Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Hawaii Preparatory Academy magnificant 7 all returns

     They’re playing the theme song to the Magnificent Seven out in Waimea as Coach Michael Franklin has his dream team back for another season.

Franklin the head coach of state cross country team champions Hawaii Preparatory Academy is fully loaded as they return all seven girls.  Ka Makani harriers in order of their state finish are Kristiana Van Pernis, Mariah Haight, Zoe Sims, Emily Evans, Kelly Ulrich, Veronica Ladwig and Cat Bradley.

HPA had five girls in the top nine at states which included Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion Zoe Sims for a total of 35 points beating out Punahou with 50.

HPA’s boys under coaches Kimo Higgins and Lupe Diaz will need to adjust because of the numerous seniors lost to graduation.  “We are very excited about our prospects this year,” Higgins said. 

According to Higgins they have a balance between local runners with a strong contingent from Japan.

“Walt Disney, Michael Spetich, Justin Macy, Dan Masuda and Jake McCafferty will team with a strong group of harriers from Japan including Ryuta Yoda, Hide Akai and Keisuke Anzai,” Higgins said. “We certainly look forward to putting on our best efforts with the goal of scoring on our home course in the BIIF and State Championships.”

Five time boys BIIF champions Honokaa aren’t as lucky as their head coach Josh Abner has left for a job in Kentucky leaving Jerri Moniz as the new head coach for the Dragons.

If her last name sounds familiar it is because her son, Chayce, won the BIIF individual title last season. 

“This is a rebuilding year for us,” Moniz said.  “We do have Tony Connors, Clayton Robinson and Pedro Sanches that bring experience and leadership for us.”

On the girls side the Lady Dragons have Haldhang Adona and Kelly Greenwell returning.

“I worked with Coach Abner over the years and I plan on following his program,” Moniz said.

Langtry

Christian Liberty Academy is coached by long time harrier instructor Frank Grotenhuis.  CLA didn’t have a girl’s team last year, but had a good preseason turnout and as a result had 8 girls come out this year.

“The boys will be led by senior Keenan Freitas and juniors Caedan Cambra, Zech DeCleene, Kiyoshi Kaili and Kekoa Mundo,” Grotenhuis said.  “We would like to finish in the top half of the league this year.  We know it will be a challenge, but we are set to give it a good effort.”

Hilo boys return Stephen Hunter, Max Panoff, Max Kerr, Timon Skinner, and Israel Sims according to Coach McMahon.

“We have others that have joined the team over the summer and have worked hard to create a close knit team,” McMahon said.

Joining the Vikings during practice is St. Joseph star Andrew Langtry.

On the girls side Coach Lory Hunter has several returnees in Carmen Garson-Shumway, Kaylee Rapoza, Nina Bean, Satya Ray, Jordan Breibarth and Mahana Sabado-Halpern,

Makua Lani – Coach Doug Andrews is in his fourth year and he returns five girls from last year’s team.  Junior Joy Choe, Sophomore Keili Dorn, Seniors Tiffany Nakamura and Mercedes DeCarli.

“Joy has qualified for the state meet 2 times, Keili qualified as a freshman and Tiffany is a 3 times state qualifier.  If our girls work hard and run for the right reason, they have a good chance of being in the top 4 teams at the BIIF meet,” Coach Andrews said.

Andrews girls team finished third in the BIIF during the 2011 season.

For the boys Andrew Crietz returns as a junior and Josh Kuperus as a sophomore.

Kamehameha has veteran coaches Ryan Cabalse for the boys and Joel Truesdell for the girls. 

“We have three boys returning from last year’s squad that qualified as individuals for States they are all juniors Maka’ala Cruz, Jordan Hirae and Colton Hill,” Cabalse said.  “Our goal this season it to have a ‘team score’ at the state meet.”

For the girl’s team they have three girls returning that ran in the state meet last year.  They are Tiana Iwata, Mikela Cabel and TeHani Jones according to Truesdell.

Coach Cabalse

Garson-Shumway was the first female overall in the Vulcan Women’s 5K with teammate Sabado-Halpern taking second which make for a great one-two punch.

“Our goal for both teams this year is to create a strong team bond, a love for running and have both teams qualify for the State meet,” Coach Hunter said.

Makua Lani – Coach Doug Andrews is in his fourth year and he returns five girls from last year’s team.  Junior Joy Choe, Sophomore Keili Dorn, Seniors Tiffany Nakamura and Mercedes DeCarli.

“Joy has qualified for the state meet 2 times, Keili qualified as a freshman and Tiffany is a 3 times state qualifier.  If our girls work hard and run for the right reason, they have a good chance of being in the top 4 teams at the BIIF meet,” Coach Andrews said.

Andrews girls team finished third in the BIIF during the 2011 season.

For the boys Andrew Crietz returns as a junior and Josh Kuperus as a sophomore.

Kamehameha has veteran coaches Ryan Cabalse for the boys and Joel Truesdell for the girls. 

“We have three boys returning from last year’s squad that qualified as individuals for States they are all juniors Maka’ala Cruz, Jordan Hirae and Colton Hill,” Cabalse said.  “Our goal this season it to have a ‘team score’ at the state meet.”

For the girl’s team they have three girls returning that ran in the state meet last year.  They are Tiana Iwata, Mikela Cabel and TeHani Jones according to Truesdell.

“Right now we have a pretty solid pack running with them,” Truesdell said.  “We have depth and our team goals are to be the best team we can be, to have fun and to do well at states.”

KAU – The Trojans were still looking to hire a cross country coach according to their Athletic Director Kalei Namohala.

Keaau has a huge team of 60 runners for the boys and girls, according to Coach Donna Wong Yuen. 

The Cougars return Natalie Hagemann for the girls and Jeffrey Ferrell, Ariel Navarro and Davin Alviento for the boys.

“We are not a deep team so will need to rely on our core group to stay healthy and not get injured,” Wong Yuen said.  “We need to have our 7 through 10 runners step up.  Our goals are to look at individual improvement because we have a lot of first time runners.”

PAHOA – Coached by John Oliver who has been coaching Dagger harriers for 5 years.  Oliver has no girls and 8 boys that came out to run for the cross country team.

“Most of the boys are just trying to get in shape for wrestling and they are hoping to be able to run the 3 miles,” Coach Oliver said.  “Some of them are pretty large and are doing their best to lose some weight.”

Parker Coach

PARKER – The Bulls Athletic Department is headed by cross country coach, Ceri Whitfield who is a five year veteran. 

Whitfield boy’s team is led by Paul Gregg and Tyler McCullough who both ran in states last season.  While carrying 18 boys and 6 girls the coach has them shooting for the stars.

“Our goal is always to try to win BIIF’s,” Whitfield said.  “I always try to have them set their sights on the stars.”

KEALAKEHE – Third year Coach Arturo Morales has 13 boys and 7 girls on his squad.  Returning for the girls is Kari Van Mols who was 15th in the state last year. Also for the Waveriders are Sydney Kirkhill and Mika Bettencourt.

 “For our boys team we hope to finish 2nd in the BIIF this season,” Morales said.

KONAWAENA-both the boys and girls teams are coached by Kuulei Saole in her fourth year with the Wildcats.   “We currently have 4 girls and 3 boys,” Saole said.

The Wildcats return sophomore Shayli Nakamoto who made it to states last season.

“My main goal this year is to get more girls and boys to come out for cross country,” Saole said.

Waiakea with boys coach Jordan Rosado return Ian McQuate, Dyson Sato, Nate Parez, HaJime Hayano and Keoni Rice.

“Keoni is the only senior so we have a good foundation for the next few years,” Rosado said.  “This year we hope to do at least as well as last year and qualify our team for States.”

Rosado might have one of the best runners in the league in McQuate who finished the Vulcan 5K as the top high school runner and looks to be in prime preseason shape.

For the Warriors girls its Coach Winona Hai-Kelly returns Sky Ombac, Jillian Hughes, Vandey Okinaka and Haley Rasse. 

“The fight this season will be for second place between Hilo and us,” Hai-Kelly said.

The Big Island Interscholastic Federation season kicks off with the Cane Fire Conditioner at CLA starting at 10 am on Saturday August 25.

August 23, 2012 - Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. This should be a really exciting season with great competition between all of the schools. Never realized how many schools there are!

    Comment by Sonny | August 23, 2012 | Reply

  2. Isn’t the picture of the HPA girls from a couple of years ago? I think that was the team that finished second in the state in 2010???

    Comment by kewlrunnings | August 23, 2012 | Reply

  3. There is actually a runner at HPA named Walt Disney? That is insanely awesome.

    Comment by Chri | August 23, 2012 | Reply

    • I didn’t make that one up!

      Comment by waynejoseph | August 24, 2012 | Reply


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