Pahoa’s runners wrapped up their season after seeing Hurricane Iselle blow through their district in August and lava from Kilauea on the verge of cutting off its town. The team has kept in contact with family back on Hawaii island during the trip and running has provided an emotional outlet.
“It’s kind of an outlet and there’s a lot of stress in our community,” said sophomore Stella Javier, who placed 55th. “It’s kind of just to release it and get on track.”
Javier and teammate Govar Strayhorn, both run for Pahoa but attend nearby charter school Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science. Javier said the team is staying together, regardless of what the flow does to the schools.
Pahoa students could be sent to Keaau while HAAS has plans for two campuses if the flow cuts off the town.
“We are going back to school on Monday,” Javier said. “Depending on what the lava does, we’re going to keep progressing, no matter what happens, even if it goes near our school.”
Kaiser’s Lisa Tashiro won the individual girls title and Punahou took the team trophy. Kaeo Kruse won the boys race over Kalaheo’s Makai Clemons to lead the Warriors to the boys team title.