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Sabers’ Cantere claims state championship title

Spartans’ Volner wins second silver at rainy, muddy state cross country meet

Kaimana Cantere of Maui High School edges Kalaheo’s Ben Zerr for the boys individual championship at the Honolulu Marathon Cross Country State Championships on a rainy Saturday morning at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. The Maui News / DAKOTA GROSSMAN photos

KAMUELA, Hawaii — It was an emotional finish for Maui High School senior Kaimana Cantere.

Through mudslides, hills, fog and rain, Cantere gutted out the 5-kilometer course on the Hawaii Preparatory Academy campus all the way until the end to barely edge Ben Zerr of Kalaheo for the boys individual title at the Honolulu Marathon Cross Country State Championships on Saturday morning.

In the girls championship race, Seabury Hall senior Kaylee Volner finished second to Punahou’s Izzy Ford, earning her second state silver in a row.

Cantere became the second straight Maui High boy runner to win the state title, following Hunter Shield in 2019. The end of Saturday morning’s race was as close as can be, with Cantere crossing the finish line 0.60 seconds ahead of Zerr.

“I feel so good right now and I’m just so proud– I worked so hard for this and knowing that I executed the way I wanted to, means so much to me,” said Cantere, who finished with a time of 18 minutes 48.26 seconds. “That last stretch I gave it my all. I knew we were all going to start sprinting, so I just gave it my all.”

Kaimana Cantere shares an emotional hug with his parents after winning the boys state title Saturday.

Cantere said he “knew I had to dig deep if I was going to catch (Zerr),” the Oahu Interscholastic Association champion.

“I never knew I had it in me,” Cantere added.

The senior was immediately embraced by his family, teammates and coaches after exiting the finishing chute.

“Just having all the parents here and having all of these people cheer us on for today really helped me push through,” Cantere said in his soaking wet and mud-stained uniform. “Today I ran my race, I ran the best race of my career. Today I’m proud of myself and so proud of my team, too, they all did amazing this year.”

After Cantere, the top Maui Interscholastic League boy finishers were Seabury’s Jacob Romero (20:25.10, 24th place) and Sage Ryden (20:34.24, 28th).

Boys competitors run through mud Saturday at Hawaii Preparatory Academy.

Maui High head coach Jared Welch said during the award ceremony that Cantere’s victory –which made him the fourth boy in MIL history to win a state championship — “means the world to me.”

“It just means so much because I know how much he’s put into it and the effort that he gave these past two years have been so much on his own,” Welch said. “The fact that he was able to come out here, stay relaxed and put the plan into motion all the way into the finish line, because it’s a mental sport as much as it is physical, showed his growth as a runner.”

In chilly temperatures and constant rain that pelted the course beginning Friday, there were areas of the race that were beyond challenging to run and maintain a consistent pace due to the dirt hills turning into a Slip ‘N Slide.

Like many runners, Volner said she fell down during the second and third miles, which allowed eventual state champion Ford to extend her lead, but “I got up both times and still tried to push for it and it was the best I could’ve done and I’m just proud of myself for that,” Volner said.

Ford ran a 21:24.07 for the win. Volner clocked a 21:35.51.

Seabury Hall’s Kaylee Volner (from right), Punahou’s Izzy Ford and Kauai’s Emma Burgess lead the pack through heavy fog in the girls race Saturday. Volner placed second to Ford for her second state runner-up finish.

The Seabury Hall senior was disappointed to finish just shy of gold after training for nearly two years amid the COVID-19 pandemic for that moment, but she was still undeniably grateful for her high school cross country experience.

And a track season and college career at Santa Clara are still up ahead.

“I’m just full of emotion right now,” she said after the race. “I’m just so proud of this team and of myself for getting second, that’s amazing to me. I wish I pulled off the win, but in these conditions, it was hard and anything could have happened and for me, I was just unlucky falling down twice.”

As the only member of the Spartans squad this year who had ever competed in an MIL or state championship race before, having “this experience with them as my last and their first is such a surreal moment and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she added.

Volner’s teammate, sophomore Layne Millen, placed seventh with a time of 22:55.17, joining Volner and Cantere as the only MIL runners to finish in the top 20 on Saturday.

Seabury placed third in both the Division II girls and boys team title races.

“I had such a great time with this team and I know they’re going to do amazing these next couple years,” Volner said.

* Dakota Grossman is at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

Honolulu Marathon Cross Country State Championships

Saturday’s Results • At Hawaii Prep

Boys

Team

Division I–1. Punahou 46, 2. Iolani 69, 3. Kamehameha-Kapalama 106, 4. Kealakehe 109, 5. Kalani 154, 6. Maui High 171, 7. Mililani 184, 8. Kalaheo 217, 9. Mid Pacific 220, 10. Radford 226, 11. Kaiser 271, 12. Campbell 318, 13. Moanalua 322, 14. Waiakea 353, 15. Hilo 414.

Division II–1. Hawaii Baptist 52, 2. Hanalani 57, 3. Seabury Hall 64, 4. Hawaii Prep 67, 5. Island 102, 6. Honokaa 162.

Individual

Top 10–1. Kaimana (Jared) Cantere, Maui High, 18:48.26; 2. Ben Zerr, Kalaheo, 18:48.86; 3. Levi Childers, Kealakehe, 18:52.64; 4 . Palmer Keane, Iolani, 19:19.43; 5. Ben Brown, Punahou, 19:29.53; 6. Devin Pang, Iolani, 19:34.90; 7. Connor Malinger, Hawaii Baptist, 19:37.27; 8. Caden Lombard, Punahou, 19:43.03; 9. Jordan Furuta, Punahou, 19:43.74; 10. Josh Dutton, Punahou, 19:44.93.

Also–24. Jacob Romero, Seabury Hall, 20:25.10; 28. Sage Ryden, Seabury Hall, 20:34.24; 30. Namaka Ross, Molokai, 20:37.06; 34. Micah Brighton, Seabury Hall, 20:41.09; 61. Max Anklam, Maui High, 21:48.17; 63. Paul Spohr, Maui High, 21:48.56; 74. Brayden Joaquin, Kamehameha Maui, 22:05.88; 75. Mason Anklam, Maui High, 22:06.92; 79. Galen Okamoto, Maui High, 22:15.03; 86. Noa Donohue, Seabury Hall, 22:26.07; 88. Justin Swann, Maui High, 22:26.72; 89. Jacob Hinfey, Maui High, 22:27.68; 95. Aidan Javier, Kihei Charter, 22:42.61; 96. Byron Ellis, Kihei Charter, 22:44.51; 100. Niko Banto, Maui Prep, 22:47.77; 111. Jayden Fontanilla, Baldwin, 23:21.59; 128. Zach Bush, Seabury Hall, 23:45.64; 134. Jacob Janikowsky, Lanai, 23:56.49; 139. Bazel Potratz, Seabury Hall, 24:08.98; 140. Nikolai Minorov, Seabury Hall, 24:10.83; 144. Cogoro Okanishi, Lanai, 24:15.89; 146. Maddox Dellefave, Kihei Charter, 24:19.88; 157. Jericho Adolpho, Molokai, 24:49.10; 161. Alex Guererro, King Kekaulike, 24:55.38; 166. Travis Delos Santo, Baldwin, 25:00.10; 169. Ckristian Oliva, Lanai, 25:01.92; 179. Timothy James Heile, Lahainaluna, 25:26.65; 191. Oscar Lincoln, King Kekaulike, 26:29.53; 192. Johnson Harris, Molokai, 26:35.75; 196. Mark Ruaburo, Lanai, 27:26.16; 200. Daniel (Felix) Velasquez, Kihei Charter, 28:46.41.

Girls

Team

Division I–1. Punahou 26, 2. Iolani 119, 3. Mililani 123, 4. Kalaheo 132, 5. Kalani 161, 6. Kamehameha Kapalama 165, 7. Pearl City 191, 8. Campbell 231, 9. Hilo 252, 10. Mid Pacific 281, 11. Maui High 281, 12. Radford 282, 13. Roosevelt 284, 14. Kealakehe 321, 15. Kamehameha Maui 365, 16. King Kekaulike 381.

Division II–1. Hawaii Baptist 30, 2. Hawaii Prep 54, 3. Seabury Hall 54, 4. Kihei Charter 118, 5. Kauai 119, 6. Kamehameha Hawaii 141.

Individual

Top 10–1. Izzy Ford, Punahou, 21:24.07; 2. Kaylee Volner, Seabury Hall, 21:35.51; 3. Cozette Wood, Kealakehe, 22:07.87; 4. Malia Dickhens, Punahou, 22:30.19; 5. Lauren Saunders, Punahou, 22:32.67; 6. Emily Naylor, Kalaheo, 22:36.68; 7. Layne Millen, Seabury Hall, 22:55.17; 8. Zola O’Donnell, Mililani, 23:11.25; 9. Ashley Kodama, Hawaii Baptist, 23:13.97; 10. Kaylee Noda, Pearl City, 23:21.61.

Also–46. Kayla Ratte, Seabury Hall, 26:11.06; 49. Selena Castro, Baldwin, 26:20.65; 54. Kayla Bush, Seabury Hall, 26:37.64; 55. Tanya Kari, Kihei Charter, 26:39.82; 58. Kyla Mira, Maui High, 26:51.11; 63. Sophia Kato, Maui High, 27:05.08; 74. Kailani Bicoy, Molokai, 27:37.43; 84. Layla James, Kihei Charter, 28:05.69; 88. Rylee Stout, Seabury Hall, 28:25.61; 94. Kadence Merritt, Kamehameha Maui, 28:43.05; 96. Ashley Tarasenko, Maui High, 29:05.15; 106. Ellison Shapiro, Kihei Charter, 29:30.91; 108. Grace James, Kihei Charter, 29:33.68; 117. Lynn Pustelnik, Saint Anthony, 29:52.24; 118. Devon Hardy, King Kekaulike, 29:54.04; 120. Isabel Andaluz, Maui High, 30:03.23; 122. Emily Sloper, Kamehameha Maui, 30:07.36; 123. Kaelynn Andrade, King Kekaulike, 30:08.50; 128. Haley Mahoe, Lahainaluna, 30:20.06; 133. Daisy Queirolo, Kihei Charter, 30:36.25; 137. Karissa Chapman, Kamehameha Maui, 30:47.86; 143. Eliasha Romero, Lanai, 31:00.89; 145. Nicole Riemenschneider, King Kekaulike, 31:04.12; 147. Charlotte O’Brien, Kihei Charter, 31:05.25; 149. Bailee Hughes, Haleakala Waldorf, 31:15.70; 156. Audrey Barth, Kihei Charter, 31:27.33; 157. Hi’ileiakaualilinoe Kehano, Kamehameha Maui, 31:29.18; 161. Guillia Porter, King Kekaulike, 31:47.08; 168. Alexis-Ann Decambra, King Kekaulike, 31:53.79; 173. Shelby Kubo, Baldwin, 32:21.75; 175. Violet Mossman, Kamehameha Maui, 32:33.37; 177. Mareea Casio, Maui High, 32:36.21; 180. Tenley Akutagawa, Molokai, 33:03.65; 182. Kawai Sanita, Hana, 33:08.64; 185. Deena Kiyabu, Baldwin, 33:43.80; 191. Jenna Boggs, Baldwin, 36:52.90.

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