Winter sports programs thrive at Maui Preparatory Academy
NAPILI – With a state-of-the- art multipurpose athletic facility shining on the horizon, Maui Preparatory Academy continues its upward ascension toward a well-rounded education for its students.
The sports and arts complex has begun preliminary groundwork, and an official groundbreaking is scheduled for February. Athletic Director and Upper School Advisor Keenan Reader reported that community support for the multi-million dollar project has reached 65 percent of its goal in just four months on the docket.
In the meantime, the winter Pueo sports programs continue to thrive. The swimming, outrigger canoe paddling, and the inaugural junior varsity basketball team are reaching new levels of success under the mentorship of the Maui Prep coaching staffs.
The Pueo paddling team, with the sponsorship of Lahaina Canoe Club and under the guidance of Boi and Rose Crichton, Mark Shimer, Kirk Snyder and Vae Faavae, continued to grow, with the junior varsity girls crew finishing second in the Maui Interscholastic League.
The roster included seniors Megan Miller and Logan Twigg; juniors Makana Boote, Eva Maria Kareneva-Simpson, Banyan Neece, Madison Perry and Natalie Smart; sophomores Lillian Bourland, Britta Goerke, Charltyn Hannon, Jolene Munch, Ashley Nielson, Aiesha Pradhan, Sydney Snyder and Keeana Villamar; and first-year paddlers Aiden Bluh, Shelby Dresser, Jacob Jerome and Kaylee Mullen.
The Maui Prep swim team will send ten student-athletes to the state championships on Feb. 8-9 in Honolulu, led by team captains Rebecca Geng and Jerome Samari as well as standout competitors Paloma Banto and Slater Fleck. The team roster includes Olivia Bozich, Natalie Calderon, Nadine Cunha, Ava Merrill, Nolan Brown, Peyton Gillespie, Jonah Kirkham, Caleb Chumley, Zoe Gonzales and Noah Schwartzlow.
The swim team is coached by Mike “Tex” Ritter, who was recently inducted into the Pueo Hall of Honor as the independent school’s longest-standing sports mentor, and former UCLA swimmer and Lahaina Swim Club coach Kirsten Byers.
Out on the hardcourt, the Pueo basketball team practices on the blacktop court on campus. The school’s first hoops team began play this winter in Division II of the MIL. Coaches Chris Salem and Jorge Rockett Ruiz led the team to a successful season with the primary goal to build outstanding student-athletes of character beyond the court.
According to Reader, the Pueo JV’s were led by junior Harrison Crammond along with Dylan Falk, James Falk and Bennent Bluh. “The team is inexperienced, but they are talented and passionate about the game. They practiced mostly outside but appreciate the effort of Lahainaluna High School and the Lahaina Civic Center for allowing the team to use their facilities,” said Reader.
“In general, I couldn’t be more appreciative of the effort of our coaches, and I am grateful and inspired by their dedication to the student-athletes and to the school. I feel fortunate to work with such an amazing group of Lahaina community members who have chosen to make a positive impact by working with our youth through athletics,” he concluded.