Island School, carrying the memories of Pierce Murphy, the standard of the 2010 Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation cross country season, set the standards for the first KIF meet, Saturday at the Kaua‘i Community College.
But despite being first across in both the boys and girls races, the Kapa‘a Warriors swept both the boys and girls races, setting the stage for Saturday when the Warriors host the second meet at The Kaua‘i Ranch in Kealia.
The Kapa‘a boys finished with 35 points for the win followed by Waimea at 42 points, Island School at 55 points and Kaua‘i High School rounding out the field at 112 points, its star runner losing his final-minute appeal to run with crutches.
The Kapa‘a girls finished its outing in hot, still air with 34 points followed by Kaua‘i High School at 45 points, Waimea High School at 61 points and Island School at 87 points.
Ryan Perez set the bar for the boys, crossing the three-mile loops at 18:43.10 followed by a pair of Menehune, Travis Soares (19:39.10) and Mikey Rita (19:44.10), both Menehune coming from strong baseball showings.
Dylan Morrison-Fogel crossed at 19:55.00 for Island School followed by Austin Reimer crossing at 10:04.90 for Kapa‘a High School.
This caused a three-way tie for the lead on points, but Reimer’s crossing was the start of six Warriors crossing in succession to put the race to bed as Micah Domingcil (10:07.30), Ronnie Perono (20:52.40), Dylan Devin (20:59.10), Khylani Noel (21:00.50) and Marcus Bloss (21:06.80) zipped across the finish.
Bradley Lumabao (21:09.90), finishing 11th overall, and Mark Abalos (21:12.50), finishing 12th overall, put the race ahead of Island School who saw Owen Teak (21:52.90) fill in at 17th overall.
Kaua‘i’s first runner, Kainoa Matsumoto (21:58.50), crossed 19th overall followed by Ryan Owan (22:41.70) and Joshua Manini (23:11.00).
Josh Herr, Kaua‘i’s top runner from the 2010 season, was hobbled by crutches, but despite the handicap demonstrated his support by cheering on the boys and continued by cheering on his sister, Heidi Herr, who topped the Kaua‘i girls’ finishers.
Joy Claypoole, making waves in the 2010 season when people discovered she could run, continued to set the bar for the girls, finishing first overall for Island School on a 21:26.10 run over the three-mile course.
This was just 11 second ahead of Heidi Herr of Kaua‘i (21:37.70) who overtook Cassie Wilson of Kapa‘a (21:50.40) in the final mile to finish second.
Kaua‘i’s Krista Schnackenberg crossed fourth overall at 22:22.00 to keep the Raiders in the lead followed by Coral Vernon (Kap 22:47.70) and Waimea’s Kaycee San-Augustine Nordmeier (23:10.20).
Kapa‘a’s Tambrina Fairbanks, crossing seventh overall at 23:16.70, put the race in Kapa‘a’s bank when Island School’s next finisher to Claypoole crossed 17th and 18th overall, respectively, Kalena Wong (25:52.30) and Chan Hsu (25:53.30) filling in the slots.
Filling in following San-Augustine-Nordmeier for the Menehune, Young Talia crossed eighth overall (23:46.40) and Tierra Teter crossed 12th overall (25:10.70).
The KIF cross country program hosts its second race of the season, Saturday, hosted by Kapa‘a High School. The first race gets under way at 8:30 a.m.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.