KOLOA — The Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i hosted its first Turkey Trot with Spencer Cook, a sixth grade student, successfully defending his course record in the wind and rain that buffeted the event at the school’s campus in Kahili Valley.
Cook, in addition to defending the course record, was the Grade 6 Male winner of the first event presented to the Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i student body under Coach David “DG” Adams who took the reins of Director when school opened in August. The Turkey Trot is also the second all-campus event run following the successful Ninja Warrior Competition in late September.
Facing challenges from the dynamic COVID-19 pandemic that forced a school-wide presentation of education schedule, the windy and blustery weather over the weekend, the Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Turkey Trotters took to the course over Monday and Tuesday.
“We understand and appreciate how difficult the challenges of the pandemic have been for our athletes,” Adams said. “The first Turkey Trot cross country running competition will be physically distanced by having each competitor run in their own private heat, using the times to determine the winners in each category.”
The categories include male and female in each grade from kindergarten through grade six with the distances each participant running varying in length depending on the age. The highest distance is one mile.
Following two days of running, sometimes in wind and rain, Sloane Peterson took the female win for the Kindergarten class with Ben Giunta getting the male honors.
Avenly Castle topped the grade one girls with Demitrius Reilly getting the honors for the boys.
Hannah Chidester topped the Grade Two girls with Zander Michaels topping the second grade boys.
Amelia Pagels took the Grade Three girls honor with Jude Martin getting the best time for the boys.
In a rare showing, Jayden Harris and Sawyer Kimball finished in a tie for top honor in the grade four boys, and Kahea Cummings surged ahead of all the fourth grade wahine.
Kieren Jacinto topped the grade five girls, and Gabe Wozney celebrated the honor for the boys.
Alexander Ebesu finished tops for the grade six girls with Cook leading the boys with his course record.
A specialty award — Best Costume — was claimed by fourth grader Katalina Tapia.
Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i is currently in its Yellow level of delivery model of education, or hybrid model, where students report twice a week for face-to-face learning. The school will remain in Yellow level until Kaua‘i enjoys a Thursday and Friday with County-announced active COVID-19 cases of 10, or less.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.