Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

UHH cross country women 8th at Pac West Conference Championships – Results


From Phoenix Arizona


University of Hawaii at Hilo Finish Position – 8

Team Score (places): 203 Team Score (times): 1:51:09.8 Average Time: 22:13.9

Overall Cum. Cum. Time    Place Bib No Name School Place Time  Back

1 125 NADIA RAMIREZ FR 31 31 21:02.2 21:02.2 0:00.0

2 126 NIKKA TAKANE FR 38 69 21:29.4 42:31.6 0:27.2

3 124 JORDAN BLEDSOE FR 42 111 22:26.6 1:04:58.2 1:24.4

4 123 STEPHANIE ADAMS FR 43 154 22:36.0 1:27:34.2 1:33.8

5 127 JUSTINA WOOD FR 49 203 23:35.6

November 6, 2011 Posted by | collegiate cross country | , , , , , | Leave a comment

UHH cross country women running strong through tough times

Nadia Ramirez

Nadia Ramirez led an inexperienced University of Hawaii Hilo cross country team to a sixth place finish on the Vulcan home course at the Naniloa Volcanoes Golf Club on Saturday.

Ramirez, a true freshman out of Hilo High, finished the 3.1 mile race 23rd overall in a time of 21:01. 

 Winning the women’s race was Bingham Young Hawaii’s Lacey Lynn Krout in 18:21.

 “Today was really hot, but the course itself is very fast,” Ramirez said.  “I could have run better, but I was pleased with my overall performance.”

Following her first race of the season Ramirez has taken over as the number one Vulcan runner, despite her collegiate inexperience.

 “Running at this level is ten times more challenging both mentally and physically then high school,” Ramirez said.  “My coach, Jaime Guerpo, keeps me motivated and gives so much to this team that we need to give as much as we can back to him.”

BYUH’s Lacey Krout

BYUH’s Krout and teammate Katie Buxton ran away from the field of 38 women but it was the team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks that bunched their five runners to win team scoring honors.

“I loved this course as it is fast and soft,” a barefooted Krout said after the race.  “Katie and I ran the whole way barefooted as it is better for our form as it keeps our feet cool and it feels really good.”

Krout took 25 seconds off her best time this season on the cushioned golf course grass and gave most of the credit for her success to her teammate, Buxton, for pushing her throughout the season.

“Katie and I push each other and earlier in the season she won two Pac West meets,” Krout said.

Vulcan Coach Jaime Guerpo was supposed to have lost both his men’s and women’s programs this season due to the UHH athletic budget crisis but managed to find the resources, through a community effort, to save the women’s program. The monies raised were only enough to pay for travel cost as the Vulcan cross country program offers no scholarships.

“We were only able to find enough cash to save the women’s program,” Guerpo said.  “As a result we have five girls running for us and all of them have never run at the collegiate level.”

In cross country it takes five runners to score, but most college teams carry 7 harriers on the roster to protect themselves against injury.

Justina Wood

“There’s a lot of pressure on me to do my best,” Vulcan runner Justin Wood said.

Wood, a 2008 graduate of Hawaii Prep, has been UHH’s number 5 runner throughout the season and finished 36 out of 38 runners on Saturday.

“I never ran cross country in high school as I was a hurdler on the track team,” Wood said.  “I have learned to love this sport and I am always trying to improve.”

Wood finished in 25:04, but has set her season goal at running a 23:30 by season’s end.

“Coach Jaime is very motivating and he hasn’t quit on me and I’m not going to quit on him,” Wood said.  “Coach motivates me to keep wanting to get better.”

Nikka Takane

In 31st place was UHH’s number three runner, Nikka Takane, with a time 22:02.

Takane, an academic senior for the Vulcan’s, is a 2008 graduate of Waiakea where she ran on the Warrior cross country team.

“This was a great opportunity for me to be a part of a college team,” Takane said.  “All five of us need to race or we can’t score as a team which puts pressure on all us to do it for Coach Jaime and the team.”

UHH’s Jordan Bledsoe, 26th in 21:33 and Stephanie Adams, 33rd in 23:54, rounded out the Vulcan five.

Guerpo’s, in his 13th season at the helm, has a  bare bones budget that doesn’t provide money for  scholarships and the money that he did raise is barely enough to fund a meager travel budget.

“I thought all our girls did well today,” Guerpo said.  “Despite finishing in last place they all tried their best and worked hard and I am pleased with how they ran.”


Guerpo is without a men’s team this season, but several of his former team members showed up to help with the two races and one of them, Paul Mauser, ran the men’s 4 miler as an unattached runner.

“This is my senior year and my last hurrah,” Mauser said.  “I had to run this race before graduating and returning to Oregon.”

Mauser finished in an unofficial time of 27:30 with BYUH winner, Spencer Deavila taking top honors.


“I liked this course as it is a solid grass with some shady spots popping up when I really needed it,” Deavila said.

Deavila reached the one mile mark in 4:45 and wasn’t seriously challenged for most of the race winning in a time of 2041.

Deavila sat out last year with an injury while winning the UHH Invitational two years ago when the event started and finished on the Vulcan campus.

The BYUH men’s team won the team scoring.

The PacWest concludes their regular home season with their finale at Chaminade on October 22 before heading to the conference championships on the 29th in Phoenix, Arizona.

“No matter what happens at the conference championships this has been one of the most gratifying seasons due to the circumstances and the way things played out,” Guerpo said. 

Following the conclusion of the season Coach Guerpo will be trying to raise the necessary funds to continue the women’s program.

“With all that I have to do during the season it was too difficult to work on fundraising for next year,” Guerpo said.  “I am committed to keeping this program going and if we can double the community funding we will try to bring back the men’s program.”

October 9, 2011 Posted by | collegiate cross country | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vulcan Women finish 4th at BYUH cross country meet – PacWest Results

Vulcan cross country with Coach Guerpo

BYU-Hawaii Invitational September 24, 2011 5K Women’s Run

Team Scores  1. BYU-Hawaii 21     2. Hawaii Pacific 46

3. Hawaii 68        4. UH-Hilo 93

5. Chaminade 124

Runner School Time             1. Lacey Krout BYUH 18:45

2. Katie Buxton BYUH 18:59    3. Kim Kuhnert HPU 19:13

4. Kassondra McGonegal BYUH 19:15 5. Mary Botsford HPU 19:49

6. Katrina Kropushek BYUH 19:53       7. Shannon Wite HPU 20:08

8. Kelsey Royer BYUH 20:14                 9. Rachelle Wilson Hawaii 20:44

10. Evangeline Rehwaldt Hawaii 20:48   11. Nadia Ramirez UHH 20:57

12. Tiare Nakashima Hawaii 21:01       13. Veronica Camarillo BYUH 21:18

14. Jordan Bledsoe UHH 21:36           15. Hailey Grossman HPU 21:48

16. Taylor Simn HPU 21:49                  17. Denise Nakamura Hawaii 21:27

18. Shannon Whener CUH 22:04        19. Nikka Takane UHH 22:13

20. Laci Sweany Hawaii 22:44             21. Chelsea Ollar BYUH 22:56

22. Stephanie Adams UHH 23:10       23. Melody Papalii Hawaii 23:26

24. Jessica Wences CUH 23:31           25. Lyssa Frietas CUH 23:32

26. Amanda Ray Hawaii 24:12           27. Justina Wood UHH 24:24   

28. Anna Vaagensmith CUH 26:00    29. Alaina Turse CUH 32:38

September 25, 2011 Posted by | collegiate cross country | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pac West Women’s Cross Country, Big Wave Invite, full individual and team results


UH Big Wave Invitational


Klipper Golf Course, Kaneohe Bay, HI



             Women 5k Run CC
  Name Year School Finals Points
  1 Keino, Ruth Alaska Anchorage 18:38.32 1
  2 Tanui, Susan Alaska Anchorage 18:50.05 2
  3 Kipngeno, Miriam Alaska Anchorage 18:50.53 3
  4 Buxton, Katherine Byu- Hawai’i 18:53.11 4
  5 Krout, Lacey Byu- Hawai’i 18:57.81 5
  6 Bick, Susan Alaska Anchorage 19:06.57 6
  7 Keegan, Shoshana Alaska Anchorage 19:15.22 7
  8 Murphy, Kevyn Hawai’i- Manoa 19:31.38 8
  9 Haebe, Bryn Alaska Anchorage 19:39.34 9
  10 Schmitz, Christi Alaska Anchorage 19:46.84 10
  11 Krehlik, Katie Alaska Anchorage 19:48.93
  12 Jimenez, Ashlee Hawai’i- Manoa 19:55.02 11
  13 Almarez, Celeste Hawai’i- Manoa 19:55.72 12
  14 McGonegal, Kassondra Byu- Hawai’i 19:57.15 13
  15 Martin, Andrea Byu- Hawai’i 20:00.49 14
  16 Kuhnert, Kim Hawai’i Pacific 20:05.62 15
  17 Massie, Valerie Alaska Anchorage 20:08.95
  18 Williams, Alison Hawai’i- Manoa 20:12.59 16
  19 Mulvey, Louise Hawai’i- Manoa 20:38.25 17
  20 Horton, Ariana Hawai’i- Manoa 20:43.28 18
  21 Kropushek, Katrina Byu- Hawai’i 20:43.71 19
  22 White, Shannon Hawai’i Pacific 20:51.89 20
  23 Royer, Kelsey Byu- Hawai’i 20:56.03 21
  24 Cushing, Liisa Hawai’i- Manoa 20:59.07 22
  25 Rehwaldt, Evangeline Hawai’i- Manoa 21:07.18
  26 Camarillo, Veronica Byu- Hawai’i 21:13.23 23
  27 Nakashima, Tiare Hawai’i- Manoa 21:16.10
  28 Phillips, Rebekah Hawai’i- Manoa 21:25.55
  29 Ollar, Chelsea Byu- Hawai’i 21:33.18
  30 Delgado, Heather Hawai’i- Manoa 21:43.26
  31 Dart, Megan Hawai’i- Manoa 21:49.56
  32 Ramirez, Nadia Hawai’i – Hilo 21:51.48 24
  33 Gipe, Alisha Unattached 21:53.05
  34 Musashi, Hayley Hawai’i- Manoa 21:54.54
  35 Grossman, Hailey Hawai’i Pacific 22:17.41 25
  36 Whener, Shannon Chaminade 22:25.27 26
  37 Pateman, Kimberly Hawai’i Pacific 22:34.16 27
  38 Bledsoe, Jordan Hawai’i – Hilo 22:43.43 28
  39 Nakamura, Denise Hawai’i- Manoa 22:54.06
  40 Papalii, Melody Hawai’i- Manoa 22:56.35
  41 Takane, Nikka Hawai’i – Hilo 23:00.45 29
  42 Sinn, Taylor Hawai’i Pacific 23:10.40 30
  43 Krebs, Anne Unattached 23:15.33
  44 Sweany, Laci Hawai’i- Manoa 23:17.95
  45 Maanson, Evelina Unattached 23:28.04
  46 Freitas, Lyssa Chaminade 24:13.23 31
  47 Adams, Stephanie Hawai’i – Hilo 24:31.24 32
  48 Barigian, Heather Chaminade 24:34.81 33
  49 Wood, Justina Hawai’i – Hilo 25:15.87 34
  50 Vaagensmith, Anna Chaminade 25:56.73 35
  51 Turse, Alaina Chaminade 34:46.10 36
  Team Scores
  1 Univ. of Alaska- Anchorag 19
  2 Brigham Young- Hawai’i 55
  3 Univ. of Hawai’i – Manoa 64
  4 Hawai’i Pacific Universit 117
  5 Univ. of Hawai’i – Hilo 147
  6 Chaminade University 161

September 11, 2011 Posted by | collegiate cross country | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All New UHH cross country team opens the season at HPU on Saturday

left to right: Jordan Bledsoe, Justina Wood, Brithany Ariga, Nadia Ramirez, Stephanie Adams, Nikka Takane

Unless you’re a fan of high school sports you won’t recognize anyone of the ladies running on this year’s University of Hawaii cross country team.

Due to deep budget cuts in the Vulcan athletic program the men’s and women’s cross country teams were slated to hit the chopping block this season in an effort to save money.

But Coach Jaime Guerpo managed to find the resources, through a community effort, to save the women’s program as the Vulcan’s prepare for their season opener at the Hawaii Pacific University Invitational on Oahu this Saturday.

“We were only able to find enough cash to save the women’s program,” Guerpo said.  “As a result we have six girls running for us and all of them have never run at the collegiate level.”

In cross country it takes five runners to score as a team and the sixth runner serves as the determining factor in case there is a scoring tie.

Guerpo’s, in his 13th season at the helm, has a  bare bones budget that doesn’t provide money for  scholarships and the money that he did raise is barely enough to fund a meager travel budget.

Despite the inexperience Guerpo is still hopeful that this year’s squad will improve on last year’s placing at conference.

“I expect us to do better than last year’s sixth place finish at the conference meet,” he said.  “These girls are learning to bunch together as a team during practice and we should have a pretty good scoring team.”

The Vulcan’s will rely on four Big Island ladies to help them through the season.

Kamehameha’s Brithany Ariga, Waiakea’s Nikka Takane, Hawaii Prep’s Justina Wood and Hilo’s Nadia Ramirez will be joined by Papillion, Nebraska’s Jordan Bledsoe and Las Vegas, Nevada’s Stephanie Adams to pull together and represent UH Hilo’s harrier program.

Both Takane and Wood are academic seniors and the others on the Vulcan squad are true freshman.

While Takane brings with her four years of prep cross country running, Wood is a novice to distance running.

Stephen Perry

“Stina graduated in 2008 from HPA where she ran four years of track and played soccer all four years for me,” HPA athletic director Stephen Perry said of Wood.  “She is a great competitive player; it must be the red hair.”

“I’m trying to make the adjustment to distance running,” Wood said.  “I was a hurdler at HPA and I’m not used to running distances above 400 meters, but I’m trying to learn what I can from the other girls on the team.”

Guerpo tried to get Wood to come out for cross country last year, but she declined.

“With the budget cuts and the need to form a new team I decided to come out this year and see what I could do to help,” Wood said.  “It’s all about being mentally strong and I’m motivated to do my best.”

Takane brings with her a distinguished career in long distance running as she has done numerous community races from 5K’s to the half marathon.

“I love running and since graduating from high school in 2008 I continued to run every day, usually 4 to 6 miles with my mom,” Takane said.

Coach Guerpo also asked Takane to come out for the team last season, but she declined.

“I always put academics first and last year I was worried that if I added in a sport my grades might drop,” Takane said.  “I’m more confident this year, my senior year, and I’m on track to graduate with my Bachelor’s in May.”

 Ariga cross country experience was limited as a first year runner senior at Kamehameha, but she managed to work her way into the varsity starting lineup, according to her high school Coach Joel Truesdell.

“Brithany is still learning the sport as she is a super nice girl from Hilo,” Truesdell said.  “She has good speed and I can see her getting her time down to 21 minutes in a three mile race once she bonds with the team.”

With his six newly formed collegiate runners Coach Guerpo is optimistic that there training will produce good results.

“I run with the girls each day and I push them hard,” Guerpo said.  “I remind them that the honeymoon is over and that they need to work hard and try their best each and every time out.”

But Guerpo also explains to his youthful group that running at a collegiate level is very different than what they are used to in high school.

“I give them lots of encouragement as I try to get them mentally prepared for the upcoming season,” Guerpo said.  “I haven’t really pushed them hard physically yet, but that part will come soon enough.”

The new Vulcan harriers start their season with Hawaii Pacific University Invitational on Oahu this Saturday with some nervousness and anxiety.

“I’m very excited and I want to run,” Takane said.  “I miss cross country from high school and I like being part of a team.”

The Vulcan’s are limited to hosting just one home town meet on October 8th and the rest of the season will be on the road.

“I expect these girls to represent Hilo well as they will gain much needed experience each week,” Guerpo said.

September 2, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment