BIIF Scrambling for playoff advantage in cross country
BIIF Cross Country at Kamehameha-HI
KEAAU – Kamehameha-Hawaii played host to the final regular season all schools cross country meet in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation while the league prepares for the BIIF Championships.
The defending team BIIF champions for the girls Hawaii Preparatory Academy and for the boys Honokaa jockeyed for position to once again defend their team titles.
According to HPA Athletic Director the top four teams in the BIIF along with the top 37 girls and top 38 boys will it make to states.
Saturday’s regular season finale saw BIIF teams peaking at the right time to fight for those positions with the host Warriors remaining hopeful for a positive outcome.
“Our goal is just to get a boys team into states,” Warrior Coach Ryan Cabalse said. “We’ve never had a scoring boy’s team at states.”
Honokaa boys may be the league’s biggest surprise, winning the coveted BIIF team title 5 years in a row, but never during this season, until Saturdays last all school’s meet.
For the Dragons it was Anthony Connors winning his first meet of the season and teammate Brooks McVey taking third giving Honokaa a solid 1-3 punch.
This was a first time this season that both boys have broken into the top 5 and for Connors it was a huge confidence booster.
“We’re peaking at the right times,” Connors said. “I think we have a great shot at winning our sixth team titles.”
Kohala’s Josiah Adams broke into the top 5 for the first time this season.
“I did it for my parents who come out to watch me run every week,” Adams said. “I hope I made them proud today?”
Adams came away with a newfound confidence in his ability. “I’m still pretty excited and I’m looking forward to the BIIF Championships.”
Adams wasn’t the only boy new to the top five leader board and with it its confidence booster.
HPA’s Michael Spetich, a junior, wanted to ‘prove’ himself and be peaking at the right time to give himself a booster shot of confidence prior to the BIIF’s.
Waiakea’s Ian McQuate who has always been in the top 5 leader board is saving the best for last.
“I don’t want to sound cocky but I think I can win BIIF’s,” McQuate said. “If I peak at the right time then anything is possible, you gotta believe in miracles.”
McQuate is hanging in the top 3 or 4 along with Parker’s Paul Gregg which makes the two of them the most dangerous to emerge at the top of the BIIF leader board.
In the boys team standings coming out of the Kamehameha meet it was Honokaa winning with 60 points HPA 63, Hilo 79, Kealakehe 94 and Kamehameha-HI 96.
While the Honokaa boys team have been off the radar so has the Ka Makani boys until this Saturdays meet which opened the door to a new host of individuals and teams waiting to break down the obstacles which have prevented them in the past from breaking through.
The HPA girls under Coach Michael Franklin are in his seventh season and have won 5 BIIF titles in 2006, 2008-2011 including the State Championship last year.
HPA’s Zoe Sims is the defending BIIF Champion for the girls and there is no defending BIIF boys champ as Chayce Moniz from Honokaa has graduated last season.
Ka Makani Sims had this to say about defending her BIIF crown after Saturdays win at Kamehameha.
“I don’t really think about that a lot,” Sims said. “I just run how I feel and today’s top five girls were all within 10 seconds of each other.”
Ka Makani teammates Kristina Van Pernis and Mariah Haight along with Hilo’s talented duo of Mehana Sanbado-Halpern and Carmen Garson-Shumway are all great friends and they help each other in forming a pack.
“We’ve got the best five pack in the BIIF and we’re all keeping in close, we’re glad that they want to run with us because strong runners only makes us better,” Sims said.
“When running you must really be in the moment,” Van Pernis said.
The BIIF cross country action has a BYE this weekend then moves to the rolling hills of HPA for the BIIF Cross Country Championships on Friday October 19.
The HHSAA state championship will also be run on the defending state champion’s home course the Friday of OCT 26.
No comments yet.