ILH makes waves at Ke'ehi
By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Brandon Masuoka
The Punahou girls and Kamehameha-Maui mixed crew celebrated their first state paddling titles, while Kamehameha defended its boys crown yesterday at a rainy Ke'ehi Lagoon.
In the upset of the day, the Buffanblu girls toppled four-time defending champion Kamehameha at the 5th annual First Hawaiian Bank/Hawai'i High School Athletic Association Canoe Paddling State Championships.
"It was a long time coming," Punahou girls coach Marion Lyman-Mersereau said. "I'm just so proud of them. They did such a wonderful job."
A intermittent rain turned the banks of Ke'ehi Lagoon into a muddy mess yesterday, but water conditions were mostly smooth for the 24-race regatta that featured 37 schools from O'ahu, the Big Island, Maui and Kaua'i.
The Interscholastic League of Honolulu has dominated the state tournament since its inception in 2002, winning every boys and girls title. Yesterday was no exception.
The Punahou girls finished the 1/2-mile course in 4 minutes, 21.36 seconds. Kamehameha took second at 4:24.22 and Mid-Pacific Institute placed third at 4:26.74.
The members of Punahou's team were Alyson Ayers, Jessie Cleghorn, Claire Dewey, Katie Fletcher, Amy Wessberg, Kelly Aldinger, Melissa Jasper and Ariel Orodenker.
The Buffanblu ended the season on a winning note after an up-and-down ILH season where they finished third overall.
"We had a lot of sickness and team discrepancies, but we got it all figured out today," said Wessberg, the team's junior steersman. "Our goal was to do our best today."
Lyman-Mersereau earned her first state title over Kamehameha coach Rose Lum. The two have been coaching together for more than 25 years, Lyman-Mersereau said.
"She's always the one to beat," Lyman-Mersereau said.
In keeping with the ILH theme, the Kamehameha boys won the title in 3:45.36. Punahou was second at 3:49.66 followed by Maryknoll at 3:50.71.
Kamehameha's team members were Francis Lono Kealoha, John Nishimura, Jonathan Pestana, James Kamaka Pili, Joshua Nainoa Quinn, William Kenui Viveiros, Justyn Ah Chong and Kaihe Chong.
The Warriors capped a brilliant season by winning the ILH title and earning their second state championship.
"I was in the boat last year, and it feels just as good this year," said Quinn, a senior.
"The boys trained hard all season," Warriors coach Kalama Heine said. "It just pays off to finish like this. They really wanted it this year."
In the mixed crew race, Kamehameha-Maui set a state record at 4:02.87 to break Lahainaluna's mark of 4:04.38 set in 2002.
"I'm very happy, and very proud of my crew," Kamehameha-Maui senior Pualei Kaaa said. "Our coach taught us, 'Get in front, stay in front.' "
King Kekaulike placed second at 4:05.60. Konawaena took third at 4:11.61.
Kamehameha-Maui won its first state championship in any sport.
Coach Robert Brede dedicated the trophy to the school's late principal and paddling supporter Mitchell Kalauli.
"He was their leading force when these kids first came through high school," Brede said. "I'm pretty emotional right now."
Team members were Michael Nance, Robert-John Kukahiko, Matthew Pires, Rachel Lum Ho, Amanda Green, Pualei Kaaa, Rhianne Spenser, Tiffany Yee, Chanley Malia Purdy, Jason Botelho and Logan Green..
FIRST HAWAIIAN BANK/HHSAA CANOE PADDLING STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
AT KE'EHI LAGOON
All races are finals
1, Kamehameha (Francis Lono Kealoha, John Nishimura, Jonathan Pestana, James Kamaka Pili, Joshua Nainoa Quinn, William Kenui Viveiros, Justyn Ah Chong, Kaihe Chong) 3:45.36. 2, Punahou (Eric Abbott, Kainoa Aluli, Paul Hayes, Ryan Jones, Christian Riegels, Caton Smith, Sev Smith, Mark Towill) 3:49.66. 3, Maryknoll (Christopher Beuret, Damien Casken, Patrick Dolan, Ryan Dolan, Scotty Irvine, Dillon Schackmann, Erik Keo Skudlarick, Kekua Uemoto) 3:50.71. 4, 'Anuenue 3:51.01. 5, Kula 4:00.58. 6, Kamehameha-Maui 4:03.12. 7, McKinley 4:04.70. 8, Kapa'a 4:09.90.
1, Punahou (Alyson Ayers, Jessie Cleghorn, Claire Dewey, Katie Fletcher, Amy Wessberg, Kelly Aldinger, Melissa Jasper, Ariel Orodenker) 4:21.36. 2, Kamehameha (Lindsey Gerber, Malia Paresa, Bianca Minns, Brittany Courtney, Jayrilyn Akiona, Alyssa Pacarro, Kathryn Kiana Choo, Nahoku Keala) 4:24.22. 3, Mid-Pacific (Malie Mayural, Mami Yamauchi, Jean Cullinan, Leigh Cullinan, Mallory Kurosumi, Ashlyn Young, Katharine Levins, Kylie Miyashiro) 4:26.74. 4, Mililani 4:30.33. 5, 'Anuenue 4:34.26. 6, Lahainaluna 4:38.59. 7, Kapa'a 4:41.30. 8, Kaua'i 4:42.59.
1, Kamehameha-Maui (Michael Nance, Robert-John Kukahiko, Matthew Pires, Rachel Lum Ho, Amanda Green, Pualei Kaua, Rhianne Spenser, Tiffany Yee, Chanley Malia Purdy, Jason Botelho, Logan Green) 4:02.87*. 2, King Kekaulike (Kaapuni Aiwohi, Sam Lundquist, Marci Ono, Skye Grossman, Kelly Bode, Lei Ishikawa, Alea Miranda, Kapono Naeole) 4:05.60. 3, Konawaena (Marika Anderson, Kayti Bowman, Leilani Gaspar, Maile Leslie, Noel Tavares, Collin Carlos, Ryan Daugherty, Solomon Kala Keawe, Nolan Reed, Joshua Yong) 4:11.61. 4, Maryknoll 4:13.68. 5, Seabury Hall 4:18.29. 6, Kealakehe 4:20.51. 7, Castle 4:20.86. 8, Kamehameha 4:32.51.
*Denotes HHSAA record (2002, Lahainaluna, 4:04.38)
Reach Brandon Masuoka at email@example.com.