Forty-five years later, the OIA has its first four-peat champion in girls cross country.
Kalaheo, coached by Peter Jay and Stan Roth, made it four in a row on Saturday at the OIA Championships on the hilly terrain at Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park. Kalaheo placed its top five runners in second, sixth, seventh, 14th, 20th and 28th places. The Lady Mustangs finished with 46 points to edge Kalani (60). Mililani (74), Radford (128), Kaiser (135), Moanalua (156), Roosevelt (198), Waianae (261), Kapolei (266) and Waipahu (306) followed.
Cameryn Lauro led Kalaheo and placed second overall with a time of 21 minutes, 32 seconds. Freshman Eve Cody placed sixth (22:00), junior Amelie Loomis placed seventh (22:22), junior Remi Garberson placed 14th (23:08) and freshman Lucy Teramura placed 20th (23:54). Senior Grace Weigand took 28th (24:53) and sophomore Hailey Colman placed 35th (25:27).
Lauro was one of three returning runners from last year’s team, but the other two decided to forego their season. The remaining six of her teammates were new to the team, according to longtime coach Jay.
“I’m very happy with the four-peat, especially for Cammy, our lone returning senior. She is going out a champ! Hats off to all the girls. They ran lights out on Saturday,” Jay said. “The two seniors who came in as freshmen with Cammy decided not to return to the team this year. Without these two, defending the title would be a tougher task. Cammy has always been so dependable. These seven girls worked hard and earned their place among 23 girls on the team.”
The last school to four-peat was Radford from 1974-77, coached by Tom Chun. Kaiser won the ’78 girls team title, then Chun’s Rams three-peated from ’79 to ’81.
Mililani’s girls three-peated under Nathan Aragaki from 2008-10
Mililani senior Zola O’Donnell won the individual title with a time of 20:30. After Lauro, Kaiser sophomore Kimberly McCoy finished third (21:44), while Kalani’s Samantha Morinaga (21:49) and Kacey Miura (21:52) rounded out the top five finishers.
This fall, Kalaheo had some of the same challenges, including a non-COVID bug that spread around the island.
“Cammy hurt her left elbow training the week of OIA champs. Luckily, it was a sprain and she was allowed to run. Her solid second-place finish set the tone for her teammates,” Jay said.
Finding a solid fifth runner has been an ongoing task, but Teramura stepped up at the league championships.
“She was key to our win at OIAs. Our fifth, sixth and seven runners have kind of interchanged with each race. You see they are competing,” Jay said. “They all want to do well and improve each week. They were aware of the team’s history and wanted to keep the championship plaque at Kalaheo High School. They support each other and run for each other.”
The course at Kauai’s Island School, site of the Honolulu Marathon/HHSAA State Championships on Saturday, is just fine with the Lady Mustangs.
“It’s a flat, grassy course. Running at CORP the last three weeks got them used to grass, but they are happy Island School doesn’t have hills. With 200 runners, they want to get out a bit quicker and not get swallowed. They need to pick their spots and be deliberate about when to pass,” Jay said. “There are long stretches on the course, but there are areas of quick turns and short spans where it can be tougher to pass due to congestion.”