Kahului Harbor was filled with canoe paddlers, all dressed in uniform for the Maui Interscholastic League meet number 1. This was the first high school regatta held since COVID-19, nearly two years ago.
The Seabury Hall Spartans and the King Kekaulike High School Na Ali’i battled in the boys, girls and mixed paddling events on Saturday. It seemed like no time had passed. They left with a few smiles and some wins.
Caleb Proctor, Sig Konohia, Maka Cary, Kaesha Purdy, Layne Millen and Finn McAfee were the Spartans in the meet-closing varsity mix race. Seabury was tied with King Kekaulike at the flag turn. The Spartans managed to finish the race first, clocking in at 4:20.86.
The Spartans boys’ varsity team, led by senior steersman Proctor, along with seniors Jack Devane, Finn McAfee, Joshua O’Connor, Bear Bernard, and freshman Sig Konohia. Proctor led them to victory in the boys’ varsity race in 3:55.20. This beat out Na Alii’s Dustin Metzler, Richie Barcus, Austin Guerrero and Ryan Murphy.
Seabury won the MIL championships in 2020. While there are many things to improve on, Seabury’s head coach Paul Lu’uwai is just happy that they can continue their sport.
In a time of 4:51.07, the King Kekaulike girls’ team, which included Magie McGurn, Raleigh Dungo, Ashley Mooney, Julianna Romero, Aurora Morales-Middleton and Natalie Dzuiban, and won. Seabury was second at 4:57.46.
Kamehameha Maui placed third in all three races, behind Na Ali’i and the Spartans.
Paddlers had to struggle through the harbor’s turbulent conditions on their first day back. One Kamehameha Maui crew got the better of a huli in the early part of the meet. Heats were delayed throughout the day to allow set waves to pass.
The King Kekaulike girls still dream of becoming MIL champions and reaching the state championship, but for now the team is happy with the league’s return.
Due to COVID-19 exposure, Lahainaluna Lunas didn’t roster a team on Saturday. Teams from Molokai High School and Lanai High School will join the league later in this season.
The next regatta will take place on Saturday at Hanakao’o Beach Park in Lahaina.