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Lahainaluna High School swimmers set school records at state meet

By Staff | Feb 21, 2019

The Lahainaluna High School swim teams are loaded with young talent.

LAHAINA – The sterling tradition of excellence and effort of the Lahainaluna High School swim team continued into the 2018-19 season under head coach Tom Popdan and assistant Jen Wiseman.

The Luna girls finished third and the boys fourth in the final Maui Interscholastic League standings and then went on to set school records at the state meet.

The highlights of the season for the Lunas came at the K. Mark Takai Swimming and Diving State Championships two weeks ago at Waipahu, Oahu.

The boys 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay team of Jaden Yip, Kendall Beam, Jorden Beam and Koa Arnold set school records, and Yip erased the Lahainaluna standard in both the 100 breaststroke (1.00.5) and 200 individual medley (1.58.24) events.

Lady Luna junior Lexi Anderson also set a school record with her 51.70 time in the 100 backstroke event at the state meet. Unfortunately, she was disqualified by a knee jerk on the starting block in the 100 breaststroke, the event in which she is the defending state champion and age group state record holder.

“The highlight of our season has been the level of improvement across the board for all of the team,” said Coach Tom last week upon his return from the state championships.

We have a lot of younger swimmers coming up from the club team (Lahaina Swim Club), and Coach Jen (Wiseman) has done an excellent job of getting them ready for this competition. We’ve also gotten great support from the lifeguards at the Lahaina Aquatic Center, as the facility was always open when we practiced.”

As there are no seniors on the boys team, the future is promising for the Lunas. Juniors Koa Arnold and Kenny Bell; sophomores Jaden Yip, Jorden Beam, Kendall Beam and Jake Compton; and freshmen Isiah Bell, Maxx Cherry, Kai Claydon and Ryunosuke Hattori all return next year to compliment the upcoming club swimmers.

The same is pretty much true for the Lady Lunas, as Isabella Omura is the lone senior in the lineup. Juniors Lexi Anderson, Hailey Bogar, Ryli Cherry, Rebecca Segura and Isabella Theobald; sophomore Faith Bell; and first-year swimmers Tepua Ho and Mei Welch Bemasek will all return next season.

“The distinguishing factor for this team is that they are consistently high in academic achievement with their intelligence level. Ryli Cherry and Hailey Bogar are up for valedictorian consideration for next year, their senior year,” concluded Coach Tom.