There were only two races slated for the 2020-21 Big Island cross-country season, and Kamehameha’s Carlos Masuko and Hawaii Prep’s Caroline Betlach made them count.
Masuko and Betlach were the top finishers of last weekend’s race at Kamehameha, and they repeated Saturday at Hawaii Prep. Masuko, a senior at Kamehameha, was once again the winner among the boys for the two-mile race, finishing with a time of 12 minutes and three seconds. Betlach was the girls first-place finisher at 14:50.4.
Athletes from HPA, Kamehameha and Parker School competed in Saturday’s race.
HPA girls cross-country coach Kimo Higgins said he’s excited to see what Betlach, a freshman at HPA, can do in the next few years without limitations put on the sport.
“What a tremendous performance,” Higgins said. “She’s got a bright, bright, future ahead of her, and she just fits right into our mold.”
Higgins said Betlach, who also plays soccer, has spent her first year at HPA dedicated to practicing and improving her athletic talent, with or without a full season.
“At HPA, our student body is so small, and the athletically-minded kids often double up. I’m sure she was in soccer practice not long after she finished the meet. She comes over when they’re done practicing soccer, and she always puts in the miles afterwards,” Higgins said. “I can’t say enough of her performance, and all the girls — they’re really putting an extra effort out there to get to practice nowadays. Caroline, wow, what a strong run. She’s got a bright future ahead of her, and I’m looking forward to next year, I can tell you that much.”
There will be no more cross-country this year, as the BIIF season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The races held the past two weekends were part of a condensed schedule of winter sports hosted by HPA and Kamehameha to give student-athletes on the Big Island a way to compete, if only for a few short weeks.
The HHSAA and BIIF have not made a decision when it comes to a spring sports season, which would include track and field. In the meantime, Higgins said he’s happy the athletic departments on the island were able to come together to create a safe way for athletes on the island to participate in athletics.
“I understand with the pandemic and all how safe we have to be, but I really feel sorry for the athletically-minded kids who haven’t been able to compete, especially if you’re trying to show your stuff to colleges,” Higgins said. “Our Big Island guys, our athletic directors, are really in it for the kids and it doesn’t surprise me we got something going. I’m so happy that we did. The kids had a great time. It was a short little season, but they deserve it.”
Saturday, March 6
at Hawaii Prep
87 Masuko, Carlos Kamehameha 12:03.0
79 Smith, Parker Hawaii Prep 13:20.3
78 Milanes-Fernandez, Josh Hawaii Prep 13:44.2
76 Hiyashi, Naoki Hawaii Prep 13:44.8
72 Andrist, Caiden Hawaii Prep 13:56.8
89 Miyaziu, Kylan Kamehameha 14:01.1
88 McCollum, Trent Kamehameha 14:10.0
86 Lafaele, Laakea Kamehameha 14:52.2
85 Kekuewa, Keala Kamehameha 16:35.4
73 Liu, Jimmy Hawaii Prep 17:05.4
75 Ganley, Thor Hawaii Prep 19:49.8
90 Perry, Kelii Kamehameha 20:26.5
51 Betlach, Caroline Hawaii Prep 14:50.4
55 Hedrick, Charlotte Hawaii Prep 15:46.5
61 Kassis, Lily Hawaii Prep 16:35.4
62 Lockwood, Anita Hawaii Prep 16:38.1
93 Ruzzo, Isabella Parker 17:21.6
92 Long, Kaya Parker 17:33.9
56 Hedrick, Katherine Hawaii Prep 17:34.5
66 Perry, Jordan Hawaii Prep 17:39.7
53 Elliott, Anuhea Hawaii Prep 18:11.8
83 Pacheco, Osiana Kamehameha 18:35.3
80 Ching, Lei Lin Kamehameha 18:50.4
81 Faust, Dayanee Kamehameha 19:06.8
52 Buschmann, Greta Hawaii Prep 19:33.8
67 Scanlan, Kendall Hawaii Prep 19:43.8
68 Stallsmith, Della Hawaii Prep 20:20.9
58 Hudgins-Hayward, Kalia Hawaii Prep 20:25.8
57 Hudgins. Ariana Hawaii Prep 20:35.6
91 Bumgardner, Sheinah Parker 21:11.2
54 Hare, Wendy Hawaii Prep 21:58.6
82 Orian, Maia Kamehameha-HI 22:00.4