Maui Prep girls cross country team looks to build on last season’s success
NAPILI – In the most stirring sports event in the ten-year history of Maui Preparatory Academy, the Pueo girls cross country team captured the Hawaii High School Athletic Association’s Division II cross country silver trophy – the school’s first team accolade – at last year’s state championships. With the leading runners returning for the 2015 campaign and the state meet scheduled to be held here on Maui at Seabury Hall, the Pueo striders are gunning for more.
Led by one of the West Side’s foremost educators in Keenan Reader, who also serves as the independent school’s director of counseling services, athletic director and cross country coach, along with longtime running mentor Dennis Nakamura, the Maui Prep wahine are priming for another strong run at the Maui Interscholastic League and state championships.
“The team is working very hard to qualify six runners for states so that we would qualify for the team title,” Reader explained last week. “The team has been on the rise throughout the season.”
Coach Keenan praised the leadership of senior captain Jamie Advincula. “In and out of the classroom, Jamie has set the tone for our team with her commitment to hard work,” he said.
“And along with the multi-sport athletes Sophia Johnston, the reigning MIL cross country and surfing champion and the Pueo Athlete of the Year for 2014-2015, as well as Corey Patton Lossner, the defending MIL tennis champion, and Alexa Narayan and Jessica Kingwell, we have a top five that competes with grit and focus.”
Rounding out the roster are junior Aniel Morey and first-year runners Rebecca Geng and Meghan Singh.
Coach Keenan went on to explain that the Pueo boys team is very young and will compete on the junior varsity level only. The lone experienced runner for Maui Prep, junior Nolan Lehman, is hampered by an injury. The JV team includes sophomore Fabian Meyer Gehlen and freshmen Christopher Egan, Logan Twigg and Yijie Wang.
Over on the Lahaina Civic Center hardcourt, the Pueo girls volleyball team is also young and inexperienced. The squad has a new coaching staff in Maui Prep first grade teacher and former Seattle Pacific University player Sarah Risser and Jerrid Hunt.
Although the team is struggling in MIL D-II play, Coach Risser has seen marked improvement by her charges and views the future of the program with optimism.
“We are a young team, but the student athletes have worked very hard and with heart. They are learning the mental and physical aspects of the game, and we hope to build on that foundation for years to come. They are all hard workers and are eager to improve. As their coach, I am proud of the progress we have made and look forward to our achievements in the future, she said.”
The 2015 Pueo volleyball team is led by captains Emily Twig and Dannielle Bergson, and the team roster includes senior Chantal Charbonnier; juniors Sarah Dils, Johanna Lubers and Kamryn Perry; sophomores Chanal Charbonnier, Sarah Golestani, Katharina Ibscher and Cassidy Otto; and first-year players Kennedy Bollhorn, Sherry Ann Domingo, Nicolette Falk and Hannah Long.