Boys Cross Country MIL Champs
By Rick Schonely, Sports Reporter
The Molokai Boys Cross Country team returned from from Maui last Saturday as Maui interscholastic League Division II champions. They beat Lanai and Seabury by one point, 132-133, to be named the DII champs. Jake Samaniego finished in fifth place overall with a time of 19:00 and will be joined at the State Tournament on Hawaii Island on Oct. 29 by Kaina Adolpho (16th with 19:48) and Karter Kester (33rd with 20:58).
Molokai’s other boys finishers were Diego Dupont (37th, 21:27), Nainoa Kahale (46th, 22:01), Alex Mawae (51st, 22:17) and Erik Svetin (58th, 24:01).
“The boys all ran their best race of the year and peaked at the right time to give us a chance at the DII title,” said boys Head Coach Mahina Hou Ross. “We had finished third in our first two races but knew we had a chance if everyone ran a good race and all of the training paid off.”
With the final scores so close — both Seabury and Lanai had 133, and Molokai finished the race with 132 — Ross said it came down to each boy’s finish. He said both Dupont and Kahale both beat a crowd of runners in the final 200 meters of the race, sprinting to the finish line.
“When the final scores were calculated it was just enough,” Ross said. “They all showed true Molokai Farmer excellence.”
The girls team finished in seventh place overall and Cameryn Kahalewai qualified for states with a 29th place finish and a time of 25:35. Keeya Bicoy finished in 34th (27:39) and is a second alternate for states. Other finishers for Molokai were Kelsey Bicoy-Juario (38th, 28:05), Kaitlin Naeole (44th, 30:14) and Kayla Derouin (49th, 32:54).
Girls Head Coach Gene Santiago was happy for his team.
“Congratulations to our girls for a successful season!” he said. “Congratulations to Keeya for scoring second alternate to the state, and congratulations to Cameryn for finishing 29th and securing a spot to going to the state championships on Hawaii Island…. I am so proud of all of them for their attentiveness and their commitment during this season of training!”