Harder wins ILH, boys fifth overall

Harder becomes the first ILH champion in school history, ten total runners in the HHSAA championships.
For the first time in school history, a Cross-Country league champion is from Hanalani schools.

Adam Harder, a junior, is the new 2018 ILH league champion. Harder won the boys Varsity 5k in a time of 17:06, 15 seconds in front of the next fastest runner. Harder remains unbeaten in Hawaii competition and will look to the HHSAA championship as one of the favorites to win the race.

Benjamin Hodge, sophomore, continued in his top 10 ways, picking up a 9th place medal with a time of 18:11. Freshman Kevin Au was 21st in 19:07, followed by Junior Ben Scully in 34th (19:54). Senior Corban Hodge (40th, 20:14) and Logan Castro(46th, 20:28) all finished in the top 49, which means they are qualified for the HHSAA tournament. The boy's team finished 5th overall.

"I'm proud of our boys, to have a school record six make it to the champs," said Head Coach Jeremy Honold. "Having Adam set the tone for us, our boys really responded, and now we have a chance to compete for a State title."

For the Varsity girls, Junior Jordan Pomeroy led the way for the Lady Royals, crossing the line in 22:24, good for 22nd place. Junior Emma Toyama (32, 23:37), Sophomore Kylie Morisaki (46, 25:00), Senior Kalyn Kershner (48, 25:20), and Junior Andersen Matsusaka (52, 26:30) rounded out the top five. Pomeroy, Toyama, Morisaki, and Kershner finished in the top 49, qualifying them for the State Tournament. The girls finished 7th overall with 191 points.

"Excellent effort by our girls," said Honold. "Unfortunately, we did not hit our goal of getting a team qualified. We gave it our best shot. Unfortunately, it was a little short. The good thing is most of these girls will be back, so we have extra motivation looking ahead to next year."

Kalyn Kershner also made some school history, becoming the first athlete to qualify for the HHSAA tournament for all four years in high school.

In the Junior Varsity race, the boys finished 12th out of 12 teams. The five runners were Sophomore Nicholas Laurion (34, 22:35), Junior Jeremiah Dy (62, 26:12), Sophomores Ariel Mercado (65, 26:41) and Aaryk Iwamoto (68, 27:51), and Junior Patrick Mahimer (70, 31:58).

For the Junior Varsity girls, three runners competed. Freshman Kylie Castro was the top Royal, finishing 2nd overall in 23:06. Sophomores Chanice Kaulili (30:03) and Chloe Huang (30:24) finished in 32 and 34th respectively.

"Our JV teams did well in these warm conditions," said Honold. "Great job Kylie for being the first runner in a JV top 10. These young runners gained valuable experience, and I look forward to their contributions in the future."

The Intermediate races concluded the championships. The Royals boys team finished in 6th overall with 174 points. Seventh-grader Austin Oguma and Eighth-grader Christian Yagin led the way for the boys, finishing in 32nd and 33rd (14:11 and 14:17 respectively). Ty Gonzales was close behind in 35th with a 14:30, followed by Jourdan Hung (43rd, 14:31). Kyler Nakayama rounded out the top five, finishing 54th in 15:07.

For the girls, they finished 7th overall out of 7 teams. Railey Okamura was the top finisher, crossing the line in 17:35, good for 34th place. Saige Kurihara (40, 19:03), Kalea Kalahele (44, 19:37), Maya Brantley (48, 20:31), and Zoie Stevers (51, 22:43) were the top five.

"Our intermediate team grew a lot this season. With so much inexperience, they responded well to the training. I am proud of all of them, and I am excited about the potential to grow and compete together."

The ten state qualifiers will compete one final time, at the HHSAA State Championship at Central Oahu Regional Park.