Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Hawaii Prep Girls to make run at HHSAA Championship Title

HPA’s Zoe Sims & Kela Vargas – photo by Patrick O’Leary

It has been more than a decade since a Big Island school has won a state cross country championship, but come Thursday that may all change.

The Hawaii High School Athletic Association cross country championships will be held on Oct. 28 at the Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park and a very strong Hawaii Preparatory Academy girl’s team has a legitimate chance at winning it all.

Last week the lady Ka Makani won their third consecutive Big Island Interscholastic Federation team title in impressive fashion beating out runner-up Honokaa by more than 70 points.

HPA’s Kela Vargas won the individual title with teammates Zoe Sims, Emily Evans and Kristiana Van Pernis finishing second through fourth respectively while teammates Mariah Haight, Sam Neal and Hanna Scully took the seventh through ninth spots.

“Our success this season was from our focus on team goals instead of individual performances,” HPA Coach Michael Franklin said.  “We will keep that same focus at States.”

HPA is no stranger to runner success as their teams over the past four decades have won numerous state cross country championships.

In 1994 HPA swept the boys and girls state championships under former coaches Karl Honma for the boys and Phil Conley for the girls.

No BIIF team, other than Hawaii Prep, has won a state championship and Honma’s 1995 boys’ team was the last time a Big Island school had taken center stage.

“If we are successful at States, then it is our runners’ love of a challenge that is the key,” Franklin said.

The Punahou girls come into the state championships as the five time defending champion and is considered to be the favorite to win their sixth title, but with HPA’s ability to bunch their runners in the lead pack they are recognized as serious contenders.

Dakota Grossman

Punahou returns sophomore Elli Brady who won the state individual championship as a freshman, but it is another freshman, Dakota Grossman of Seabury, Maui, that is the favorite to win the state crown.

“I hope we can make the top five again this year,” said a humble Franklin.  “Punahou is the obvious favorite, but magical things can occur on race day.  As usual, we will run together and we will embrace the challenge.”

Vying for the boy’s state team title is defending champion Kamehameha-Oahu and the 2007 and ’08 champions Leilehua along with a talented Iolani squad.

Four time boys BIIF team champion, Honokaa, is expected to improve on their fifth place finish from last year.

Coach Abner

“Kamehameha, Iolani and Leilehua will score well, but with all the individuals busting up the top runners who knows how the cards will fall,” Dragon Coach Josh Abner said.

During the BIIF championships Honokaa claimed the top individual spots with Chris Mosch successfully defending his title and teammates Joshua Robinson and Chayce Moniz following close behind.

If their top three runners can break into the top 20 at the state championships, while keeping their fourth and fifth runners close behind, then anything is possible.

“I often talk about how anything can happen on any given day and with that mentality any day can be the Dragons day,” Abner said.

Leilehua’s Margarito Martinez is the defending state champion and will get a stiff challenge from Pierce Murphy of Island School from Kauai for the individual crown.

Mosch, an experienced senior, is expected to be somewhere in the top five and if the rest of the Dragon team stays close to Mosch there could be an upset.

“My highest finish was 14th overall last year,” Mosch said.  “My goal going into this race is to finish within the top five and my plan is to stay with Iolani’s Troy Esaki, Leilehua’s Dylan Martinez and Mid Pac’s Ryan Hobson during the race.”

Earlier this year Mosch ran on Oahu at the HHSAA site during the Kaiser Invitational and learned a lot from the experience.

“What I learned from the Kaiser Meet is that a lot of people go out too hard and burn out, so I’m going to try to run under control during the first mile and not get too crazy,” he said.

Honokaa’s best team finish, fourth, came when Mosch was a freshman and the upper classman now thinks of improving on that placement.

“I think we can make it into the top three on a good day,” Mosch said. 

“This is more than trying to win championships,” Abner said.  “When Dragons are ready to leave the program I hope they’ve learned that hard work and big goals bring the biggest prizes in life.”

The HHSAA championships was moved from a Friday to Thursday because of a County Furlough Day, according to HPA Athletic Director and BIIF cross country coordinator.

“My understanding is that CORP is a county facility on Oahu and HHSAA made the final decision,” Perry said.


October 27, 2010 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hawaii Prep Meet showcases distance runners of the future

 Hats off to the Hawaii Prep family for hosting an island cross country meet that had runners in grades 1 thru 8. 

What a great way to get young people interested in running.  Thanks to HPA Athletic Director Steve Perry for forwarding the results.  Hopefully this will insipre other young people to take up a great sport.   Results follow:

2010 Big Island Cross Country – 10/16/2010          

     Lower & Middle School Meet  Hawaii Preparatory Academy                  

            Event 5  Mixed Half Mile Run Grades 1 – 3

Results – Women                                               

1 OLIVARA, ALLISON             Hilo Union             4:22.29

2 KASSIS, LILY                 Parker School          4:25.60

3 ANIO, KIANA                  Haili Christian        5:05.56

4 GOODSPEED, AMARA             Parker School          5:40.59

5 RAGLAND, MISSI               Parker School          5:51.94

Results – Men                                                 

1 THOMAS, LOGAN                Haili Christian        3:32.92

2 WATKINS, ELISHA              Haili Christian        3:37.94

3 MERCADO, ZAYNEN              Haili Christian        3:45.39

4 NOBRIGA-LINDSEY, ZAION       Hilo Union             3:57.51

5 MABINO, JONATHAN             Hilo Union             3:58.38

6 BABINO, JASTYN               Hilo Union             4:53.65

Mixed Half Mile Run Grades 4 & 5 Results - Women                                                

1 NOETZEL, KARLY               Hawaii Prep            3:20.47
2 VAN KIRK, MELIA              Kanu                   3:56.20
3 TAYLOR, ALA                  Hawaii Prep            4:03.11

Results - Men                                                  
1 MERCADO, CORY                Hilo Union             3:04.83
2 MACKENZIE, SHEN              Parker School          3:17.67
3 ROQUE, ZARED                 Paauilo                3:59.07
4 COMMONS, TENNUI              Paauilo                4:26.50
5 CORABI, SPENCER              Paauilo                4:54.23

Girls 1.5 Mile Run Grades 6 – 8
1 SENSENIG, KATE               Hawaii Prep           10:30.59
2 BOYLE, GABRIELLA             Kohala Middle         10:52.72
3 COOKE, KIRRAH                Hilo Intermediate     10:57.97
4 WARD, KIANA                  Parker School         11:19.82
5 CARDOZA, NINA                Paauilo               12:05.67
6 WARNOCK, AMELIA              Hilo Intermediate     12:44.48
7 APUAKEHAU, MONIQUE           Haili Christian       12:52.82
8 MAHONEY, TOLA                Parker School         12:55.33
9 TAYLOR, KAUI                 Hawaii Prep           12:59.06
10 CARVALHO, JENNA              Paauilo               13:29.57
11 KERR, KIMBERLY               Kohala Middle         13:32.39
12 THOMAS, NALANI               Haili Christian       14:33.93
13 REBUDELA-PARKER, CHELSEA     Hilo Intermediate     14:43.24
14 YAMASAKI, DEYSHA             Kohala Middle         16:10.07
15 CARDOZA, SARAIYA             Paauilo               16:12.76
16 FONGBLATT, HOLLY             Hilo Intermediate     16:57.82

Boys 1.5 Mile Run Grades 6 - 8

1 BARTHOLOMY, ZIGGY            Hawaii Prep            9:13.22
2 LADWIG, NATHAN               Hawaii Prep            9:35.85
3 AKAI, HIDEYOSHI              Hawaii Prep            9:55.71
4 MATSUDA, DANIEL              Hawaii Prep            9:58.63
5 ANZAI, KEISUKE               Hawaii Prep           10:00.10
6 MORENO, ISAIAH               Kohala Middle         10:09.21
7 ALIP, DAYSON                 Paauilo               10:18.46
8 BIONDI, NATE                 Parker School         10:22.69
9 VAN KIRK, KELII              Kanu                  10:24.81
10 NATIVIDAD-MALBY, JAMES       Paauilo               10:31.58
11 COTTON, DASH                 Parker School         10:37.12
12 CARTER, TREVOR               Haili Christian       10:43.04
13 RYAN, DYLAN                  Hawaii Prep           11:02.51
14 LEE, VISTOR                  Hawaii Prep           11:07.83
15 MCCAFFERTY, JACOB            Hawaii Prep           11:16.37
16 SEAMAN, HAUNUI               Hawaii Prep           11:26.26
17 WHITFIELD, CHRIS             Parker School         11:39.71
18 RAGLAND, DAVY                Parker School         11:39.99
19 NOTE, MICHAEL                Parker School         11:50.49
20 KELI'HOLOMALU, SAM           Parker School         11:51.41
21 GRACE, KEVIN                 Parker School         11:52.87
22 KERR, ANDREW                 Hilo Intermediate     11:54.50
23 WHITE, WILL                  Hawaii Prep           12:43.08
24 POTTER, LUKE                 Parker School         12:48.60
25 HALE, PARKER                 Parker School         15:08.07

October 16, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HPA Girls, Honokaa Boys, Favored to win BIIF Cross-Country Titles

HPA girls favored to win cross country team title

The Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross-country season will get off to a running start this Saturday when Christian Liberty Academy plays host to the Canefire Conditioner which will showcase prep harriers in a sequence of one-mile hand off races.

CLA has played host to the BIIF opener for the past four years with coach, Frank Grotenhuis, instituting a unique pair of races that develops both speed and endurance.  

 The Canefire Conditioner allows each school to enter their pair of runners with each running three alternating one-mile legs.  “This race can be brutal as each kid runs their hardest on each leg,” Grotenhuis said.

Grotenhuis ran cross country for Taylor University in Indiana, where his school hosted a preseason meet that featured the same format which is now featured at CLA as the BIIF harrier opener.

 The BIIF will see the returns of league individual champions Tialana Greenwell and Chris Mosch, both of Honokaa, who will attempt to retain their 3-mile long individual distance cross-country titles.

3x BIIF champ, Tia Greenwell

Greenwell is the three time defending BIIF champion and her only loss in league competition came during her first race as a freshman.  For three years she has totally dominated within the league and for her success she has been named Honokaa’s Female Athlete of the Year for all three years.

“I’ve been training and running on my own for the past several weeks,” Greenwell said.  “I don’t want to take anything for granted and I want to go out as a four time BIIF champion.”

Greenwell finished second in state competition during her sophomore year when the meet was held on a hilly HPA course.  “I’m hoping our team can make it to states this year and that I can finish somewhere in the top three.”

Joining Greenwell will be sister Kelly-Ann who is a sophomore.  The Greenwell duo will be paired once again in the Canefire Conditioner.   Another youngster, incoming freshman, Allie Shiraki, should bring added depth to a balanced Dragon squad.  “Allie is already running with us during practice and should help us repeat as BIIF team runner-ups,” Greenwell said.

Chris Mosch

 Mosch is coming back from a stress fracture which hampered his chances to medal during the end of his BIIF Track & Field season in May.

“My training has been coming along and I’ll be ready for the CLA meet,” Mosch said.  Mosch, along with teammate Josh Robinson, are the defending pair champions from the Canefire Conditioner and are hoping for a repeat performance on Saturday.

  “This season I’m hoping to defend my BIIF title and place in the top five overall at states.  Our team has five of its top seven runners from last year returning so we are hoping to defend the team title as well.” Mosch said.

 Defending team champions, Honokaa for the boys and Hawaii Preparatory Academy for the girls, are loaded with talented runners and look to be in position to defend their crowns.

 Dragon coach Josh Abner has most of his firepower back with Mosch and Robinson, accompanied by Chayce Moniz, Dylan Shiraki and Brandon Mah to make another run at the BIIF team title.

 Ka Makani girls are loaded with experienced talent with six of their top seven runners from last year ready to make another run at the league crown.

 Kela Vargas, Zoe Sims and Emily Evans return for HPA as the trio finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively during the 2009 BIIF championships.  Samantha Neal (13th), Hana Scully (18th), and Phoebe Hono (25th) give the Ka Makani enough firepower to defend their crown.

 “Our main goal this year, as always, is to develop healthy lifestyles that we can endure for the rest of our lives,” HPA coach Michael Franklin said.

 HPA carries 25 girls on the roster and Franklin is optimistic about their chances to see a few in that group battle for the opportunity to make the top seven on the varsity team.

 Franklin has coached the ladies from Waimea for four consecutive years, winning three BIIF team titles in the process.  “Each year that I’ve been here the league has become more competitive, so by no means does our past guarantee any future victories.  We are definitely not taking anything for granted,” he said.

Kamehameha-Hawaii girls will have a pair of their top runners coming back to lead a young Warrior squad.  “We’re hoping to get a team to the state meet this season,” Joel Truesdell, Warrior girls coach, said.

Truesdell believes that he’ll know more about his girl’s squad after the Canefire Conditioner.  “We will learn a little at this Saturday’s meet and a lot more once we get into the BIIF all-schools meets,” he said.

Around the league there are a number of returning harriers that should be running in the lead pack this year.  For the boys:  Jackson Halford, Waiakea; Brandt Mabuni and Devin Vandervoort, Makua Lani; Tyde Kaneshiro, Rick Michels and Billy Ray, Hilo.

For the girls watch for Grace Choe, Makua Lani; Kelsie Kobayashi, Waiakea; Shalia De Bourmont, Hilo; and Deann Nishimura-Thornton, Keaau, to all make a run for top honors and possibly challenge Greenwell.

However getting a BIIF team to qualify for the state championship this season might be more difficult compared to years past.  Two years ago the BIIF sent their top four teams to the big dance and last season that number was reduced to the top three.

The BIIF has reduced the number of teams that will win automatic qualification to the HHSAA meet this season to two.  “The BIIF coaches decided that they would rather have more individuals qualify and voted to reduce the number of teams in order to send more of our top runners to the state meet,” BIIF cross-country coordinator Steve Perry said.

Saturday’s Canefire Condition begins at 10 am with the girl’s race, followed at 11 am with the boy’s race.  Grotenhuis expects that results will be available around 12:30 and will present awards to the top 10 pairs of runners from each race, plus an additional 5 pairs of awards to the next scoring pairs in the open division.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HHSAA Awards State Cross-Country Slots

BIIF alloted state slots

BIIF alloted state slots

hhsaa logo        Hawaii Prep Athletic Director and Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross-country coordinator, Steve Perry, has released the number of state slots that will be awarded to the BIIF runners at the Championships on Saturday, Oct 24.

 According to Perry the state will allow the following qualifiers to participate at the state championships:

 The HHSAA office has released league information for the 2009 HHSAA XC Championship.

 The event will be held on Saturday, October 31st @ 9:00am on the Island School campus (Kauai).

Each race will have 160 runners (max).

 The BIIF will qualify the following number of runners:

BOYS – 37 runners

Top-3 teams from BIIF Championship meet (Oct. 24th) – 21 runners max.

Next 16 individuals

 GIRLS – 38 runners

Top-3 teams from BIIF Championship meet (Oct. 24th) – 21 runners max.

Next 17 individuals

Around the rest of the state the ILH will be allotted 40 boys and 36 Girls,

OIA 48 boys and 50 girls,

KIF 9 boys and 9 girls and

the MIL will have 26 boys and 27 girls on Kauai October 31.

September 30, 2009 Posted by | Events | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment