KILAUEA — Garret Smith of the Kapaa High School boys continued to blaze new paths, and Kauai High School coach Marissa Purcel was having a better week than she did following last week’s Kauai Interscholastic Federation cross country match.
Smith, setting the pace for the boys’ field after breaking the 16-minute mark during last week, continued to show improvement, tripping the clocks at 15:57.87, nearly a two-second improvement over his last week’s run, over a new, three-mile course.
Despite the blistering pace in the cool Wai Koa Loop Trail air, Island School boys’ consistent pack running claimed the top team score of 27 points, set by Henry Scherer finishing third overall (17:52.81) to lead a pack of four blue shirts (Joshua Graves 18:04.11, James Pratt 18:09.08 and Matthew Vickers 18:10.58) in the fourth-through-sixth overall spots before Ben Griep sealed the team victory in ninth place at 18:28.71). The Voyagers continued their strong team showing by placing its five scoring runners in the top 10 spots, an improvement over last week’s run where its five scorers finished in the top 11 spots.
Kauai boys, paced by Dodger Middlebrook challenging Smith, finished in second place with 46 points, staying seven points ahead of Kapaa (53 points), and Waimea, missing its top runner and the ranks fatigued by the night homecoming football game, posted 95 points.
Kauai Christian Academy, enjoying the run in its back yard, did not have sufficient runners for team scoring, but got a strong showing from Kevin Cabreira, who crossed 16th overall on a run of 19:03:58.
The Kauai girls, led by Mia Takekuma setting the pace at 20:59.79, fueled the smile on Purcel’s face by claiming a three-point victory over the strong Kapaa girls, led by Victoria Hennessy (2nd, 21:04.99) and Juliana Tampus (4th, 21:18.73).
Starlyn Soares (11th, 23:17.10) and Nicole Matsushige (12th, 23:47.69) pulled the Kauai girls ahead of Kapaa and locked the win at 39 points, while Kapaa’s fifth runner, Hannah Collins-Doijode (23:47.69), crossed 13th overall.
The top four runners, including Takekuma, Ella Beck of Island School, Hennessy and Tampus, were pacing each other through most of the three-mile course.
“We were shoulder-to-shoulder for most of the race,” Hennessy said. “At the end, Mia made the move and all we could do was keep up.”
Island School girls filled in the No. 3 spot at 64 points, led by Beck’s second overall finish at 21:04.99 and Nahe Edwards’ fifth overall finish at 21:26.56. Waimea girls rounded out the leaderboard at 75 points. KCA did not field any girl runners.
Kauai High School hosts the next KIF cross country meet Saturday at a course laid out at Kauai Community College, where the first gun sounds at 7:30 a.m.
Boys (Top 20)
Garret Smith (Kap 15:57.87), Dodger Middlebrook (Kau 16:54.90), Henry Scherer (17:52.81), Joshua Graves (IS 18:04.11), James Pratt (IS 18:09.08), Matthew Vickers (IS 18:10.43), Jeremy Herr (Kau 18:17.11), Jaheim Scoburgh (Kau 18:28.14), Ben Griep (IS 18:28.71), Hanohano Kuhaulua (Kap 18:41.58), Keon Orlando (Kap 18:42.62), Dutch Fairbanks (Kau 18:46.55), Jacob Delos Reyes (Wai 18:54.05), Levi Snowden (Wai 18:57.37), Alakai Gonsalves (Kap 19:03.14), Kevin Cabreira (KCA 19:03.58), Rafael Sirafuentes (Kap 19:17.87), Isaac Dilley (Kau 19:22.40), Micah Matsunaga (Kau 19:23.21), Ian Penner (IS 19:25.43).
Girls (Top 20)
Mia Takekuma (Kau 20:59.79), Victoria Hennessy (Kap 21:04.99), Ella Beck (IS 21:11.86), Juliana Tampus (Kap 21:18.73), Nahe Edwards (IS 21:26.56), Kristin Chun (21:28.82), Lacey Bagain (Wai 21:47.31), Kahlil Shockley (Kap 22:14.16), Stacie Schnackenberg (Kau 22:45.94), Olivia Lutkevich (IS 22:59.77), Starlyn Soares (Kau 23:17.10), Nicole Matsushige (Kau 23:44.68), Hannah Collins-Doijode (Kap 23:47.69), Jordan Simao (Wai 23:48.68), Tessa Ramsey (Kap 23:57.83), Samantha Bostick (Wai 23:59:12), Tu Nguyen (Kap 24:00.18), Kaya Akina (Wai) 24:01.89), Lily Stokes (Kap 24:06.09), Janessa Freitas (Wai 24:09.22).