News

Cross Country - Boys


Overview

Students at Hawai'i Preparatory Academy (HPA) might have academics as the top priority, but that fact would be hard to discern from the extraordinary record of the school's boys and girls cross-country running teams. Both teams have each won five state titles and more Big Island Interscholastic Federation (BIIF) championships than any other team on the island.

Juan Miche Rosales '16 running HPA's legendary cross country course.
Video envisioned, directed, and produced by HPA students.

Many are surprised to learn that HPA's history of success in cross-country running is founded almost entirely on student-athletes with no experience in distance running before attending HPA.

Cross-country running is an intensely individual sport. Yet, student-athletes new to distance running find at HPA a program that welcomes them into the camaraderie of a team that practices and competes together.

The Ka Makani approach to distance running goes back to the early years of HPA's first participation at the state level more than 40 years ago for the boys and 25 years ago for the girls. Few back then thought of HPA as a dominant cross-country school. Today, following an extraordinary streak of recent titles for the girls team that matches the boys title count, every distance running program statewide is aware of and respects HPA's cross-country runners, coaches, and program.


With great coaches and a tradition of challenging practices on the hillside trails of Waimea's ranching country, HPA has become a powerhouse. Other teams know that when HPA shows up at a meet, they had better be prepared because the Ka Makani will give everybody a race.

Yet, at HPA, winning races or championship titles are not the primary focus of training. The coaches all focus on helping each runner find his or her most technically efficient stride.

"From gawky to gazelle" is a transformation phrase one sometimes hears from coaches when they speak of the development of their runners.

And that's one of the great rewards for the coaches. They will all tell you that seeing the evolution of a student-athlete into a full-fledged runner is one of the main joys of their job. And the runners discover that HPA is, simply, a great place to run.

Coaches

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