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Lahainaluna golf teams continue to improve

By Staff | Apr 22, 2010

The boys team includes (from left) Chris Shimomura, Kevin Galuardo, Malu Rosenthal, Noah Klipstein, Jamie Horton, Tyler Armijo, Micah Franz and Tyler Okimoto. Kanaina Raymond is also on the team.

LAHAINA — Lahainaluna High School’s golf programs continued their upward swing in 2010 under the leadership of coaches Lee Munemitsu and Sutee Nitakorn.

Coach Lee has guided the Lady Lunas golf team for the past seven years, and the team has steadily improved under his leadership.

Assisted this season by Tom Metcalf and Claude Brousseau, Munemitsu has taken a young — and relatively inexperienced — team of student athletes to unprecedented success in the Maui Interscholastic League.

“This is a group of very young girls who have had a late start with the game of golf, but they did very well and we are really proud of them. They have learned to compete, work hard and accept that things will fall into place with that effort,” he said.

The Lady Lunas finished the 2010 season in second place, led by junior returnees AnAn Hua, Wilma Elefante and Chelsea Brink. They were joined on the roster by sophomore newcomer Michiko Smith and freshman Bailey Pendergast.

The Lady Luna golfers include (from left) Michiko Smith, Wilma Elefante, AnAn Hua, Chelsea Brink and Bailey Pendergast.

The girls team practiced at the Kapalua Bay Course and at Kaanapali Golf Resort, and Coach Munemitsu had high praise for both resorts for their support of high school golf.

“We really appreciate all the generosity of the organizations that help us out. Also, to Claude Brousseau and Coach Sutee for their input, as well as PGA Rep Ed Kageyama, we are extremely grateful. With budget cuts in the (Department of Education), only nine girls will qualify for the state tournament at Turtle Bay on Oahu, May 3-5, and we’re hoping that AnAn (Hua) will make the cut,” he said.

Nitakorn, the Kaanapali Resort golf professional, was assisted by Gordon Casco with the Luna boys team. It was also a young group with but one senior on the roster.

“This was a young group, but they had a steady and calm demeanor that brought on steady play. They are a dynamic bunch, and it was rewarding to see all eight of them qualify for the MIL Championships that will be held in Wailea… and at our home course at Kaanapali on April 23-24. Then, it will be on to states two weeks later,” she said.

The Luna boys were led by senior captain Chris Shimomura, juniors James Horton and Noah Klipstein, and freshman Malu Rosenthal. 

Rounding out the roster were juniors Kevin Galurado and Kanaina Raymond, sophomore Mikah Franz and freshman Tyler Armijo.