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WARRIORS IMPROVE TO 2-0 ON SEASON

The defending boys cross-country champs are back and faster than ever, improving to 2-0 in the early season.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

“The hardest part about entering a season after winning a championship the previous year is defending it,” said defending IIAAG Cross Country Champion Brandon Miranda from St. Paul.

The St. Paul Warriors improved to 2-0 in the IIAAG Cross Country Season after sweeping the Harvest Christian Academy Eagles. The boys defeated the Eagles 17-46 and the Warriors girls won by forfeit. 

Wendy’s Players of the Game: Freshman Shakeera Esma and defending IIAAG XC All-island champion Brandon Miranda finished first overall in their meet today against the Harvest Christian Eagles. (Photo by Michael Blas)

Warrior freshman sensation Shakeera Esma was the first female to cross the finish line with a time of 22:10, senior Jazmin Samonte followed with a time of 23:20. Another Warrior freshman Mikayla Criss finished third at 23:26, Carlene Blailes and Chanel Storey from St. Paul with times of 25:08 and 26:11, respectively. 

“Coach (Sherwin) Paet has taught me so much and I’m excited for this season,” said Esma. “There is still alot of room for improvement for the girls, we are going to get better as the season progresses”. 

“Last year, we came into the season as a fairly new program. A lot of new and inexperience runners,” said Paet. “This season, there’s a lot more excitement and obviously expectations. However, I just told the team to trust in God, themselves, and the training and we’ll see where we’ll end up at the end of this season,” said Paet. 

Boys are team to beat

“We were really solid last season with myself coming in first and my cousin (Jacob Miranda) coming in fourth overall,” said Brandon Miranda. “Its going to be a challenge because now everyone is out to get us.” 

Brandon Miranda (18:07) edged out his teammate, sophomore Kanta Yamazaki (18:08) at the finish line. Both runners, along with Jacob Miranda  ran in a pack the entire race, setting a fast pace. In the last 400 meters, Yamazaki and Brandon Miranda separated from Jacob Miranda (18:10) and it was a sprint to the finish line. 

Keanu Hada (18:11) was the first runner from Harvest to cross the finish line at fourth overall.  Keith Nauta (18:40) from St Paul’s rounded out the top five for the boys division. 

Brandon Miranda leaned forward, just enough to secure the victory.

“In the last 400 meters, it’s all about guts and will and may the best man win,” said Brandon Miranda.

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