Maui Prep students competing in MIL cross country, volleyball
NAPILI – The quality growth of the educational experience at Maui Preparatory Academy continues in the 2016-17 school year, as the independent campus participates in fall season Maui Interscholastic League athletics in cross country and volleyball.
Maui Prep Athletic Director Keenan Reader is stepping down as the Pueo cross country coach after ten years at the helm of the program. He reported that the team is in the able hands of its new leader, Lindsey Hunt, a physical education teacher at the school, as well as veteran long distance running mentor Dennis Nakamura.
“With a strong fitness and marathon running background, Coach Lindsey is eager to bring the team back up to the 2014 level, when they finished second at states,” said Reader last week.
He added, with a wry smile, that, “Coach Dennis is aging, getting slow and can finally be beaten by the majority of the team!”
The Pueo cross country team is very small this year – just two girls and one boy make up the roster – but according to Coach Lindsey, they are quality student athletes.
Senior Alexa Narayan and sophomore Heidi Mahan have both been consistent top 20 finishers as the MIL reached the halfway mark, headed for the stretch run to the state championship meet at Hawaii Preparatory Academy on the Big Island at the end of October.
Freshman Jerone Samari is the lone boy student athlete on the team.
Narayan is a four-year competitor looking for her third trip to the state meet. She is the senior class president and possibly a class valedictorian as an outstanding student leader.
Mahan is MPA’s Tenth Anniversary Scholarship recipient.
“The team this year is small, full of talent and heart,” said Coach Lindsey. “I am excited to watch the athletes progress beyond our strong start.”
Maui Prep volleyball has been fortunate to have a strong group of returning players this season, said second-year Head Coach Sarah Risser, who is assisted by Fred Lewis.
“We have been working hard to solidify technical skills learned during last year’s season in order to build a strong, well-balanced squad,” she said.
At the halfway point of the current MIL campaign, the Pueo are winless in the tough Division II bracket. They are striving for their first win of the season behind the leadership of tri-captains Kamryn Perry and Emily Twigg, both seniors, and sophomore Danielle Bergson.
Rounding out the roster are juniors Sarah Golestani and Cassidy Otto; sophomores Sherry Ann Domingo, Nicolette Falk and Rebecca Geng; and first-year players Chloe Chin, Amelia Graham, Kassidy Howeth, Eva-Marie Kareneva-Simpson, Madison Perry, Natalie Smart and Reagan Taylor.
“The team’s hard work, determination and teamwork have been our greatest improvements. We aim to use these tools to help us continue to grow as a program,” added Coach Risser.
The team also recognized the County of Maui and the West Maui Parks and Recreation Department for their cooperation in allowing the use of the Lahaina Civic Center gymnasium as the Pueo practice site and home court for MIL contests.
Maui Prep has no gym of their own, so the understanding of West Maui Parks is generous and very much appreciated by the school.