PUHI — Kapaa runner Micah Kamuela Nobriga-Ferris broke the 18-minute mark, and Waimea High School nipped the Kapaa girls team by one point on Saturday.
Hosted by Island School and running in rapidly-warming morning air hampered by a passing pre-race shower, Nobriga-Ferris jumped out to an early lead and extended it throughout the two-leg course.
“I don’t know where he got that running ability, but that guy can run,” Nobriga-Ferris’ grandfather said, watching his grandson for the first time in a Kauai Interscholastic Federation cross country race.
Kapaa coach Kara Kitamura said Nobriga-Ferris came out for cross country last year, but did not show anything until this year.
“He’s a real good boy,” Kitamura said. “He runs with a lot of heart.”
Nobriga-Ferris fished in 17 minutes, 36 seconds, nearly a minute ahead of the second-place runner, Kauai High School’s Brodie Noice, who clocked 18:29.
Noice was followed by Charles Samuel (18:31) in third overall, Andrew Herr (18:44), fifth overall, Kainoa Matsumoto (18:48), sixth overall and Xavier Visaya (20:12), 17th overall to capture top honors in the boys team with 33 points.
Hot on the Red Raiders’ heels, Kapaa finished with 43 points.
Waimea High School boys filled in third place at 63 points, led by Mickey Rita (18:49) in eighth overall, with Island School, led by Michael Miller (18:36) fourth, rounding the field at 73 points.
Things were even keener in the girls’ race.
“The course was all right, but I got side pains toward the end,” said Heidi Herr, Kauai’s lead runner who crossed at 21:50, third overall. “I saw Carolyn Price (Island School 21:36, second overall) pass me, but I couldn’t do anything because of the pain. I just figured I had to finish.”
Island School filled in the top two spots for the girls’ race, Chan Hsu (20:36) holding the lead from the start, followed by Price and Herr.
Cassie Wilson, of Kapaa, topped the Warrior wahine in fourth (22:14) ahead of Kauai freshman Sydney Brady (22:14) in fifth overall.
Waimea’s first runner, Talia Young, rebounding from its first-round win Friday night, crossed the line seventh at 22:23.
Menehune runners filled in the eighth, 10th, 11th, and 12th overall positions for the win.
Following Young, Bailey San Agustine-Nordmeier, the volleyball setter, crossed eighth overall (22:40) followed by tennis player Lani Rae-Green (23:51) in 10th, Kiani Kamakea (24:11) in 11th, and Sienna Santiago (24:21) in 12th to give the Menehune 48 points.
Including Wilson, Kapaa’s 49 team points, came from Kelsea Gromsoom-Armstrong (22:16) in sixth overall, Coral Vernon (23:05) in ninth, Vanessa Hernandez (24:28) in 13th and Malia Hickey (24:53) in 17th. The field gave Kapaa 49 points.
Kauai girls finished third with 61 points followed by Island School at 64 points.
The final KIF cross country meet, coinciding with SAT testing, will be hosted by Kapaa High School on Saturday starting at 8:30 a.m.
The KIF Championship race is scheduled for Oct. 19 at Island School, where the Hawaii High School Athletic Association will be holding its state meet on Oct. 25.
• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.