Freshmen runner revives cross country hopes for Kohala


Jenna Nickl, Editor

It’s been more than a few years since Kohala High School has produced a top tier cross country runner. But this year, the one and only person representing out of all Kohala High fall sports will be freshmen cross country runner Josiah Adams. With an impressive 22nd place finish in the BIIF championship, Adams was not only the top runner for Kohala but top freshmen on the island. When asked about Adams’ success as a rookie runner, senior teammate Andrew Trump stated, “You can just tell that he’s meant to run. He’s into it. He pushes himself and that makes a great runner. 3 years from now, he’s gonna have a chance to take it all.”

Not only Adams but the entire cross country team has proved that they are reinventing the way the sport is perceived at the school. In the past, Kohala’s cross country squad has struggled in recruiting members and has often been unsuccessful in placing high enough to qualify for states. But that all changed this year. A stunning 18 students turned out for this year’s team blowing the paltry numbers of the past out of the water and even outnumbering the varsity girl’s volleyball team. Many of the participants were just looking for a good conditioning sport for winter season but quickly found a love for the sport. A lot of the team members who hadn’t run before also realized that cross country is an extremely physical sport but requires a great deal of mental capability as well. The will to persevere that a runner possesses is a trait that athletes of all sports can identify with and admire.

The team was comprised of solo freshmen Adams, sophomores Koa Bartsch, Chelsea Ventura, Eloisa Viernes-Obero, juniors Dakota Carter, Madrone Goldman, Dillon Ku, Ben Kupuka’a, Justin Meikle, Montana White, Mariah Collier, Whitney Collier, Cody Geiger, Michelle Ruiz Sahagun and seniors Weston Cazimero, Domenic Defiesta, Tristan Francisco and Andrew Trump. Senior boys Trump and Defiesta were top contenders in a number of BIIF races but began to falter as the season came to an end.  It was freshman Josiah Adams who started out slow and over the course of the season, proved to his team and the school that he has what it takes to be Kohala’s next top cross country runner. Towards the end of the season, Adams really began to separate himself from the pack by consistently finishing amongst top runners on the island. One of the team’s best runners, Trump, was taken out just 3 weeks before the BIIF championships with a knee injury. Junior Madrone Goldman also found himself unable to compete at the championship when he broke his arm just days before the meet. Also, another state hopeful Defiesta just missed the mark to qualify for states. Nonetheless, the majority of the team gave it their best when the championship at Kamehameha rolled around and found themselves with at least one runner, Adams, headed to the 2011 Honolulu Marathon Cross Country State Championship which is set to be held on October 29, 2011 at Kapalua Village on Maui.

The state championship will no doubt provide a challenge for the talented first year runner but whatever the outcome, the Kohala cross country coaches can look forward to watching Adams and the entire cross country squad grow as runners in the coming years.