Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

HPA Girls – Honokaa Boys Dominate BIIF Championships

Three times BIIF champions, the powerful Ka Makani ladies

WAIMEA – Déjà vu!  If you were at the Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross country championships on Friday you weren’t having a reoccurring flash back from the past.

What you did see was the running dynasties of a talented Honokaa boys and Hawaii Preparatory Academy girls’ team both win another BIIF team crown.

Honokaa’s Chris Mosch led a powerful Dragon squad to their fourth consecutive team title and Mosch has the bragging rights to being the only member of the squad to pocket four BIIF medals.

“I feel good and well rested today,” Mosch said before the race.  “I’m out here to run my own race and to run as fast as I can.  I feel a little pressure, but confident that things will go well.”

Chris Mosch

On Friday Mosch went out quickly and took a commanding lead to also grab his second consecutive individual title on the hilly foothills of HPA’s sprawling campus. 

“The pace of the race was really fast as Jesse (Tarnas from Parker) and the CLA kid (Jordan Grotenhuis) went out quick and me and Josh (Robinson) stayed back during the first half mile,” Mosch said.

Dragon teammates, Mosch and Robinson began to separate from the rest of the field after climbing HPA’s first steep hill.

“On the second trip over the large hill my dad yelled at me that I had a 30 to 40 yard lead over Josh,” Mosch said.

Mosch won the race in 17 minutes and 37 seconds with Robinson 10 seconds behind.  The real surprise came when Dragon teammate Chayce Moniz finished third overall.

“My goal going into the race was to stay with Chris (Mosch) for as long as I could and to keep him in range,” Robinson said.  “I was shooting to win the race, but if anyone was going to beat me it was going to be Chris.”

For Moniz this was a dream race come true.

“We bet our science teach, Mr. Dan Whetstone, that if we finished one, two, three that he would shave his head,” Moniz said.  “Looks like we’re going to have a bald teacher at school on Monday!”

The Honokaa boy’s team ran away from the rest of the BIIF schools scoring just 26 points in route to their 4th title.  Brothers Robert (10th) and Tony Connors (12th) rounded out the team scoring for the Dragons.

Honokaa head coach, Josh Abner, had high praise for his high flying Dragons.

“I like to think that we have a bunch of hard working people,” Abner said.  “This is a dynamic group of amazing kids and each one has a special place in my heart.”

Parker Coach Ceri Whitfield

Another surprise came when Parker School finished second in the team scoring which will allows their entire boys team to run at the HHSAA championships on Oahu.

“This is the most incredible thing I’ve ever done,” Parker Coach Ceri Whitfield said.  “We really worked very hard and I am one proud coach.  We knew we were improving each week and we put the challenge out to the boys.”

In the girl’s team and individual competition it was all HPA dominating from start to finish.

Ka Makani Kela Vargas, Zoe Sims, Emily Evans and Kristiana Van Pernis ran away from the rest of the field taking the top four overall places with teammates Mariah Haight, Sam Neal and Hana Scully finishing 7th through 9th respectively.

HPA won their third consecutive team title and fourth out of the last five years under head coach, Michael Franklin.

“This is what I expected today from our team,” Franklin said.  “They overwhelmed me as individuals and I’m very proud of them.”

“My goal was to just go out and help my teammates,” Kela Vargas said after winning the individual BIIF crown.  “We try to push each other and we don’t want to disappoint each other so we just try to run our hardest.”

BIIF runner up, Zoe Sims, also had high praise for her team saying, “We’ve grown a lot as a team and we love each other so much that we did it for our team.”

Tia Greenwell

The girl’s race started with Honokaa’s three times defending BIIF champion, Tialana Greenwell, going out fast and pushing the pace.

“I came into the race feeling confident and I wanted to get away from the pack early on,” Greenwell said.  “But Zoe (Sims) and Kela (Vargas) kept up with me and eventually passed me.”

Greenwell, who had been hampered by nagging injuries, had her best race of the season and finished fifth overall.

“I’m happy that I finished in the top five and I hope this will carry over to states next week,” she said.

Greenwell and Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi were the only BIIF runners to infiltrate a powerful onslaught by Ka Makani harriers, with the Warrior taking sixth overall.

“I wasn’t happy with today’s race as I thought I could have done better,” Kobayashi said.  “I was hoping to break into the top three, but I just couldn’t keep up with the HPA girls.”

The Honokaa girls, like the Parker boys, surprised everyone with their second place team finish which allows the entire seven person squad to run at the state championships on Thursday, Oct 28th.

“We were shooting for a second place team finish,” Honokaa Coach Abner said.  “This was a hell of an accomplishment and our highest team finish all season.”

Joining the top two boys and girls teams going to the state championships the BIIF also sends the top 23 individual boys and 22 individual girls.


October 23, 2010 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment