This past Saturday, October 27, the ʻIolani Boys and Girls Varsity Cross Country teams raced to the last finish line of the season in the Division I HHSAA Cross Country Championships at Central Oahu Regional Park.
Since 2015, the boys cross country team has won the ILH and Division I HHSAA titles. This year, the boys were looking to add a fourth consecutive state title to their name after achieving their first ever state “three-peat” in 2017. However, competition arose early in the season when Maui High School placed fifth overall and first among Hawaiʻi schools at the 20th Annual ʻIolani Cross Country Invitational at Kualoa Ranch on September 15, with ʻIolani trailing right behind them at sixth overall. However, the boys were not deterred and still placed first at every ILH regular season meet, aside from the first ILH meet and the ʻIolani Invitational. Carrying this momentum, the boys hoped to capture the ILH Championship title on October 20 but lost a crucial member of their scoring team and placed second after Punahou.
Keeping their heads high after a disappointing loss, the team moved onto compete for the state championship. Running hard for five kilometers, the boys challenged Maui High School but came up short, receiving runner-up commendations. Wolfgang Sakamaki ’19 and Joshua Lerner ’21 medaled, receiving fifth and sixth place respectively.
From the girls team, Aya Margraf ’20 and Leilani Tandy ’19 medaled, receiving 14th and 20th place respectively. In addition, the girls added their fourth consecutive Division I HHSAA runner-up commendation.
Although both teams did not obtain the desired outcome, the runners will be back next season to fight for a state title.