Cougar Cross-country Star: The Coach Made Her Do It

You could say that Lisa Tashiro is a lady for all seasons. Long before she captured the Individual state cross-country title recently, Tashiro already was well-known on the Kaiser campus.

“She’s a competitor,” said athletic director Rodney Iwasaki.

Tashiro competes on the Cougar swim team in the winter (and year-round for the Kamehameha Club team) and also is on Kaiser’s track-and-field team in the spring.

Her quick rise in cross country has been the most impressive, however. She never had been a runner before going out for track last spring. “For the first few weeks, I was training with the sprinters,” she recalled. “Then one day I wanted to try running with the distance runners. When I wanted to go back with the sprinters, my coach wouldn’t let me, so I’ve been running the 1,500 and 3,000 (meter runs) ever since.”

Tashiro also claimed the OIA Individual cross-country title Oct. 25 at Central Oahu Regional Park, finishing with a time of 19:31.21 — more than 26 seconds ahead of Radford runner-up Mary Moloney.

Exactly a week later, Tashiro won the Girls Individual title at the state championships at CORP, completing the three-mile course in 18 minutes, 59.90 seconds.

“The last six months have been full of surprises, but I’ve enjoyed it,” she admitted.

Tashiro recently took some time away from swim practice and her studies to visit with MidWeek‘s East Oahu Islander.

What is your earliest sports-related memory?

From grades K to 4, I did hula. From fourth through seventh grade, I did ski jumping in Japan. I wasn’t that good, but it was pretty fun. I really like heights.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life? My older brother (Kenkoh). He’s a role model to me. He’s always given me good advice, and I try to listen to him as much as possible.

How did you balance running with being a year-round swimmer? I would practice cross country for an hour and 15 minutes, and then I would go to swim practice (with Kamehameha Swim Club).

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned through athletics? To believe in myself and never give up.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? Quizlet. It’s like a flash card that helps you to study and learn about everything.

What is your least favorite household chore? Doing the laundry. By the end of the day, there are piles of dirty clothes.

What movie could you watch over and over? The Parent Trap.

If you were planning a trip, what would be your top destination? Some place where it snows. I like skiing and haven’t for about a year now.

Who are three of your favorite musical artists? Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons and Coldplay.

When you have free time, how do you like to spend it? I like hanging out with my friends. We like to go kayaking, to the beach or to eat.

You’re stuck on Kaho’olawe and can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? An acai bowl. I like to make my own.

If you could have your pick, what celebrity would you most like to meet? (Swimmer) Missy Franklin.