Maui Prep cross country and girls volleyball teams off to strong starts
NAPILI – The tradewind-swept foothills of Napili and Kapalua seem to fit the Maui Preparatory Academy cross country teams to a “T.”
Two years ago, the Pueo made a statement at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships by finishing as the team runner-up in Division II. Thus far in 2017, the Pueo are on track to make another statement for the independent campus here on the West Side.
Led by second-year head coach Lindsey Hunt and veteran long distance mentor Dennis Nakamura, Maui Prep has won two of three Maui Interscholastic League events this fall. The girls team is led by German international student Linn Huettmeyer, who has finished in the top five of the junior varsity standings and in the top 15 of the varsity finishers in every meet.
Meanwhile, the Pueo boys are making a charge of their own with a serious challenge to MIL and HHSAA cross country powerhouse Seabury Hall. Thus far in the 2017 campaign, Maui Prep is running stride-for-stride with Seabury for the Division II lead. Slater Fleck and Damon Wakefield are leading the charge through the regular season meets that will culminate with the MIL Championships at Kapalua on Oct. 21, with the state meet scheduled for Oct. 27-28 on Kauai.
The team expressed their thanks to the Kapalua Golf Academy for their help in hosting the MIL meet and the Westside Invitational with Lahainaluna High School.
Up on the hardcourt, the Maui Prep girls volleyball team is coached by Benvon “Coach Bula” Mahiai and assistant Sarah Risser, a first grade teacher on campus.
The Pueo had their first winning record in school history – 2-1 – at the start of the current Division II season. The successful start to the 2017 campaign is being led by senior team captain Danielle Bergson and classmates Cassidy Otto and Sarah Golestani.
The quick start to the current season comes despite the program’s lack of a practice site or a home court for MIL contests. Their usual home base, the Lahaina Civic Center, is under renovation, and gym time for practice is limited. Despite the hardship, the team sent its appreciation to Maui County Parks Director Kaala Buenconsejo and Lahainaluna head coach Trixey Ganer for their support and guidance.
The Pueo will play no home games this year. The MIL playoffs will start on Oct. 17 and continue through Oct. 21. The Division II HHSAA state tournament will be held on Oct. 25-28 in Honolulu.