Sabers, Gangnath win state crowns

Maui High boys become first neighbor island public school team to win D-I title

The Maui High School boys cross country team celebrates with the championship trophy after winning the Division I team title Saturday at the state championships at Central Oahu Regional Park. -- KYLE SAKAMOTO photo

It was a historic Saturday morning for Maui High School and Seabury Hall at the Honolulu Marathon Hawaii High School Athletic Association Cross Country Championships at Central Oahu Regional Park in Waipio.

Maui High became the first neighbor island public school — boys or girls — to take the Division I title, and the first Maui Interscholastic League squad since Seabury Hall in 1984 to win the overall boys team title. Meanwhile,

Chloe Gangnath continued the Spartans’ dominance on the girls course, winning Seabury Hall’s seventh individual title in nine years and third in a row.

As the Sabers’ Hunter Shields, Adam Hakola and Damon Wakefield have done all season, the trio finished as a pack, going 2-3-4 behind winner Adam Harder of Hanalani.

Harder won with a time of 16:50.85, followed by Shields (16:59.36), Hakola (17:09.08) and Wakefield (17:14.97).

Gangnath

Wakefield, a junior transfer from Maui Prep, finished 26th last year and said he just wanted to help his new team any way he could.

“My main goal was to help our team go 2-3-4 overall,” said Wakefield, the MIL champion. “I wanted to stay with Adam Harder as long as possible. That’s exactly what we needed to do as a team to score.”

Wakefield wasn’t the only Saber that improved his finish — Hakola placed 17th, Shields finished 27th and Connor Kong, who finished 24th on Saturday in 18:06.30, took 29th last year. Rylie Shields (60th, 18:54.64), Jared Cantere (94th, 19:29.58) and Micah Ban (113th, 19:48.48) rounded out Maui High’s team.

For Maui High coach Jared Welch, this was his goal when he became the coach 13 years ago.

“I didn’t just want to win the MIL when I took over,” Welch said. “I wanted to lead this team to state and wanted to make history. This has always been a private school dominated sport.”

Chloe Gangnath of Seabury Hall crosses the finish line to win the girls individual title Saturday. -- KYLE SAKAMOTO photo

Gangnath was the lone senior leader of a young Seabury Hall team and took advantage of her strong start to win with a time of 19:20.73, well ahead of runner-up Jaden De Souza (20:08.19) of Island School.

“This whole season, I’ve been working hard with the team,” Gangnath said. “I’m so thankful that it paid off. I am still in awe that I won.”

Gangnath joins Tia Ferguson (2003), Dakota Grossman (2010-13) and Veronica Winham (2016-17) on the list of Spartans to have won girls individual state titles.

It was a huge improvement for Gangnath, who finished 13th at states last year. Seabury Hall coach Bobby Grossman knew Gangnath could have this performance after all the work she put in.

“I kind of figured if she ran the race she could have the biggest margin of victory in the three-mile era,” Grossman said. “She ran hard, ran out with the lead and didn’t let up. It’s the first time she’s been in this position and when you come down here you can feel a little bit of energy and the nerves. It can feel like the world’s coming to you and it was emotional for the two of us after this race was over. She really deserved this.”

Hanalani’s Adam Harder (from right) leads Maui High’s Adam Hakola, Hunter Shields and Damon Wakefield in the boys race. -- KYLE SAKAMOTO photo

On the team side, it was the first time since the start of Division II in 2012 that the Seabury Hall girls didn’t take the D-II title. Hawaii Baptist won both the D-II boys and girls crowns, with Punahou claiming the D-I girls championship.

Full team results were not available at the time of The Maui News’ deadline.

* Matthew Simon is at msimon@mauinews.com; Kyle Sakamoto contributed to this story

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HONOLULU MARATHON STATE CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS

Saturday’s Results

At Central Oahu Regional Park

MIL Individual Results

Girls

1. Chole Gangnath, Seabury Hall, 19:20.73; 13. Kaylee Volner, Seabury Hall, 20:50.40; 35. Sarah Pease, King Kekaulike, 22:08.97; 44. Elly Swartz, Seabury Hall, 22:40.65; 50. Drayton Ruppenthal, Maui High, 22:48.38; 51. Teani Arakawa, King Kekaulike, 22:48.95; 64. Makena Stevenson, Maui High, 23:16.13; 68. Austin Ruppenthal, Maui High, 23:23.38; 83. Olivia Bozich, Maui Prep, 23:40.55; 84. Kathryn O’Neill, King Kekaulike, 23:41.97; 86. McKayla Reyes, Baldwin, 23:43.34; 93. Kalea Acevedo, Lahainaluna, 23:48.32; 102. Julia Knowles, Baldwin, 23:59.33; 104. Zoe Rehrer, King Kekaulike, 24:00.69; 106. Chloe Toma, Baldwin, 24:02.03; 111. Keeya Bicoy, Molokai, 24:03.39; 115. Emma Ayersman, King Kekaulike, 24:11.04; 120. Anysis Fuentes, Lahainaluna, 24:16.80; 122. Hailee Sanchez, Maui High, 24:19.43; 123. Naomi Takakura, Baldwin, 24:19.57; 127. Erin Kobashigawa, Baldwin, 24:23.73; 129. Lilly McLeod, Seabury Hall, 24:26.92; 134. Angel Dela Cruz, St. Anthony, 24:36.19; 135. Kira Caterina, Seabury Hall, 24:36.91; 147. Sarai Poepoe, Kamehameha Maui, 24:50.93; 157. Heidi Mahan, Maui Prep, 25:11.75; 158. Deena Kiyabu, Baldwin, 25:13.20; 168. Amy Joy Schmitt, Baldwin, 25:26.00; 172. Sophia Horovitz, Seabury Hall, 25:36.97; 176. Nida Bergoust, Maui High, 25:47.05; 178. Nyasia Martinez, King Kekaulike, 25:54.96; 182. Trinity Fox, Maui High, 26:20.31; 189. Rochelle Balala, Maui High, 26:47.58; 193. Ashley Nielson, Maui Prep, 27:18.25.

Boys

2. Hunter Shields, Maui High, 16:59.36; 3. Adam Hakola, Maui High, 17:09.08; 4. Damon Wakefield, Maui High, 17:14.97; 15. Cole Davidson, Seabury Hall, 17:48.64; 24. Connor Kong, Maui High, 18:06.30; 34. Gabe Framton, Seabury Hall, 18:25.96; 39. Griffin Hardy, King Kekaulike, 18:31.31; 48. Ozzi Doherty, Maui Prep, 18:42.45; 51. Kaeo Keomaka, Seabury Hall, 18:45.71; 55. Slater Fleck, Maui Prep, 18:51.84; 60. Rylie Shields, Maui High, 18:54.64; 61. Kanai O’Connor, King Kekaulike, 18:55.82; 78. Ansel Newman, King Kekaulike, 19:14.52; 83. Jonathan Merchant, Seabury Hall, 19:18.40; 84. Parker Churchill, Seabury Hall, 19:18.68; 87. Gian Santiensanio, Kihei Charter, 19:22.75; 92. Joey Musto, King Kekaulike, 19:27.51; 94. Jared Cantere, Maui High, 19:29.58; 101. Quinn Shapiro, Kihei Charter, 19:39.29; 108. Louie Smith, Seabury Hall, 19:42.36; 113. Micah Ban, Maui High, 19:48.48; 115. Robert Mawae, Molokai, 19:50.38; 116. Chase Fevella, Kamehameha Maui, 19:51.31; 129. Hadriel Vasquez-Abarca, King Kekaulike, 20:05.19; 137. Innes Asher, Seabury Hall, 20:13.29; 154. Kamalu Kawaa Richardson, Molokai, 20:28.63; 161. Cy Ornellas, Kamehameha Maui, 20:32.07; 166. Shane Behn, Kihei Charter, 20:38.73; 167. Alex Hamamura, Baldwin, 20:39.97; 188. Sean Creizo, St. Anthony, 21:25.41; 194. Richard Haney, Kamehameha Maui, 21:57.47; 197. Clayton Glass, Maui Prep, 22:10.74.

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