Cross Country Competes at States

(Left to right) Trent Tsuzaki, Maclain Oishi (sub), Michael Dang, David Toda (sub), Jarrett Toyama, Chase Higa and Jaryd Sugihara represented the boys team at the State Cross Country Championships.

On Saturday November 1, HBA’s varsity cross country girls and boys competed in the State Cross Country Championships at the Central Oahu Regional Park.

The girls placed third in Division 2, and the boys placed fourth in the same division.

To run at the State Championship, both teams first had to compete in the ILH Championships and qualify at least five team members in order to be considered a scoring team. In each respective race, there was a predetermined number of runners ILH would send to the States race. For the girls, seniors Alyssa Settsu, Caitlyn Nakatsukasa, Catherine Piper, Deanna Sanekane, sophomores April Laxamana and Nicole Hong, and freshman Natalie Kwon qualified. For the boys, seniors Michael Dang, Jarrett Toyama, Trent Tsuzaki, Jaryd Sugihara, and sophomore Chase Higa qualified. Dang said, “I was glad we qualified five guys compared to only qualifying three last year. I felt excited that we had a chance to win.”

Senior runner Maclain Oishi placed 49th, just one place off from the cutoff of 48 for the States. He said, “Right after I came across the finish line, I knew that I didn’t qualify, and I was pretty crushed. I couldn’t do anything about it because there was no next year. As my coaches and teammates came to comfort me, I had time to collect myself and realized that I shouldn’t be sad but actually happy for my teammates and proud that I gave it my best shot.”

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“You can’t ask for more than them giving their best effort to execute what we’ve been working on throughout the season.”

Boys head coach Aaron Kondo
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In spite of their qualifying times at the ILH championships, Sanekane and Kwon also ended up not running in States because junior varsity runners Anika Keuning and Morgan Faith Lorenzo were moved up to varsity due to their competitive running times. Sanekane said, “I was sad I didn’t get a chance to run, but it was still fun to watch and cheer everyone on.”

Emotions after the race were mixed amidst the runners. Settsu said, “I was a little disappointed in myself because I did not do as well as I personally wanted to; but as a team, we ran really well.” Dang also felt disappointed with the final States results. “I really wanted to take at least second place,” he said. “With the talent and potential of our team, we had a fair shot. But sometimes you’ll have good races, and other times you’ll have bad races. It’s just the nature of the sport. Maybe if it had been a different day, we would have won second.”

On his team’s results, boys head coach Aaron Kondo said, “I think the boys were disappointed with where the team placed overall; but I don’t think they ran bad races.” He added, “I was proud of how the team competed and ran as a pack throughout the race. You can’t ask for more than them giving their best effort to execute what we’ve been working on throughout the season.”

Girls head coach Ross Mukai summed up his team’s efforts, saying, “The girls had a really great season. We qualified seven [runners] into the States, and we were very close to coming in second at States. I couldn’t be happier with how the girls did.”

Photographs by Darren Nirei (’15).

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