
18) Joshua Robinson, Honokaa
19) Borys Pleskacz, Iolani, senior
20) Colton Sisler, St. Louis, senior
Leilehua should win the boys team title with Iolani coming in second, Kamehameha-Oahu third and Honokaa fourth.