Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

HPA Girls Take Second at HHSAA Cross Country Championships

Michael Franklin

HONOLULU – An excited Hawaii Preparatory Academy cross country coach could hardly keep from running his own race at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association cross country championships held at the Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park on Thursday.

“I was jumping up and down at the end of the race that I lost track of some of our kid’s placements,” HPA Coach Michael Franklin said after the race.

Punahou won the girls title for the sixth year in a row with HPA finishing in the runner up position.

“It went great for our seniors and I’m proud of all of them,” Franklin said.  “This was our best race ever today as we probably got four of our girls in the top 20.”

Franklin also had high praise for his freshmen.  “I couldn’t be happier as they all stepped it up today.  Our freshmen did great and I am extremely pleased with the entire team’s performance,” Franklin said.

Ka Makani harrier Zoe Sims and Kela Vargas led the charge for HPA as they’ve done all season long.

“It was a great race and I was better prepared for this year compared to last year,” said an excited Sims of her seventh place finish.

“Kela (Vargas) and I were together almost the entire race, but it wasn’t planned that way, it’s just the way it worked out,” Sims said.

Vargas, a senior, improved on last year’s 14th place finish by coming in eighth place which helped propel HPA into a solid overall team finish.

“It must have rained last night because a portion of the course was muddy,” Vargas said.  “This was the fourth year that I ran at a state meet and this was by far my best race.  It feels good to be going out on top.”

Included in the top 50 for HPA was freshman Kristiana Van Pern, 14th, Emily Evans, 17th, and Mariah Haight, 34th.

Punahou won their sixth consecutive girls state championship, placing six of their seven girl’s in the top 19 spots. (The top 20 girls and boys are awarded medals.)

  But it was freshman Dakota Grossman of Seabury Hall that claimed top individual honors making it the second year in a row that a freshman girl has taken the top spot.  Last year Punahou’s Elli Brady won the overall race as a freshman.  Brady finished second overall this year.

“Punahou definitely won the team title,” Franklin said shortly after the race.  “They were really strong up front, but I’m hoping our team got a top three finish.”

Other BIIF girls breaking into the top 50 were Honokaa’s Tialana Greenwell, 23rd, Hilo freshman Carmen Garson-Shumway, 35th, and Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi, 50th.

Besides HPA’s second place girl’s team finish Hilo took 12th and Honokaa was 13th.

In the boys three mile race it was Big Island Interscholastic Federation Champion, Chris Mosch of Honokaa leading the way.

Mosch stuck with his game plan of not going out too fast in the early going and found himself in 10th place at the first mile marker.

“I hit the first mile at a 5:28 pace,” Mosch said.  “I was trying to keep a pack of three guys within striking distance as they were 20 to 30 yards ahead of me.”

Mosch improved on last year’s state finish of 14th place when he crossed the finish line in 9th place.

“I didn’t have that extra gear during the second half of the race to reel those guys ahead of me in,” he said.  “I’m a little disappointed, but it was a great season for me overall.”

Parker’s Jesse Tarnas (28th) finished in the top 30 and was extremely pleased with his performance.

“Last year I was 82nd overall, so this is a big improvement for me,” Tarnas said.  “I liked the course, but it was really hot and humid and the weather seemed to have affected everyone differently.”

Tarnas led the Bulls to a BIIF team runner up spot which allowed Parker to bring their entire seven man squad to compete at the state championship and as a result the team had a seventh place finish.

Leilehua senior and the defending state champion Margarito Martinez had a close battle with Island School’s Pierce Murphy (the state runner up last year and third this year) and Kamehameha-Oahu’s Jordan Thibodeau (second) with Martinez retaining his individual crown.

Other BIIF boys breaking into the top 50 besides Mosch and Tarnas were:  Waiakea’s Jackson Halford, 24th; Parker’s Daniel Gregg, 32nd; Christian Liberty’s Jordan Grotenhuis, 34th;  Honokaa teammates Joshua Robinson, 38th; Chayce Moniz, 42nd    and Shawn Correa-Doll, 46th; Kamehameha-Hawaii.

Kamehameha-Oahu successfully defending their team crown with Leilehua taking second.  The top BIIF scoring teams were Honokaa, 5th; Parker 7th, and HPA 14th.

October 29, 2010 - Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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