Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Warrior pairs take season opener at Canefire Conditioner – BIIF cross country

Girls winners, Rasse with baton and Kobayashi

KEAAU-Warrior pairs took center stage on the opening day of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross country season on the campus of Christian Liberty Academy.

“This is the sixth year that we’ve hosted the BIIF season opener with the Canefire Conditioner,” CLA Coach Frank Grotenhuis said.

Grotenhuis format requires schools to pair their runners, with each doing three alternating one mile legs.

Each pair completed a total of six miles with each runner doing three miles.  Canefire officials took the top four scoring pairs from each school to calculate who won the team title.

“Each year we’ve hosted the race the course has been changed slightly to accomadate our growing campus,” Grotenhuis said.

A total of nine BIIF schools participated at CLA, zigzagging their way around the open expanse this past Saturday.

“We have 89 pairs of boys and one individual entered in today’s race,” Grotenhuis said.  “It is the largest field we have ever had.”

Jackson & Rice

Two pairs of Warrior boys claimed top honors with Waiakea’s Jackson Halford and Keoni Rice taking first and Kamehameha’s Shawn Correa Doll and Maka’ala Cruz second.

In the early going the lead exchanged hand with Honokaa’s Robert Conners and Chayce Moniz, along with Parkers Jesse Tarnas and Paul Gregg going out fast while Kamehameha chased in third and Waiakea in fourth.

“We decided to run relaxed in the first leg of the race as we knew everyone else would be going out quickly,” Rice said.  “We had a strategy and were just happy we could be in the top 10 after the first mile.”

“The idea was for us to run our last mile hard and see if we could finish in the top 5 overall,” Jackson said.  “Things worked out better than we had hoped.”

Correa Doll & Cruz

The other Warriors, Kamehameha’s Correa Doll and Cruz were equally happy with their overall finish.

“We just wanted to do our best today,” Correa Doll said.  “I was a little afraid of Honokaa because they have the reputation of winning, but I know this is about being mentally strong and running as a team.”

Cruz was also hoping for a top five finish.

“I was trying for good placing after the first mile and didn’t want to hold anything back at the end,” he said.  “I kind of held back in my running last year and want this to be a better year for me.”

Langtry

The only boy choosing to run the entire 6 miles by himself was St. Joseph’s Andrew Langtry  who is the lone Cardinal representative in the league.

“I could have teamed with someone from a different school, but I decided that I would try it alone,” Langtry said.

Langtry finished in 34 minutes and 55 seconds, placing 23rd overall out of 89 paired teams.

“I wanted to challenge myself and get in a good workout,” Langtry said.  “I ran the entire way hard and it was good to have people around me to make me work.”

In the girls race it was all Warriors from start to finish as the duo of Kelsie Kobayashi and Haley Rasse led from start to finish winning top honors for Waiakea.

“I just wanted to run my own race and get in a zone,” Kobayashi said.  “I took the early lead, but I really wasn’t paying any attention to anyone else.”

Rasse was in the anchor position and felt some pressure to maintain the lead given to her.

“I didn’t want to let Kelsie down,” she said.  “I wanted to keep the lead or even give her a bigger lead.”

Following in second through fifth place were a group of runners from Hawaii Preparatory Academy as Coach Michael Franklin wanted his harrier to learn to pace.

“We’re teaching pacing with our experienced runners showing our new girls how to keep and maintain a desired pace.”

Ka Makani harriers looked to be in charge as they ran in a pack for all six miles, but a pair of Hilo runners decided to mix things up and challenged during the final mile.

Lawrence & Shumway

Viking runners Karina Lawrence and Carmen Garson-Shumway stayed within striking distance in the early going, moving up from seventh place to eventually move into second with less than a quarter mile to go.

“Our job was to pace our other runners on the team, so we didn’t go out to hard,” Lawrence said.  “We were hoping we could finish somewhere in the top five by the end of the race.”

After the first two miles the Viking duo were turned loose and made their way to the top of the field.

“I believed I could catch the HPA pack on my final mile,” Garson-Shumway said.  “I wasn’t sure we could do it and we’re sure happy to have finished in second place.”

In overall team scoring for the boys it was Honokaa taking first with 33 points, followed by Waiakea, Kamehameha, HPA, Hilo, Keaau, Parker, Kohala and Hualalai.

The girls team scoring had HPA in first followed by Hilo, Waiakea, Kamehameha, Keaau and Honokaa.

The BIIF cross country season moves to the hills of Waimea on Saturday as HPA plays host to the traditional three mile individual venue with the first race getting under way at 10 am.

August 29, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CLA Canefire Conditioner – BIIF cross country today in Keaau

2010 photo at Canefire Conditioner

I’m headed to Christian Liberty this morning to cover and take photos of the 2011 BIIF cross country season opener.

The Canefire Conditioner requires each Big Island Interscholastic Federation school to pair their runners with each harrier doing three alternating one-mile legs.
 
CLA coach Frank Grotenhuis introduced the format several years ago and the BIIF has used the venue at the start of each cross season as a results.
 
Complete results will be posted later this afternoon along with some photos.
 
Good luck to all those compteting as I look forward to fun season watching all of you run.

August 27, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | , , | Leave a comment

Lady Ka Makani looking to continue BIIF Cross Country Dynasty

Lady harriers from Hawaii Prep

The Hawaii Prep girls cross country program doesn’t don Yankee pinstripes, it doesn’t channel Celtic pride and it’s never celebrated their victories with the Lambeau leap.  But in its own realm, Ka Makani wahine are every bit as dominant.

Since 1980 the ladies from Hawaii Preparatory Academy have dominated the Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross county winning league titles in 27 of the past 31 years, according to Ka Makani athletic director Stephen Perry.

The BIIF cross country season opens this Saturday with the HPA girls team coming in as heavy favorites to win yet another league championship.

Waiakea (1983 & 1991) and Kamehameha (2005 & 2007) were the only other schools to win BIIF girls team titles and HPA looks on track to continue their cross country dominance.

Ka Makani return four of the varsity seven from last year’s league champions with Zoe Sims, Emily Evans, Kristiana Van Pernis and Mariah Haight leading the way.

Head coach Michael Franklin returns at the helm, but down plays his team’s goal of winning another league title.

“Truly, people don’t believe me when I say this, but winning a championship is not one of our goals,” Franklin said.  “Our goals are simple as they come from the basic philosophy that life is more satisfying if one pushes him or herself beyond perceived limits.”

Franklin believes that his harriers need to focus on themselves and their team rather than on trying to win a league championship.

“Focusing on winning a championship would require too much attention on others,” he said.  “We really have a team focus.”

Ka Makani girls finished second in the state last season and this year is considered the team to challenge Punahou again for the Hawaii High School Athletic Association title.

“This is the strongest team that I have yet coached at HPA,” Franklin said.  “That does not mean that it is the fastest team.  It is the strongest because of its unified spirit and unanimous love for the running lifestyle.  Whether we win or lose races, this team’s attitude makes it exceptional.”

Gunning for the girl’s title will be the Warriors of Kamehameha as Coach Joel Truesdell return five of his top seven girls.

“This is the first time since we last won the BIIF championship that we return this many varsity starters,” Truesdell said.

Kamehameha returns three girls that were in the top 20 at the BIIF championships last season in Tiana Iwata (12th), Corin Kim (16th) and Erin Carvalho (20th).

“We’ve got some depth on our girl’s squad as we have 8 girls running in the lead pack,” Truesdell said.  “Our goals are the same as last year, to get a full team into states.”

Also shooting to get a full team to qualify for the state championship is Hilo’s veteran coach, Bill McMahon.

“Our top two returning girls are Shalila De Bournmont and Carmen Garson-Shumway,” McMahon said.  “Our boy’s team are all young, but I do have a good sized group.”

Waiakea’s  fastest girl is Kelsie Kobayashi and she will be anchored by Haley Rasse, Vanessa Ignacio, Skye Ombac, and Vandey Okinaka, according to Coach Jordan Rosado.

“We have a large team, with 40 boys and 28 girls,” Rosado said.  “I feel we have as good a chance to compete for the boy’s team title as anyone else, since Honokaa lost some of their best runners to graduation.”

Waiakea will be led by Jackson Halford and Keoni Rice with Ian McQuate, Hajime Hiyano and Dyson Sato providing needed support according to Rosado.

Honokaa, returns as the four time defending league champion, but has some holes to fill from last season.

“Chayce Moniz, Clayton Robinson, Pedro Sanches, Robert Conners, Tony Conners, Riston Matias, Koa Phenice, Sean Quinlan, Justin Warren, and Mason Wilkes are our returners,” Coach Joshua Abner said.

Abner lost three of his seven starters from last year, including two time individual BIIF champion Chris Mosch, which leaves the door open for several teams to vie for the team title.

“Every day is an open tryout for us and every one of these boys are hungry,” Abner said.

Last season’s big surprise came from the boys at Parker School as Coach Ceri Whitfield qualified her team for the HHSAA.

“I feel with the hard work these boys put into their training they have as much chance as any of the other schools to come in first,” Whitfield said.  “They are very committed and positive about their chances this year as they work very hard.”

Leading the way for the Bulls is Jesse Tarnas who will brings a solid core of runners which includes Jesse Tarnas, Paul Gregg, Tyler McCullough, Jess Burns and Evan Kasberg.

Kamehameha boys coach, Ryan Cabalse, has four returnees that made it to the state championships last season in Shawn Correa-Doll, Kaulana Ho, Colton Hill, and Jonah Knell.

“Our boy’s squad has never qualified as a team for states yet, (five from the same team need to qualify to score as a team) but we are hoping to contend for one of the automatic team slots this season,” Cabalse said.

St. Joseph returns one of the best BIIF runners in Andrew Langtry who is expected to challenge for the individual league crown.  Langtry ran in various community races during the off season and was often seen in the top leader board.

Keaau brings 41 boys and 15 girls into competition with returnees Deann Nishimura-Thornton and Natalie Hagemann leading the girls while Jhun-Delle Venture, Davin Alviento, Greg Matias, Arman Navarro and Adrian Martinez headline the boy’s squad, according to Coach Donna Wong Yuen.

Though difficult, we always want to try and qualify a team for states,” Wong Yuen said.  “Our goals are to have fun and improve from last year.”

Christian Liberty Academy doesn’t have any girls on their cross country team but will bring 10 boys to the starting line, according to Coach Frank Grotenhuis.

“Caeden Cambra and Keenen Freitas are the two fastest on the team,” Grotenhuis said.  “We’re looking at having the boys push hard so that they can achieve their personal best.”

The BIIF harriers get off to a running start on Saturday with Grotenhuis as his CLA family playing host to the Canefire Conditioner starting at 10 am on the Keaau campus.

August 25, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Surprises during BIIF Cross-Country Meet at WHS

Nadia Ramirez

It was a morning filled with surprises as two relatively unknown runners came up with big wins at the Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross-country meet held at Waiakea.

Hilo’s Nadia Ramirez and Keaau’s Kevin Olsen both came from behind in the later stages of a 3-mile run to win the East Side Meet held during a humid and oppressive morning on the grassy surface around the perimeter of the Warrior School Complex.

Ramirez, who transferred from California this past March, was content to sit back and relax during the first two miles of the race.

“Everybody told me I had the potential to do well, but winning was totally unexpected,” Ramirez said after claiming the BIIF East Side crown.

“I was just pacing myself from the beginning as I wanted to stay with the top 10 girls.  I stayed relaxed the entire race and kept my focus on my breathing,” she said.

Kelsie Kobayashi

Taking the early lead was Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi who took command of the group of 73 girls by setting the pace.

“I didn’t want to get boxed in at the start of the race, so I went out fast,” Kobayashi said. 

The Warrior led the race until the half-way point before relinquishing the led to Ramirez.  “I didn’t think the weather played a factor, although it was really hot,” Kobayashi said.  “It’s what we practice in nearly every day, so we’re used to it.”

Another Viking, Shalila de Bourmont, kept the race interesting by staying with the leaders.  “Our coach, Bill McMahon, wanted our top six girls to run together, but Kelsie was getting too far ahead of us so Nadia and I broke off from our group and went after her,” de Bourmont said.

Coach McMahon

Kobayashi maintained the led for more than a mile and a half before Ramirez caught up to her and pulled away.  “I think I could have caught up but I just didn’t have the kick to stay with them,” de Bourmont said.

Ramirez won the race in a blistering time of 20 minutes and 33 seconds followed by Kobayashi at 21:14 and de Bourmont at 21:33.

Kobayashi was the only runner to keep Hilo from having a perfect score as the Vikings captured 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th places respectively for a team total 19 points. 

“There were no surprises for me in the girl’s race,” Viking coach McMahon said.  “I know our girls are strong and they work hard at practice.  They also set their goals high.”

Kevin Olsen

The boy’s race unfolded almost exactly as the girls with eventual winner Olsen playing catch up during the early stages of the race.

Kamehameha’s Shawn Correa-Doll along with Christian Liberty’s Jordan Grotenhuis took the early lead on the field of 116 harriers.

Olsen kept the lead pack in sight and remained patient, waiting for the right moment to make his move. 

“I was planning on doing well today as I built my confidence after the Canefire Conditioner last week,” Olsen said.  “I waited until the final mile to pass the leaders and found the right moment to finish hard.”

Shawn Correa-Doll

Olsen found the Waiakea course to be a bit slow, as it had just rained prior to the race and the ground was soggy.  “I think I can run faster on this course under better conditions,” the Cougar senior said.

The leader during most of the boy’s race was Correa-Doll who had never finished a BIIF race in the top 10 before.  “I think I’m more mature this year and I like running now,” he said.  “I see running as a positive not a negative.  It felt great leading until the Keaau dude (Olsen) passed me.  I tried to stay with him.”

CLA’s Grotenhuis, just a sophomore, normally doesn’t start out fast in races, but changed his plans before the race when he was asked by Olsen to stay with him during the race.

Jordan Grotenhuis

“Kevin and I are friends and we try to help each other out during track, so at the start of the race I decided to stay with the leaders as long as I could,” Grotenhuis said.

“My goal was to just try to finish in the top 10, but with 2-miles to go I was shoulder to shoulder with the Kam leader,” he said. 

Olsen won the boys race in 17 minutes and 15 seconds followed by Correa-Doll in 17:24 and Grotenhuis in 17:25.

“Looks like we finally got a good runner in the family,” CLA coach and father Frank Grotenhuis said after the race. 

While the East Side races were producing major surprises the West Side girls held business as usually as three times BIIF defending champion Tialana Greenwell cruised to victory in 20 minutes and 28 seconds.  Dragon teammate Allie Shiraki, only a freshman, took second in 22:03.

Despite taking the top two overall spots host Kealakehe won the girls team scoring beating out Honokaa.

In the West boy’s race it was yet another surprise as Makua Lani’s Brandt Mabuni won in 18:26 with Hawaii Prep’s Justin Macy claiming second in 18:43.  Honokaa claimed the overall boy’s team scoring crown.

This week BIIF harrier venue moves to Kamehameha with an all-schools meet and a show down between Greenwell and Ramirez which should prove interesting.

The girl’s 3-miler gets under way at 10 am followed by the boy’s race.

September 7, 2010 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Canefire Conditioner Opens with a Fast Start

Eventual duo winners, Hilo's Karina Lawrence and Nadia Ramirez

KEEAU-It was a breathless, fantastic finish for a pair of Hilo runners, each girl running glued together until one leaned ahead of the other at the end.

 The Big Island Interscholastic Federation opened its cross-country season with a pair of running events that zigzagged its way around the Christian Liberty Academy Campus this past Saturday.

Using a format introduced by CLA coach Frank Grotenhuis the Canefire Conditioner required each BIIF school to pair their runners with each harrier doing three alternating one-mile legs.

Kelsie Kobayashi

In the opening girl’s race it was Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi jumping out to an early lead with the rest of the field in hot pursuit.

“I wanted to run my own race right from the start,” Kobayashi said after the race.  “I was mentally ready to take the lead and it felt very smooth and comfortable.”

Kobayashi ran her first mile in 6 minutes and 10 seconds with Hilo’s Shalila de Bourmont and Karina Lawrence following in at 6:21.

During the exchange Kobayashi handed off the baton to partner Kara Paulachak while Lawrence was teamed with Nadia Ramirez and de Bourmont was paired with Carmen Garson-Shumway.

The Hilo pairs chipped away at Waiakea’s initial lead and soon found themselves in command of the race.  “My goal was to run my opening mile in the 6:20 range,” de Bourmont said.  “I knew that we each had to run 3-miles, so I wasn’t worried when I fell 10 seconds behind Kelsie in the first mile.”

The Vikings lead pairs stayed composed during the race and by the third mile found their top two teams running side by side in the lead.  “We wanted to keep the leaders in sight during the first mile and then run all three of our miles consistently,” Lawrence said. 

“It surprised me when I caught up to Shalila and it helped because we started pushing each other as it was fun to run together,” Lawrence said.

During the final leg Vikings, Ramirez and Garson-Shumway ran shoulder to shoulder as it appeared that neither wanted to outdo the other.  Ramirez, a senior who transferred into Hilo after last year’s cross country season, leaned at the finish line to nip freshman teammate Garson-Shumway by a hair with both clocking in at 38 minutes 29 seconds.

“I was very nervous throughout this race,” the young Garson-Shumway said.  “I ran in middle school but I didn’t know what to expect at the high school level.”

Hilo swept the top three pairs with Kaylee Rapoza and Raycee Cooke helping the Vikings to win the overall team scoring.  Honokaa’s Kelly Greenwell and Allie Shiraki took fourth with the duo of Kobayashi and Paulachak slipping to fifth.

click to enlarge

In the boys race it was the Honokaa duo of Joshua Robinson and Chayce Moniz leading from start to finish.

Dragon star and BIIF individual champion, Chris Mosch, was still sidelined nursing a stress fracture that he received at the end of the track & field season in May.  “I’m sitting this one out to give my leg a better chance to heal,” Mosch said.

Last year at CLA Mosch teamed with Robinson to win the Canefire Conditioner, but this year Robinson needed to rely on Moniz if the Dragons were to repeat as duo champs.

“In my opening mile I was just hoping to hang with the lead pack as I didn’t want to go out to fast then die,” Robinson said.  “It was easier to hang back and let others do all the work as long as I could give my partner a chance at taking the lead.”

His strategy paid off as Moniz took the handoff from Robinson and then claimed the lead in his opening mile.  “I was nervous before I ran as I felt a lot of pressure to do well today,” Moniz said.  “I didn’t want to let anyone down, especially my partner.

Moniz opened the gap and by the time Robinson took the second leg handoff the Dragons held a 100 yard advantage.

The Dragon duo widened their lead with each ensuing handoff and left little doubt as to who would win the race clocking in at 31 minutes 46 seconds, more than one minute ahead of their closest rivals.

Ray & Kaneshiro

The battle for second went to the Hilo pair of seniors in Tyde Kaneshiro and Billy Ray.  “My plan was to just stay with the leaders in the first mile,” Kaneshiro said.  “Keaau and Waiakea went out quickly and I just paced off them.”

During the second mile Ray put the Vikings in second place and held that margin the rest of the way.  “I felt tired at the start of the race and the running actually woke me up,” Ray said.  “I knew I needed to maintain my position and the lead group were too far ahead for us to catch.”

The Keaau pair of Wayne Pavao and Kevin Olsen made a final attempt to move into second place, but fell short by one second as the Cougars settled for a third place finish.

Hilo finished in 32:51 with Keaau coming in at 32:52.  In the team standings it was Honokaa taking first with Waiakea second and Hilo third.

On Saturday the BIIF moves to an East/West format with Waiakea and Kealakehe playing host.  Girls will begin at 10 am followed by the boys with each running the traditional 3-mile cross-country race.

Related links:  

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/honokaas-robinson-moniz-run-away-with-canefire-duo-title/

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/hilo-girls-dominate-canefire-conditioner/

August 30, 2010 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments