MAKAWO — Kauai High School’s Emma Burgess entered the Honolulu Marathon Hawaii Cross Country State Championship in Maui with high expectations.
Burgess didn’t disappoint with an 8th-place finish in 20 minutes, 17 seconds.
Red Raiders’ coach Marissa Purcell had a strategy for Burgess to front-run for the first half of a mile and break away from the pack of over 200 runners.
“She took a strong lead within the first mile, and pretty much stayed with the pack for most of the race,” Purcell said. “She pushed hard until the end and stayed focused.”
Burgess admitted she was nervous.
“A lot was going through my mind, and I just wanted to find a girl that had good pacing and stick with her,” Burgess said. “There were some pretty intense moments in the race.”
Burgess said she might have gone out too hard, but gave it her best.
“I felt tired on the second lap, and then the other lap, I felt pretty good about it.”
The Kauai High girls finished fourth overall as a team, and the boys placed fifth overall in Division II.
The Island boys placed third. The Maui High boys, and Konawaena girls won the state team titles.
Island School boys, girls, shine at state
Island High School boys Matthew Vickers and Elijah Iibs led their team into a third-place finish.
Vickers finished 22nd in 17:25, and Iibs placed 35th in 17:56.3.
“It is easy to get lost a little bit in the crowd, and there is a whole lot of excitement, and it’s overwhelming to be with that many runners it can throw you off a bit,” Voyagers’ assistant coach Renato DeSouza said. “Overall, I think we did pretty well against the off-island competition being such a small team.”
The Island High School girls cross country team had two runners with top-50 finishes.
Jaden DeSouza finished in 21:20, to finish 33rd, and Ella Beck, finished 33rd in 21:25.
“As an assistant coach, I think the kids did a good job, and we have to build them up for next year,” DeSouza said.
See the complete Honolulu cross country state results on B2