On September 10 LHES will host its first high school cross country meet in nearly a decade. Cross country coaches Kevin and Jody Ige are looking forward to the Maui Interscholastic League (MIL) home meet that will take place on the Cavendish Golf Course. The five kilometer running route is still in the development phase, but the Iges have their 26 athletes running the golf course to familiarize themselves with the turf and grade.
The runners are preparing for this meet with a lot of hill running and speed work. Kevin, who also serves as a mentor for the Lanai Physical Fitness team, has the runners cross train with strength conditioning he uses for the Physical Fitness program. “I like to mix up the workouts and locations so the kids don’t get bored,” says Kevin. “We’ll run in town, in country, or swim at the beach and work out on the sand for extra conditioning.” The team also does weight lifting, hiking and Tabata workouts (high intensity interval training) together. The team recently ran the Fisherman’s Trail down by Manele to practice trail running. Ige likes to keep the kids on their toes by developing fun and dynamic workouts.
The coaches hope their training thus far will help the team defend last year’s win at the Division Two Championships – a first in the history of LHES cross country. Cross country meets are scored by the top seven runners in each division – men and women – and the team with the greatest number of runners in the top seven wins. “This will be hard because they are all elite runners and are pretty fast,” says Kevin. “Nevertheless, the competition will be good for our team.”
The meet starts at 11 a.m. on September 10 and Ige urges parents and community members to come to Cavendish Golf Course to cheer for the runners. “The team has established a presence in the MIL because they have worked hard and improved their skills over the years,” notes Kevin. “Cross country historically doesn’t get much recognition, so this is a wonderful year for a home meet!”