Harder, Kwan break through in ILH cross country

Hanalani junior Adam Harder took his time to savor the school’s first individual ILH cross country title.

Harder covered three miles at Punahou in 17 minutes, 6.4 seconds to beat ‘Iolani senior Charles Sakamaki and the rest of the field by a wide margin on Saturday. Sakamaki clocked a 17:21.99 and gave the Raiders the runner up for the second straight year.

Harder’s winning time was the slowest since 2011, the last time the meet was held at Punahou. It had been held at Mid-Pacific every year since and the winner enjoyed times of a full minute faster.

Harder is not only the first Hanalani boy to win the race, he is the first to finish in the top three.

The Buffanblu boys broke ‘Iolani’s three-year winning streak for the team title. Senior Parker Mooney led Punahou’s resurgence with a fourth-place finish, followed by Cameron Coffelt (7th), Caden Lombard (11th), Cooper Baines (12th) and Aaron Chang (14th). The team was so deep that Jordan Furuta and Cade Lehl finished in the top 20 but their points went unused.

Kacie Kwan of Hawaii Baptist took her rightful spot in first place of the girls race, beating Punahou senior Maiya Fujiwara by a full two seconds.

Kwan, a junior, finished second to Jordan Jones of St. Andrews last year, but took the step up this time with a time of 20:19.68 on the tough course.

Her time was the highest for a winner since girls began running three miles in 2005. She joins legendary Lauren Ho (2003-05) as the only winners from Hawaii Baptist.

Fujiwara settled for second but picked up her fourth team title as the Buffanblu won for the 10th time in 11 years.

She was aided by Malia Dickhens (5th), Maya Mastick (7th), Kayla Almeida (8th) and Georgi Brady (10th), with Mei Lum (12th) pushing them.

It is the first time Punahou swept the boys and girls races since 2012.

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