Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Grassroot support growing to save UHH cross country program

Some members of the UHH women’s cross country team

“It is a sad day when UH Hilo cuts the only sport that has a connection to traditional Hawaiian culture (makahiki),” Kamehameha chemistry teacher Joel Truesdell said.

Truesdell is referring to the latest announcement from the Vulcan athletic department to cut both the men’s and women’s cross country programs in order to meet the projected 10 percent budget deficit.

“It shows a lack of sensitivity or awareness to the cultural basis of sport in our Hawaiian community,” Truesdell said.  “All we are left with are imported games.”

Along with being a teacher at the Kamehameha-Keaau campus Truesdell is also the head women’s cross country coach for the Warriors and an advocate for distance running.

The UHH cross country program is a non revenue generating sport and, like most business decisions, found itself at the bottom of the priority list and at the top of the chopping block of UHH Athletic Director Dexter Irvine.

“Our kids are devastated,” UHH cross country coach Jaime Guerpo said.  “I broke the news to them a few days ago and since that time we’ve been looking at ways to try to come up with the $100,000 needed each year to keep us going.”

Guerpo has been coaching the cross country program at UHH since 1999 and has taken a budget cut ever year.

“I feel it’s my duty to keep the program going,” Guerpo said.  “I understand that the administration had to make the cuts to keep the athletic program going and we’ve always made do with what we got and have produced a very successful program.”

Guerpo is even willing to coach the team without compensation if it would help salvage the program.

“I’d give up my pay in a heartbeat if that is what it would take to keep this program going,” he said.  “We’re looking at all sorts of ways to help keep cross country alive at UHH.”

Over the years Guerpo had heavily recruited local athletes from around the state to run on his men’s and women’s teams.

Currently Christian Liberty’s Justin Pang, Keoni and Nick Ucker, Keaau’s Nick Hagemann and Liliana DeSmither, Kau’s Kapua Lapera, Waiakea’s James Imai, and Hilo’s Stefano Barbis are members of the team.

Several of the current and former UHH cross country runners were winners of the Big Island Road Runners scholarship.

“We were all in shock when Coach Jaime broke the news to us a few days ago,” Imai said.  “We’re still hoping we can find a way to keep the programs alive.”

The BIRR, along with the Big Island International Marathon, Honolulu Marathon, and Big Island Running Company have all been contacted to lend their support towards helping to keep running alive at UHH.

These UHH runners have also been highly visible in the community, often found at the finish lines of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross country and track and field finish lines as they help give back to the sport in which they love dearly.

Guerpo and his runners have also been strong support/volunteers at Hawai’i Island Special Olympics and numerous County Parks and Recreation track and field meets as they serve as strong role models for our community.

“We also help out with the Big Island Marathon each year by setting up hundreds of cones and barricades along the 26.2 mile course at 3:00 a.m. and then collecting and returning them when the event is over,” Guerpo said.

“The UHH cross country team are not self-promoters, but are contributors in ways that are not always recognized in public forums,” Faith Nance, the cross country representative on the Vulcan Athletic Club said.

“Many of the talented high school runners who choose to remain at home have the opportunity to continue to participate in a sport that can become a lifelong avocation and a strong foundation for a healthy lifestyle,” Nance said.

Dozens of emails poured into the Big Dog’s mail box in support of looking at ways of keeping the cross country program alive at UH Hilo.

 “At least UH Manoa gets it,” Truesdell said.  “They have a full complement of the sports that are traditionally based such as cross country, track and field, swimming and sailing.”  

The UHH athletic department made their decision to cut cross country without getting community input which has many local residents upset because they feel they are stake holders in higher education.

“It seems to me that UH Hilo should reach out to the community before making this decision,” Truesdell said.  “The people here will take care of their own if given the opportunity or challenge.”

Guerpo continues to look over a variety of scenarios to see if something can be salvaged.

Vulcan runners support many local community races

“If we have to give something up then I’d like to see the women’s team saved as this would at least come into Title 9 compliance of gender equity, “Guerpo said.

 If the UHH decision makers were to come to BIIF cross country meet they would see the connections.  Keeping a sport like this will maintain and strengthen ties to the community that are priceless.

“A University’s cross country program provides a valuable benefit not only to the team members, but also to the entire university and surrounding community by inspiring everyone to get more active,” Jason Braswell, owner of the Big Island Running Company said.

“Collegiate cross country is particularly inspirational to middle school and high school students who get to see where their running can lead them,” Braswell said.

With the continued growth of the Big Island International Marathon and BIIF cross county programs the continuation of a university running team would be responding to the interest of a growing segment of our community.

We all hope that Athletic Director Dexter Irvin will reconsider his decision to cut an important sports program and instead become part of the solution in promoting something that has deep seeded roots in our culturally based community.

If anyone in the community would like to help save the UHH cross country program please contact the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com or call 969-7400.

Related link:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/uhh-athletics-suspends-cross-country-cheerleading-press-release/

April 18, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

UHH to cut Men’s & Women’s Cross Country Programs

 UHH to eliminate men’s & women’s cross country:  Inside sources have leaked that the athletic department, under Dexter Irvin, is looking to make 10 percent budget cuts in the 2011 – 2012 season.Irvin and his staff have decided to eliminate, or suspend for two years, the men’s and women’s cross country program.Getting rid of cross country would save the Vulcan athletic department approximately $100,000 per year which would fit into the goal of reducing cost by 10 percent.Cross country is a non revenue producing sport and the UHH athletic department is looking at ways of increasing revenue.Many of our local runners have gone onto run at the collegiate level at UHH under Coach Jaime Guerpo who has recruited heavily within the state.

Keoni and Nick Ucker, along with Justin Pang formerly of Christian Liberty Academy; James Imai from Waiakea, Nick and Nina Hagemann of Keaau, Stefano Barbis and Milia Williams from Hilo, are just a few of the many talented local runners that Guerpo had recruited in recent years.

The athletic department is more concerned with high profile sports that can generate revenue as sports such as cross country, golf and tennis may be on its way out.

Coach Guerpo hasn’t given up and will be presenting a variety of options to the UHH athletic department.  If you’d like to help you can write letters to the UHH athletic department and address it to Mr. Dexter Irvine.

I hope the program can somehow be salvaged. 

April 14, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Billy “The Ghost” Barnett wins Waikaumalo 7 mile challenge

 Big Island Road Runners
Waikaumalo 7 Mile Challenge
February 27, 2011 @ 7:30 am
Waikaumalo Park, Ninole, Hawaii

Billy “The Ghost” Barnett prepares for start of 7-mile challenge

Pictured on far right wearing red shorts, Barnett is undefeated in 2011 races

7 Mile Run       Pace
Plc Name Division   Time (min/mi)
1 Billy Barnett <<< Overall >>>   40:39 5:48
2 Keoni Ucker Open   43:01 6:09
3 Chris Mosch Open   44:03 6:18
4 Justin Pang Open   45:08 6:27
5 Isaiah Sato Open   45:54 6:33
6 Paul Mauser Open   46:33 6:39
7 Nick Hagemann Open   47:11 6:44
8 Nick Muragin ++ Master ++   47:38 6:48
9 Lyman Perry Master   48:12 6:53
10 Keith Marrack Master   49:24 7:03
11 Steve Pavao Master   52:46 7:32
12 Robyn DeBenedet <<< Overall >>> F 52:56 7:34
13 James Imai Open   53:08 7:35
14 Derek Dominguez Open   53:10 7:36
15 Kirsta Andrew Open F 53:35 7:39
16 DJ Blinn Master   54:56 7:51
17 Lory Hunter ++ Master ++ F 55:56 7:59
18 Rob Van Geen Master   57:21 8:12
19 Ray Ibarra Master   57:26 8:12
20 Maka’ala Cruz Open   58:21 8:20
21 Melissa Braswell Open F 59:14 8:28
22 Nina Hagemann Open F 1:00:18 8:37
23 Barbie Nakamura Master F 1:01:24 8:46
24 Emily Kingery Open F 1:02:16 8:54
25 Harris Kaneshiro Master   1:02:30 8:56
26 Donna Wong-Yuen Master F 1:04:00 9:09
27 Charlie Bostwick Master   1:06:24 9:29
28 Andrea Hess Master F 1:07:15 9:36
29 Marti Banks Master F 1:07:38 9:40
30 David Hammes Master   1:07:41 9:40
31 Kim Furumo Master F 1:08:48 9:50
32 Lindsay Englund Open F 1:09:02 9:52
33 Tiffany Lindsey Open F 1:09:24 9:55
34 Richard Grothmann Master   1:09:48 9:58
35 Daria Cunningham Master F 1:11:15 10:11
36 Morgen Bahurinsky Master F 1:14:51 10:42
37 Betty Ben Master F 1:15:46 10:49
38 Kimi Jackson Master F 1:15:47 10:50
39 Lee Collins Master F 1:19:56 11:25
40 Bob Scales Open   1:21:15 11:36
41 Rick Otani Master   1:26:03 12:18
42 Claire Shigeoka Master F 1:34:06 13:27
43 Marie Kuramoto Master F 1:34:06 13:27
4 Mile Run       Pace
Plc Name Division   Time (min/mi)
1 Stephen Hunter Open   28:30 7:07
2 Carmen Garson-Shumway Open F 30:27 7:37
3 Timon Skinner Open   34:00 8:30
4 Aleksandra Beloborodova Open F 37:08 9:17
5 Dawn Patterson Open F 37:28 9:22
6 Leslie Terada Open   38:03 9:31
7 Bobby Nakamura Master   40:00 10:00
8 Keleala DeCosta Open F 40:51 10:13
9 Cherie Berg Open F 41:09 10:17
10 Norman Skinner Master   44:30 11:07
11 Dixie Newman Open F 48:48 12:12
12 Richard Alderson Master   49:24 12:21
13 Rihei Grothmann Open   52:43 13:11
14 Jordan Hirae Open   52:43 13:11
15 Sharon Ibarra Master F 1:01:15 15:19

February 27, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Dog’s Lovers 5K sets participant record of 302 – Official Results

Record numbers participated in Lover's 5K

Big Dog Productions hosted the Lover’s 5K today, Feb 6, 2011 and set a sign in registration record of 302 with 287 crossing the finish line.

The event raised 488 pounds of food for the Food Pantry in Hawaiian Paradise Park and cash for the Hawaii Island Food Bank.

Following are the results for today’s run/walk.

Kudos to the sponsors and all the volunteers that made the event an enormous success.

More photos and information will be posted on this site later. 

Read 1st column – then second column to get the order of finish.

Zach Johnson 17:57   Kaala Ahu 37:49:00
Tyde Kaneshiro 18:04   Marla Hank 37:56:00
Justin Pang 18:07   Jason Ferreira 38:04:00
Isaiha Sato 18:23   Sarah Ferreira 39:06:00
Jackson Halford 18:59   Stephanie Nipper 39:13:00
Paul Mauser 19:02   Keoki Ka’ai 39:24:00
Louis Perry 19:09   Wally  Ogata 39:26:00
Troy Robinson 19:41   Gloria Wong 39:48:00
Wayne Pavao 19:46   Calvin  Pitoy 40:00:00
Alex Vu 19:46   Pua Brown 40:42:00
James Imai 20:49   Wendy Ahu 41:08:00
Johan Kuypers 20:50   Chesha Weaver 41:42:00
Luke Memmer 21:04   Kimo Weaver 41:43:00
Mike Brown 21:07   Wendy Peterson 41:57:00
John Hylas 21:11   Haddon Wong-Yuen 42:23:00
Maka’ala Cruz 21:15   Allan Melchor 42:23:00
Jordan Hirae 21:26   Steve Warren 42:25:00
Stephen Hunter 21:29   Michelle Knell 42:30:00
Joe Weideman 21:30   Norbert Lindsey 42:42:00
Derek Dominguez 21:33   Jason Marquart 42:54:00
Krista Andrew 22:00   Heidi  Lee 42:59:00
Kauila Wong-Yuen 22:02   Charla Chai 43:00:00
Nina Hagemann 22:03   Digg Deep 43:02:00
Jonah Knell 22:38   Rose  Bautista 43:06:00
Ray Ibarra 22:52   Denise Matsuoka 43:33:00
Justin Okuyama 23:03   Carolina Lam 43:34:00
Lory Hunter 23:07   John Quitonano 43:43:00
Jeremy Butts 23:08   Peter Coffin 44:12:00
Shawn Suga 23:28   Sandra Silva 44:58:00
Kaylee Rapoza 23:31   Joseph Kamelamela 45:03:00
Kevin Okumura 23:36   Jade AhSing 45:22:00
Kelly  Freitas 23:38   Michelle Correia 45:47:00
Lukas Kuipers 23:40   Lorna Mauga 45:54:00
Kihei Grothmann 24:10:00   Sheye Nihau 46:05:00
Roy Yamada 24:32:00   Pat Kaneshiro 46:08:00
Joshua Daubert 24:41:00   Kehau Lee Hong-Mauga 46:14:00
Kerry Kanotani 24:42:00   Roy alameida 46:32:00
James Hank 24:42:00   Cornellia Ahguay 47:00:00
Joann Pocsidio 24:46:00   Gilbert Angnay 47:12:00
Wendy Yamada 24:46:00   David DeWeese 47:13:00
Sheila Nguyan 24:54:00   Bindy Rushton 48:00:00
Harris Kaneshiro 24:56:00   Richard Rushton 48:01:00
Esther Kanihailua 24:59:00   Cody Pacheco 48:03:00
Donna Wong-Yuen 25:12:00   Laury Pacheco 48:10:00
Joshua Kubiji 25:17:00   Noelani Laeha 49:11:00
Paul Escobar 25:28:00 ` Rachel Laeha 49:40:00
Candice Carbaugh 25:37:00   Richard Grammer walker
Micah Kanehailua 25:51:00   Lorraine Hubbard walker
Jimmy Park 25:51:00   Jeanin Williams walker
Andrew Macaras 25:58:00   Hailey Jones walker
Ron  Fenwerda 26:00:00   Levon Yu walker
Peter Berg 26:06:00   Christine Bird walker
Chase Huston 26:11:00   Cindy AhSing walker
Laura Ellesugawa 26:13:00   Ashly Miura walker
Ian Ebesugawa 26:13:00   Nancy Martinez walker
Charles King 26:23:00   Jordan French walker
Aaron Morita 26:33:00   Michelle Leondra walker
Alan Mitsuyoshi 26:45:00   Brianna Daubert walker
Richard Grothmann 26:48:00   Kealoha Daubert walker
Trisha Soares 26:58:00   Michiko Fukunaka walker
Anne Veillet 27:06:00   Aiko Fukunaka walker
Marshall Freitas 27:14:00   Mark Nemeth walker
Patrick Donovan 27:16:00   Steve Nemeth walker
Roy Geronimo 27:26:00   Ku’uipo Palapalg walker
Lynne Brauher 28:02:00   Kahealani Galdeira walker
Jessica Manton 28:30:00   Samantha Silva walker
Linda Thompson 28:34:00   Amber Eakins walker
Kurt Kuipers 28:35:00   Zunu Eakins walker
Kristina Rushton 28:54:00   Regan Mizuguchi walker
Cherie Berg 28:55:00   Deeanna Kahakua walker
Russell Mauga 29:06:00   Destinee Pruett walker
Cahterine Fadrowsky 29:07:00   Kaei Holt-Mizuguchi walker
Eve Teeter-Balin 29:11:00   Magie Freitas walker
    29:12:00   Sue Lambert walker
Leroy Ridgway 29:26:00   John Dirgo walker
Calvin Mateo 29:39:00   Vergie Freitas walker
Roy Farias 29:40:00   Kuehu Lee-Hung Mauga walker
Firmin Tehero 29:44:00   John Mauga walker
Thalei Kamalani-M 29:59:00   Moana Lei Clark walker
Big Dog 30:07:00   Donald Ikeda walker
Darrell Huston 30:08:00   Autumn Kippen walker
Larry Aweau 30:10:00   Isaac Soloman walker
Lori Breitharth 30:14:00   Quynh Phan walker
Lynn Pitoy 30:34:00   Lauren Brunke walker
Lynn Klasko 30:36:00   Anthony Rowley walker
Joni Rhyss 30:39:00   Merle Unoki walker
Michele Bugado 30:41:00   Gloria Wagner walker
Stacy England 30:43:00   Bob Wagner walker
Annie Svaty 30:47:00   Nadine Clarke walker
Cheryl McDonough 31:03:00   Michael Clarke walker
Steve McDonough 31:04:00   Norman Sletteland walker
Tricia Wong-Yuen 31:09:00   Tonie Saucedo walker
Beverly Beck 31:18:00   Tiani Fontes walker
Curt Beck 31:18:00   Kanoe Oguma walker
Keith Laeha 31:22:00   Carol Higa walker
Jamie Ouye 31:29:00   Marlene Hapai walker
Alexa Bader 31:32:00   Archie Hapai walker
Stan Fortuna 31:53:00   Eileen Lovell walker
Mikaela Correa 32:02:00   Angelina Lovell walker
Michael Swain 32:03:00   Dacy Nan Taka walker
Dennis Nagai 32:27:00   Katie Tatum walker
Kelsey Poole 32:34:00   Joey Riveira walker
Karen Ny 32:36:00   Sonya Carvalho walker
Ayme Krogstad 32:43:00   Kathy Pung walker
Adriel Vicente 32:44:00   Lokelani Kipilii walker
Joanna Aurello 32:45:00   Eli Kipilii walker
Suzanne Swanson 32:50:00   Ed  Kagawa walker
Roy Dollwet 33:24:00   Donna Tengan walker
Kainoa Doctor 33:54:00   Karl Unoki walker
Shelley Doctor 34:00:00   Andi Unoki walker
Travella Williams 34:50:00   Aya shehata walker
Tarina Owens 34:59:00   Noor shehata walker
Fariola Ridgway 35:17:00   Zachary Montizor walker
Alex Perez 35:18:00   Lorilyn Montizor walker
Herb Wagner 35:29:00   Tonie Kaui walker
Kazumi Dollwet 36:04:00   Malie Johnston walker
Wainani Ballard 36:05:00   Shane Johnston walker
Taylor Nelson 36:24:00   Noah Johnston walker
Cooper Nelson 36:27:00   Paula Palma walker
Cindy Nelson 36:35:00   angie Palma walker
Jimmy Nelson 36:35:00   Zodie Shove walker
Jill Osborne 36:53:00   Warren Mauro walker
Hannah Osborne 36:58:00   Jasmine mauro walker
Rodney Aurello 36:58:00   Pauline Morante walker
Gilbert Williams 37:19:00   Clayman Morante walker
Alicia Loh 37:26:00   Clayson Morante walker
Lisa Soares 37:46:00   Davis Abraham walker
        Stacey Kapeliela walker
        Steve Sparks walker
        Andrea Sparks walker

February 6, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Keoni Ucker finishes fourth at HPU Invitational – PacWest cross country

Keoni Ucker improves on his 7th place Naniloa finish

Keoni Ucker finished fourth in the Hawaii Pacific University Cross Country Invitational out of Kualoa Ranch on Oahu’s east shore.

Ucker, a former Christian Liberty Academy state track champion, finished the 8k course in 26:59.  It was his best performance in PacWest competition this season as he improved from his seventh place finish at Hilo’s Naniloa Golf Course run.

Brigham Young University-Hawaii won the team race followed by Hawaii Pacific University, California Baptist University, UHH and Chaminade University

Completing the UHH squad were Zach Johnson (17th, 28:57), former Keaau High standout  Nick Hagemann (23rd, 29:51), former CLA standout Justin Pang (25th, 30:14), Paul Mauser (34th, 32:12) and former Waiakea High standout James Imai (37th, 32:41).

BYUH’s Thomas Puzey won the race with a time of 26:48.

The PacWest Championships will take place on Nov 6 at the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu.  Jaime Guerpo is the Vulcan head coach.

October 30, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment