Maui Prep Pueo running with MIL powerhouses
NAPILI — There’s a new kid on the block making a lot of noise in Maui Interscholastic League cross country competition. They run in the green uniforms, come from the upper West Side and are known as the Maui Preparatory Academy Pueo.
The small college prep school in Napili of less than 100 students is competing for the first time as an official team entry in MIL cross country.
Despite their inexperience, the Maui Prep team has raised eyebrows with some top flight finishes in the current season.
Led by tri-captains Zach Ferguson, Hunter Rosenquist and Dino DeSalvio, the Maui Prep harriers are pressing the traditional MIL powers from Baldwin, King Kekaulike and Seabury Hall and making a mark in the top team finishers at several meets.
The Pueo have racked up points to capture second and third place finishes thus far and are poised to make a historic strike at the MIL championships on Oct. 24 at King Kekaulike and at the state meet on Kauai a week later.
Maui Prep Academic Dean Keenan Reader, who doubles as the cross country coach, credits the leadership and work ethic of Ferguson, Rosenquist and DeSalvio for the success of the team.
“Those three have set a high bar of commitment to the training regimen for the team,” said Reader.
“They have set a leadership standard to work to bring all the runners up to have a true team concept, and to work to be better each day. They have also set a high academic standard of leadership with all of them holding a 3.5 grade point average.”
The team trains at Kapalua Resort on a daily basis.
“We work on distance training some days and interval workouts on others. They put in 35-40 miles a week up there,” Reader explained.
Sophomore Devon Bloss is the number four runner behind the tri-captains, followed by freshman Xavier Damo in the number five slot. Pushing the top five are juniors Derek Cuevas, Ryan Moffet and Devyn Torres, as well as freshmen Troy Otto and Mehran Karimabadi.
The girls team is led by junior Caitlyn Fisler, who Coach Reader describes as a potential top ten finisher.
She is joined by senior Chelsea Johnson and freshman Davyana San Miguel on the Maui Prep team.