Kealakehe off and running: Juniors Wood, Childers quick to get back on course, win BIIF 5Ks

KEAAU – Kealakehe junior Cozette Wood absolutely dominated and Levi Childers, also a Waverider junior, showed his impressive endurance at the season-opening BIIF cross country meet Saturday at Kamehameha’s campus.

Wood finished the 5K course in 21 minutes, 51 seconds, a good distance ahead of Hawaii Prep’s Winter Radley-Morgan, who placed runner-up in 23:02. Hilo’s Kekaihulali Halpern was third in 23:22 and Waiakea’s Kiralynn Kuramoto fourth in 23:54.

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Childers, whose passion is competing in triathlons, displayed his strong kick to clock an 18:16, and chased down Waiakea’s Kederang Ueda, who blasted to an early lead but couldn’t protect it and finished in 18:21. Kealakehe’s Cameron Cornforth was third in 18:49, and Aiden Ankrum, brother of graduated and 2018 BIIF champion Alec Ankrum, was fourth in 19:08.

In 2019, HPA freshman Kanoa Blake won the BIIF title. He has since moved back to the mainland. Konawaena sophomore Shaian Garana took the girls title. Now, a senior, she was 20th in 26:36. Wood was third as a freshman.

Back then, Waiakea won its fifth straight boys BIIF title while Hilo three-seated for the girls. On a rainy and muddy course on Saturday, Waiakea took the team title, ahead of Kealakehe, HPA, Kamehameha, and Honokaa. For the girls, HPA grabbed the team meet, followed by Hilo, Kamehameha, and Kealakehe.

Wood enjoyed the rain and made her victory look easy. She looked like she could have run another 3.1 miles.

“It was good weather. I liked the race,” she said. “I’m really happy we got to race because we haven’t raced in two years. I never stopped training since two years ago, and I hope to improve next time.”

She did middle-school track and field and is part of coach Patrick Bradley’s offseason club team. She’s on the Waverider track team and surfs in her spare time. In middle school, she tried cross country and the more she ran the better she got.

Wood and her family moved to the Big Island six years ago, and her dad, Samuel, picked up surfing and taught her. It’s an occasional father-and-daughter moment when they go to shred waves.

Wood, whose mom Tiffany named her for the “Les Miserables” character Cosette, has set high goals for herself.

“My goal for this season is to get at least top 10 at states and win the BIIF championship,” she said.

She posted her college recruiting profile on ncsasports.org but hasn’t decided on a major yet, though she’s sure she wants to run at a West coast school.

“She’s extremely dedicated, very talented and goal-oriented,” Bradley said. “She wants to run at the next level in college, and she’s going to do it. She was in our club, trained all summer, and I think she has a good chance to win the state championship. She’s a really good student, which is more important, and she’s captain of our team.”

The Warrior boys ran as a pack better and scored 18 points to the Waveriders’ 22. Waiakea’s Austin Mohica was fifth in 20:00, Kiyoshi Todd seventh in 20:24, and Mason Selley eighth in 21:05.

In contrast to Wood’s blowout, Childers, who did online schooling before COVID-19 hit, looked solid in running down his front-running Warrior foe, Ueda.

“I’m exhilarated. I caught him at the 2-mile mark and took the lead two-thirds of the way,” Childers said. “My dad (Paul) was a runner, my grandpa (John) was a runner, my mom (Susanne) was a runner. I have a bit of a heritage.

“I started running in sixth grade. I do triathlons and competitively swim, and I’m in the Kona Aquatics club, and I’m on the Kealakehe swimming team, too. I really aspire to do triathlons. That’s my main goal in life.”

He’s competed in 20 triathlons, including one in New Zealand, where his dad is from, and did one in California back in July. He was fourth in his age-group in California and got a flat on his tire in New Zealand.

Don’t worry Paul and Susanne, your son is interested in Astronomy, so he can always go to college part-time or take online courses.

Bradley, who coached the Konawaena boys to the Division II state title in 2016, was encouraged by his Waveriders, who all had close times.

“Between Levi who won it, and Cameron who was third and Aiden who was fourth, I didn’t know who was going to win because the guys who were third and fourth have really good speed,” he said. “They run the 800 meters in track. Levi is a triathlete and runs the 10K and with a mile to go Levi took off. They did really well.

“Next week, it could be a reverse in that order. Levi had a great day, and Cameron and Aiden will have great days. It’ll be interesting to watch.”

5Ks Saturday at Kamehameha

Girls

1. Wood, Cozette Kealakehe 21:51.23

2. Radey-Morgan, Wynter Hawaii Prep 23:02.52

3. Halpern, Kekaihulali Hilo 23:22.03

4. Kuramoto, Kiralynn Waiakea 23:54.72

5. Gervias, Xochi Hilo 24:15.54

6. Tominaga, Akemi Waiakea 24:27.75

7. Perry, Jordan Hawaii Prep 24:37.60

8. Kassis, Lily Hawaii Prep 24:39.27

9. Alfaga, Rovi Parker 24:47.49

10. Lockwood, Anita Hawaii Prep 24:54.99

11. Wawner, Ali Hawaii Prep 24:56.39 8

12. Thompson, Alya Hawaii Prep 25:03.08

13. Puckett, Mahea Hawaii Prep 25:07.28

14. Wilson, Sophia KS Hawaii 25:22.03

15. Threlkeld, Talia Hawaii Prep 25:27.27

16. DeCerjat, Hayd’e Parker 25:39.71

17. Wyatt, Phoebe Hawaii Prep 25:54.63

18. Sejati, Johna Hawaii Prep 26:18.64

19. Derego, Logynn Honokaa 26:34.05

20. Garana, Shaian Konawaena 26:36.29

21. Makely, Murphy Hawaii Prep 27:20.92

22. Moynahan, Catie Hawaii Prep 27:50.36

23. Scanlan, Kendall Hawaii Prep 28:00.88

24. Keen, Jada Kealakehe 28:03.19 12

25. Botelho, Peyton KS Hawaii 28:03.60

26. Russo, Isabella Parker 28:04.42

27. Kiernan, Sarah Hawaii Prep 28:05.18

28. Quintana, Sanoe KS Hawaii 28:07.24

29. Edwards, Zoe Hawaii Prep 28:08.32

30. Wawner, Fischer Hawaii Prep 28:35.95

31. Ching, Lei Lin KS Hawaii 29:29.71 15

32. Guevara-Rodrigues, Quian Hilo 29:40.31

33. Miura, Sunday Hilo 30:09.45 17

34. Gillespie, Sara Kealakehe 30:45.00

35. Clark, Acadia Kealakehe 30:48.26

36. Pratt, Taylor Keaau 30:51.96

37. Nishida, Catherine Keaau 30:56.66

38. Ho, Napualaiku KS Hawaii 31:07.25

39. Blankenship, Nalani Waiakea 31:08.10

40. Chinen, Gianna KS Hawaii 31:50.77

41. Varricatt, Leyla Waiakea 32:02.12

42. Akamu, Alexis KS Hawaii 32:48.65

43. Broomell, Airi Hilo 34:54.44 23

44. Igloria, Daphne Keaau 35:09.66

45. Soares, Liliynn Kealakehe 41:06.73

Boys

1. Childers, Levi Kealakehe 18:16.92

2. Ueda, Kederang Waiakea 18:21.01

3. Cornforth, Cameron Kealakehe 18:49.83

4. Ankrum, Aiden Kealakehe 19:08.63

5. Mohica, Austin Waiakea 20:00.19

6. Wawner, Bear Hawaii Prep 20:08.76

7. Todd, Kiyoshi Waiakea 20:24.77

8. Selley, Mason Waiakea 21:05.08

9. Haines, Kekai Hawaii Prep 21:13.45

10. Annatta, Zane Hawaii Prep 21:23.38

11. Ignacio, Kyle Waiakea 21:27.55

12. Caverly, Mikael Honokaa 21:28.61

13. Petras, Mickey Hawaii Prep 21:30.79

14. Ankrum, Archer Kealakehe 21:32.64

15. Provo, William Keaau 21:38.76

16. Okumura, Ryder KS Hawaii 21:38.98

17. Smith, Cody Makua Lani 21:39.50

18. Keana’Aina, Isaac Konawaena 21:52.68

19. Colbert, Rylan Waiakea 21:52.74

20. Tang, Alex Hawaii Prep 22:00.97

21. Labasan, Matthew Waiakea 22:16.94

22. Barrilleaux, Gage Hilo 22:31.46

23. Andrist, Caiden Hawaii Prep 22:51.34

24. Oye, Makana Parker 23:02.01

25. Norem, Victor Waiakea 23:10.24

26. Manoukis, Demos St. Joseph’s 23:12.18

27. Monello, Eli Hawaii Prep 23:14.88

28. Buckley Francisco, Kalam KS Hawaii 23:22.80

29. Cabatbat, Landon Kealakehe 23:27.96

30. Letawski, Kiran Waiakea 23:30.97

31. Johnson, Raoul Keaau 23:37.77

32. Tran, Khoi Hawaii Prep 23:44.47

33. Mahuna, Micah KS Hawaii 24:32.11

34. Vento, Noah Waiakea 24:34.93

35. Akina, Ikuhaiakalani KS Hawaii 24:39.39

36. Furuto, Riki Konawaena 24:48.81

37. Chilson, Sean Waiakea 24:48.83

38. Dierking, Adam KS Hawaii 25:07.24

39. Gleason, Reece Honokaa 25:09.78

40. Edwards, Isa Laupahoehoe 25:12.54

41. Flegel, Jaxen Makua Lani 25:12.81

42. Pratt, Chase Keaau 25:17.77

43. Blankenship, Ethan Waiakea 25:31.47

44. Hakoda, Scott Waiakea 25:36.97

45. Ching, Clay (Bubba) Honokaa 25:49.70

46. Tina, Tyler KS Hawaii 25:50.58

47. Kekuewa, Azariah KS Hawaii 25:50.82

48. Ebuseno Tahara, Scott Waiakea 26:08.61

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49. Castaneda-Petrowski, Dan Honokaa 26:14.90

50. Leite, Daycen Waiakea 26:37.06

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