Kamehameha Invitational Cross Country the “Premier” girls race in State
.KEAAU – Some of the best girls cross country runners in the state and in the nation laced up their shoes and participated in the three mile Kamehameha Invitational meet this past Saturday.
Anna Maxwell, ranked 18th in the nation by Mile Split, ran away with the race in a blistering time of 17 minutes and 54 seconds.
Maxwell, a sophomore from San Lorenzo High School in California, was challenged by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association defending state champion, Dakota Grossman from Seabury Hall on Maui.
“This is a great course as I’m used to lots of hills,” Maxwell said. “I don’t usually get to run on grass, so this was special for me as the course made the race fun.”
Grossman, also a sophomore, clocked in at 18:40 and had high praise for the level of competition at the invitational.
“This is a tough course with great competition,” Grossman said. “I ran a personal best for this course and one of my goals coming in was to get under 19 minutes.”
Mainland schools dominated the race and the Big Island Interscholastic Federation first girl to cross the finish line was Hilo’s Carmen Garson Shumway, tenth overall, and another sophomore.
“I was really surprised that I was the first girl from the BIIF,” Garson Shumway said. “I went out faster than normal because of the competition, but still ran my own race.”
Garson Shumway had high praise for the newly designed course.
“This has always been my favorite course and now with the added hills it’s even better,” she said. “I like the up and down that the hills provide and I’m very happy with my overall results.”
Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Mariah Haight was the second harrier for the BIIF, finishing 13th overall.
“Those California girls are really good and I just tried to keep my own pace and run my own race,” Haight said. “I think I could have done better as Coach told us to run the first mile hard and finish the last half mile all out.”
In the boy’s varsity race it was the California schools grabbing the top five overall finishes with the BIIF top runners Kamehameha’s Shawn Correa Doll, St. Joseph’s Andrew Langtry, and Waiakea’s Jackson Halford finishing sixth through eighth respectively.
Correa Doll was a big surprise as the Warrior senior was in ninth after the first mile and needed to catch Langtry and Halford to move up in the standings.
“I had the advantage in running this course as this is where we practice each day,” Correa Doll said. “I tried to conserve on my first mile by running it in 5:08 as I knew the race would come down to the final two miles.”
Correa Doll ran a smart race and it paid dividends in the end as he finished number one amongst BIIF runners, something that has never happened during his cross country career.
“I was hoping to come in first for BIIF runners today,” he said. “I knew Jackson (Halford) went out too fast and I tried telling him during the race to slow up and relax.”
Halford’s quick start was a test, of sorts, and a lesson learned.
“I went out too fast, trying to keep up with the California guys,” Halford said. “It cost me, as I really don’t like this course at all as they made it even harder.”
Even though Halford was passed near the end by both Correa Doll and Langtry, he remained optimistic about the overall race.
“I’m glad I got to practice on here as this is where the BIIF championships will be held,” Halford said. “I’m really pleased that the California guys came as their presence helped push me to a higher level.”
San Lorenzo’s Nick Hicks won the boys varsity competition with a time 16 minutes 16 seconds.
San Lorenzo Valley swept the boys and girls team titles with Waiakea taking second for the boy’s varsity and Whittier Christian second for the girl’s varsity with HPA taking third for the ladies.
HPA coach Michael Franklin was also pleased with the level of competition as it proved to be a good test for his girls.
“The Kamehameha Invitational has to be the premier girls Invitational in the State of Hawaii,” Franklin said. “I’m thankful that the California girls were here as this makes us a lot better. It was also fun to see our Big Island kids do well.”
Prior to the varsity races were the open races which saw the boys from Waiakea win the team title to a jubilant Warrior Coach Jordan Rosado.
“I think the hard work that our boys are putting in during practice is paying off,” Rosado said. “I’m glad they won the team title as they deserve it.”
The BIIF cross country season takes a bye next Saturday before resuming action with an all schools meet at Waiakea on September 24 with the boys starting at 10 am followed by the girl’s race.
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