MHS Cross Country Team Advances From OIAs to States

Trey Yamamoto, Reporter

     On Oct. 20,  the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) Varsity Cross Country Championships was held at the Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park. Students from high schools all across the island took part in the competition, both boys and girls teams running the 5,000m run. After a grueling competition, MHS boys and girls varsity teams are now moving onto the Hawaii State Cross Country Championships (HHSAA).

     “The most rewarding part of this season was being able to meet a lot of great people, and being able to bond with my amazing Cross Country family,” said boys varsity runner Sophomore Kale Glunt.

     Glunt, a former JV runner bumped up to varsity, placed 15th overall and 1st place for Mililani. Along with that, the boys varsity team was able to make fourth place out of 16 in the competition. “Our team is very close, and through experience I know each member of the team cares about each other. With that we had a understanding with each other making us work well together,” said Glunt.

     Leading the boys varsity team, was captain Senior Azriel Burcham. Although Burcham came in 89th place due to personal illness earlier in the season, he knows that he tried his best and had fun. “The most rewarding part of this season were the friendships I made. I grew as a captain and an individual, finding confidence and humility,” said Burcham.

     Helping to lead the girls varsity team, was captain Senior Ryanne Navarro. Navarro placed 21st out of 88, while the girls team were able to place in 9th out of 11. “With this being my first year of high school cross country I wasn’t really focusing on placing, I was just hoping to get in shape for track and improve my times as much as possible. But, because I was able to cut down my time at OIAs, I am pretty satisfied about how I placed,” said Navarro.

     Whether it be by doing different types of exercises or running laps, both the boys and girls teams needed to find time to practice in order to do well in the OIA. If it was individually or as a team, practice proved to be an important factor in determining how well each team would do. “At practices we’ve been doing 6-7 mile long runs to build up our endurance as well as shorter mile runs and intervals to help with our speed and kick at the end of races,” said Navarro. Glunt added, “In order to get a faster time I had to strengthen my cardiovascular system. To do that you have to run a lot. So I ran six times a week. Leaving one day [Sunday] to rest and recover. With at least one long workout [6-8 miles], and also intense intervals once a week.”

     Through hard work and determination, both teams are moving onto the state championships. While working as a team, runners were able to bond and provide support to their teammates. “Throughout this season, our team has been very supportive of one another, pushing each other to get better and encouraging one another during races. Also, with many of the runners this year being track athletes as well, everyone knew each other from the start of the season and cross country really allowed us to all become closer,” said Navarro. Glunt added, “The most rewarding part of this season was being able to meet a lot of great people, and being able to bond with my amazing Cross Country family.”

     When asked about plans for coaching in the future, social studies teacher and Cross Country coach Nathan Aragaki added, “No plans, just taking each season as it comes. If you make plans a lot of times you have to scrap it anyway depending on who comes out or doesn’t come out. I keep doing it because you never know if next season will be the one!” The boys and girls varsity teams will be competing in the HHSAA championships on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park.