PUHI — When Waimea lead runner Kaimana Girod emerged from the downhill in the lead with his fingers pointing toward the mountains, spectators were unaware of just what he meant.
Seconds later, Girod’s face twisted in agony.
“I was signaling for ice,” Girod said after the race. “I hurt my knee in the downhill. I felt something just give.”
Girod finished first overall anyway, finishing in 18:56:53 and helping the Menehune top the team points standings with 24 at the KIF Cross Country Meet at Kaua‘i High School yesterday morning.
He accepted his awards with a his leg stiffly wrapped in cold packs.
Kapa‘a’s Adam Kerlin dogged at the heels of Girod throughout the race but couldn’t overtake him. Kerlin finished second (19:19:02), as did the Warriors, with 36 team points. Kaua‘i took third (62) and Island School finished fourth (147).
Jared Coleman-Stark (19:39:66-fourth), John Pearson (20:03:63-fifth), Steven Rivera (20:21:52-sixth) and Stevenson Rivera (20:35:94-eighth) helped the Menehune boys win.
Kapa‘a’s Alex LaMadrid filled out the podium in third place (19:25:80), but the efforts of Chance Bukoski (20:26:19), Tim Hill (21:44:70) and Jonathan Ganir (22:46:61) couldn’t overcome the strong Menehune runners. Both schools accounted for the top eight finishers.
Darren Lapitan (20:40:66) was Kaua‘i’s first finisher, in ninth, and Noah Flagg (21:37:96) was the first to cross for Island School, in 12th.
“They’re improving each week,” Kaua‘i High School coach Erin Dunn said of her boys. “We have two freshmen who have really stepped up and taken the leadership role for the guys.”
On the women’s side, the return of Chelsea Smith-Wishard and Tara McCoy pushed Kaua‘i (47 team points) over Kapa‘a (53).
“She had side pains,” Kaua‘i coach Richard Matsumoto said of Smith-Wishard’s performance at the Iolani Invitational last week.
“Hills,” spectator and parent Ernie Johnson said. “Hills make a big difference and can add to your time. They have a humongous one at Iolani.”
But all that was behind the top finisher for the Kaua‘i girls as Smith-Wishard stopped the clock at 20:77:87, followed by Kaua‘i sophomore Tara McCoy at 22:08:32.
The Red Raider pair was joined by teammates Elizabeth Schiller (25:44:55-13th), Leeanna Carvalho (26:03:94-14th) and Elizabeth LaMadrid (26:58:23-17th).
Ella Arume (24:47:20) still had heavy taping on her foot but led the Kapa‘a second-place team, along with Whitney Rowe (24:58:20), Kalia Mayer (26:23:51), Rachel Ganir (25:29:39) and Kirsten McCracken (26:30:29).
Waimea finished with 78 team points on the strength of Carloyn Broyles’ time of 23:40:97, good for third overall. Sarah Faraola (24:01:91) of Island School finished fourth.
Kula School’s Gillian Pickett (24:02:09) improved to a fifth-place finish after last week’s sixth. Jesse Austin (24:59:78) and Amber Loughead (25:08:36) finished ninth and 10th for Kula. Despite three runner in the top 10, Kula finished fourth with 79 team points, one behind Waimea.
The Menehune host the next race at 4 p.m., Oct. 14.