WAIMEA — Kauai High School cross country coach Marissa Purcel was not having a good day, said Wendy Tannery, the security officer at the Kauai Interscholastic Federation football game.
Just two points separated first and second places in the boys race at Saturday’s KIF cross country meet, which opened the season at the Waimea High School course. The Red Raider boys, despite placing its top four finishers in the Top 10, dropped to Island School, 41 points to the Voyagers’ 39 points after Island School’s Henry Scherer, finishing fifth overall on a run of 17 minutes, 31.80 seconds, led a stream of blueshirts, including Joshua Graves (17:45.49) and Matthew Vickers (17:48.32) in sixth and seventh, to fill the first 11 spots for the win.
Kauai’s top finishers saw Dodger Middlebrook (16:40.68), second overall, followed by Dutch Fairbanks (17:28.79) and Jeremy Herr (17:57.50).
Kapaa boys, with sophomore Garret Smith leading the charge by finishing first on a run that broke 16 minutes for the 5K course (15:59.24), settled at the No. 3 team spot with 62 points after the Warriors’ second finisher crossed in the No. 12 position overall.
Smith broke his tradition of following Middlebrook by taking charge, setting a gap within the first mile and holding it through the 5K course.
“I was going to be aggressive on this race,” Smith said. “I trained hard and thought I would put all that training to use. This was a full 5K course over the invitational last week, and I improved a lot from my previous races. At the top of the hill (in the last mile), I looked back and said, ‘I’m outta here!’ This is my second year running, and I finally made it.”
Waimea boys, also showing a strong initial charge when Braden Lumabao tripped the clocks at 17:29.53 for a fourth overall finish, settled into fourth place when the Menehune’s second finisher crossed at 16th overall.
Kylan Constantino was one of the Menehune in the field of blue.
“I made it,” Constantino said. “I wanted to run last week, but coach said I was too slow. I got to run this week, and I finished.”
Kylan’s mom Fran Constantino said he is not a runner, but wanted to run because he wants to play basketball.
On the girls’ course, Island School’s Ella Beck took the lead for most of the 5K run, challenged by Kauai’s Mia Takekuma, who surged forward in the final 100 meters to cross first on a 19:58.80 run, collapsing in the finish chute.
Despite the effort, Kauai girls settled for third place at 57 points, placing its second and third finishers in the seventh and 10th position, separated by a gap, sending its fourth runner across the line in 18th place.
Island School, despite the strong pace set by Beck, settled in fourth place at 84 points when the Voyagers’ second finisher crossed at ninth overall and its third runner crossing 22nd overall.
Kapaa, led by Takekuma’s close rival Victoria Hennessy, topped the girls race with 42 points when Hennessy led the pack of five finishers in the top 15 on a 20:40.00 run, followed by Juliana Tampus at 20:45.50.
Waimea’s Lacey Bagain, top Menehune wahine finisher during last week’s invitational, crossed at fifth overall (21:16.30), followed by Samantha Bostick (22:15.40) in eighth overall. Waimea pushed its final three scoring runners across in 11th, 12th, and 13th places, but settled for second place at 49 points, just seven digits off the pace.
Kapaa hosts the next KIF cross country meet Saturday in Kilauea, with the first race starting at 7:30 a.m.
Boys (Top 20)
Garret Smith (Kap 15:59.24), Dodger Middlebrook (Kau 16:40.68), Dutch Fairbanks (Kau 17:28.79), Braden Lumabao (Wai 17:29.53), Henry Scherer (IS 17:31.80), Joshua Graves (IS 17:45.49), Matthew Vickers (IS 17:48.32), Jeremy Herr (Kau 17:57.50), Jaheim Scoburgh (Kau 18:04.90), James Pratt (IS 18:06.40), Ben Griep (IS 18:10.20), Hanohano Kuhaulua (Kap 18:14.40), Keon Orlando (Kap 18:17.90), Ian Penner (IS 18:30.90), Kevin Cabreira (KauChristian 18:40.70), Alakai Gonsalves (Kap 18:46.40), Jacob Delos Reyes (Wai 18:46.90), Levi Snowden (Wai 19:00.00), Zachariah Costales (Wai 19:01.60), William Anderson (Kau 19:06.90).
Girls (Top 20)
Mia Takekuma (Kau 19:58.80), Ella Beck (IS 20:02.00), Victoria Hennessy (Kap 20:40.00), Juliana Tampus (Kap 20:45.50), Lacey Bagain (Wai 21:16.30), Kahlil Shockley (Kap 21:49.50), Kristin Chun (Kau 22:05.90), Samantha Bostick (Wai 22:15.40), Olivia Lutkevich (IS 22:22.40), Starlyn Soares (Kau 22:32.30), Kari Correa (Wai 22:45.00), Amber Drake (22:45.60), Jenessa Freitas (Wai 22:46.10), Hannah Collins-Doijode (Kap 22:46.60), Gabrielle Duran (Kap 22:47.30), Tu Nguyen (Kap 22:52.90), Kaya Akana (Wai 22:53.90), Renee Anderson-Navarro (Kau 23:10.50), Braelyn Cayaban (Wai 23:19.10), Jordan Simao (Wai 23:22.20).