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Thibodeau, Brady win ILH titles


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POSTED: Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kamehameha junior Jordan Thibodeau came into the fall cross country season thinking it was his time to excel in distance running.

He was correct.

Thibodeau made a big impression at the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championships yesterday afternoon at Mid-Pacific, taking first place in the boys 3-mile race in a time of 16:31.77.

“;This was a hard race,”; Thibodeau said. “;The competition was very good. I had no idea how well I would do, but I started the season thinking I could do well if I gave it my best.”;

His victory, along with teammate Isaiah Sato's third-place finish, helped the Warriors capture the boys team title with 28 points. 'Iolani placed second with 59 points, beating Punahou by seven.

In the girls race, Ellie Brady just started her career running for Punahou. But she is already having a heck of a season.

The 14-year-old freshman blew away the other competitors on the 3-mile course by a sizable margin to win in 19:08.59.

“;I owe this win to my teammates,”; Brady said. “;Without them I would have never gotten the experience that helped me win this race.

Earlier in the season, Brady finished fifth overall (18:43) and led all Hawaii girl runners at the 'Iolani Invitational.

In yesterday's race, Brady trailed slightly in the opening moments, then took off at the midway mark and never looked back. She mastered the race from that point on.

Senior Claire Hann of Pac-Five came in second, 46.10 seconds behind Brady. Punahou's Kyleigh Mann crossed the finish line in third (19:56.69).

Teammate Melissa Wong, also a freshman, says Brady's desire to do her best has played a role in her efforts to practice with passion.

“;All season long she has run to win. And that has inspired me to want to win,”; said Wong, who won the girls JV 3-mile race in 22:13.12.

Punahou secured three of the first five places to garner the girls title with 41 points. Kamehameha tallied 58 points to place second, nudging out 'Iolani (60).

Thibodeau had a much tougher race.

As more than 1,500 spectators looked on, Thibodeau ran even with three other runners for much of the race before he finally took a narrow lead at the end.

“;The hills were difficult to run up,”; Thibodeau said. “;But I've practiced hard since the beginning of the season to prepare for this meet and for states.”;

The Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships will be held Saturday on Kauai.

Brady said her future goal is to do well in the state meet as well.

“;This was like a dress rehearsal for states,”; said Brady. “;I'm going to work extremely hard this coming week so I can be focused when the (starter) gun goes off.”;