Red Raider runners get season-best at Iolani meet

Four of Kauai High School’s leading cross country runners ran on Oahu over the weekend.

Participating in the 15th Iolani Cross Country Invitational, all four Red Raider runners emerged with season-best times in the field that included 125 girls and 138 boys, said Kauai High coach Richard Matsumoto.

The point of the trip was to pit locals against some top-flight competition.

“The reason for going to Kualoa Ranch is to subject the runners to a level of intensity they do not get on Kauai,” Richard wrote in an email.

For the boys’ race, Glacier Peak finished first in team scoring with 63 points followed by Laguna Beach (99 points), and Kamehameha-Kapalama (103 points) whose Kaeo Kruse, a Kauai native and sophomore, finished third overall on a run of 15 minutes, 34.43 seconds over the 3-mile course.

Grant Kam, another Kauai native and junior at Kamehameha, crossed the line 38th overall at 17:02.

Kauai senior Kainoa Matsumoto, finishing the Kauai Interscholastic Federation races in the top five, crossed 58th overall on a 17:34 run, his season-best time.

Charles Samuel, a junior at Kauai High and also in the strong finishers at the KIF runs, crossed 89th overall on an 18:09 run.

Davis Kaahanui, a senior at Kamehameha, set the pace for the boys’ race, crossing first overall in 15:15 followed nearly 11 seconds back by Makai Clemons of Kalaheo High School (15:25) and Kruse in third place.

Dakota Grossman, of Seabury Hall, set the pace for the girls’ field, the senior crossing first overall on a 17:42 run followed by Mikayla Florez, a senior at Riverbank High School, stopping the clock at 18:11 and Heidi Smith of Glacier Peak, first in the team scoring, crossing third overall at 18:18.

Glacier Peak topped the girls’ team scoring at 38 points followed by Punahou (87 points), Laguna Beach (128 points), and Hawaii Preparatory Academy (142 points).

Brandi Kam, a Kauai native and senior at Kamehameha, finished 40th overall with a 20:09 run.

Kauai’s Krista Schnackenberg, a junior, crossed the line 45th overall with a 20:27 followed by Red Raider senior Heidi Herr crossing 59th overall with a 21:02 run.

Coach Richard and the four Red Raider runners return to the KIF course, Saturday when Island School hosts the third cross country meet of the season at its Puhi campus, where the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships will be held on Oct. 25. The gun goes off at 8:30 a.m. for the first race.

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