Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

New faces at front of BIIF cross country leader pack

Thornton finish

KEAAU – One of the most often overlooked aspects of cross country running is mental toughness and for one Keaau youth it proved to make a major impact on her performance.

Cougar, Deann Nishimura-Thornton had trouble making it into the top 20 for most of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross country season until she discovered the magic of mental imagery.

“I’ve been in la la land all season long, at least until today,” Nishimura-Thornton said.

The Keaau junior harrier saved her best race for Kamehameha this past Saturday when she decided to run with the leaders in the 3 mile event.

“I knew I needed to step up and I needed to feel the pain and work through it.  I was mentally tough today,” she said.

Nishimura-Thornton stayed in contact with the lead pack during the race and her efforts paid big dividends as she managed a fifth place finish in the all-schools BIIF meet.

“To me running is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical and today I have my confidence back.  I’m so happy because I’ve been disappointing myself during the entire season and now I’m actually looking forward to the BIIF championships,” she said.

  1. Zoe Sims

Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Zoe Sims also had a major breakthrough, winning her first BIIF race and distancing herself from the rest of the field.

“I had no big strategy coming into this race as I just wanted to run my best,” Sims said.

Leading from start to finish, Sims won the race by nearly 40 seconds over Hilo’s Shalila de Bourmont, who finished second and HPA teammate and super freshman Kristiana Van Pernis who took third.

“I wanted to run hard for the sake of our team because I know all my teammates are doing the same for me,” Sims said.  “I didn’t want to have any regrets after the race and I wanted to leave everything out on the course.”

Sims and Van Pernis efforts paid off as HPA won the team title for the second week in a row over a very talented Hilo squad by eight points.

“Our training and good coaching has really helped us as we go into the BIIF championships,” Sims said.

Jesse Tarnas

For the boys it was another surprise, late bloomer, as Parker’s Jesse Tarnas moved up in the overall standings with a super effort at Kamehameha.

“Today I found the right mentality and it just all came together.  I kept saying over and over in my head that pain is temporary, but glory is eternal,” Tarnas said.

The junior from Parker maintained his mantra with excellent results as he finished seventh overall and fourth from the BIIF as there were three Iolani runners within the top group.

“I’ve never finished higher than ninth in BIIF competition, so fourth place is a big jump for me.  I just kept telling myself positive things and imprinted that into my racing and it really helped,” he said.

Tarnas’ efforts also helped the Parker team to their best finish of the season as the Bulls finished fourth behind powerhouse Iolani, Honokaa and Hilo.

Chris Mosch

With Iolani in the mix Honokaa’s Chris Mosch needed to be at the top of his running level as several Red Raiders attempted to take the lead.

“It was fun having Iolani here as it pushed me to run harder,” Mosch said. 

During the first mile a small pack of boys, which included three Iolani runners and Mosch, went by in 5 minutes and 32 seconds.

“I was content with staying in the pack during the early going and it wasn’t until we passed the first mile that I took the lead.  By mile two my dad yelled that I had a 30 yard lead on the rest of the pack,” Mosch said.

The lead quickly evaporated as Iolani’s Troy Esaki played catch up and by the final mile both Esaki and Mosch were shoulder to shoulder.

“I got a little worried when Troy caught me during the last mile.  But I paced myself well and I knew I still had something left in the tank,” Mosch said.

Mosch put on the astro burners in the closing moments of the race to clock 16 minutes and 27 seconds beating runner up Esaki by seven seconds.

“My last mile was at a 5:20 pace and it felt really good.  It was a fun day today,” Mosch said.

Iolani edged out Honokaa for the team title with both squads running away from the rest of the competition.

Honokaa is the dominate BIIF boys team and along with Mosch is lead by Chayce Moniz, Josh Robinson, Robert Connors, and freshman Tony Connors.

The BIIF cross country season takes a bye this weekend in preparation for the BIIF championship to be held on Friday, October 22 at the Waimea campus of Hawaii Prep.

October 11, 2010 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Robinson & Kobayashi come up with big wins at Waiakea

Battle for first between Kaneshiro, Robinson and Langtry

Often times in sports a kick during the closing moments of an event will decide the outcome.  Such was the case this past Saturday when Honokaa’s Josh Robinson used a late kick in the final 300 yards of a Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross country meet at Waiakea to win the race.

Robinson followed several talented runners during most of the 3 mile race before taking a brief lead just past mile two.

“I didn’t warm up well enough before the race today,” Robinson said after winning.  “I usually need an hour to warm up so I didn’t feel right in the early stages of the race.”

Robinson played a catch up game right from the start with Hilo’s Tyde Kaneshiro, St. Joseph’s Andrew Langtry and Christian Liberty’s Jordan Grotenhuis taking turns as the front runners in a field of 142 harriers.

“During the whole race I kept talking to myself as I wanted to run my own race.  I kept hearing people behind me and kept the leaders within striking distance,” Robinson said.

When the leaders returned to the Waiakea High track, with only 300 yards to go, Robinson was trailing and in third place before displaying his powerful final kick.

“I came into the race today knowing that my kick might win it for me,” he said.

Honokaa coach, Josh Abner, also believes in the power of the kick as the Dragon coach teaches his runners to utilize that tool.  Following the meet Abner was headed out for the Dragon football game where he also serves as a coach.

“I coach the kickers,” Abner said.

Kaneshiro and Langtry fight for second

Robinson crossed the finish line in 16 minutes and 48 seconds with Kaneshiro and Langtry  following (16:53) and Grotenhuis taking fourth (17:01)

“I had the lead at around mile two before Josh (Robinson) passed us,” Kaneshiro said.  “I tried to go with Josh and regained the lead with a half mile to go until he out kicked me on the track.  I’m still pleased with my effort as this was the fastest time I’ve ever run.”

Langtry, a Cardinal sophomore who is one of only two members on the St. Joseph cross country team, also ran the race of his young career not only with his fastest time ever which gave him his best overall BIIF finish.

“It’s all about my doing my best,” Langtry said.  “My goal this season has been to stay in the top 10 and to finish within that number at the BIIF championships.”

Kobayashi wins at WHS

The kick didn’t play any roll in the girl’s race as Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi jumped out to an early lead and distanced herself from the field of 103.

“I always try to go out fast in all my races,” Kobayashi said.  “I don’t focus on any of the other runners and I just focus on myself as I try to run my own race.”

Kobayashi was chased during the entire 3 miles by Hilo’s Shalila de Bourmont and Carmen Garson-Shumway.

“I felt well rested and my legs felt better than the last time we ran on this course,” Kobayashi said.  “Whenever I run I just want to do my best and to keep my pace the entire way.  I heard footsteps and cheering for the girls behind me, so I was always aware that I was being chased.”

Kobayashi, like most of the top runners in Saturday’s Waiakea race, achieved her best time by clocking in at 20 minutes and 9 seconds.


Hilo’s de Bourmont and Garson-Shumway had a near photo finish for second place with both clocking in at 20:47 and de Bourmont getting the nod.

“Shalila and I work together and we work off each other’s energy,” Garson-Shumway said.  “When Kelsie (Kobayashi) pulled out fast and maintained her speed Shalila and I decided to stay together and do our best to stay close.”

“I don’t focus on the fact that Carmen is only a freshman,” de Bourmont said.  “She (Garson-Shumway) is a good runner and we help each other through the pain and hardships that we go through during the race.”

The Hilo girls claimed 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th overall places to easily win the team scoring as the Vikings continue to be the dominate team in the BIIF.

“I’m really happy that our girls ran well,” Hilo Coach Bill McMahon said.  “We feel like we’re running well and we look forward to ever race.”

Grace Choe

Also doing well was Makua Lani’s Grace Choe who took fourth in a time of 21:06.

“I was being sandwiched during the race by a pair of Hilo girls,” Choe said.  “The Hilo girls pushed me to run fast and helped me to run my best race.  It’s all about being mentally tough and having perseverance.”  

Coming up on Saturday the BIIF cross country venue moves to Waimea as Hawaii Preparatory Academy will host an all-schools meet.  The girl’s 3-miler begins at 10 am followed by the boy’s race.

Hawaii Prep will also play host to the BIIF championships to be held on Friday, October 22.

September 26, 2010 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BIIF Girls Cross Country – WHS results, top 60

Girls start at Waiakeaclick to enlarge

click to enlarge

20:09 Kobayashi Kelsie WHS
20:47 De Bournmont Shalila Hilo
20:47 Garson-Shumway Carmen Hilo
21:06 Choe Grace Makua
21:09 Cooke Raycee Hilo
21:18 Rapoza Kaylee Hilo
21:20 Lawrence Karina Hilo
21:26 Busek Jessica WHS
21:27 Shiraki Allie Hon
21:58 Nishimura-Thornton Deann Keaau
22:06 Carlos Monica Hon
22:12 Okinaka Vandey WHS
22:17 Kim Corinne Kam
22:19 Mabuni Lexi Makua
22:22 Carvalho Erin Kam
22:29 Bianchi Rachael Keala
22:35 Hagemann Natalie Keaau
22:43 Iwata Tiana Kam
22:48 Choe Joy Makua
22:49 Osorio Mary Josephine Kohala
22:56 Rasse Haley WHS
23:04 Martins-Keliihoomanu Chloe Kam
23:10 Pautz Whitney Huala
23:14 Paulachak Kara WHS
23:15 Mitchell Somer Keala
23:29 Kerr Lauren Hilo
23:31 Nakamura Tiffany Makua
23:32 Ariga Brithany Kam
23:32 Greenwell Kelly Hon
23:43 Mabuni Angel Makua
23:50 Carson Riley Keala
23:54 Adona Hildang Hon
23:55 Lambert Meadow WHS
24:05:00 Delacruz Bree Hilo
24:06:00 Alterman Allison Keala
24:08:00 Belcher Carly WHS
24:24:00 Aguilar Katie Hon
24:27:00 Torigoe Katie WHS
24:32:00 Swain Karley WHS
24:34:00 Omback Skye WHS
24:38:00 Friel Rebekah Kam
24:40:00 Jobes Marie Parker
24:41:00 Cosma Shani Keaau
24:43:00 Kishimoto Kimberly Hon
24:45:00 Chambless Kadey Hilo
24:58:00 Bath Katrina WHS
25:23:00 Silva-Fujitake Keao WHS
25:24:00 Manoha Kaelynne Kam
25:28:00 Fujitake Megan Keaau
25:30:00 Jones Tehani Kam
25:37:00 Ignacio Vanessa WHS
25:38:00 Mandaguit-Arakaki Saydie Kam
25:44:00 Silva  Kanani WHS
25:47:00 McGuire Alyssa Kam
25:50:00 Trainer Hannah Kam
25:51:00 Chow Christina Keaau
25:56:00 Langevin Mariko Parker
26:05:00 Duvoisin Sara Kam

September 25, 2010 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.

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