WAIMEA — Carolyn Price of Island School was pleased with her run Saturday during the Waimea Invitational cross country meet at the Waimea High School course.
“It was quite steamy out there,” Price said of the rapidly-warming course. “It was a quick course. They had enough water for all the heat, and I liked the downhills. I ran the 2.8-mile course in under 20 minutes, so I’m pleased.”
Price, a junior, topped a strong field of girl runners to lead Island School to finish with 25 points and top honors, followed by a hard-pressing Kapaa girls team with 39 points and a strong challenge from the Kauai girls at 60 points. Host Waimea rounded out the girls teams with 116 points.
Price locked in the first overall finish at 19 minutes, 52.90 seconds followed by fellow Voyager Gianna D’Annibale at 20:40.30 and Kapaa’s Kelsea Armstrong nipping at 20:54.70.
“Gianna got really fast,” Armstrong said. “I felt good out there, but it was really hot. My feet were burning. I think we went out fast. I was out on the course and someone told me I was close to Sydney Brady (Kauai) in the final leg. I pushed up the hill and gave it my all.”
The effort paid off as Armstrong crossed third overall at 20:54.70, beating out Brady steps ahead of the finish line. Brady, the first Kauai runner, cross fourth overall at 20:55.60.
Another tight Kauai-Kapaa finish took place at the 10th place when Kapaa’s Brianna Binder edged Kristin Chun at the top end, crossing at 22:55.40 to Chun’s 22:56.27.
On the boys’ course, Kauai dominated the leaderboard when Dutch Fairbanks sailed across the finish line at 16 minutes, 58.20 seconds.
Manuel Dominguez of Kapaa followed at 17:19.00 before Kane Casillas, a freshman, filled in the third overall spot at 17:20.30 to give Kauai the lead.
Josh Miller raised the Island School voice in fourth overall (17:23.00) before Braden Andrews of Kapaa brought the Warriors to challenge the lead with a fifth overall (17:26.80).
Devon Hartsel put Waimea on the leaderboard with a sixth overall finish (17:55.40) before Andrew Herr (17:56.80) and Tytan Heresa (18:12.70) clinched the Kauai boys’ lead with seventh and eighth place finishes.
The Kauai boys finished with 28 points followed by Kapaa boys at 54 points with Waimea (73 points) and Island School (80 points) rounding out the leaderboard.
“The Kauai boys have potential,” said Kauai coach Marissa Purcell. “They’re natural leaders. They come to practice and are self-directed learners with a lot of self-motivation. As a teacher, we like people with those qualities. These boys will do well as the season progresses.”
Braden Richardson stood out with his white jersey, representing Kauai Christian Academy for their first outing into the Kauai Interscholastic Federation.
“I was nervous at the start,” Richardson said following his 43rd overall finish. “But once the run got underway, I kind of settled into my own pace and ran the race.”
Chris Cullen, KCA athletic director, said the three athletes, Braden, Mallori Richardson, and Joy Burns, would not have missed this.
“This was a learning experience for us as first time participants in the KIF,” Cullen said. “The important thing is all our athletes finished and everything was OK. We’re proud of how our athletes did out there, and now that we have experience, we’re even more excited about next week.”
The KIF cross country season starts at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Waimea High School course.