Voyagers running duo amid KIF’s best

PUHI — The top six boys and girls from last week’s championship meet were selected as this year’s Kauai Interscholastic Federation cross country all-stars.

Six of the 12 named as this year’s best are from Island School.

“It makes me feel great because that’s recognition that they deserve for what they’ve done this year,” said Voyagers cross country coach Eric Wortmann. “Last spring at track, we had a discussion as a team that we could compete as a team in cross country — both boys and girls … The kids committed to that and they followed through with it. That’s why we did so well.”

Among the all-stars are the top finishers from Saturday’s races — senior Michael Miller and sophomore Carolyn Price.

Miller said he set out to finish his senior year on top after finishing second in last year’s championship race.

“My senior year, I wanted to get first place … I trained hard throughout the year,” Miller said. “The night before, I couldn’t sleep because I was really stressed out about the race. When I finished and got first place, it was the most amazing feeling. It still hasn’t sunk in yet. I don’t know why, but I’m really happy that I got first place.”

Miller added his experience from last year’s states has helped him prepare this year as he set a goal to finish his high school career on a high note.

“Last year was my first time. Everyone’s really fast and there’s 250 runners. You literally have to sprint, at least, for a minute to get the spot that you want. Last year, I didn’t do that so I was stuck in the pack, really far behind,” he said. “This year, my goal is to be top 20, to have a really good start and a really good finish.”

For Price, she’s just happy she and her teammates have had a successful season.

“I’m ecstatic with myself. I’m very proud, but I’m also just overjoyed with our team,” she said. “We set our goals high. We visualized achieving our goals as well as running (and doing) what we have to do.”

“As far as place-wise, it’s hard to peg anything. We can only hope to do as well as we possibly can,” Price added about competing at states. “We’re focused on pace, as well as getting out so we’re not trampled by the pack. We’re just going to run as best as we can and represent Island School, as well as Kauai.”

Island School’s boys and girls teams, as well as top individuals from the other KIF schools, will compete at the Honolulu Marathon Cross Country state championships Saturday, Nov. 1 on Oahu.

Wortmann said he expects his kids, as well as the other KIF representatives, to “have their best race of the season.”

“This is my fifth year coaching. I’ve been every year, but with individuals. First time for a team, and that will be very special,” Wortmann said.”

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