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Running with the Big Dog

HPA’s Sims, Honokaa’s Moniz, crowned BIIF cross country champions

Zoe Sims

KEAAU – Honokaa’s Chayce Moniz and Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Zoe Sims won individual cross country titles and in the process led the Honokaa boys and HPA girls to team titles during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross country championships held Saturday at Kamehameha.

For Moniz and Sims it was the first time either had crossed the finished line in first place during a season of parity and unpredictability.

Sims credited her win to flying fruit, saying that images of being a plantain traveling through the air at 70 miles per hour made the difference during the race.

“I kept thinking of a poem our coach, Michael Franklin, read to the team called Problems with Hurricanes, as I kept seeing all these flying fruit during the race and I was a plantain,” Sims said.

With Sims victory the BIIF had seen six different girls win a meet in six weeks, with four of those girls wearing the red and white Ka Makani uniform.

talking about flying fruit

“I had fun today running with my teammates in the lead pack,” Sims said.  “We talked to each other and encouraged each other.”

Sims ran with teammates and previous BIIF winners, Kristiana Van Pernis and Mariah Haight as the threesome led from start to finish, while exchanging words.

Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi and Hilo’s Carmen Garson-Shumway tried their best to stay with the leaders, but in the end finished in fourth and fifth respectively.

“I’m really excited about winning this race and I don’t want the season to end,” Sims said.

“Whenever Zoe would say something to me during the race, I answered her back,” runner up Van Pernis said.  “Zoe would say plantain and I’d say coconut.  The idea was to focus on other things and take the pressure off running.” 

“We always try to read poems to them before each race and we’d expect them to take that into the race,” Franklin said of his unusual race tactic.

Ka Makani girls dominated the team competition, as they’ve done all season long, capturing their fourth consecutive league title and their 34th league crown in the last 38 season.

“I guess now the secret to our success is out,” Franklin said with a wide grin.  “The ability to have six different winners in six weeks is a complement to the credit of the running programs on the Big Island”

HPA legend, Stan Shutes

Franklin also gave credit to HPA’s rich tradition of winning cross country titles to his predecessor, Stan Shutes.

“I walked into this program and I’m just glad that I can continue it during the years that I’ve been here, but Stan, who passed away this year, deserves much of the credit,” Franklin said.

Franklin’s assistant coach, Sarah Hayslip, English teacher at HPA, has implemented the reading of poems along with Franklin during the regular Monday team meeting.

“Our girls are made stronger by the level of talent here on the Big Island,” Franklin said.  “Girls like Kelsie and Carmen push our girls to be better and we are appreciative of the caliber of running they bring each week.”

Waiakea’s Kobayashi, a senior, was very pleased with her fourth place finish saying that she ran her best.

“I am blessed for having a supportive team, coaches and competitors,” Kobayashi said.  “I am also grateful to have had my parents at every race during my four years of running.”

Ka Makani harriers won the varsity 3 mile team scoring with 24 points followed by Hilo with 82.

In the boys race it was a health Chayce Moniz showing what he is capable of doing when healthy.

Moniz had been out early in the season with an illness, according to Honokaa Athletic Director Keith Tolentino.

“The boys team (Honokaa) had either illness or injuries throughout the season and we only got to see them running together in the last two meets,” Tolentino said.  “Our coaches, Josh Abner and Johnny Anderson, work really hard with the kids and they really push them.  Bottom line is whoever steps up during the last meet is what matters and these kids peaked at the right time.”

The Honokaa coaches and team declined to be interviewed after winning their fifth consecutive team title.

“I’m sorry, but my team and I have no comment and we don’t want to be interviewed until after states,” Moniz said.

Moniz victory was the only one of the season and Waiakea’s Jackson Halford who had won most of the meets during the season having high praise of his competitor.


“I ran my hardest and Chayce earned the win,” Halford said.  “I just tried pacing off him during the race as I didn’t expect him to be in the lead and he took me by surprise.”

Moniz and teammate Tony Conners took the early lead with a pack of four runners, in Halford, St Joseph’s Andrew Langtry, Kamehameha’s Shawn Correa Doll, Makua Lani’s Brandt Mabuni and Parkers Paul Gregg in hot pursuit.

“I never expected Chayce to hold the lead for the entire three miles,” Halford said.  “I was expecting him to die out at the end, but he didn’t.”

Honokaa beat out Waiakea in team scoring, 50 to 65, with a philosophical Waiakea coach Jordan Rosado.

“I’m happy with our second place finish,” Rosado said.  “It is better than coming in third.”

The top two boys and girls teams, HPA and Hilo, along with Honokaa and Waiakea, won the automatic berth to the HHSAA championships along with the top 38 boys and 37 girls to the state championship coming up on Saturday on the island of Maui.


October 23, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Big Dog’s Top picks for BIIF cross country chamionships

This is a no brainer in BIIF cross country as HPA girls go for their fourth straight title and 34th team title in 38 years.

Also, look for four or five of Lady Ka Makani to stand upon the medal list to make all BIIF first team selections.

Hilo’s Carmen Garson-Shumway and Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi could break up HPA runners from making a perfect score.

HPA girls were #2 in the state last year, and coach Michael Franklin says that this years team is even better than last years team, so look for Ka Makani to challenge Punahou and Seabury Hall for the HHSAA state title.

Boys team title will be between Waiakea and Honokaa as both schools have the depth and fire power.  Honokaa has the experience of being in the winners circle with four consecutive team titles under their belts, so lets see how hungry Waiakea might be.

Waiakea and Honokaa might get two runners from each school in the top 7, with St. Joseph’s Andrew Langtry and Makua Lani’s Brandt Mabuni joining in on the fun.  Kamehameha’s Shawn Correa Doll will challenge Jackson Halford for the league individual crown.

But as everyone knows, anything can happen on race day, and something special usually happens.  Good luck to all.

October 22, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BIIF Cross Country Championship Preview – Titles up for Grabs

     Mystery, intrigue and unbridled excitement continues to build as the Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross country championships will crown its individual and team champions this Saturday at Kamehameha.

During the five week season the BIIF has seen five different girls cross the finish line in first place and chances are there might be a sixth, if the pattern holds.

“It is amazing what things can happen on race day,” HPA girls coach Michael Franklin said.  “Surprising things can happen as there are a number of strong young women on the island who have not yet won a race.”

Franklin’s Ka Makani girls come into the championships as the heavy team favorite to win their 34th title in the last 38 years, but the savvy coach is not taking anything for granted.

“We’re not looking beyond today as we are training hard and that is our current challenge,” Franklin said.

HPA talent, from the first through seventh runner, is so strong that they have had three runners win individual meets during the season and could have a fourth emerge to claim the league individual crown.

Kristiana Van Pernis started things off for HPA winning the Sept 3rd meet on her home course, followed by Emily Evans taking the second Ka Makani meet on Sept 30, followed more recently by Mariah Haight claiming the individual crown at Kamehameha two weeks ago.

Looming in the background for HPA is Zoe Sims, who was injured early in the season, but has come back to claim two third place finishes and a second place.

Coach Franklin will tell you that Ka Makani harriers are more concerned with team rather than their own success.

“We focus on the strength of a community,” Franklin said.  “We do not train for individual success and the results simply reflect that philosophy.”

With four HPA runners having the ability to win the individual title there are two other girls with the proven talent to mix things up with Ka Makani harriers.

Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi won one meet this season, on her home course, and has frequently run within the HPA pack along with Hilo’s Carmen Garson-Shumway.

Garson-Shumway was the first BIIF runner to cross the finish line during the Kamehameha Invitational and considers the championship course to be her favorite.

“I like running at Kamehameha,” Garson-Shumway said.  “There is something about that course, the rolling hills, and the grassy surface that makes it my favorite.”

     With the race wide open to possibly any of the leagues six girls being able to capture the crown, the boys has Waiakea’s Jackson Halford as the favorite.

Halford has won three of the regular seasons five meets, being first to cross the finish line at second HPA meet, Waiakea and Kamehameha two weeks ago.

St. Joseph’s Andrew Langtry won the first HPA meet and then became runner up to Halford in the second HPA meet and again second at the Kamehameha Invitational.

With the championships at Kamehameha another stiff challenger to Halford’s quest of becoming a league champion will be home course favorite Kamehameha’s Shawn Correa Doll.

Correa Doll was the first BIIF runner to cross the finish line at the Kamehameha Invitational and was runner up to Halford at the Waiakea meet. 

Late in the season Makua Lani’s Brandt Mabuni started to run with the leaders and during the last regular season meet at Kamehameha showed that he should be considered a contender.

Mabuni took the race to Halford and Correa Doll, leading for the first two miles before giving way and finishing in third place.

“The Kamehameha race gave me the confidence to know that I have a good chance of winning at the BIIF championships,” Mabuni said.

Parker’s Paul Gregg and Honokaa’s Tony Conners each had third place finishes during the season and are expected to try to keep up with the leaders in the early going.

“It’s been nerve racking waiting for the championships because I know everyone wants to stop me from winning,” Halford said.  “I expect Shawn (Correa Doll) to be my strongest competitor because this is his home course and he’ll be looking to win.  Knowing I’m the front runner is a good excuse for me to work harder in preparation for this race.”

The Honokaa boys are the four time BIIF team champions, but had a slow start during the season as Waiakea claimed all but the final team scoring titles.

But Honokaa’s experience might be peaking at the right time under Coach Josh Abner as the Dragons are poised to claim their fifth consecutive title.

The top two boys and top two girl’s teams will gain the automatic berth to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association championships on Maui along with the top 38 boys and 37 girls to be held on October 29 on Maui.

League championship action gets under way this Saturday with the junior varsity races starting at 2 pm, followed by the boys varsity and girls varsity races in which the top seven in both varsity events will medal and win all BIIF first team honors.

October 21, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HPA’s Haight runs 3 miles to deliver Birthday Present to Mom

Mariah Haight

KEAAU – Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Mariah Haight won her first Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross country meet on Saturday at Kamehameha, but more importantly she gave her mother a very special birthday gift.

“Saturday was my mom’s birthday and I really wanted to win this race for her,” Haight said.  “When I won my mom gave me a big hug and said this was the greatest birthday present she ever received.”

Haight, a sophomore, had another goal of running the three mile race in under 20 minutes and managed to achieve that as well by crossing the finish line in 19 minutes and 58 seconds.

“I was really motivated today as I wanted to do it for my mom, Barbara,” Haight said. 

Haight held back during the first two miles, content to run in a pack of Ka Makani harriers.

“In the middle of mile two I took the lead and I could hear Kristiana (Van Pernis) close behind me the whole time,” Haight said.  “Knowing Kristiana was behind me helped me to run faster as I really wanted this race for my mom.”

HPA claimed the first four spots with Hilo’s Carmen Garson Shumway breaking up a possible perfect Ka Makani score with her fifth place finish.

“I was trying to stay with the HPA pack the entire way, moving between fourth and fifth place,” Garson Shumway said.  “I ran my race by going out fast and maintaining my speed as the HPA girls helped me to run my best.”

Garson Shumway was surrounded by a sea of red as the young Viking used the red tide to help boost her to a 20:18 performance.

Brandt Mabuni

 In the boys race it was Makua Lani’s Brandt Mabuni jumping out to an early lead with a trio of well know leaders, Waiakea’s Jackson Halford, Kamehameha’s Shawn Correa Doll and St. Joseph’s Andrew Langtry following close behind.

Mabuni, a rapidly improving senior, showed no fear as he took it to the usual trio of league leaders.

“I just felt really good today and I focused on the lead bike and just tried to chase the bike,” Mabuni said.  “I held the lead for most of the race before being passed with less than a mile to the finish line.”

Mabuni came into the race with a goal of finishing third and got his wish, which is his highest finish this season.

“I made an optimistic decision to take third today,” Mabuni said.  “I’m very pleased with the outcome and I believe I have a realistic chance of winning the BIIF individual championship.”

Halford and Doll went after Mabuni during that final mile, passing him and turning the outcome of the race into a two person sprint as the duo exchanged command of the race.

In the end Halford used his superior kick to pass Doll during the closing 100 yards of what turned out to be a controversial finish.

“I took the lead just pass the second mile and spent the first two miles just trying to keep up with Brandt,” Halford said.  “He’s really fast and I didn’t expect him (Mabuni) to lead us for that long.”

Halford won his third BIIF meet of the season and credited his kick for his come from behind victory.

“If it wasn’t for my kick he, (Correa Doll) would have beaten me,” Halford said.

Correa Doll learned an important lesson during the meet.

“I wasn’t surprised with Brandt running in the lead for the first half of the race as I knew Jackson and I could catch him,” Correa Doll said.  “With a half mile to go I took the lead and the race came down to a kick in the final 100 yards.”

Following the race Correa Doll said that he needs to work on his kick to be better prepared for the BIIF championships on Oct 22.

Thirty minutes after the meet Correa Doll learned that he was disqualified for impeding (trying to prevent) Halford from passing him during the final 100 yards.

“I apologize to Jackson for getting in his way,” Correa Doll said.  “I learned an important lesson and I’m glad it happened now rather that during the championships.”

In team scoring it was a fired up Honokaa team that bunched their top five runners to win their first team title of the season.

When Dragon Coach Josh Abner was asked to talk about his teams renewed vigor, Abner replied, “No comment, I have nothing to say at this time.”

Honokaa brothers Tony and Robert Conners finished in fourth and sixth respectively with teammate Chayce Moniz sandwiched in between.

The Dragons are the four time defending BIIF champions and their sudden leap to the top this season appears to have prepared them at the right time to contend for yet another team title.

Waiakea had won the team title during the season up until the Kamehameha meet on Saturday to a disgruntled Warrior Coach Jordan Rosado.

“We all became complacent and it’s my fault for not preparing them,” Rosado said of the Warriors drop to second place.  “They have to show that they want it (the team championship).”

The BIIF cross country takes a bye this weekend before heading into the league individual and team championships on Saturday, Oct. 22 to be held at Kamehameha.

The top two boys and girls team will get the automatic berth to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association championships to be held on Maui on Oct 29, along with the top 38 boys and 37 girls.

related links: 



October 10, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Waiakea Boys, HPA Girls, perfect in BIIF cross country

Halford and Langtry

WAIMEA – The Waiakea boys and Hawaii Preparatory Academy girls kept their unblemished record intact on Friday winning team scoring during all schools Big Island Interscholastic Federation 3 mile cross country meet on Ka Makani home turf.

Leading the way for the Warriors was Jackson Halford while HPA had Emily Evans in the front of the girl’s completion.

Halford needed a late kick at the finish line to hold off a feisty Andrew Langtry from St. Joseph.

Both boys have exchanged BIIF victories during the season with each winning two meets.

“Andrew (Langtry) really pushed me hard today and I ran a lot faster than I would have if I ran on my own,” Halford said.

Halford led for most of the race before being challenged by a gusty Langtry in the final 150 yards of the race.

“He had me worried and he put up a great fight,” Halford said of his opponent.  “I had no idea he has such an awesome kick and it caused me to dig deeper for that little extra effort that made the difference.”

Halford won in a time of 18 minutes and 27 seconds, just .27 of a second ahead of Langtry.

“Jackson did great and I feel great because I was able to push him the entire way,” Langtry said after the race. 

Langtry allowed Halford to keep the lead for most of the race saying it was part of his strategy.

“I wanted to draft off him, and it was actually fun to do that,” Langtry said.  “I waited until the flat straight away to do my kick, but it was probably too late as I should have started the kick earlier.”

Paul Gregg

Parkers Paul Gregg surprised the crowd by taking third with Makua Lani’s Brandt Mabuni sneaking into a season high fifth place.

“I was more focused today than I’ve been the entire season,” Gregg said.  “My mental drive was better and I didn’t think about most of the people in the race and just tried to run my own race.”


For Mabuni, a senior, doing his final race at HPA of his four year harrier career may have made the difference.

“I decided to run for a greater cause,” he said.  “I ran in appreciation for all that I have and I’m hoping that today’s success is something I can build upon for the rest of my life.”

Absent from the top five leader board was Kamehameha’s Shawn Correa Doll.

“We tried something different today and asked Shawn to run with our teams pack,” Coach Ryan Cabalse said.

“Shawn has been injured for the past couple of weeks, so we asked him to relax during the first two miles and open up during the last mile,” Cabalse said.   “We want him to be ready for the BIIF championships and we didn’t want him to push too hard today.”

Waiakea won the team scoring with 69 points over a newly awakened and more focused Parker team with 98.

In the girls race it was HPA dominating from start to finish with their third different runner winning the overall individual honors.

Emily Evans

A smiling, jubilant, and what might have appeared to be happy carefree, Emily Evans, claimed her first victory in her young prep career.

“It was all about fun today,” Evans said of her smiling during the entire race.  “I was feeling good and I believe that we should be here to have fun or we shouldn’t be running.”

Evans was in eighth place at the halfway point in the race before passing runners going up the second and final steep hill in the back slopes of the HPA campus.

“I wasn’t thinking about winning and just tried to run my hardest, like I do in every race,” Evans said.

In second place was Ka Makani harrier Zoe Sims, who is making a comeback from an early season injury which saw her sit out for four weeks.

“I’m happy to be running again,” Sims said.  “I just wanted to run hard and have fun which is something the entire teams believes in.”

Sims held the lead for just past the half way mark with a host of other Ka Makani in hot pursuit.

HPA nearly had a perfect score, which is only accomplished in cross country when a team takes the top five spots.  But Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi prevented Ka Makani harriers from the 15 point victory by claiming the fifth spot.

“I never thought about team scoring during the race,” Kobayashi said.  “I was just trying to run my best and to get use to the elevation.”

HPA coach Michael Franklin was impressed in seeing a fifth different girl in five weeks win top horrors for the league.

“Five winners in five weeks that’s the way it should be,” Franklin said.  “It’s good for cross country supporters and it’s good for the BIIF.”

Franklin also spoke about his decision to keep Sims out of competition for four weeks.

“Zoe stayed in shape by doing pool workouts and by riding the bike,” Coach Franklin said.

“We saved her from possible further injury so that she can be happy and healthy and be able to run and win races when she’s 60 years old,” he said.

When told about Coach Franklin’s saving her so that she can be running well into her 60’s Sims replied, “I expect to be running well into my 90’’s.”

“We don’t have any stars on this team,” Franklin said.  “We believe in team and the girls believe in that concept and that is why we are where we are.”

The BIIF season continues on Saturday, Oct. 8, with an all-schools meet at Kamehameha starting at 2:30 pm with the boy’s 3 mile race followed by the girls 3 miler.



October 1, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment