Select cross country runners take on HPA course


Photo by courtesy of Kahopewai Mateaki

Sophomore Cy Ornellas runs at the HPA invitational meet held on the Big Island, Sept. 24. Athletes from around the state got a try at the state competition course.

Early Saturday morning eight select cross country runners raced at the Big Island Interscholastic Federation meet held at Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy on the island of Hawaiʻi.

Kamehameha Maui was one of about 25 schools from around the state who were invited to this BIIF meet because the HPA course is being used for the state competition this year.

The runners were able to look at where they are now and see how they can improve for the rest of the season to be prepared for the course.

After KS Maui’s homecoming football game the previous night, members awoke at 5 a.m. to catch their flights.

Coach Jeremy “J Dell” Pallone-De La Torre selected the eight athletes for their fast times and availability.

The runners included three girls (Kahopewai Mateaki, Kiana Over, and Kennedy-Kainoa Tamashiro) and five boys (Gideon Aiwohi, Andrew Amaral, Quinn Hottendorf, Cy Ornellas, and Brody Yamada).

The team and their coach met at the Kahului Airport on time to fly to Honolulu and then on to Hilo, Hawaiʻi, but flight delays resulted in arriving in Hilo behind schedule.

Tamashiro said, “It felt as if all of our flights were just running late.”

Upon arrival, the athletes quickly gathered into a van to travel to Waimea, road work held them up even more.

By the time the team arrived at the meet, the girls’ heat was almost finished, so the girls were not able to run. Instead, they stood on the sidelines to support their kāne team members and to see what the state route looks like.

Quinn Hottendorf said, “We had a late warm up, but we got focused quickly and ran our hardest.”

Andrew Amaral tackles the hill, one of the hardest spots of the course.
Andrew Amaral tackles the hill, one of the hardest spots of the course.

Coach J Dell said that “although we missed the girls race, the boys did great!”

The boys had to get ready quickly in order to make it in time for the run.

The boys’ 3-mile run times were as follows: Andrew Amaral (21:45), Cy Ornellas (22:00), Gideon Aiwohi (22:15), Brody Yamada (22:58), and Quinn Hottendorf (24:50).

The course included a hill that many of the runners had difficulty with.

Gideon Aiwohi told himself, “Run for the hill of it!” in order to boost his confidence and push through it.

The Maui Warriors did not have time on their side, and they faced many difficulties during this trip, but they were appreciative of the opportunity to see the state course and learn about how they can improve for the season.

Hottendorf said, “It was mainly about preparing for States.”