Mixed Paddling is third in state

boys team makes semifinals


Photo by Riann Fujihara

A crew sets out with head coach Robert Brede on Thursday, Feb. 2, at Kahului Harbor at the last practice before the state competition.

The Kamehameha Maui paddling team ended the 2016-2017 season by sending their boys and mixed crews to the state competition at Keʻehi Lagoon Beach Park on Oʻahu, Feb. 4, where the mixed team came in third overall.

“I feel great and blessed that we were able to qualify for states. It’s such an awesome experience to compete against the best around the state, and represent our school,” junior Rafael Adolpho said. 

Six girls and eight boys participated in the First Hawaiian Bank Canoe Paddling 2017 Championships. Both the boys and mixed paddling crews had qualified as the second seed. In order to qualify, the crews needed to be in the top three of the Maui Interscholastic League. 

Throughout the season, head coach Robert Brede worked on “trying to find that right combo to be the fastest.”

The boys paddling crew held down their second place spot this season at all of their meets except Meet #3, where they took third. Their fastest time this season was a 3:51.49, taking second to Seabury Hall. Although the teams were consistently changing, the crew usually consisted of Triston Hoʻokele-Santos, Hanalei Alapai, Moanatea Keliiliki-Johnson, Kamauliola Kana, Taylor Ching, and Rafael Adolpho.

Throughout the season, Seabury Hall remained Kamehameha’s biggest competitor.

“Some challenges we faced stem from the fact that we do not all paddle together during club season, which is why Seabury has been so good because they are all used to each other’s stroke and used to paddling with each other,” senior Hanalei Alapai said.

Alapai said their strength as a team is the respect that they share for each other, and as a team, they are physically strong due to conditioning sessions.

The mixed paddling team stayed consistent in their second-place spot for most of the season except Meet #2, when they got fourth place. The fastest time for the mixed crew was 4:00.00, coming in second to Seabury Hall. The crew usually consisted of Rafael Adolpho, Hanalei Alapai, Haley Kalama, Triston Kahoʻokele-Santos, Tiya Mahi, and Hoala Alapai.

At the state competition, the boys crew placed fourth in the preliminary race with a time of 3:56.86, but another fourth place finish in the semifinal knocked them out of the running with a time of 4:02:00, just under two seconds slower than McKinley High School.

The mixed crew placed third in their preliminary with a time of 3:59.74, and first in their semifinal with a time of 4:07.41, the fastest time of the two semifinal races. They went on to place third with a time of 3:59.74, behind Punahou (3:51.89), and the MIL champions Seabury Hall, who also became state champions with a time of 3:48.99.

Looking back at this season, the team accomplished their goal, which was to work together to the best of their ability and have fun.

The whole team can agree with senior Tiya Mahi when she said, “I am so grateful to the supporters, my teammates, and the coaches for helping us reach states. Whatever happens at states, it’s been a great last season.”