Maui Sports

Seabury Girls Push Punahou at State Regatta

February 8, 2015, 1:02 PM HST
* Updated February 8, 2:45 PM
Listen to this Article
5 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00
A
A
A

Seabury Hall girls and head coach Paul Kauhane Lu'uwai wear their silver medals proud Saturday after finishing second to Punahou at the state outrigger canoe championships at Kahului Harbor. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Seabury Hall girls and head coach Paul Kauhane Lu’uwai wear their silver medals proud Saturday at Kahului Harbor after finishing second to Punahou at the state outrigger canoe championships. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

By Rodney S. Yap

Although noticeably undersized in comparison to its competition, the Seabury Hall girls paddled big in the biggest regatta of the year, earning a second-place finish and heaps of respect.

The Maui Interscholastic League champion Spartans provided spectators at Kahului Harbor the day’s best race, pushing Interscholastic League of Honolulu powerhouse Punahou to the finish line before falling short of their second state championship in three years.

Seabury Hall battled Punahou (yellow canoe)  stroke for stroke Saturday, finishing second to the Oahu team in the girls final of the state outrigger canoe paddling championships at Kahului Harbor. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Seabury Hall battled Punahou (yellow canoe) stroke for stroke Saturday, finishing second to the Oahu team in the girls final of the state outrigger canoe paddling championships at Kahului Harbor. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

The Buffanblu girls “were clicking” Saturday, delivering their best performances of the year Saturday at the First Hawaiian Bank Hawaii High School Athletic Association State Outrigger Canoe Paddling Championships.

Punahou girls finished 1.1 seconds ahead of Seabury, setting the stage for an impressive gold-medal sweep on the Valley Isle. In the end, nothing appeared to be able to slow down the Buffanblu canoes Saturday, not even the freakish waves occasionally surfacing amid the choppy conditions and gusting winds.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

“This is huge for us, 2009 was the last time we won it, so it’s been a pretty long dry spell,” said Punahou girls coach Becky Fardal. “Maui has been good to us. But that race was awesome, that was such a good race, and to have that kind of race in the finals is awesome.”

Seabury Hall girls are congratulated after their race Saturday. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Seabury Hall girls are congratulated by friends and family Saturday at Kahului Harbor. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Seabury Hall senior captain Mapuana Andrade figured the final would be an epic stroke-for-stroke duel.

“We knew it was a close race. And for the seniors, we knew this was going to be our last race, so we left everything out there — afterwards we couldn’t feel our arms,” she said.

Spartan head coach Paul Kauhane Lu’uwai was glad his team was physically prepared to compete and not distracted with the additional duties as host school.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

“We knew the surf was going to be there, but it’s all about the final and you need to have the energy to do well in that last race,” Lu’uwai said. “I am proud of our girls, they worked hard all year for this.”

Best of all, Maui paddlers competed in home waters and enjoyed the support of family and friends for only the second time in 14 years. In 2009 the state regatta was held at Canoe Beach in Kaanapali.

20150207-DSC_0251

Seabury Hall boys win semifinal heat 2 Saturday at the state outrigger canoe championships at Kahului Harbor. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Joining Andrade in the girls boat were seniors Lexi Smith and Ashley Tanga, freshmen Taysia Pimentel and Kaya Givensel, and sophomore Hi’ilei Lu’uwai. The Spartans finished in 4 minutes, 24.84 seconds.

Punahou — timed in 4:23.70 — was made up of Emalia Eichelberger, Madison Francis, Cassandra Ingram, Ka’onohi Lapilio, Bailey Monick and Daena Smith.

Kamehameha-Kapalama was third (4:26.01) in the girls race, while King Kekaulike was fifth (4:42.94) and Molokai seventh (4:48.16). The two MIL schools advanced to the finals by winning their respective semifinal heats about an hour earlier in the meet.

Punahou’s Hunter Pflueger, C. Aukai Manson, Ethan Lewis, J. Kimo Brown, E. Kaiko Manson and Steven Falatea claim the boys crown in 3:38.82. Kalaheo was next in 3:42.69, followed by Kamehameha Kapalama (3:44.31) and Seabury Hall (3:46.23).

20150207-DSC_0277

Seabury Hall boys walk-off the beach at Kahului Harbor Saturday after winning their semifinal heat at the state outrigger canoe championships. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Fresh paddlers Summer Caster and Caitlin Green joined Eichelberger, Lewis, Falatea, and Pflueger on Punahou’s mixed crew. The winners were clocked in 3:56.23, followed by Mid Pacific (4:02.90) and Konawaena (4:04.61). Fourth went to King Kekaulike (4:06.63), which finished ahead of sixth-place Seabury Hall (4:11.88) for the first time all year.

In all, paddlers representing 48 schools from around the state converged at Kahului Harbor and the adjacent Ho’aloha Park.

“We finished second in the ILH, we didn’t win it, but today these girls just clicked,” Fardal said of the five juniors and one senior crew members. “The girls were on today. If you had interviewed me two days ago, probably not — it was a weird week — but that’s kind of how the sport of canoe paddling is.”

Punahou’s sweep, the first since Kamehameha-Kapalama in 2011, maintained the private school’s dominance in the sport as the ILH has now won 26 of 29 girls and boys division titles.

Kahului Harbor

Fans of canoe paddling were down at Kahului Harbor Saturday for the state outrigger canoe championships. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

“We thought (Kamehameha) Kapalama was going to smoke everyone like they usually do,” said Seabury’s Smith. “Winning like we did my sophomore year (2013) was amazing to be around those seniors and I looked up to those girls. But this year, being a senior and knowing that everyone else was looking up to me was so much more satisfying. I’m going to miss my girls so much.”

As far as the conditions, Smith added: “We’ve been dealing with those conditions all year, so it didn’t matter, actually it felt comforting racing here.”

Tanga said the team’s success is a result of dedication and hard work.

“I’m very excited and happy we got to do this with our crew this year. We just wanted to do the best that we could and we told each other that we were sisters, no matter what happens. But of course we always want to do well. We were definitely smaller than a lot of the crews out there, but we worked very hard for this.”

20150207-DSC_0348

King Kekaulike girls round the halfway flag during their semifinal heat 2 Saturday at the state championship outrigger canoe championships at Kahului Harbor. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Andrade said the key was winning the first preliminary heat Saturday, which was also the meet’s first race.

“We were extremely nervous going into that first heat. But after we won we were very motivated and wanted to push hard so we could get what we got today. What happened in the first heat made our minds set for the rest of the day.

“I’m very excited because I feel the last four years have built up to this moment,” she concluded. “I know we are a little undersized, but matching up with the whole state of Hawaii is really amazing and I’m so grateful for anything we got out of this and all that the girls on this crew have given me my senior year.”

Click for more: state canoe padding photos

20150207-DSC_0320

The Molokai girls won their semifinal heat to advance to the finals Saturday at the state championship outrigger canoe championships at Kahului Harbor. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

FIRST HAWAIIAN BANK

STATE CANOE PADDLING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Saturday, Feb. 7, Results

At Kahului Harbor

Girls Division

Preliminaries

Heat 1 — 1. Seabury Hall 4:36.58, 2. Kamehameha Kapalama 4:39.04, 3. Castle 4:49.85, 4. Pac-5. 4:52.35, 5. Kealakehe 4:53.37, 6. Molokai 4:54.13, 7. Leilehua 4:56.77, 8. Kalaheo 5:10.75.

Heat 2 — 1. Punahou 4:32.34, 2. Kamehameha Hawaii 4:35.64, 3. King Kekaulike 4:50.10, 4. Moanalua 5:00.98, 5. Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino 5:04.49, 6. Kalani 5:05.13, 7. Kaiser 5:29.99.

Semifinals

Heat 1 — 1. Molokai 4:39.90, 2. Castle 4:40.34, 3. Leilehua 4:41.33, 4. Moanalua 4:44.71, 5. Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino 4:50.79.

20150207-DSC_0845

King Kekaulike coach and supporter celebrate after Na Alii defeated Seabury Hall in the mixed championship final Saturday at Kahului Harbor. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Heat 2 — 1. King Kekaulike 4:35.31, 2. Kealakehe 4:39.39, 3. Pac-5. 4:44.10, 4. Kalani 4:46.97, 5. Kalaheo 4:50.84, 6. Kaiser 4:53.14.

Final

1. Punahou (Emalia Eichelberger, Madison Francis, Cassandra Ingram, Ka’onohi Lapilio, Bailey Monick, Daena Smith), 4:23.70

2. Seabury Hall, 4:24.84

3. Kamehameha-Kapalama, 4:26.01

4. Kamehameha-Hawaii, 4:26.65

5. King Kekaulike, 4:42.94.

6. Kealakehe, 4:47.35

7. Molokai, 4:48.16

8. Castle, 4:49.40

20150207-DSC_0778

Public address announcer Clifford Nae’ole communicates to canoe paddling fans watching the Hawaii state outrigger canoe championships at Kahului Harbor Saturday. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Boys Division

Preliminaries

Heat 1 — 1. Punahou 3:49.45, 2. Kalaheo 3:50.91, 3. Kapaa 3:58.50, 4. Hilo 3:58.89, 5. Le Jardin 4:05.12, 6. Maui High 4:06.21, 7. Kaiser 4:12.04, 8. Waianae 4:28.74.

Heat 2 — 1. Kamehameha Kapalama 3:51.07, 2. Keaau 3:52.92, 3. Seabury Hall 3:53.88, 4. Radford 4:05.75, 5. Kailua 4:10.96, 6. Kalani 4:12.21, 7. Kamehameha Maui 4:15.90, 8. Waiakea 4:26.30.

Semifinals

Heat 1 — 1. Kapaa 3:52.62, 2. Kaiser 4:00.86, 3. Kailua 4:01.41, 4. Maui High 4:01.87, 5. Radford 4:07.04, 6. Waiakea 4:12.78.

Heat 2 — 1. Seabury Hall 3:51.06, 2. Hilo 3:53.72, 3. Le Jardin 3:55.83, 4. Kalani 4:03.32, 5. Kamehameha Maui 4:07.49, 6. Waianae 4:27.34.

Final

1. Punahou (Hunter Plueger, C. Aukai Manson, Ethan Lewis, J. Kimo Brown, E. Kaiko Manson, Steven Falatea), 3:38.82

2. Kalaheo, 3:42.69

3. Kamehameha-Kapalama, 3:44.31

20150206-DSC_0009

Team tents line Kahului Harbor Saturday in front of Ho’aloha Park for the Hawaii state outrigger canoe championships. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

4. Seabury Hall, 3:46.23

5. Kapaa, 3:47.34

6. Keaau, 3:48.06

7. Hilo, 3:57.10

8. Kaiser, 4:19.95

Mixed Division

Preliminaries

Heat 1 — 1. Punahou 4:01.72, 2. Mid Pacific 4:04.81, 3. Konawaena 4:06.55, 4. Seabury Hall 4:10.64, 5. Kalaheo 4:19.03, 6. McKinley 4:23.59, 7. Lahainaluna 4:25.46.

Heat 2 — 1. Kamehameha Kapalama 4:12.49, 2. King Kekaulike 4:15.23, 3. Parker 4:15.90, 4. Kapa’a 4:16.58, 5. Waianae 4:17.27, 6. Kaiser 4:20.82, 7. Kapolei 4:29.59, 8. Nanakuli 4:39.32.

Semifinals

Heat 1 — 1. Konawaena 4:05.93, 2. Waianae 4:11.13, 3. Kapa’a 4:12.71, 4. Lahainaluna 4:18.69, 5. McKinley 4:21.34, 6. Nanakuli 4:22.61.

Heat 2 — 1. Seabury Hall 4:05.24, 2. Kaiser 4:10.94, 3. Parker 4:11.92, 4. Kalaheo 4:22.32, 5. Kapolei 4:25.39.

20150206-DSC_0097

Lahainaluna head coach Joey Tihada talks to his team before the start of a preliminary race Saturday at Kahului Harbor. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Final

1. Punahou (Summer Caster, Emalia Eichelberger, Caitlin Green, Ethan Lewis, Steven Falatea, Hunter Pflueger), 3:56.23

2. Mid-Pacific, 4:02.90

3. Konawaena, 4:04.61

4. King Kekaulike, 4:06.53

5. Kamehameha-Kapalama, 4:09.71

6. Seabury Hall, 4:11.88

7. Kaiser, 4:14.62

8. Waianae, 4:19.06

E-Mail Newsletters Receive daily or weekly updates via e-mail. Subscribe Now
News Alerts Breaking news alerts on your mobile device. Get the App

Comments

This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments