Luna cross country teams preparing for championship meets
LAHAINA – Lahainaluna High School cross country coach Dan Skousen leads the Luna boys and girls teams this season in his tenth year as a mentor in the sport spanning his tenure at Hana High School and currently here on the West Side. He is assisted by first-year Luna coach Daniel Chorbak.
Coach Skousen reported that this season has been somewhat of a struggle to keep the roster full and motivated in this grueling sport.
“We’ve been trying to improve our cardio-conditioning with early morning workouts from 6 a.m. to 7:20 a.m., but it has been a challenge with some of the students competing in other sports. It’s difficult to instill the work ethic that is needed to reach championship levels.”
“We’ve gone to the morning practices to avoid the afternoon heat and avoid the dangers of heat stroke and dehydration. We can do more and go farther in the morning,” Skousen explained.
The Maui Interscholastic League is coming into the home stretch with the Junior Varsity Championships slated for Oct. 15 and the MIL Varsity Championships the following weekend on Oct. 22. Both meets are scheduled at Kahului Community Center.
The Hawaii High School Athletic Association State Cross Country Championships will be held on Oct. 29 at Hawaii Preparatory Academy on the Big Island.
“Currently, we have a lineup on the boys team that could finish in the top three at the MIL meet and then qualify four or five student athletes for the state meet. We have two girls that have a good chance to make it to states,” said Coach Skousen.
“We are a young team with only one senior, so I think we can contend again if we can keep up the interest. We do have the talent here.”
“Coach Chorbak has been an insightful and committed mentor who really cares for the kids, and our volunteer assistant, Chad Ferguson, has been a tremendous help in keeping the kids healthy,” added Skousen.
“We also send our thanks out to A.D. Scott Soldwisch, and all the parents and guardians for their help in getting the students to practice in the early morning.”
The Lahainaluna girls roster is made up of junior Rocio “Que Bonita” Cano Cruz, sophomore Kalea Acevedo Silva, and first-year runners Makena Cowan, Isabella Theobald and Kasey Toulze.
The boys lineup consists of senior three-year runners Roberto Cardenas Santiago and Zaillah Lafey; juniors Kainalu Estrealla (a two-year runner), Rowel Anasagay, Adolfo Cruz Garcia, Hunter Kaarto, Moritz Leiendecker, Owen Pendergast and Noah Ribucan; and sophomores Jesus Alvarez, Ramon Cedilla, Reymart Galano, Kyle Killett and Santiago Vera.