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Punahou girls run to fifth straight crown


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POSTED: Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Punahou girls cross country team is on quite a run.

The Buffanblu followed individual champion Elli Brady to their fifth straight championship in the Honolulu Marathon/HHSAA Cross Country State Championships at Kauai's Island School yesterday.

Kamehameha had all five runners place in the top 18 to easily win the boys title over Punahou. Leilehua's Margarito Martinez was the individual winner, the fourth year in a row a Mule has earned the top honor. Margarito won his race by 28 seconds over Pierce Murphy of Island School with a time of 15:50.05.

The Punahou girls did not have it so easy.

Mililani put its top three runners in the top five, but the Trojans' lack of depth doomed them from there. Brady, a freshman, ran the 3-mile course in 18 minutes, 53.85 seconds to beat Hailey Grossman of Seabury Hall by 14 seconds. The Buffanblu had only two runners in the top 10, but all five of their scorers came in with finishes in the top 23, while the Trojans were hurt by 25th- and 33rd-place finishes.

Kamehameha's boys hope they are beginning a dynasty of their own. The Warriors broke Leilehua's two-year winning streak to take back the title they won in 2006.

Jordan Thibodeau led the Warriors with a third-place finish, helped by Jordan Kahawai (12th), Isaiah Sato (13th), Alex Ortega (22nd) and Zach Sainz (26th). Daniel Kaneko pushed the Warriors' scorers by finishing right behind Sainz.

Brady and Martinez earn a free trip to the Foot Locker Regional Cross Country Championship in Walnut, Calif., courtesy of the Honolulu Marathon.