Harriers Langtry and Van Pernis come up with big wins 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 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.”
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.
“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.”
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.”
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