Maui Preparatory Academy achieves breakthrough year in sports
NAPILI – It has been a breakthrough year for Maui Preparatory Academy athletics, as the Pueo recorded their first Maui Interscholastic League team title and first individual tennis championship in the ten-year history of the independent school at the foothills of the West Maui Mountains in Napili.
Led by multi-sport sophomore sensation Sophia Johnston, the Maui Prep wahine surfing team captured the historic team title at the second officially sanctioned MIL Surfing Championships last month at Hookipa Beach Park in three-foot waves.
Johnston, who excels on the Pueo swim and track teams as well, won all four of the MIL competitions in girls shortboard surfing, and also captured the overall shortboard and bodyboard titles.
Maui Prep earned the team title with key performances by new surfers Jessica Kingwell, Alexa Narayoan, Layla Nabavi and Emma Scott. Key coaching support came from head coach Andrew O’Riordan and assistant Dylan Payne.
In a stirring upset of the top-seeded MIL tennis players, freshman Corey Patton-Lossner won the first individual singles title for Maui Prep at the league championships held three weeks ago at the Wailea Tennis Club.
Patton-Lossner defeated the two top-seeded Baldwin players on her way to the historic win. Corey’s mom, Colleen Patton, thus completed her first year as head coach with a bang. She was assisted by Steve Campbell in guiding Corey and the Maui Prep team to new heights.
Overall, Maui Prep sports soared to historic finishes this spring, as the Pueo crowned two MIL individual champions, won a team title, and sent four student athletes to state competitions.
While the girls surf team won that first championship in the school’s history, the boys team made its presence felt with a fifth place finish in the final MIL standings.
The Pueo were led by team captain Niels Jeske and Dante Silva, who took fourth place in the shortboard competition. Kieran Clark, Ethan Frank and Ben Wolf rounded out the roster coached by O’Riordan and Payne.
Patton-Lossner was the highlight of the Pueo girls’ tennis season, but the team moved up in the MIL West Division this year to finish in third place, just missing the playoffs.
The Pueo wahine were led by co-captains Patton-Lossner and fellow freshman Suniva Thangaraj. The young roster included sophomores T’ea Vannatta, Lexie Leon, Lorie Kim, Elizabeth James and Emily Colbaugh, and first-year player Mioh Wakasa.
The boys tennis team is also very young, which bodes well for the Pueo in the future. Leading the way were junior team captain Richard Sargent and senior Richard Duarte Chavez, who were joined by juniors Devon Bluh and Evan Frederikson; sophomores Daniel Ornelas, Josiah Miller, Lucas Mackin and Jonathan Jerome; and freshmen Tristen Ellen and Griffin Sagar.
Colleen Patton, the head coach, is assisted by Steve Campbell. Patton and Campbell previously coached the Hawaii Prep team on the Big Island, but they moved to Maui to run the Kapalua Tennis Garden.
The Pueo wahine track team made an imprint on the MIL, as the small team of just seven girls finished third at the Junior Varsity Championships, led by junior Jamie Advincula and sophomores Sophia Johnston and Alexa Narayan – all hardworking scholar athletes.
They were joined by sophomores Layla Nabavi and Sarah Wilhelm, and freshman Cassidy Otto on the girls’ roster. Senior Alexander Muto is the lone male competitor and a four-year member of the team.
The coaches were Haley Lawrence, Dennis Nakamura and Alex Auerbach.
After narrowly missing qualifying for the MIL team tournament, Maui Prep sent two boys to the state golf competition played last week at Waikaloa on the Big Island.
At the individual qualifier here on Maui, Adam Quandt finished 16th and Beau Johnston 18th, as both made the cut to go to states.
They were joined on the Pueo team by junior Nicholas Head; sophomores Jonah Bluh, Zachariah Giles and Adam Quandt; and freshman Akiva Bluh. Maui Prep faculty member Jen Rutz was the first-year coach of the team.