Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Seabury’s Dakota Grossman and Kiana Smith headed to Kamehameha Invite

Heather and Dakota Grossman

Two of the best runners in the State headed to Kamehameha Invitational on Saturday.

Seabury’s Dakota Grossman, the defending state champion, and teammate Kiana Smith, the top freshman in the state, will be running at the Warrior Invite.

(Pictured are Heather Grossman on left with Daughter Dakota)

Some results from the Maui Interscholastic League, held this past Saturday:

OLINDA – Rocky Balala and Dakota Grossman both improved to 2-0 on the season with wins at Maui Interscholastic League cross-country meet No. 2 on Saturday at Seabury Hall.

Grossman, the defending state and MIL champion, won the girls race in a time of 18 minutes, 47 seconds, beating out Spartans teammate Kiana Smith (20:22).

Kiana Smith

Gracie Peck (21:06) finished third, Justine Malek (21:29) was fourth and Dylan Ross (22:10) was fifth as Seabury Hall posted 15 points. Baldwin placed second with 43 points.

Balala, last season’s MIL boys champion, finished in a time of 17:32 as Maui High swept the top three spots and won the team competition with 27 points, seven better than Seabury Hall.

Angelito Cuaresma (17:40) placed second and Nicola Perez-Garreaud (17:43) third.

The Lahainaluna Invitational is Sept. 17 at Kapalua.

September 5, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harriers Langtry and Van Pernis come up with big wins at HPA

Start of girls race at HPA

Waimea –   Neither the wind, nor rain could deter St. Joseph’s Andrew Langtry and Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Kristiana Van Pernis from winning a Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross country meet this past Saturday on Ka Makani’s home course.

Langtry, who had never won a 3 mile cross country meet in his three years as a Cardinal, took the lead in the final 600 meters to gain top honors.

In the early going of the race it was Parker’s Jesse Tarnas jumping into the lead before Waiakea’s Jackson Halford took over a half mile into the start.

“I was content to stay with Jackson and let him lead for the majority of the race,” Langtry said.

“I decided, along with my coach that following Jackson up the hills would be a smart thing to do as it is harder to run in the lead than it is to follow the leader.”

Langtry’s game plan paid off as the race savvy Cardinal waited until the downhill portion, with less than a half mile to go to make his move.

“I noticed that Jackson was in trouble so I decided to go for it,” Langtry said.  “I told myself it was time to kick and I just passed him and kept on pushing the entire way to the finish.  This win encourages me to try even harder as I know I have a chance at winning the BIIF individual title.”

Langtry

Langtry finished the difficult course in 19 minutes and 19 seconds with a visible shaken Halford dropping to third place and Kamehameha’s Shawn Correa Doll moving into second.

“I was hoping for a top three finish today,” Correa Doll said.  “I surprised myself coming in second and this now gives me the confidence that I am a legit contender for the league title if I continue to work hard.”

The real surprise came from Hilo’s Stephen Hunter who came in fourth place in a talented harrier field.

“I wasn’t expecting to be among the top runners as I was simply hoping for a top 15 finish,” Hunter said.  “Now I know I can be right there at the end of the season and perhaps challenge the leaders.”

Correa Doll

Despite Halford’s off day Waiakea still managed to bunch their lead runners and claim the overall team title to the delight of head coach Jordan Rosado.

“We have a shot at winning this year, as this is wide open,” Rosado jubilantly said.  “Any team can win this and we have a good a shot as anyone else.”

The girls race saw the host Ka Makani bunch their runners in a convincing team win with Van Pernis taking first and teammate Mariah Haight claiming third while Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi was sandwiched in between.

Van Pernis and Haight

“This is all surreal and it still hasn’t sunken in yet,” Van Pernis said.  “I wanted to stay close to the leaders and I felt so good going into the first hill that I decided to take the lead.”

Kobayashi led in the early going, but one mile into the race Van Pernis took the lead and separated herself.

“I live on a very hilly street and I trained all summer running the hill on my street,” Van Pernis said.  “I still need to be mentally tough in order to improve this season.”

Kobayashi had a little difficulty in running up the hills of HPA.

“I ran my hardest and gave it my all, but I haven’t gotten used to the elevation out here and I’m looking forward to running at Kamehameha next week where the course is flatter and is without much elevation,” Kobayashi said.

“I have no regrets as I left everything on the course,” the Waiakea senior said.

Ka Makani Haight had the duty of keeping two of her HPA teammates close to her.

“I went out really fast and I was supposed to be with my teammates, pacing them,” Haight said.  “Coach told us to go out fast and have fun and that is just what we did.  That is why I run cross country, for the fun and for the team.”

Garson Shumway

Hilo’s Carmen Garson -Shumway tried keeping it close and managed to break up the HPA pack by placing fourth overall.

“I was aiming to be in the top 5, but I started way back there and found myself in tenth place after the first mile,” Garson-Shumway said.  “I knew there was a lot of time in the race and I didn’t panic as I moved up during the final two miles.”

Hawaii Prep easily won the meet, but their coach, Michael Franklin thought there was still room for improvement.

“We did okay today,” Franklin said after the meet.  “We just got some additional work to do.”

The BIIF cross country competition moves to Kamehameha on Saturday starting at 10 am with four races on tap.

Kamehameha’s Invitational will include several mainland teams and also have defending Hawaii High School Athletic Association state champion Dakota Grossman from Seabury Hall along with teammate Kiana Smith.

Smith is consider the top freshman runner is the state and is expected to be somewhere in the top five of state competition.

Garson Shumway as well as several other BIIF runners are looking forward to a change in venue as the season moves to the back trails of Kamehameha.

“It’s my favorite course,” Garson-Shumway said of Kamehameha.  “And it will also be the site of the BIIF championships so it will be good to run there.”

Related links:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/biif-cross-country-team-scoring-from-hpa/

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/biif-cross-country-girls-top-50-results-from-hawaii-prep/

 https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/biif-cross-country-boys-tops-50-results-from-hawaii-prep/

September 5, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ellsworth Fontes on Big Island Labor Day Motorcycles

Ellsworth Fontes

“Without labor nothing prospers,” Sophocles said.

Each Labor Day for the past nine years this column has written about people and groups that have made contributions to the labor movement.

But this year the Big Dog decided to change things a bit and write about something that has been occurring each Labor Day on the Big Island for several years.

We’ve all seen it, heard it and have been impressed with its numbers and versatility.

I’m talking about the 700 to 800 motorcyclist that take to the streets to celebrate Labor Day with friendship and comradraire in their display of the many local and off island clubs.

To those that don’t know them they can be a scary bunch of people, but once you get to know these men and women you realize that they come from all walks of life and various professions and there only joy in riding is riding.

One such individual is Hilo’s Ellsworth Fontes who belongs to the Rock and Roll Motorcycle Club.

“We have 18 members on the Big Island and we have chapters on Maui and Oahu,” Fontes said.

Fontes got his motorcycle license when he was working at a gas station in Keaau at age 15.

“I never played any sports in high school at Hilo High,” Fontes said.  “Motorcycles and race cars became my passion and that’s probably what led me into my profession.”

Fontes started his own business, called Ellsworth’s Custom Cycles, in 1990 which also coincided with his buying his first Harley Davidson.

“I think that a lot of the public’s perception of bikers comes from the movies and television shows which depict us as outlaws,” Fontes said.  “They don’t realize that the biker riding next to them could be a business man, doctor, pastor and a whole mix of people.”

Prior to his motorcycle Fontes bought his first race car in 1973 while attending Hawaii Community College.

“I love drag racing which led me to opening my business,” Fontes said.

Fontes bought one of his current race cars in 2005 and bought a second car in ’06.

“I drive one of the cars and the other is driven by Charelle Luiz,” Fontes said.  “In 2008 I got another driver, Kiah Taroma, and all I did was repair and fine tune the two cars while I had those two girls compete.”

Luiz has already distinguished herself on the drag strip being selected Driver of the Year for 2009, becoming the first woman to ever win the title at the Hilo Drag Strip.

Recently Fontes bought a third car, called a junior dragster, and he has Charelle’s younger sister, Sydney Koga drive.

“Sydney just made 13 years old and she is already a competitive driver,” Fontes said.

Fontes estimates that there are close to 30 motorcycle clubs on the Big Island and during the Labor Day weekend they will be joined by some 200 off island motorcycle enthusiast for a weekend of riding and other events.

“We have a Bikers Rodeo,” Fontes said.  “The event has a variety of games, just like a horse rodeo, in which we compete to see who can handle their bike the best.”

For Fontes riding motorcycles and fast cars plays a role in stress relief.

“When I ride my Harley I have the freedom of riding, especially after a hard day’s work,” he said.  “I also like the bond the bikers have with each other, but I do it for the thrill and excitement of the ride ahead and also as a good business thing to be out in the biker world.”

The adrenalin thrill that Fontes receives from his riding bikes comes with a cost.  In 2010 the experienced rider was involved in what he calls ‘two freak accidents.’

“The first one happened when a car in front of us jammed on his brakes as he missed his turn,” Fontes explained.  “I tried to stop in time, but the road was wet and the bike skidded down the road, crossed up a bit and as I released the brake the bike swung around and tossed me off.”

Fortunately for Fontes his injuries were limited to a few scraps, but as he was beginning to get up another biker coming from the back of the pack skidded all the way to the front and ran him over.

“I was unconscious and was taken to the hospital during the rescue,” Fontes said.

In his second accident Fontes doesn’t remember all the details as a piece of lumber fell off a car and was laying on the road.

“My second accident happened in November when a vehicle hauling trash to the dump dropped some of it on the road,” he said.  “It all happened so fast that I’m not sure if I ran over it or the guy in front of me ran over it, but none the less it flew up into my foot and broke two bones on the arch of my foot.”

Fontes admits that although it was a freak accident that the public needs to be aware that debris dropped on the road way are major hazards, especially to the motorcyclist.

“I’ve also had an incident when a car on a double lane road didn’t realize that I was riding next to them and they just turned into the other lane running me off the road,” Fontes said.

So this Labor Day we should all be aware that there will be hundreds of bikers driving around our island and use extra special caution as we drive.

“I always tell everyone that when you ride a motorcycle that you need to be a very defensive driver as a lot of the cars aren’t looking your way,” Fontes said.

And someday should you happen to see an appreciate jogger on the side of the road, use caution, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

September 5, 2011 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , | 5 Comments