Lunas shred to second place at surfing contest
LAHAINA — Led by coaches Erik Jennings and Andy Claydon, the Lahainaluna High School surf team performed at top levels once again at the Maui Interscholastic Surfing Championships at Hookipa Beach Park on April 23.
In the small, two- to three-foot surf, but with good conditions, the Luna rippers surfed their way to a second place overall finish behind champion King Kekaulike.
Lahainaluna compiled 207 points, just 11 behind the champs from Upcountry. Also participating in the club sport here on Maui were Maui High, Maui Preparatory Academy, Seabury Hall and Baldwin.
Freshman sensation Sierra Lerbeck led the charge for Lahainaluna, winning the gold in both the girls longboard and shortboard events.
Also piling up points for the Lunas were Leilani Miranda with a fourth place finish in the longboard competition and a sixth in the shortboard category.
Junior Casey Egan took fifth in the longboard event, freshman Candace Hanneman finished fifth in shortboarding, and senior Koral Gill took sixth in the bodyboard event to round out the scoring for the Luna girls.
In the boys lineup, Lahainaluna was led by sophomore Nainoa Steward’s silver medal in the bodyboard competition, along with freshmen Kaimana Kinimaka (with a bronze in the shortboard event) and Casey Berry, who finished fifth in the longboard surf-off.
Rounding out the roster for the Lunas were seniors Mitchell Loewen and Kah Noogan and freshmen Shade Herdman and Joel Greer.
“We’ve been practicing weekly at DT Fleming and down at the harbor,” said Coach Erik last week.
“We worked on ocean awareness and safety, as well as their surfing ability and strategy for the contest. We really wanted to get the student athletes out there and learning how to be better watermen and women. I think, overall, we had a very successful season.”
Jennings acknowledged the support of Honolua Surf for providing the team jerseys; Rusty, Hi-Tech and TS Restaurants for sponsorship of the event; and to Kim Ball, the judges and volunteers for running the event.
“It was a nice beach day for all, and I think everyone had fun over there,” he concluded.