Maui Prep harriers want to make history
NAPILI — After only three years in cross country competition, Maui Preparatory Academy is on the cusp of a breakthrough season.
Led by returning senior tri-captains Zach Ferguson, Dino DeSalvio and Hunter Rosenquist, the Pueo harriers have taken the early lead in the still young Maui Interscholastic League cross country season.
After three meets, Maui Prep is contending for the school’s first-ever MIL title and looking to send a full team — five competitors — to the state meet in late October.
Coach Keenan Reader competed on championship squads in New York and comes from a family of track and cross country coaches.
Doubling as a teacher and counselor at the independent school in Napili, Reader said this year’s team has high goals for the 2010 season.
“This team is extremely motivated to make Maui Prep history, but they have their work cut out for them as there are a lot of great teams and coaches in the MIL this year. The team seems really committed to putting in the necessary miles and hard practices to be serious contenders. However, they must learn to race as a team if they are to become champions,” he said.
Coach Reader, who is assisted by Dennis Nakamura and John Deal, praised the student athletes on the team.
“These kids are all great students and are leaders in athletics, academics and school service. I am extremely proud of them, as they now understand the importance of hard work in achieving goals. This group understands and appreciates the program at Maui Prep and have flourished here into outstanding, well-rounded young men and women,” he commented.
Ferguson, who finished fourth at the MIL Championships last year, and DeSalvio, who came in fifth, were both named to the league All-Star team for 2009. They returned for their senior season with classmates Rosenquist and Devyn Torres; juniors Devon Bloss, Josh Scott and Nick Diehl; and sophomore Xavier Damo.
Senior Caitlyn Fisler runs alone in the green and white of Maui Prep, with freshmen Dustin DeSalvio, Santana Huck and Caleb Bermudez comprising the junior varsity roster.
Reader noted that the team practices all over the West Side but primarily runs the hilly resort area at Kapalua.
“We mix distance, tempo runs and interval training depending on the day of the week and put in between 35 and 40 miles a week,” he explained.
“We would like to thank the Maui Prep community for supporting us, and we would also like to thank the other MIL coaches for their support and encouragement as we developed our cross country program over the last few years. I appreciated the support they have given me as a coach, but also the personal encouragement they have given our student athletes, despite the fact that we are on an opposing team.”