Dakota Grossman gets three peat in HHSAA cross country
WAIMEA – It wasn’t a repeat performance for the state defending champions the Hawaii Preparatory Academy as they finished runner up to Punahou in team standings while Dakota Grossman of Seabury Hall won her third individual Hawaii High School State Championship.
“I won it my freshman, sophomore and this year my junior year,” Grossman said of the third consecutive state championship. “It doesn’t get any easier as I still need to work just as hard.”
Things haven’t changed for Grossman as she always tries to get out fast and at the state meet she has lots of harriers willing to do just that.
During her 3 mile race Grossman in traditional fashion took the lead from start to finish with Elli Brady of Punahou and sister Teri Brady sticking close behind.
“My father Bobby Grossman has been coaching me since I was little,” Grossman said. “Just this season we became Division II (Seabury) and we won the D II title.
Grossman won the race in 20 minutes 21 seconds with HPA’s Zoe Sims becoming the first Big Island Interscholastic Federation top finisher in 5th place with a time of 21:00 flat.
Other BIIF girls medaling at states (top 20 medals) was HPA’s Erin Evans (7th 21:21); HPA’s Kristiana Van Pernis (9th 21:40); Hilo’s Carmen Garson-Shumway (19th 22:13); Mehana Sabado-Halpern (20th 22:20).
There were chants of go HPA erupting from the Parisian crowd as the course favorite certainly had those in attendance on their side.
“I’m happy with my race and I did have a PR (personal record) on this course today.” Garson-Shumway said. “I went out more relaxed but wasn’t able to stay with my friends from HPA except for Mariah (Haight) as we usually run together as a pack.”
Viking teammate Salbado-Halpern allowed her adrenaline to carry her to a medal.
“I was really excited and this was my first cross country state meet,” she said. “I didn’t allow those negative thought to creep into head.”
Punahou girls regained the girl’s team title and coach Duncan MacDonald was quick to point out his Hilo ties.
“I was born in Hilo,” MacDonald said. “This is a great cross country course, we would be happy to run here every year because this is a true cross country course and the course is challenging.”
MacDonald had Kudos for his girls saying that “they are great, and very coachable.”
Punahou won the team title with 42 points over runner up HPA with 72, Kamehameha-Kapalama 186, Mid Pacific Institute 205.
Kamemaha-Hawaii was 9th overall with 247 and Hilo 10th with 255 to round out the top BIIF schools.
For the boys team title it was Coach Steve Jenness from Kamehameha-Kapalama returning his to the winners circle for his 11 state championship in 16 years.
“I would like to have the state meet here every year, as this type of course, I feel is one of the best cross country courses in the state,” he said.
Jenness is in his 29th year at the helm and his coaching philosophy is simple.
“I tell my kids to ‘never say never.” “At HPA there is a little bit of surprises and there is an interesting mix out on the course to keep it challenging.”
In the boys 3 miler it was a source of redemption as Parker’s Paul Gregg became the first BIIF harrier to cross the finish line.
“My goal today was just to come in first from the BIIF,” Gregg said. Gregg did just that finishing 22nd overall in 18:30, two places out of pocketing a state medal).
“This was redemption, pretty much a payback for letting Honokaa’s Tony Conners win BIIF’s,” Gregg said.
Conners finished in 51st place with a time of 19:13.
Waiakea’s Ian McQuate was the only one to challenge Gregg, finishing 31st in 18:51.
“I passed Ian with .5 miles to go in the race,” Gregg said. “I feel as though I am going out on top as a senior.”
Gregg did manage to set a PR on the HPA course.
In boys team standings it was 6 times BIIF champions Honokaa placing 12th with 315 points with Kealakehe 337, Kamehameha-Hawaii 14 with 345.
But it wasn’t as bad as it seemed for the Warrior boys.
“It was the first time we’ve had a scoring team qualifying for a state championship,” Coach Ryan Cabalse said. “I was hoping for a top 10 finish but I’ll take 14th overall.”
“The Kamehameha boys cross country program has been in existence 10 years and this is the first time in our history we’ve qualified a scoring team to state,” Coach Cabalse said.
“The difference is now they enjoy running and each other,” Coach Cabalse said. “Run for each other and enjoy the moment.”
Lupe Diaz returned an HPA boys scoring team for the first time since 2010 and felt that his scoring team had the ability to break into the top 10 at states, but Ka Makani team was 17th overall to conclude the season.
Kamehameha-Kapalama’s Davis Kaahanui won the boys individual title with a time of 17:07.
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