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Luna track and field athletes benefit from new training techniques

By Staff | Apr 20, 2017

Lahainaluna High School track athletes are striving to qualify for the varsity state championships on May 12-13 at Keaau on the Big Island. PHOTO BY MARGARET MONTELEONE.

LAHAINA – A dynamic coaching staff is leading a resurgent Lahainaluna High School track and field program to new heights in the 2017 Maui Interscholastic League season. Headed up by Cynthia Monteleone, the staff includes Zane Monteleone, Lucas Bernard, Bob Dezotell, Chris Meares, Randy Casco, Justine Bell, Donovan Seino, Travis Brandsetter and Al Souza.

They are all collegiate-experienced athletes that have presented incisive training techniques to the Luna student athletes. According to Coach Cynthia, herself a collegiate sprinter at North Carolina Wilmington who will compete in the USATF National Championships in the Masters (40-44) Division in the 400 this summer, “We are trying out new techniques here that includes all dynamic stretching and warm-ups, as well as yoga in our workouts.”

The results have been startling. Coming into the homestretch of the MIL season, the Lahainaluna girls JV team won the league title two weeks ago, and already there are 12 Lunas qualified – with up to eight others on the cusp – for the varsity state championships on May 12-13 at Keaau on the Big Island. The MIL championships will be held next week Friday, April 28, at War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku.

Senior standout Maygan Patch leads the Red Tide charge, as she tops the MIL in the pole vault and also qualified in the 100-meter hurdles, triple jump and the four-by-four relay. She will be joined on that relay team by sophomore Sami Saribay and first-year runners Nanea Estrella and Isabella Theobold. Senior Alexis Encinas has qualified in the pole vault.

For the Lahainaluna boys, seniors Carver Locke (pole vault, 110-meter hurdles, four-by-four relay), Mosese Felemi (discus) and Matini Perlas Kai (discus) are the top qualifiers. Locke will team up with freshmen Kai Casco and Kai Bookland, along with sophomore Gunnar Locke, on the relay lineup. Junior Isaiah Tanner is qualified in the high jump event.

“This team is filled with kids with great attitudes,” marveled Coach Cynthia last week from Sue D. Cooley Stadium on campus last week. “There is a nice vibe around here – it’s like family. We’re thankful also for the leadership of AD (Athletic Director) Scott Soldwisch and the care the student athletes receive from trainers Jon Conrad and Helen Hetzel.”

She added that the program has benefited from, and is grateful for, fundraisers sponsored by Times Supermarket in Honokowai and the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua.

Assistant coach Zane Monteleone, Cynthia’s husband and partner in the family business, Maui Sugar Shop at Old Lahaina Center, is a 2000 graduate of Lahainaluna and competed in track and field when the athletic facility was, at best, marginal. There really was no track – just an uneven, divot-filled oval, and no jump pits.

Today, Coach Zane, thanking the Lahainaluna High School Foundation and Sue Cooley, said, “We have a real track and state-of-the-art jump pits and starting blocks. Along with the coaches’ input, we’ve really been able take the equipment aspect of the program to a higher level, and this comes from the support of the whole community.”