Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Hilo’s Hunter has a Heart of a Lion


For Hilo’s Stephen Hunter it wasn’t a very pretty win during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation all school cross country 3 mile meet hosted by Waiakea.

Hunter a junior Viking won his first ever BIIF harrier race but needed to pause just prior to the finish line to let go of his breakfast.

The regurgitation around 30 yards from the finish nearly allowed home crowd favorite Ian McQuate to close the gap with Hunter crossing the finish in 17:40.43 to McQuate 17:48.95.

“I was just trying to beat Andrew (Langtry from St. Joseph),” Hunter said.  “We try to push each other during practice and I don’t normally beat him in a race.”

During the race Hunter formed a small pack with four other runners besides Langtry, there were Parker’s Paul Gregg and Waiakea’s McQuate.

“I was running scared it helped me run better,” Hunter said.  “It was a little harder to breath when I lost my breakfast on the course.”

The pause allowed McQuate to make up valuable time which almost led to having a new boy’s winner in the almost completed BIIF cross country season.

“I was more motivated today, this being my home course,” McQuate said.  “Towards the end I was definitely thinking I could win this”

Still for McQuate it was his highest finish in a regular season cross country meet.  “I started my

kick too late and my push didn’t have enough at the end.”


Parker’s Paul Gregg, who remains one of the most consistent runners in the BIIF finishing in the top 4, came up a little short again at Waiakea.

The senior begin his race content to follow the leaders on the rolling hills of the course and started off in a small pack.

“It was hot this morning and today I wasn’t looking to make this my best race of the season,” Gregg said.   “I accomplished one of my goals in beating Langtry (4th overall).

“I’m happy where I’m at right now and the only race I really want to win is the BIIF championships on HPA’s course,” Gregg said.

In the boys team standings 13 points separated first though fourth place with Kamehameha-Hawaii 78, Honokaa 80, Hilo 82 and Hawaii Preparatory Academy 91.

In the girls 3 mile race it was HPA’s Kristiana Van Pernis (20:20) claiming her first BIIF title this season

“The game plan was to run and run fast while having fun doing it,” Van Pernis.

Van Pernis a Ka Makani junior took the lead for good on the downhill portion of the course, around the 2.5 mile mark and just pulled away from her competitors.

“Nobody challenged as I had Hilo’s Megan and Kealakehe (Kari Van Mols) staying with me up to that point,” she said. 

For HPA coach Michael Franklin missing one of his better runners didn’t even faze him.

“Zoe (Sims) is out on an official visit to Princeton,” he said.  “I just try to teach our girls to always run happy and to have confidence and humility.  I’m more proud of being a teacher and dorm parent.”

Second in the race was another Ka Makani in Mariah Haight, another junior.

“It was really fun and I felt good,” Haight said.  “I like the Waiakea course, it is really flat compared to ours and all our times are a lot faster.”

For Haight following her coach’s direction becomes second nature.

“He just told us to keep up with the Hilo girls, Mehana and Carmen,” she said.  “He wanted us to go fast and have fun.  I love this course but not as much as HPA’s where we have lots of group support and we know it well.”

For Hilo’s Mehana Sabado-Halperin who won her first BIIF last week came in  second place this week.

“It was really hot out there which made for slow times,” Sabado-Halperin said.  “I am still happy with the outcome because I tried my hardest and that is all I can do.”

Sabado-Halperin was in a battle with Van Pernis and helped each other with the course markings.

“Kristiana and I were talking and not sure where to go as we followed the cones along the course,” Sabado-Halperin said.

The Viking is quick to point out that although Van Pernis and she are competitors they are bonded together.

“We relate together through our common bond and love for running,” the Viking said.  “I told her (Van Pernis) that you got this when we had less than a mile to go.”

In the girls team standings it was HPA winning with 29 points followed by Hilo with 54 and Kamehameha-Hawaii with 63.

“I’m really happy with our team’s outcome as we continue to come in second to HPA each week and we are trying our hardest,” Salbado-Halperin said.  “And we’re having fun doing it.”

The BIIF season continues with two races on Saturday with a BIIF all school meet at HPA starting a 10 am.


September 25, 2012 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , | 1 Comment

Canefire Conditioner a tradional fun race for pairs

KEAAU – The Big Island Interscholastic Federation opened its season with a traditional Canefire Conditioner, on the campus of Christian Liberty Academy.

It doesn’t happen to be your usual 3 mile cross country race because harriers are paired up with a teammate and there are special rules for team scoring.

“I ran a conditioner at Taylor University (Indiana).  It too was a preseason race,” CLA Coach Frank Grotenhuis said.

The objective is to allow everyone to run with a partner doing a relay format so that each runs a total of 3 miles (the total distance in a BIIF race, but with taking a 1 mile interval beak in between.

Hilo’s 1st and 2nd place teams.

“I think that the kids like it because they have a rest between each mile and they can get away with not being in 3 mile shape,” Grotenhuis said.  “Coaches have liked the fact that it’s a low key event, they get to see where their kids are at, and they can see some of their runners win awards.”

 “Our goal has been to make it a fun event for the schools and give them a chance to get out to Keaau and see our campus,” Grotenhuis said.  “It is always an eye opener for our school to see how popular cross country is!”

The Canefire conditioner gives 3 team trophies and 15 pairs of medals per race, according to Grotenhuis.

This year’s winner pair were both for Hilo in Stephen Hunter and Timon Skinner for the boys and Mahana Sabado-Halpern and Nina Bean for the girls.

Viking Coach Lory Hunter divided her girl pairs so that their number 1 runner would be paired with their number 4 runner and their #2 would be paired with #3.

“We wanted the team pair to push each other,” Coach Hunter said.

And Hilo strategy paid off as their two teams battled for first place and finished one-two with Carmen Garson-Shumway and Kaylee Rapoza finishing within  three minutes of each other.

#2 boys team Honokaa & #1 Hilo

“This is an exciting run and this is my favorite race,” Garson-Shumway said.

Bean echoed her teammate statement, “we pushed them to run hard and we paced them to make it fun” she said.

The Hilo pairs were clocked at their mile splits in the 6:52 range with the final mile reaching a speedy 6:02.

The third pair crossing the finish line was TeHani Jones and Tiana Iwata from Kamehameha.

Each coach came with their own strategy.

Michael Franklin head coach for Hawaii Prep Academy girl’s team said he has been doing the same thing for the past 5 years. He didn’t want to pull any surprises on anybody and the whole thing about his team strategy is to try to train them to run as a pack.

HPA lost to Hilo in team scoring by one point. But that didn’t change Franklin’s opinion of his strategy to train them to run as a group.

Coach Jordon Rosado of Waiakea said he likes the format at CLA because it affords his team to rest between miles and he wants to see what it is like when you put all these miles together during the week.

“It’s a great fun way to keep kids motivated to want to run and the CLA coach does a fantastic job putting this event together,” Rosado said.

Coach Joel Truesdell of Kamehameha’s team has done the Canefire conditioner for all seven years.

“It’s a great way to kick off the season, the kids love it. We don’t really train for the race.

Frank Grotenhuis is a great host and it’s his way of showing aloha,” Truesdell said.

On the boy’s side, was another pair of Hilo boys in Stephen Hunter and Timon Skinner taking first place.

“We were running in second place until our final baton pass in which we took over the lead,” Hunter said.

The Honokaa Dragon’s had a ten second lead on Hunter but the young Viking made up the time in a thrilling eleven second turn around.

Hunter had to pass the Dragons in the final baton pass to make it a clean sweep for the Vikings, but Honokaa still pulled out a team title.

Another pair of Vikings in Isreal Sim and Max Panoff came in third place within a minute of the other Hilo team.

Fourth place went to the pair of Paul Gregg and Tyler McCullough from Parker as the Bulls were separated by a mere minute and twelve seconds from first place.

But in the Conditioner format it takes your top four scoring teams to win the team title.

Despite the high temperature of a noon day boy’s race and no trade winds coming through the cane fields it still made for a great venue.

Grotenhuis keeps getting larger and larger participation, with 300 last year and a total of 328 runners this year.

CLA makes the awards possible through a series of fund raisers throughout the year, according to Grotenhuis.

A change in venue has BIIF cross country moving to the campus of HPA next Saturday Sept 1 starting at 10 a.m. instead of Kealakehe.

August 26, 2012 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hawaii Preparatory Academy magnificant 7 all returns

     They’re playing the theme song to the Magnificent Seven out in Waimea as Coach Michael Franklin has his dream team back for another season.

Franklin the head coach of state cross country team champions Hawaii Preparatory Academy is fully loaded as they return all seven girls.  Ka Makani harriers in order of their state finish are Kristiana Van Pernis, Mariah Haight, Zoe Sims, Emily Evans, Kelly Ulrich, Veronica Ladwig and Cat Bradley.

HPA had five girls in the top nine at states which included Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion Zoe Sims for a total of 35 points beating out Punahou with 50.

HPA’s boys under coaches Kimo Higgins and Lupe Diaz will need to adjust because of the numerous seniors lost to graduation.  “We are very excited about our prospects this year,” Higgins said. 

According to Higgins they have a balance between local runners with a strong contingent from Japan.

“Walt Disney, Michael Spetich, Justin Macy, Dan Masuda and Jake McCafferty will team with a strong group of harriers from Japan including Ryuta Yoda, Hide Akai and Keisuke Anzai,” Higgins said. “We certainly look forward to putting on our best efforts with the goal of scoring on our home course in the BIIF and State Championships.”

Five time boys BIIF champions Honokaa aren’t as lucky as their head coach Josh Abner has left for a job in Kentucky leaving Jerri Moniz as the new head coach for the Dragons.

If her last name sounds familiar it is because her son, Chayce, won the BIIF individual title last season. 

“This is a rebuilding year for us,” Moniz said.  “We do have Tony Connors, Clayton Robinson and Pedro Sanches that bring experience and leadership for us.”

On the girls side the Lady Dragons have Haldhang Adona and Kelly Greenwell returning.

“I worked with Coach Abner over the years and I plan on following his program,” Moniz said.


Christian Liberty Academy is coached by long time harrier instructor Frank Grotenhuis.  CLA didn’t have a girl’s team last year, but had a good preseason turnout and as a result had 8 girls come out this year.

“The boys will be led by senior Keenan Freitas and juniors Caedan Cambra, Zech DeCleene, Kiyoshi Kaili and Kekoa Mundo,” Grotenhuis said.  “We would like to finish in the top half of the league this year.  We know it will be a challenge, but we are set to give it a good effort.”

Hilo boys return Stephen Hunter, Max Panoff, Max Kerr, Timon Skinner, and Israel Sims according to Coach McMahon.

“We have others that have joined the team over the summer and have worked hard to create a close knit team,” McMahon said.

Joining the Vikings during practice is St. Joseph star Andrew Langtry.

On the girls side Coach Lory Hunter has several returnees in Carmen Garson-Shumway, Kaylee Rapoza, Nina Bean, Satya Ray, Jordan Breibarth and Mahana Sabado-Halpern,

Makua Lani – Coach Doug Andrews is in his fourth year and he returns five girls from last year’s team.  Junior Joy Choe, Sophomore Keili Dorn, Seniors Tiffany Nakamura and Mercedes DeCarli.

“Joy has qualified for the state meet 2 times, Keili qualified as a freshman and Tiffany is a 3 times state qualifier.  If our girls work hard and run for the right reason, they have a good chance of being in the top 4 teams at the BIIF meet,” Coach Andrews said.

Andrews girls team finished third in the BIIF during the 2011 season.

For the boys Andrew Crietz returns as a junior and Josh Kuperus as a sophomore.

Kamehameha has veteran coaches Ryan Cabalse for the boys and Joel Truesdell for the girls. 

“We have three boys returning from last year’s squad that qualified as individuals for States they are all juniors Maka’ala Cruz, Jordan Hirae and Colton Hill,” Cabalse said.  “Our goal this season it to have a ‘team score’ at the state meet.”

For the girl’s team they have three girls returning that ran in the state meet last year.  They are Tiana Iwata, Mikela Cabel and TeHani Jones according to Truesdell.

Coach Cabalse

Garson-Shumway was the first female overall in the Vulcan Women’s 5K with teammate Sabado-Halpern taking second which make for a great one-two punch.

“Our goal for both teams this year is to create a strong team bond, a love for running and have both teams qualify for the State meet,” Coach Hunter said.

Makua Lani – Coach Doug Andrews is in his fourth year and he returns five girls from last year’s team.  Junior Joy Choe, Sophomore Keili Dorn, Seniors Tiffany Nakamura and Mercedes DeCarli.

“Joy has qualified for the state meet 2 times, Keili qualified as a freshman and Tiffany is a 3 times state qualifier.  If our girls work hard and run for the right reason, they have a good chance of being in the top 4 teams at the BIIF meet,” Coach Andrews said.

Andrews girls team finished third in the BIIF during the 2011 season.

For the boys Andrew Crietz returns as a junior and Josh Kuperus as a sophomore.

Kamehameha has veteran coaches Ryan Cabalse for the boys and Joel Truesdell for the girls. 

“We have three boys returning from last year’s squad that qualified as individuals for States they are all juniors Maka’ala Cruz, Jordan Hirae and Colton Hill,” Cabalse said.  “Our goal this season it to have a ‘team score’ at the state meet.”

For the girl’s team they have three girls returning that ran in the state meet last year.  They are Tiana Iwata, Mikela Cabel and TeHani Jones according to Truesdell.

“Right now we have a pretty solid pack running with them,” Truesdell said.  “We have depth and our team goals are to be the best team we can be, to have fun and to do well at states.”

KAU – The Trojans were still looking to hire a cross country coach according to their Athletic Director Kalei Namohala.

Keaau has a huge team of 60 runners for the boys and girls, according to Coach Donna Wong Yuen. 

The Cougars return Natalie Hagemann for the girls and Jeffrey Ferrell, Ariel Navarro and Davin Alviento for the boys.

“We are not a deep team so will need to rely on our core group to stay healthy and not get injured,” Wong Yuen said.  “We need to have our 7 through 10 runners step up.  Our goals are to look at individual improvement because we have a lot of first time runners.”

PAHOA – Coached by John Oliver who has been coaching Dagger harriers for 5 years.  Oliver has no girls and 8 boys that came out to run for the cross country team.

“Most of the boys are just trying to get in shape for wrestling and they are hoping to be able to run the 3 miles,” Coach Oliver said.  “Some of them are pretty large and are doing their best to lose some weight.”

Parker Coach

PARKER – The Bulls Athletic Department is headed by cross country coach, Ceri Whitfield who is a five year veteran. 

Whitfield boy’s team is led by Paul Gregg and Tyler McCullough who both ran in states last season.  While carrying 18 boys and 6 girls the coach has them shooting for the stars.

“Our goal is always to try to win BIIF’s,” Whitfield said.  “I always try to have them set their sights on the stars.”

KEALAKEHE – Third year Coach Arturo Morales has 13 boys and 7 girls on his squad.  Returning for the girls is Kari Van Mols who was 15th in the state last year. Also for the Waveriders are Sydney Kirkhill and Mika Bettencourt.

 “For our boys team we hope to finish 2nd in the BIIF this season,” Morales said.

KONAWAENA-both the boys and girls teams are coached by Kuulei Saole in her fourth year with the Wildcats.   “We currently have 4 girls and 3 boys,” Saole said.

The Wildcats return sophomore Shayli Nakamoto who made it to states last season.

“My main goal this year is to get more girls and boys to come out for cross country,” Saole said.

Waiakea with boys coach Jordan Rosado return Ian McQuate, Dyson Sato, Nate Parez, HaJime Hayano and Keoni Rice.

“Keoni is the only senior so we have a good foundation for the next few years,” Rosado said.  “This year we hope to do at least as well as last year and qualify our team for States.”

Rosado might have one of the best runners in the league in McQuate who finished the Vulcan 5K as the top high school runner and looks to be in prime preseason shape.

For the Warriors girls its Coach Winona Hai-Kelly returns Sky Ombac, Jillian Hughes, Vandey Okinaka and Haley Rasse. 

“The fight this season will be for second place between Hilo and us,” Hai-Kelly said.

The Big Island Interscholastic Federation season kicks off with the Cane Fire Conditioner at CLA starting at 10 am on Saturday August 25.

August 23, 2012 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

HPA’s Sarah Hayslip gaining clarity and mood transformation through exercise

Sarah Hayslip

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I took the opportunity to do a couple of early morning runs around Hilo Bay, watching the magnificent sunrise over the ocean with Mauna Kea in the background.

You don’t need to be a runner or walker to enjoy the beauty of nature, but physical exercise seems to bring with it a mood transformation that can help with how we perceive things.

“I love the clarity exercise can bring, and the way it can transform a mood. A good run can help me process things in a totally unique way,” Sarah Hayslip said.  “A good run helps remind me of the freedom and strength I’ve been blessed with.”

Hayslip comes from an active, competitive family with their roots in Virginia.

“My mom was running marathons when we were little kids and my dad was a high school baseball coach,” Hayslip said.  “I spent a lot of time around athletics and my little sister is the most impressive, as she was a nationally competitive field hockey player and now coaches as Bucknell University.”

Hayslip never got that burning competitive spirit and in high school ran track and did a little distance running on her own.

“I was never a particularly competitive kid,” she said.  “I fell in love with running longer distances late in college and my understanding of and belief in the power of high school sports has evolved since.”

Today Hayslip works as an English teacher at Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s upper school and is an assistant girls’ cross country coach.

A few weeks ago the HPA girls cross country team won the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships and Hayslip gives a lot of the credit to head Coach Michael Franklin.

“I’ve evolved in my appreciation for high school sports since working with Mike,” Hayslip said.  “I’ve learned a lot from him, and I love the way he can bring completion into a holistic view of a person’s development.  I’ve come to see competitive high schools sports as a really valuable part of the way kids build an understanding of themselves.”

Since coming to the Big Island, seven years ago, Hayslip met her husband Jordan who is a HPA studio art teach and the head coach of the varsity football and baseball teams.

“I met Jordan in my first year at HPA,” she said.  “He’s a dynamic, hilarious, totally inspirational person and we married in December 2008.”

Since living on the North end of the Big Island Hayslip would do long, slow runs up Mana road putting in large amounts of mileage.

“Every week for the first five years or so that I lived on the island I would disappear out Mana road for hours,” she said.

“I loved the silence and stillness and the empty pastures and the wind off the mountain, the calm of the cattle and the view of Waimea from far off.”

Those hours alone on those long tranquil runs have slowly eroded as Hayslip has added a new member to the family.

This past July the newest member of the Hayslip family arrived, a son named Jeremiah.

“I had a great pregnancy,” Hayslip said.  “I took my standard run up Kalopa, a six mile out and back up the Mountain road, pretty much every day until literally two days before I went into labor.”

Hayslip described the delivery as being difficult and an emergency c-section performed which prevented her from intense physical exercise for eight weeks.

“This was extremely frustrating, particularly during the beginning of cross country season,” Hayslip said.  “It was great to have the team, though, as I eased back into jogging, then running.”

Hayslip has managed to ease back into her normal routines and now participates fully in workouts and strength exercises.

“I’m still marveling at the way childbirth changes a person physically,” she said.  “I feel like I’m stronger in a lot of ways and I’m more appreciative of the little opportunities I get to go out and run.”

Hayslip, who stays away from eating red meat, has had to modify her diet slightly since giving birth.

“I haven’t been able to eat cheese or milk lately because Jeremiah seems to be lactose intolerant,” she said.  “I try to eat local, which isn’t hard because we usually have a little garden going and Honokaa town has an awesome little farm stand that sells all kinds of fruits and vegetables seven days a week.”

Since giving birth Hayslip has had to modify her exercise schedule to meet the needs of her growing family, but she still recognizes the importance of regular physical exercise and makes time to squeeze it in whenever possible.

“Since I had my son my schedule has changed completely,” she said.  “I try to slip away for an hour when I can, maybe four or five days a week, and get a run in, throwing in some faster segments to keep it interesting.”

Hayslip will also lift weight with the cross country girls a few times a week during her long lunch breaks and she will get a few minutes of yoga in during most morning and evenings.

Sarah Hayslip is a good example of a person who finds the time to make time for herself without cutting back on her enormous responsibilities as teacher, coach and mother.

We can all learn from her commitment to the value of regular physical exercise.

And someday should you happen to see a dedicated jogger come around scenic Hilo Bay remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com

November 28, 2011 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BIIF Girls Cross Country, All League Selections – HPA’s Franklin coach of the Year




  GIRLS All-League      
        (based on finish at BIIF Championship on 22-Oct)
  1st Team      
Zoe Sims 11 Hawaii Prep   CHAMPION
Kristiana Van Pernis 10 Hawaii Prep   2nd place
Mariah Haight 10 Hawaii Prep   3rd place
Kelsie Kobayashi 12 Waiakea   4th place
Carmen Garson-Shumway 10 Hilo   5th place
Kelly Ulrich 10 Hawaii Prep   6th place
Kari Van Mols 11 Kealakehe   7th place
  2nd Team      
Satya Ray 9 Hilo   8th place
Mika Bettencourt 10 Kealakehe   9th place
Joy Choe 10 Makua Lani   10th place
Hildhung Adona 10 Honokaa   11th place
Cat Bradley 11 Hawaii Prep   12th place
Dean Nishimura-Thornton 12 Kea’au   13th place
Veronica Ladwig 10 Hawaii Prep   14th place
  MIKE FRANKLIN     Coach of the Year
  Hawaii Preparatory Academy      
  2011 BIIF Team Champions      
  x     Christian Liberty
  Mia Croonquist     Hawaii Prep
  Shaila De Bourmont     Hilo
  Kelly Greenwell, Elizabeth Aguirre, Katie Aguilar     Honokaa
  Corin Kim, Erin Carvalho, Tiana Iwata     Kamehameha
  Kyra Malepe     Ka’u
  Natalie Hagemann, Mahina Homalon     Kea’au
  Sydney Kirkhill     Kealakehe
  Eloisa Viernes-Obero, Michelle Ruiz Sahagun     Kohala
  Keili Dorn, Grace Choe, Tiffany Nakamura     Makua Lani
  x     Pahoa
  x     Parker
  Jessica Busek, Jillian Hughes, Skye Ombac     Waiakea

November 5, 2011 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment