Lahainaluna canoe paddling team moves up the MIL standings
LAHAINA – The Lahainaluna High School canoe paddling team completed the 2015 Maui Interscholastic League season last weekend in fourth place in the final standings. Now, their collective eyes look to earn a spot in the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) state championship this Saturday, Feb. 7, at Kahului Harbor here on Maui.
At practice last week at Canoe Beach, Lunas assistant coach Manny Portables explained that the Lahainaluna mixed crew had a good shot at qualifying for the state championships.
“Almost all of these kids, and especially the day students, have plenty of experience with canoe paddling with the club teams in the summertime, so we’re happy with the progress we’re making with moving up the MIL standings. We are rebuilding and preparing for the coming years,” he said.
The Luna paddlers are led by head coach Joey Tihada, Portables, and new addition to the coaching staff Bear Keahi.
“Bear adds a new dimension to our coaching with his experience and knowledge of new techniques. He will definitely help the team improve,” added Portables.
Senior returnees to the team include Kalei Steele, Nalu Sampson, Jazzlyn Bonds, Nick Lee and Teva Medeiros.
They are joined by junior Dalybel Locquiao and sophomores Shawn Rabino, Lina Criste, Ana Lukela Kobatake, Justice Tihada, Shelley Keahi, Preston Palos, Iwa Louise Bryan, Kelsi Badua, Sheila Aina Manrique, Kanauliola Medeiros, Riley Smith, Kane Pablos and Jordan Keahi.
The Lunas’ first year newcomers include Ashton Sheridan, Brandon Gama Bonnette, M’chelle Aguinaldo, Nate Beard, Braddah Laakea Shim, Melody Kaina Tianio, Leticia Kahahane and Victoria DeCoite.
“These kids have a really good attitude, and they’re catching on well with the new techniques that Bear is teaching them for the quarter-mile and half-mile races for the JV and varsity teams in the MIL. We started out with about 47 kids on the roster, and we’re happy with the ones that stuck it out. They’ve done a good job,” concluded Coach Manny.