Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Robinson Suprises Field to Win at HPA

Honokaa's Joshua Robinson

Honokaa's Joshua Robinson

The Honokaa Dragons used their mighty hill running strength to overpower their opponents during a regular season Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross country meet in Waimea on Saturday.

    Honokaa’s Joshua Robinson and Tialana Greenwell took top overall honors during a three mile race on the rugged hilly terrain of Hawaii Preparatory Academy.

   Robinson, who came into the race as the slight underdog to teammate Chris Mosch, opened with a conservative opening mile and later overtook Mosch on what could be described as the most difficult cross-country course in the state.

   “I stayed relaxed during the race and it made a big difference,” Robinson said of his win.  “I like this course because I like the hills.”

   During the first mile of the race it was Mosch battling Keaau’s Daniel Brooks for the lead as the duo set a fast pace.  Following close behind was a small pack made up of Makua Lani’s Dylan Hardie-Jordan, HPA’s Tyler Tsubota, Hilo’s Tyde Kaneshiro and eventual winner Robinson.

Chris Mosch

Chris Mosch

“Me and Daniel (Brooks) went out hard and at the top of the first long hill I separated myself from him,” Mosch said.

    During the second mile Robinson had caught up to Mosch along with Hardie-Jordan as the trio exchanged surges.

    “Josh (Robinson) powered past me at the start of the second mile, near the end of the second looped him,” Mosch said.  Then Dylan (Hardie-Jordan) caught me and we exchanged surges and I passed him for good with 100 yards to go.”

    Robinson won in a time of 18 minutes and 42 seconds with teammate Mosch taking second in 18:52; followed by Hardie-Jordan, 18:54; Tsubota, 19:16; and Kaneshiro rounding out the top five in 19:17.

    Brooks pulled out of the race around the midway point, complaining about an injury. 

   “This course is more of a cross-country course than any other that I’ve ever run on,” Robinson said.  “It is a lot of fun to run here and the competition today was great.”

    As a result of Honokaa’s one, two punch the Dragons won the team scoring and were followed by HPA and Hilo.   More than 160 boys competed in the race and 13 schools were represented.

Tia Greenwell

Tia Greenwell

For the girls it was all Tialana Greenwell as the two times BIIF defending champion went out quickly and separated herself from the rest of the field.

   “I didn’t think anyone was behind me today until the start of the second loop (just past the half way mark) when people started yelling at me that Kela (Vargas) was just 30 yards behind,” Greenwell said.

   HPA’s Kela Vargas, a junior, made an attempt to close the gap with Greenwell, but the Dragon responded quickly by surging ahead.

Kela Vargas
Kela Vargas

“I felt like I was getting closer and I wanted to give her (Greenwell) a run for her money,” Vargas said.  “At the start of the race I was hoping to stay close to Athena (Oldfather) but I felt really good today and tried to catch Tia in the second half of the race.”

    Vargas’ attempt to catch Greenwell widened her lead for second and dropped Waiakea’s Kaitlyn Chock and Kelsie Kobayashi, along with Honokaa’s Oldfather further behind the leaders.

    But during the final decent, a long-steep hill heading towards the finish, Chock turned on the burners and kicked her way hard to the finish.

    “I didn’t know anyone was behind me and by the time she (Chock) pulled up to my shoulders I couldn’t react quick enough,” Vargas said.  “(Chock) had the momentum coming in and she took me by surprise.”

    Chock edged out Vargas by less than three tenths of a second to claim second in 23:00.57 to Vargas’ 23.00.85.

    Greenwell won the race in 22:29, while Oldfather took fourth in 23:25 and Kobayashi fifth in 23:38.

Kaitlyn Chock
Kaitlyn Chock

“In the beginning of the race people were going out really fast, but I knew not to go out as fast because the HPA course is difficult and I wanted to save myself for the hills,” Chock said.

    Chock was in sixth place at mile one and methodically moved herself into position.  “I like this course as it’s really hard, especially now that they added another hill,” Chock said.

   Due to construction at the HPA campus coaches decided to modify their already difficult course by adding an additional hill, which proved to be challenging to the athletes.

    “We do hill training on a regular basis and our entire team stepped it up today,” Greenwell said.  “Now I’d like to be able to break 20 minutes at the Kamehameha course next week and I’m hoping our entire team keeps improving as well.”

   Ka Makani girls won the team title in impressive fashion with Honokaa coming in second and Waiakea third (the top three teams at the BIIF championships will qualify for the state championships to be held on Kauai October 31).

   There were 107 girls from 14 BIIF schools represented at HPA.  The BIIF regular season concludes Saturday with an all-schools meet at Kamehameha starting at 2:30 p.m.  The BIIF championships will be held at Kamehameha on October 24.

October 3, 2009 - Posted by | High School Runners, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , ,

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