Former Lahainaluna all-stars shine at the collegiate level
LAHAINA – Along with the unprecedented ascension of the Lahainaluna High School sports teams over the past school year, several Lady Luna alumni made their mark at the collegiate level with academic and athletic success.
For starters, former Luna Wahine scholar athletes Brenna and Haley Nakamura took their talents on the softball diamond to the next level with the Division I New Mexico State Aggies of the Western Athletic Conference. The two former Maui Interscholastic League All-Stars formed a dynamic keystone combination while leading the Luna softball program to the top of the standings here on the Valley Isle. This year, they helped the Aggies to the WAC championship with a 14-1 record and an appearance at the NCAA Regionals.
Brenna (Lahainaluna Class of 2012) will start her senior year at NMS this fall in the College of Business. majoring in small business management and entrepreneurship. She played second base for the Aggies, hit second in the batting order for an average of .400 with four home runs, and had a .930 fielding percentage.
Kid sister Haley (Class of 2013) played shortstop, hit .368 on the season in the leadoff spot and was named to the All-WAC first team squad. She is majoring in biology and aspires to be an optometrist or dentist.
Over on the hardcourt, two of Lahainaluna’s most outstanding basketball players completed their collegiate careers.
Malika Taufa graduated this year with a degree in communications after a solid, four-year career playing power forward for the Hoosiers.
The 2010 graduate led Lahainaluna to the coveted and unprecedented state championship in her senior year. Malika, the power source in the paint for the Lady Lunas, earned MIL Player of the Year and all-state honors as a senior.
Maiki Viela – Taufa’s running mate on that state title team – was named to the Gatorade Prep All-American team the next year, along with all-state and MIL Player of the Year honors.
She played for three years at D-I Gonzaga before transferring to Morehead State in Kentucky. She captained the improving Eagles this season and graduated with a degree in universal studies last month.
Also on the basketball court, Lahainaluna Class of 2013 graduate Jade Chihara was recently voted the D-III Smith College Pioneers’ MVP for her sophomore year and named a team captain for next year.
Chihara was a member of the Lady Lunas’ state title team and a three-time All-MIL selection. Jade is majoring in the study of women and gender with a concentration in environmental science and policy with a focus on sustainable foods.
Out on the links, Class of 2012 graduate Michiko Smith led her Notre Dame Ohio Division II golf team to the Mountain East Conference championship in her junior year swinging her clubs for the Falcons.
Smith, the team captain and number one player for the Falcons, won her third consecutive individual title this season. She is majoring in environmental science and will graduate in the spring of 2016.
Imua, Luna Wahine!