|Girls Cross Country Update||Boys Cross Country Update|
November 3, 2003
Written by Gregory Char Girls coach, Iolani School with input from coaches around the state
The 2003 girls cross country season will come to an exciting close at the H.H.S.A.A. State Championships on November 15 at the Maui Lani Dunes golf course on Maui .
Before that League titles are at stake and there promises to be close, fierce battles in the O.I.A., I.L.H., and the B.I.I.F.
Baldwin appears to be a solid lock for the M.I.L. title and Kauai won the K.I.F. championship last Saturday.
Kamehameha is the front runner and poised to win its first State Championship. Iolani, Punahou, and Baldwin will give close chase.
The top O.I.A. and B.I.I.F. schools will not be far back, and it would not be a surprise to see any of them holding the big trophy at the end. Trying to figure out who won the meet prior to the awards ceremony may prove difficult , and it may even come down to the 6th runner tie-breaker! It will be that close.
Individually it appears Tia Ferguson of Seabury Hall is the runner to beat. She had some impressive performances against Mainland competition earlier in the season and has kept on rolling. Her recent 2nd place finish at the prestigious Mt. SAC Invitational against some of the best girls in the West Coast has placed her firmly in the National spotlight.
Moanalua's Emily King is undefeated -- winning every race comfortably -- and poses the greatest challenge to Ferguson. Hawaii Baptist Academy's Lauren Ho, the 2003 Hawaii State Champion in the 1500m, has made great improvement this year and will challenge the top two.
The first two finishers at the 2002 Cross Country State Championships, Nicole Anderson of Iolani (also the 2003 Hawaii State Champion in the 3000m) and Jessica Domingo of Kamehameha have been steadily improving all season
and will also be at the front of the race along with Iolani's Joleen Oshiro and Punahou's Katie Cragie.
Behind them will be a huge pack of runners all capable of beating each other; with improvement, any of them could challenge the front pack. Order of finish of this pack will in likelihood determine the team championship.
There are two exciting weeks left in the cross country season -- two weekends of highly anticipated racing capped by what may be the closest State Meet in a long time. All of the questions will be answered on November 15 on Maui.
Top-10 Girls Team Rankings
1. Kamehameha - The Warriors have emerged as the team to beat. Finally facing Iolani and Punahou at two miles and at full strength they have passed the test, beating them both three straight weeks.
Jessica Domingo continues to lead the team. However, the strength of this program is its depth as Kamehameha has about 10 interchangeable runners who run in a pack. Their gap time between #1 and #5 has been, impressively, less than 1 minute.
Senior Danica Olaso wants to end her cross country career on a high note and has amped up her performances the last few weeks. Newcomers Caycie Gusman, Jasmine Knight, and Alyssa Chun, along with returnees Maya Coelho, Danna
Friedemann and Haunani Kane are the front runners to make the Warriors' top seven, but with the depth of this crew you never know who may finish in what place.
2. Iolani - The Raiders missed the Punahou Invitational while running in California. Upon returning to local action they were beaten soundly by Kamehameha the next two weeks, but bounced back nicely last week losing by just 4 points.
Iolani continues to be led by Nicole Anderson and Joleen Oshiro, but needs improvement and consistency by the rest of the squad to be able to defend its titles. Lucy Dolly Caires has emerged as the Raiders' #3 runner while Megan Chock appears to be overcoming an earlier illness. There are several girls vying for the 5th spot which will be crucial in their quest to beat Kamehameha.
3. Punahou - The Buff 'n' Blue are steadily improving and appear to have found a fifth runner in Liat Portner, who won the JV division of the Punahou Invitational with a time that would have placed her 14th in the Varsity race. Katie Cragie continues to lead the team, and she has made great
gains; her 3rd place finish at Punahou led her team to the team title. Piper Marshall, Caitlin Killam (sister of all-Stater Carly Killam), and Amara Humphrey round out the top five and provide the necessary experience and depth to challenge for ILH and State bragging rights.
4. Baldwin - The M & M girls, Marie Janiszewski and Freshman Maris Van Der Lee, are leading the way for the Bears. They placed an excellent 4th and 5th, respectively, at the Punahou Invitational leading the team to a 3rd place finish. Anne Yoshizawa and Nikki Russell have blossomed into solid runners, and development of a 5th runner, possibly Lauren Amano, will put this squad in the hunt for a State title. The Bears are poised to win their first M.I.L. title since the mid-1970's!
5. Moanalua - The surprise team in early season action looks to be gaining momentum. Although their top runners continue to be split into the Junior Varsity and Varsity levels, when put together this squad will be tough. They continue to be led by Juniors Emily King and Elisabeth Ertl. Kelli Murata has been vastly improving and won the Junior Varsity race at the O.I.A. Eastern Divisionals in a time that would have placed her 5th in the Varsity. With King and Ertl in front they are now the team to beat in the O.I.A.
6. Mililani - The defending O.I.A. Champions have been running steady and consistent appearing almost to be just waiting for the big meets at the end of the season. The Trojans will not give up their O.I.A. title easily, and their experience and depth have them poised to repeat as O.I.A. Champions. The team placed an excellent 4th at the Punahou Invitational and continue to be led by Sophomore Sara Mitman. Michelle Lee has improved greatly, and Deanne Soon continues to run well.
7. Pearl City - The Chargers are steadily improving with their crop of new, talented runners. With veterans Kari Tanimoto and Chimene Sienkiewicz running extremely well look for this squad to make some noise at the end of the season. Continued improvement by younger runners could put this squad in the hunt for the O.I.A. crown.
8. Waiakea - Tamarah Binek appears to be recovering nicely from an earlier back injury and will lead the Warriors in their bid to win their first B.I.I.F. title in many years. Angela Beck has been improving, and this team has excellent depth. The race for #1 on the Big Island will be fierce with H.P.A.
9. Hawaii Prep - The dynamic duo of Kerri Ogden and Tanya Lewis have Ka Makani poised to defend their B.I.I.F. title. Steady improvement by the rest of their runners has this team matching up well with Waiakea. The B.I.I.F. title could come down to a 6th runner tie-breaker - it's that close! 10.
Kauai - The Red Raiders won the first meet on Kauai and is the favorite towin the K.I.F. title. They are led by Shauna Tachibana.
Top 20 Female Rankings Update
1. Tia Ferguson (12) - Seabury
2. Emily King (11) - Moanalua
3. Nicole Anderson (11) - Iolani
4. Lauren Ho (10) - Hawaii Baptist
5. Jessica Domingo (12) - Kamehameha
6. Joleen Oshiro (11) - Iolani
7. Katie Cragie (11) - Punahou
8. Marie Janiszewski (11) - Baldwin
9. Maris Van Der Lee (9) - Baldwin
10. Kari Tanimoto (12) - Pearl City
11. Elizabeth Ertl (11) - Moanalua
12. Chimene Sienkiewicz (11) - Pearl City
13. Maya Coelho (10) - Kamehameha
14. Danica Olaso (12) - Kamehameha
15. Jasmine Knight (10) - Kamehameha
16. Lucy Dolly Caires (10) - Iolani
17. Tamarah Binek (12) - Waiakea
18. Andrea Leitner - Kohala
19. Tanya Lewis (10) - Hawaii Prep
20. Keri Ogden (9) - Hawaii Prep
November 3, 2003
Written by Gregory Char Girls coach, Iolani School, with input from coaches around the state
The one word that describes the boys cross country season in Hawaii is improvement. It appears there was some serious summer training going on by many individuals and teams, and so far it has paid huge dividends.
The boys from Iolani and Punahou put in some miles this summer and the same could be said for Hawaii Prep and Waiakea. They, along with Kamehameha (you can't count out the six-time defending State Champions), are the front runners for what should be an exciting race for the State Championship at The Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course on Maui November 15.
Iolani has been the best so far, going undefeated against local schools, but anything can happen in the next two weeks. Punahou has been steadily improving and the return of Brent Nakano should bolster this squad.
Kamehameha has been splitting its squads, trying to slowly bring along freshmen runners. The Big Island and Maui have a couple of awesome team competitions brewing.
In the B.I.I.F., Hawaii Prep was expected to be a heavy favorite, butWaiakea has improved dramatically to make things exciting. H.P.A. came to Oahu for the Punahou Invitational and looked impressive with its 2nd place finish.
Baldwin was expected to battle Maui, but the departure of the Jachowski brothers has severely weakened the Sabers. Seabury Hall has emerged as a serious threat to Baldwin and will make it close. Baldwin and H.P.A. have gained invaluable experience by traveling to run against some of Hawaii's best.
The O.I.A. is still trying to rebound from the "handcuffs" placed on its teams because budget cuts and subsequent schedule curtailment. They have raced in only a few meets compared to the other leagues.
Aiea and Kalaheo have looked impressive so far with experienced runners. However, keep your eyes on Castle and Moanalua, which have been steadily improving. Look for the O.I.A. to continue to make great gains in the and stir things up at the State meet.
Individual runners have made the greatest improvements. Joshua Enos of Kea'au (4th in 2002) looked to be a solid preseason favorite, but Kainoa Guerin of Baldwin (17th in 2002) and Ryan Shell of Radford (43rd in 2002) have made huge strides and are the favorites along with Enos.
Guerin looked impressive at the Punahou Invitational, beating Shell by 15 seconds. Shell has bounced back, nicely romping at the O.I.A Western Divisionals. Enos ran a great race at the H.P.A. Invitational and looks to be peaking at the right time.
Jon Yasuda of Iolani (8th in 2002), Jeremy Kamaka'ala of Kamehameha (14th in 2002), J.W. Wood of Hawaii Prep (26th in 2002), Roycen Dehmer of Waiakea (60th in 2002) have all greatly improved, and they, along with newcomer Joseph Gonzales of Pearl City, will lead the chase pack. Slight improvement by any of them will put them in the lead pack and in contention to be the State's best.
All League Championships except for Kauai are set for Saturday, November 8 while the H.H.S.A.A. State Championships will be held on November 15th on Maui at the Maui Lani Dunes golf course.
Can a team step up and beat Iolani? Who will take 2nd? Can someone challenge Baldwin's Guerin? These answers will be answered in one dramatic race in two weeks.
Top-10 Boys Team Rankings
1. Iolani - The Raiders have been running well all season and are unbeaten against local competition. Jon Yasuda leads the charge as the top runner in the I.L.H. so far while Frank Lau and Antonio Baclig have improved dramatically to help up front.
A gap time of about a minute between Iolani's first and fifth runners is impressive. The key to this squad is its depth as the Raiders have about 10 interchangeable runners who will battle for the seven coveted spots come Championship time. The Raiders are poised to win their first I.L.H. and State titles.
2. Hawaii Prep - There is a great battle brewing on the Big Island between H.P.A. and Waiakea. Ka Makani had an impressive showing at their own Invitational and are now poised to defend their B.I.I.F title. They also ran very well at the Punahou Invitational against Oahu competition, placing 2nd.
Ka Makani have excellent depth with seven very strong runners leading to an excellent gap time of approximately one minute. J.W. Wood and Emmett Weatherford have improved greatly to give this squad an excellent 1-2 punch.
3. Punahou - The race for the I.L.H. crown will be fierce as Punahou and Iolani match up well. The Buff 'n' Blue ran impressively in Oregon and were the 2nd highest placing local team at the Kaiser and Kamehameha Invitationals, and 3rd at the Punahou Invitational. Brent Nakano has returned and look for him to make some noise at the end of the season. Peter
Deptula has been coming on strong lately, as has Paul Nelson. Their depth and experience will help them in their quest for I.L.H. and State crowns.
4. Waiakea - Finishing right behind J.W. Wood and Joshua Enos at Big Island meets has been Waiakea's Roycen Dehmer, who has improved dramatically from 60th at the 2002 State meet to contending for the B.I.I.F. title and a top 10 finish at States in 2003. The Warriors also have an impressively small gap time of around one minute, creating exciting team competition for B.I.I.F. bragging rights. Consistency by #2 runner Michael Evans may be a key factor down the stretch, especially at the State meet with more than 150 runners.
5. Kamehameha - Don't count out the six-time defending State Champions.
Their "rebuilding year" may be finished before the season is over. Some very impressive Freshmen are being brought along slowly to help Jeremy Kamaka'ala and Aaron Domingo who have been steadily improving. The team has been split up all season, but look for them to pull it together in November.
6. Kalaheo - The Mustangs have the early leg up in O.I.A. competition. A few transfers from other schools have helped to improve their depth. They were the top O.I.A team at the Kaiser Invitational while placing 4th overall, they won the Mililani Invitational, were the 2nd O.I.A. team at the Punahou Invitational by just nine points to Aiea, and easily won the Eastern Division Championships. Their depth and a solid 5th runner gives them the nod over Aiea, but it will be close. Ryan Hodges lead the team.
7. Aiea - Aiea's experienced returning runners have been coming on strong lately. Interestingly, as incoming transfers have helped Kalaheo, an outgoing transfer has dampened Aiea's depth. As is, the Na Ali'i had an impressive showing at the Punahou Invitational and easily won the Western Divisionals Championships. Improvement by their fifth runner will help them to an O.I.A. Championship. Travis Burton leads the team.
8. Baldwin - Kainoa Guerin trained hard over the summer and it is paying off with an impressive 11th place showing as the top local finisher in the Iolani Invitational against top mainland schools, a 1st place finish at the Punahou Invitational, and a romp thru M.I.L. competition so far.
His Bear teammates are on their way to defending their M.I.L. Championship, but the return to prominence by Seabury Hall will make this task difficult.
9. Seabury - The Hall has returned. The long time powerhouse on Maui has a solid team with great depth. The Spartans have been challenging Baldwin in the weekly races and will make the team title chase for bragging rights on Maui a close one. They are led by Justin Endo.
10. Island School - The Navigators won their first Kauai championship and are led by Mario Rosa.
Top-20 Boys Individuals
1. Kainoa Guerin (11) - Baldwin
2. Joshua Enos (12) - Kea'au
3. Ryan Shell (10) - Radford
4. Jon Yasuda (12) - Iolani
5. Jeremy Kamaka'ala (10) - Kamehameha
6. J.W. Wood - (11) Hawaii Prep
7. Roycen Dehmer (12) - Waiakea
8. Joseph Gonzales (12) - Pearl City
9. Aaron Domingo (10) - Kamehameha
10. Frank Lau (12) - Iolani
11. Peter Deptula (10) - Punahou
12. Antonio Baclig (11) - Iolani
13. Emmett Weatherford - Hawaii Prep
14. Travis Burton (12) - Aiea
15. Paul Nelson (12) - Punahou
16. Matt Montoya - Mililani
17. Joshua Mitchell (12) - Aiea
18. Ryan Fontana (12) - Hawaii Prep
19. Andrew Low Galucci - Castle
20. Owen Martel (11) - Punahou