Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Chock, Weiss, Honored at Road Runners Scholarship 5K

5K race winner, Alan Ryan, with scholarship awardees Kaitlyn Chock and Sai Weiss, women's race winner Lory Hunter

   “It was the sheer love of running that initially drew me to this masochistic sport, but it was the camaraderie of the runners that made me stick with it,” Kaitlyn Chock said.

  It takes a special breed to become a long distance runner.  A person becomes self-reliant on their own motivation and perseverance.  As a high school cross-country coach for many years I have witnessed firsthand the multitude of prep runners that become distance runners.

   Recently, at Waiakea High’s athletic awards night, I noticed that the 20 girls getting their letters in cross-county all had an asterisk next to their names in the school program.  The asterisk noted that those athletes also attained a 3.5 or higher grade point average, making them scholar athletes.

   The boy’s cross-county team had 27 of their 31 participants with asterisks, not surprising when you consider the demands made on a distance runner which require them to have a high level of internal motivation.

  Chock was one of those represented at awards night as she closed out her high school career with four years on the cross-country and track teams.

Kaitlyn Chock

   “During my senior year I became a Team Captain and I wanted to apply the values and lessons I learned from my running to inspire those around me,” she said.  “I wanted to bestow upon my teammates not only my love of the sport but give them experiences that would fuel their development into confident runners and individuals.”

   Little wonder why Chock along with Hilo’s Sai Weiss were recent winners of the Big Island Road Runners $1000 scholarship award.  Both Chock and Weiss have demonstrated their deep love of running, coupled with their commitment to community service and a high GPA.

   “While practicing to run we must train our minds to be vigilant in any sort of situation that may come across us,” Weiss said.  “To this end, running has taught me to be a determined individual inside and outside of the classroom.”

  On Sunday Weiss and Chock were on hand for the BIRR Scholarship 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk held at Coconut Island.  Both youngsters had just graduated over the weekend and participated in the event, which culminated in them being recognized as the BIRR scholarship awardees.

   At the start of the 5K race several runners jockeyed for the lead position and by mile one a pack of four had developed with Jackson Halford, Justin Pang, Alan Ryan and Rick Michels.

   “We hit the first mile in 5 minutes and 53 seconds,” Ryan said.  “I didn’t want to push the pace and I just let them lead with Justin (Pang) doing most of the work.”

   Pang, a University of Hawaii-Hilo cross-country runner and former Christian Liberty standout, led for the first two miles with Waiakea’s Jackson Halford just a step behind.

   “All three of us worked together as we did the second mile in 6 minutes flat,” Ryan said.  “With about a half-mile to go Jackson (Halford) and myself pulled away from the pack and by Nihhon I was in the lead.”

   The duo ran a blazing 5:36 final mile to distance themselves from the rest of the 80 plus runner and walkers in the field.

   Ryan won the exciting race by clocking in at 18:07 with Pang one second behind.  Pang finished in third at 18:15, followed by Michels, 18:57; Steve Pavao, 20:07; Tchad-Tu Henderson, 20:24; and Stewart Miyashiro in 20:30 rounded out the top men.

   For the women it was all Lory Hunter as the Hilo High cross-country and track coach finished in 22:29 with Kim Rojo second, 24:40; Shell Hamilton third, 25:23; and Joanne Pocsidio, 27:01, rounding out the top women.

  “This was a fun race,” Hunter said after winning the women’s division.  “I’m not only glad that I got to run, but I’m also happy to be here to support both Sai and Kaitlyn in winning the BIRR scholarship award.

Sai Weiss

   At the finish line Kaitlyn Chock was handing out finishing numbers and helping race officials while Sai Weiss was running in the race and finished eighth overall.

   “I just graduated the night before and went to grad night at the Yacht Club,” Chock said.  “I felt too tired to run, but I wanted to help.”

   Weiss graduated on Friday night and was all smiles and filled with energy in doing the 3.1-mile race.

   “I’ve always liked coming out and participating in community races,” Weiss said.  “Running is something I enjoy and look forward to doing.

   Big Island Road Runners president Steve Pavao presented Weiss and Chock with their $1000 checks in an official ceremony after the race.  “The BIRR is very proud of our community involvement and in our two selections for this year’s awards,” he said.

   “I look forward to sunny long afternoon runs,” Weiss said.  “I enjoy the opportunity to be able to appreciate my natural surroundings.  I realize that as a runner we are blessed with a gorgeous place called Hawaii.”


May 24, 2010 - Posted by | High School Runners, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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