Young athletes bring energy and excitement to LHS track and field program
LAHAINA – Second-year Lahainaluna High School track and field coach Genevieve Ruvald sees her mission as a broadening of the positive attitude of her youthful charges within the rigors of the Luna program.
A successful high school athlete in Northern California and then on the basketball team at the University of California-San Diego, Coach Ruvald has quickly developed a kinship with the Lahainaluna athletes as a coach with the boys junior varsity hoops team and out on the campus track and field facility.
“I came to Maui for a visit in 2011 and saw the opportunity to be able to work with the kids through the Westside Hoops program,” she explained from the Sue D. Cooley Stadium bleachers last week.
“And then I saw that I could help with developing support systems for the kids through sports and athletic training. With the help of assistant coaches Ray Yamat and Bob Michaelson, we have implemented a rigorous schedule and disciplined program. We are seeing a solid group of 40 kids that are truly committed to growing team unity and relationships. We are all growing together and starting to see results.”
Leading the way for the Lunas are senior standouts Emerson Liburd, Shaina Saribay Talana, Jacob Ramirez, Kevin Lammer and Austin Wagner. Liburd is the defending state champion in the 110-meter hurdles and is set to compete for another gold medal at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state track and field championships on May 15-16 here on Maui at the Satoki Yamamoto War Memorial Stadium.
Saribay Talana excels in the hurdles and relays, while Lammer competes in the high jump and sprints.
This senior group is complemented by the junior class leadership core made up of Kamal Golaube (hurdles, relays), Anis Bel (pole vault), Alan Domingo (long jump, sprints), Maygan Patch – who broke school records in the triple jump with a leap of 32’11” and in the pole vault with a 9’6″ effort – and Bridgette Cuaresma.
Coach Ruvald added that the younger student athletes on the roster are adding to the positive spirit of the team.
“We’ve seen much spirit and excitement with the younger kids in the sophomore and freshmen classes. They’ve found the fun in the excitement in what we’re doing and in putting in the hard work. Their sights are set with the vision to see the next step, to perform at their best, to do well at the MIL meet on May 1-2 and at states two weeks later,” she said.
She concluded by sending her appreciation out to all the supporters of the program. “My special thanks goes to the parents who provide food and support for the team to all of the events; to the assistant and volunteer coaches; and to all the kids for their dedication to what we’re doing here at Lahainaluna,” she said.