Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Big Surprises during BIIF Cross-Country Meet at WHS

Nadia Ramirez

It was a morning filled with surprises as two relatively unknown runners came up with big wins at the Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross-country meet held at Waiakea.

Hilo’s Nadia Ramirez and Keaau’s Kevin Olsen both came from behind in the later stages of a 3-mile run to win the East Side Meet held during a humid and oppressive morning on the grassy surface around the perimeter of the Warrior School Complex.

Ramirez, who transferred from California this past March, was content to sit back and relax during the first two miles of the race.

“Everybody told me I had the potential to do well, but winning was totally unexpected,” Ramirez said after claiming the BIIF East Side crown.

“I was just pacing myself from the beginning as I wanted to stay with the top 10 girls.  I stayed relaxed the entire race and kept my focus on my breathing,” she said.

Kelsie Kobayashi

Taking the early lead was Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi who took command of the group of 73 girls by setting the pace.

“I didn’t want to get boxed in at the start of the race, so I went out fast,” Kobayashi said. 

The Warrior led the race until the half-way point before relinquishing the led to Ramirez.  “I didn’t think the weather played a factor, although it was really hot,” Kobayashi said.  “It’s what we practice in nearly every day, so we’re used to it.”

Another Viking, Shalila de Bourmont, kept the race interesting by staying with the leaders.  “Our coach, Bill McMahon, wanted our top six girls to run together, but Kelsie was getting too far ahead of us so Nadia and I broke off from our group and went after her,” de Bourmont said.

Coach McMahon

Kobayashi maintained the led for more than a mile and a half before Ramirez caught up to her and pulled away.  “I think I could have caught up but I just didn’t have the kick to stay with them,” de Bourmont said.

Ramirez won the race in a blistering time of 20 minutes and 33 seconds followed by Kobayashi at 21:14 and de Bourmont at 21:33.

Kobayashi was the only runner to keep Hilo from having a perfect score as the Vikings captured 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th places respectively for a team total 19 points. 

“There were no surprises for me in the girl’s race,” Viking coach McMahon said.  “I know our girls are strong and they work hard at practice.  They also set their goals high.”

Kevin Olsen

The boy’s race unfolded almost exactly as the girls with eventual winner Olsen playing catch up during the early stages of the race.

Kamehameha’s Shawn Correa-Doll along with Christian Liberty’s Jordan Grotenhuis took the early lead on the field of 116 harriers.

Olsen kept the lead pack in sight and remained patient, waiting for the right moment to make his move. 

“I was planning on doing well today as I built my confidence after the Canefire Conditioner last week,” Olsen said.  “I waited until the final mile to pass the leaders and found the right moment to finish hard.”

Shawn Correa-Doll

Olsen found the Waiakea course to be a bit slow, as it had just rained prior to the race and the ground was soggy.  “I think I can run faster on this course under better conditions,” the Cougar senior said.

The leader during most of the boy’s race was Correa-Doll who had never finished a BIIF race in the top 10 before.  “I think I’m more mature this year and I like running now,” he said.  “I see running as a positive not a negative.  It felt great leading until the Keaau dude (Olsen) passed me.  I tried to stay with him.”

CLA’s Grotenhuis, just a sophomore, normally doesn’t start out fast in races, but changed his plans before the race when he was asked by Olsen to stay with him during the race.

Jordan Grotenhuis

“Kevin and I are friends and we try to help each other out during track, so at the start of the race I decided to stay with the leaders as long as I could,” Grotenhuis said.

“My goal was to just try to finish in the top 10, but with 2-miles to go I was shoulder to shoulder with the Kam leader,” he said. 

Olsen won the boys race in 17 minutes and 15 seconds followed by Correa-Doll in 17:24 and Grotenhuis in 17:25.

“Looks like we finally got a good runner in the family,” CLA coach and father Frank Grotenhuis said after the race. 

While the East Side races were producing major surprises the West Side girls held business as usually as three times BIIF defending champion Tialana Greenwell cruised to victory in 20 minutes and 28 seconds.  Dragon teammate Allie Shiraki, only a freshman, took second in 22:03.

Despite taking the top two overall spots host Kealakehe won the girls team scoring beating out Honokaa.

In the West boy’s race it was yet another surprise as Makua Lani’s Brandt Mabuni won in 18:26 with Hawaii Prep’s Justin Macy claiming second in 18:43.  Honokaa claimed the overall boy’s team scoring crown.

This week BIIF harrier venue moves to Kamehameha with an all-schools meet and a show down between Greenwell and Ramirez which should prove interesting.

The girl’s 3-miler gets under way at 10 am followed by the boy’s race.

September 7, 2010 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment