There’s no me in win, which is just how coach Jack Kuo likes it.
‘Iolani’s title in the ILH boys cross country championships at Mid-Pacific’s campus came with the same one-for-all ethos that has remained at the forefront.
“That’s one of the special parts of this team. We don’t really know who our (first) five are. It was kind of hard to pick the seven. So deep, a lot of kids are deserving,” Kuo said.
The young Raiders posted a 24-point total to win by a substantial margin. Punahou (64) was runner-up, followed by Hawaii Baptist (73), Kamehameha (94), Mid-Pacific (133), Hanalani (154), Maryknoll (181) and Pac-Five (244).
‘Iolani junior Keane Palmer placed first overall with a time of 17 minutes, 12 seconds. The Raiders’ next finishers were junior Devin Pang (17:46, third), sophomore Spencer Lyau (17:51, fifth), junior Cole Kaneshiro (17:55, sixth) and freshman Nicolas Moses (18:02, ninth).
The Raiders were so strong, senior Cole Young placed 10th overall at 18:05 and sophomore Ryan Eto placed 15th (18:52).
“Our kid who placed 15th overall, seventh on our team, he’s getting subbed out (at the state championships). We have another runner who was rehabbing,” Kuo noted.
A non-COVID bug floating around schools has been part of the adversity for ‘Iolani.
“With sickness, everyone’s been dealing with that. The kids did a really good job with a next-man-up mentality,” Kuo said.
The Honolulu Marathon/HHSAA State Championships are on Saturday morning at Island School on Kauai. Teams will walk through the course on Friday afternoon.
“It’s the first time in awhile we have a full squad. One hand, that’s really exciting, but we’re not sure who will step up. A lot of them have run good races, and they’re happy for each other. That’s the main part,” Kuo said.
Junior Benjamin Brown of Punahou was runner-up overall with a time of 17:43. Punahou senior Nicholas Pugliese placed fourth (17:50), Hanalani junior Jeddison Miller (17:57, seventh) and Kamehameha senior Aspen-Shay Kane (17:59, eighth) also placed in the top 10.