Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Canefire Conditioner Opens with a Fast Start

Eventual duo winners, Hilo's Karina Lawrence and Nadia Ramirez

KEEAU-It was a breathless, fantastic finish for a pair of Hilo runners, each girl running glued together until one leaned ahead of the other at the end.

 The Big Island Interscholastic Federation opened its cross-country season with a pair of running events that zigzagged its way around the Christian Liberty Academy Campus this past Saturday.

Using a format introduced by CLA coach Frank Grotenhuis the Canefire Conditioner required each BIIF school to pair their runners with each harrier doing three alternating one-mile legs.

Kelsie Kobayashi

In the opening girl’s race it was Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi jumping out to an early lead with the rest of the field in hot pursuit.

“I wanted to run my own race right from the start,” Kobayashi said after the race.  “I was mentally ready to take the lead and it felt very smooth and comfortable.”

Kobayashi ran her first mile in 6 minutes and 10 seconds with Hilo’s Shalila de Bourmont and Karina Lawrence following in at 6:21.

During the exchange Kobayashi handed off the baton to partner Kara Paulachak while Lawrence was teamed with Nadia Ramirez and de Bourmont was paired with Carmen Garson-Shumway.

The Hilo pairs chipped away at Waiakea’s initial lead and soon found themselves in command of the race.  “My goal was to run my opening mile in the 6:20 range,” de Bourmont said.  “I knew that we each had to run 3-miles, so I wasn’t worried when I fell 10 seconds behind Kelsie in the first mile.”

The Vikings lead pairs stayed composed during the race and by the third mile found their top two teams running side by side in the lead.  “We wanted to keep the leaders in sight during the first mile and then run all three of our miles consistently,” Lawrence said. 

“It surprised me when I caught up to Shalila and it helped because we started pushing each other as it was fun to run together,” Lawrence said.

During the final leg Vikings, Ramirez and Garson-Shumway ran shoulder to shoulder as it appeared that neither wanted to outdo the other.  Ramirez, a senior who transferred into Hilo after last year’s cross country season, leaned at the finish line to nip freshman teammate Garson-Shumway by a hair with both clocking in at 38 minutes 29 seconds.

“I was very nervous throughout this race,” the young Garson-Shumway said.  “I ran in middle school but I didn’t know what to expect at the high school level.”

Hilo swept the top three pairs with Kaylee Rapoza and Raycee Cooke helping the Vikings to win the overall team scoring.  Honokaa’s Kelly Greenwell and Allie Shiraki took fourth with the duo of Kobayashi and Paulachak slipping to fifth.

click to enlarge

In the boys race it was the Honokaa duo of Joshua Robinson and Chayce Moniz leading from start to finish.

Dragon star and BIIF individual champion, Chris Mosch, was still sidelined nursing a stress fracture that he received at the end of the track & field season in May.  “I’m sitting this one out to give my leg a better chance to heal,” Mosch said.

Last year at CLA Mosch teamed with Robinson to win the Canefire Conditioner, but this year Robinson needed to rely on Moniz if the Dragons were to repeat as duo champs.

“In my opening mile I was just hoping to hang with the lead pack as I didn’t want to go out to fast then die,” Robinson said.  “It was easier to hang back and let others do all the work as long as I could give my partner a chance at taking the lead.”

His strategy paid off as Moniz took the handoff from Robinson and then claimed the lead in his opening mile.  “I was nervous before I ran as I felt a lot of pressure to do well today,” Moniz said.  “I didn’t want to let anyone down, especially my partner.

Moniz opened the gap and by the time Robinson took the second leg handoff the Dragons held a 100 yard advantage.

The Dragon duo widened their lead with each ensuing handoff and left little doubt as to who would win the race clocking in at 31 minutes 46 seconds, more than one minute ahead of their closest rivals.

Ray & Kaneshiro

The battle for second went to the Hilo pair of seniors in Tyde Kaneshiro and Billy Ray.  “My plan was to just stay with the leaders in the first mile,” Kaneshiro said.  “Keaau and Waiakea went out quickly and I just paced off them.”

During the second mile Ray put the Vikings in second place and held that margin the rest of the way.  “I felt tired at the start of the race and the running actually woke me up,” Ray said.  “I knew I needed to maintain my position and the lead group were too far ahead for us to catch.”

The Keaau pair of Wayne Pavao and Kevin Olsen made a final attempt to move into second place, but fell short by one second as the Cougars settled for a third place finish.

Hilo finished in 32:51 with Keaau coming in at 32:52.  In the team standings it was Honokaa taking first with Waiakea second and Hilo third.

On Saturday the BIIF moves to an East/West format with Waiakea and Kealakehe playing host.  Girls will begin at 10 am followed by the boys with each running the traditional 3-mile cross-country race.

Related links:  

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/honokaas-robinson-moniz-run-away-with-canefire-duo-title/

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/hilo-girls-dominate-canefire-conditioner/

August 30, 2010 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments