Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Coming Soon: Big Dog’s Top 20 girls cross country in HHSAA

Bobby and daughter Dakota

Not trying to give anything away as I put my finishing touches on what I believe to be the top 20 cross country girls in the State of Hawaii.

Not based on time, but more importantly, performance, since we’ve reached the mid season mark.
This web site/blog will reveal my personal picks based on what I’ve seen/heard and read.
Tuesday, Sept 27, the results of these unscientific analyses will be revealed. 
Until then I have left a couple of clues, to the left :)))
Adults should not take this seriously and remember these are young people we are talking about.  Unkind comments directed toward these young harriers or their parents will NOT be allowed!   Boys will be posted later in the week.

September 26, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | | Leave a comment

HPA’s Mark Noetzel keeping healthy and fit

Mark Noetzel

We’ve all heard the proverb that “copying someone is flattering because it shows you want to be like that person,” and in most cases it can prove to be the best way to learn something new.

In the case of Mark Noetzel, copying, has paid enormous dividends and continues over into a lifetime of success.

When Noetzel was eight years old he followed his older sister to the pool one Saturday afternoon and joined their swim team, (Port Huron Recreational Department) without having any prior swimming lessons.

“I recall being asked to swim in the 25 yard butterfly race,” Noetzel said.  “Not knowing what the ‘Butterfly’ was, I watched some kids in the older division and imitated them.”

Noetzel’s imitation of those kids paid off as he won the Butterfly race which turned out to be the springboard to many successful swim accolades throughout his youth and adult life.

The youngest of eight children Noetzel learned much about sports and life from his older siblings growing up in Michigan.

“My two brothers, though much older, were very athletic with football, basketball, track and field and baseball,” Noetzel said.  “They led the charge down a path of athletics which I would willfully follow.”

Noetzel followed in his brothers path playing baseball, basketball, football and pick-up games of hockey, but his true calling came in the water when he competed in the Michigan AAU Program winning his first state championship at age 11.

By his senior year of high school Noetzel added water polo to his repertoire of sports and increased his swim training to 20,000 yards a day.

“I felt up to my neck in a pool of alligators,” he said.  “I struggled, though endured, until late January 1980.”

Noezel’s hard work paid off as the once hardly noticed swimmer went from just making state qualifying time, to being ranked as the number two swimmer in the State of Michigan in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events.

Noetzel went on to take second place at the state championships in his two individual events, and led his 400 freestyle relay to the state title.  For all his hard work Noetzel was named to the All-American team by NISCA.

Needless to say that Noezel’s stellar high school swimming performance was a springboard to a half scholarship his freshman year to swim for the University of Michigan and by his junior year he had earned a full scholarship.

“During my senior year at Michigan I was named team captain and swam to another Big Ten title on a relay and was third individually,” he said.

Today Noetzel is the principal at the Upper School at Hawaii Preparatory Academy.

“It’s a very demanding, yet rewarding position,” Noetzel said.  “I enjoy the challenge of meeting the needs of our diverse student population and feel blessed to have a faculty who are willing to embrace the needs of the 21st Century learner.”

Earlier this month Noetzel celebrated his 49th birthday by swimming 49 x 100’s in HPA’s 25 yard pool.

“Each week I try to balance my fitness activities between running and swimming,” he said.  “A standing goal is to run over 10 miles and to swim more than 10,000 yards during the week.”

Married to Liz for 17 years the couple has a daughter, Karly, who is 11 who is a student at Hawaii Prep.

“My wife Liz, graduated from HPA’s class of 1983,” Noetzel said.  “And Karly is in the class of 2018.”

Noetzel, of course, is also HPA’s swim coach and serves as a good role model for those under his tutelage.

“I feel I’m made for pool swimming,” Noetzel said.  “I like to enter ocean races because I’m not that good at them and I strive to improve, but I still have a top 10 time in the world for the 100 meter freestyle for one of the master’s age groups.”

And Noetzel continues to give back to the community in a number of ways as he serves as the race director for the Hapuna Rough Water Swim along with Ed Doherty, David Rietow and Greg McKenna.

Noetzel says that his favorite ocean race is the Kukio Blue Water, even though he is the past winner of the Richardson Rough Water Swim.

For diet Noetzel enjoys a protein shake in the morning and he will try to avoid wheat as much as possible.

“I try to make myself aware of my water intake each day and that helps keep me lively,” he said.

Noetzel is striving to run 10 miles and to swim a 10K each week and claims that David Reitow and Jim Budde are his role model heroes.

“David and Jim are much, much older than myself, but they show up each day, put in the work and they stay sharp,” Noetzel said.

And why does Noetzel work so hard at health and fitness?

“I like the peacefulness that post exercise provides.  I enjoy human performance, whether it’s with my age team (Academy Swim Club), my high school team, masters group or by myself,” he said.

Mark Noetzel reaped the rewards of success through his ability to imitate and took that learning experience to a whole new level.

And someday should you happen to see a grateful jogger come passing through the streets of East Hawaii remember to smile, say ‘woof’ and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Waiakea uses home course advantage to take top cross country spots

Kobayashi and Halford

Home course advantage paid big dividends for Waiakea as Warriors Jackson Halford and Kelsie Kobayashi raced to the finish line to win cross country meets on the home turf this past Saturday.

Kobayashi won her first Big Island Interscholastic Federation of the season in convincing fashion beating out a talent laden Hawaii Preparatory Academy squad.

“This is my home course and I’m a senior so those things were my motivation today,” Kobayashi said.  “I wanted to raise the bar and make my mark as I know I’ll never be able to compete here again.”

Kobayashi gave the crowd of over two hundred little doubt as the Warrior took the lead early with a pack of four Ka Makani giving chase.

“I was running scared for two miles as I knew there were girls behind me and I kept telling myself to keep the pace,” Kobayashi said.  “I really wanted to win this one today and I wasn’t going to let anyone catch me.”

Kobayashi, who has had an up and down season this year won her last cross country race last season, on where else, the Waiakea course.

“I can be my biggest critic and have been battling some confidence issues, but today I put all that behind me,” she said.

Ka Makani Mariah Haight and Zoe Sims finished second and third respectively behind Kobayashi finishing more than 30 seconds behind while Viking sophomore Carmen Garson-Shumway took fourth.


“I liked the Waiakea course,” Haight said.  “I especially like the downhill’s as I felt as though I was gliding.  It was a fun day and I set a personal record time in running 20 minutes and 1 second.  This has to be my second favorite course behind HPA.”

Another sophomore, Garson-Shumway, had trouble getting out and separated from the more than 140 girls in the competition.

“There were a lot of girls ahead of me at the start and I had a hard time getting out,” Garson-Shumway said.  “I was in eighth place going into the first hill and tried to catch up to the HPA girls.”

Garson-Shumway managed to break the foursome of Ka Makani and then tried valiantly to pull pass Sims and Haight at the end.

“I need to work on the middle part of my race as my finish is good,” she said.

Correa Doll

Prior to the boys race Kamehameha’s Shawn Correa Doll made the bold statement that he was going to win, but the gritty senior fell a little short as Halford pulled out the big win.

“I went out too fast,” Correa Doll said from the trainer’s tent after the race.  “My shin splints were painful as I am trying to train and race through the discomfort.

Despite falling short Correa Doll had a positive attitude about his second place finish.

“I didn’t allow anyone to pass me on the course,” he said.  “I have to give Jackson (Halford) a lot of credit as he is an awesome runner.”

Halford clocked in at 16 minutes 37 seconds with Correa Doll less than 20 seconds behind.


“I like running on this course and racing against Shawn,” Halford said.  “We traded the lead several times as he would throw surges at me and I’d have to respond.  I could tell that Shawn was here to win and he gave me a very good race.”

The surprise came when Honokaa’s Tony Connors claimed third place, his highest finish in his BIIF cross country career.

“I just wanted to see how I’d do and I tried to stay with the top runners in this race,” Connors said.  “I surprised myself that I could stick with the leaders as I’ve never finished in the top 10 of any race before.”

In team scoring Waiakea won the boys race by 18 points over Kamehameha to a jubilant home cross country coach Jordan Rosado.

“Our boys have won every race this season and winning on our home course today is extra special,” Rosado said.  “We basically told them all week that this is their home course and it’s all about pride.”

Does home course have an advantage?

“It was definitely an advantage to be running here as we train on this course everyday and a couple of days ago we had time trials,” Rosado said.  “I’m glad the boys are pushing themselves in races and at practice.”

The girl’s team scoring race was won by HPA, which has won every BIIF race this season with Hilo following in second.

The BIIF season continues on Friday with an all schools meet in Waimea on the campus of Hawaii Prep starting at 3 p.m.

September 26, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment