PUHI — Two blemishes dotted the results of the Island School boys Saturday during the running of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation cross country meet at Kauai Community College, hosted by Kauai High School under humid, warming conditions.
“We were nearly perfect,” said Island School coach Eric Wortmann. “Our scoring runners had the top four slots. But Kauai High School boys took the number five and numbers seven through nine, and Kapaa had the number 10. We got the number six slot. It’s almost perfect.”
Having the advantage of running first in cooler conditions, the boys’ field was dominated by Voyager blue, with Joshua Graves tripping the clock at a quick 16 minutes, 10.34 seconds.
Graves, who dogged leader and teammate Matthew Vickers, the overall winner of last week’s boys’ race in Waimea, exchanged places with Vickers a few times over the course, and crossed the line three ticks ahead of Vickers.
“This was a short course,” Vickers said. “But I got confused. And the hills!”
Kauai High School coach Marissa Purcell explained the course was set out to capitalize on the hills.
“This might have been a shorter course,” Purcell said. “But we ran the course using the flags — more and more schools are using the flag system that is used at the state meet, and we had a lot of hills.”
Wortmann said he sat with his leaders following last week’s meet in Waimea.
“They’re (the leaders) running at good state times,” he said. “They looked at me in disbelief. I told them they could run better. The plan was to run in the 17 minutes — they blew through in the 16s.”
Following Graves, Vickers tripped the clock at 16:13.53 and helped the Voyager boys take the meet with a solid 16 points ahead of runner up Kauai High, which posted 40 points, led by freshman Brennen Corregedore, who stopped the clock for his fifth-place finish at 17:46.33.
The Waimea boys finished third with 87 points after its top three finishers crossed in the top 20 on the leaderboard, and Kapaa, despite its first runner Alaka‘i “Ala” Gonsalves crossing 10th overall, finished third with 103 points.
Kauai Christian Academy had a sole runner, Kevin Cabreira, who crossed 13th overall in 18:26.86.
“This is the best spot,” said one of the girls’ race anchor runners after crossing the line. “I was hurting out there. It was so bad, I was almost crying. But I kept going. When I saw the finish line, I wanted to just stop and walk the rest. But I kept going, and I’m done.”
The grueling course that followed the boys’ race did not stop Kauai freshman Emma Burgess, who improved on her last week’s race by crossing first at 18:44.12. She was one of two runners who broke the 20-minute mark, the other being Island School’s Ella Beck, who dogged Burgess throughout the three-mile course.
Burgess helped the Kauai girls capture the top spot for the second week on 23 points after the field of Raiders filled in fifth-through-ninth places.
Island School’s Beck and Olivia Lutkevich captured the second and third overall spots, respectively, and the team finished with 54 points, followed by Waimea High School at 76 points and Kapaa High School at 85 points.
KCA fielded a solo wahine runner, Laura Arbo, who crossed 22nd overall in 25:13.15.
The next KIF cross country meet will be hosted by Island School at its Puhi campus Saturday, with the boys’ race starting at 7:30 a.m.
Boys 5,000 meter: Joshua Graves (IS-16:10.34), Matthew Vickers (IS-16:13.53), Eli Ibbs (IS-17:00.63), Christian Carrington (IS-17:31.43), Brennen Corregedore (Kau-17:46.33), James Pratt (IS-17:48.86), Kai Pappas (Kau-18:13.80), Jaheim Scoburgh (Kau-18:17.19), Damon Johnson (Kau-18:18.33), Alaka‘i “Ala” Gonsalves (Kap-18:19.69), Sam Israelson (Kau-18:19.91), Bradley Pratt (IS-18:24.57), Kevin Cabreira (KCA-18:26.86), Cade Myers (Kau-18:29.11), Kealilimalu Ka‘awa (Wai-18:34.92), Wanbli Primeaux (IS-18:36.60), Ky Niccore (Wai-18:52.62), Bryce Fernandez (Kau-19:03.60), Spencer Summerhays (IS-19:05.13), Wyatt Hartsel (Wai-19:06.92).
Girls 5,000 meter: Emma Burgess (Kau-18:44.12), Ella Beck (IS-19:43.66), Olivia Lutkevich (IS- 20:09.21), Molly Wallace (Kau-21:48.16), Nicole Matsushige (Kau-22:09.04), Summer Navarette (Kau-22:21.08), Mia Takekuma (Kau-22:26.19), Kiele Casillas (Kau-22:38.80), Malia Splittstoser (Kau-22:40.02), Sadie Murray (Kau-22:53.17), Tiffany Medina (Wai-23:01.59), Mia Matsunaga (Kau-23:03.49), Jenessa Freitas (Wai-23:21.27), Sapphire Sugahara (Kap-23:26.32), Jessica Drent (Kap-23:30.25), Skyler Stewart (IS-23:30.95), Noe Kaya (Kau-23:35.15), Kirra Carvalho (Kau-23:35.50), Hope Newton (Wai-23:56.52), Meah Jensen (Kap-24:04.50).
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.