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Fall is always synonymous with sleepy eyes and sore muscles…but as soon as the smell of wet grass and a rising sun hits you it is like the body gets a jolt and you know it is time to run.

As you read this, HPU’s two cross country teams are more than halfway through their season and are preparing for the big task, the West Regionals in Boise, Idaho, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007.

For the first time ever, the two teams began the season with two double-headers in Fairbanks, Alaska. The women captured two third places, and Emma Palmer, in her first race in the HPU uniform, took the individual third place, with teammates Quinn Horochuk and Jennifer Torres right behind in fifth and eight place.

The men shot straight to the front of their race, occupying second, third, and fourth place, for a total win of the day on the eight kilometer course.

Two days later, the teams were in action again. Once more the women placed third, and the men brought home the victory.

Upon returning from Alaska both teams resumed training; six days later they jumped back into racing mode and met their usual opponents in Laie at the BYU-Hawai‘i campus.

Once again the men proved to be too strong for the other schools, while Brandon Laan got his first victory in the HPU jersey. Jens Munk Nielsen and Esben Dalgaard took second and third, while Kevin Enriques and Vaughn Harber weren’t far back in seventh and eight for a total of 21 team points. The women took fourth.

A week later it was the Chaminade invite. With a tough schedule this year, both team decided to make this less of a race, but the end result was still the same, the men came out on top again, this time only one point ahead of UH-Hilo. The women placed fourth.

The fifth race of the season was The Big Wave Invitational, hosted by UH on Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i. The women had their hands full with three visiting schools from the mainland, one of them nationally ranked BYU from Utah, and placed sixth.

The men won once again on the 5k course, and Jens Munk Nielsen got his first victory as a Sea Warrior.

October 27 will be the first of two races, there will be a conference in San Francisco, and the following week the West Regionals takes place in Boise, Idaho. The Regionals also serve as a qualifier for Nationals.

L-R: Brandon Laan, Vaughn Harber, Jens Munk Nielsen, Esben Dalgaard and Kevin Enriques.

Photo by Dr. Stephen Berg

Esben Dalgaar

Photo by Dr. Stephen Berg

The women’s team before the Big Wave Invitational

Photo by Dr. Stephen Berg

Jennifer Torres

Photo by Dr. Stephen Berg

Elin Soto-Thompson

Photo by Dr. Stephen Berg

Kevin Enriques

Photo by Dr. Stephen Berg

Kevin Enriques and Quinn Horochuk

Photo by Dr. Stephen Berg

Jens Munk Nielsen

Photo by Dr. Stephen Berg

Quinn Horochuk and Emma Palmer

Photo by Dr. Stephen Berg

Wendy Darling

Photo by Dr. Stephen Berg

Todd Iacovelli, All-American 2006

Photo by Christian Friis

Start of the men’s Race

Photo by Dr. Stephen Berg

Samantha Mathews

Photo by Dr. Stephen Berg

At The Big Dance

The HPU women’s and men’s cross country teams are rich with traditions. Since HPU joined the ranks of NCAA (1998), the cross country teams has had 11 individual runners at the National Championships. Seven of the 11 turned in performances that made them All-American (Top 30).

Not Just Sports

While both teams have numerous victories and great athletic accomplishments to their credit, their players also excel in the classroom. Each team has had several academic All-Americans. In 2006 both the women and men were named acadmic All-American, and the men had the highest GPA in the country.

The cross country team consists of the following runners:

Women: Quinn Horochuk (Canada), Wendy Darling and Jennifer Torres (California), Emma Palmer and Elin Soto-Thompson (Sweden), Samantha Mathews (Hawai‘i), Caitlin McAneney (New York), Danielle Osti (Washington).

Men: Brandon Laan (Canada), Esben Dalgaard and Jens Munk Nielsen (Denmark), Kevin Enriques and Frank Rainey (Hawai‘i), Vaughn Harber and Steve Kelly (Australia).




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