Kaua‘i’s 34-member Junior Lifeguard team fared well as they competed at the Hawai‘i Junior Lifeguard Championships Saturday on O‘ahu. Overall, the Kaua‘i contingent finished third below Pokai Bay (West O‘ahu), and North Shore O‘ahu, one spectator noting that Kaua‘i was just three points short of second, finishing with 72 points overall compared with the North Shore O‘ahu’s 75 points. The top O‘ahu team garnered 80 points.
Individually, Emma Makepa-Foley dominated the field of competitors while defending her title as State Champion in the Beach Flags event for the third straight year, but this time in the Girls 15-17 division.
Fletcher Parker also defended his title as State Champion in the Boys 15-17 Run-Swim-Run event.
Newly crowned “King of the Beach” Greg Fujimoto, in his first year as a Junior Lifeguard, emerged as the surprise of the day, placing first in the Boys 13-14 Beach Flags event.
Fujimoto sprinted his way through nearly 15 rounds to capture the event’s most prestigious title over the efforts of almost 80 competitors.
The Kaua‘i Girls 13-14 Paddle Board Relay Team stroked their way to victory to defend their title for another year. Team members on the victorious team included Alana Blanchard, Camille Brady, Jackie Brady, Shaye Donnelly, Bethany Hamilton and Kristen Steiner.
The Girls 15-17, Boys 13-14, and Boys 15-17 Paddle Board Relay teams came home with silver medals, all coming in closely-contested races.
Second and third place individual winners included Noelani Moeller who took silver in the Girls 13-14 1000m Beach Run, Elliott Byfield finishing third in the Boys 15-17 1000m Beach Run, Kaimi Kaneholani taking silver in the Boys 15-17 Beach Flags, and Parker coming out of the water with bronze in the Boys 15-17 200m Swim.
Plans are already underway for next year’s program due to the success of this summer’s event, which was made possible through the efforts of the County of Kaua‘i, Ocean Safety Bureau, Hawaiian Lifeguard Association, Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association, The Fun Factory, KONG Radio Group, Duke’s Canoe Club, Waimea Plantation Cottages, Blue Dolphin Charters, Poipu Beach Broiler, Ching Young Village, and all of the event sponsors.
Results from the Hawai‘i Junior Lifeguard championships:
1000 meter Beach Run
Girls 13-14: Noelani Moeller (2nd)
Girls 15-17: Danielle Davis (6th)
Boys 15-17: Elliott Byfield (3rd)
Girls 13-14: Kelly Joyce (4th)
Girls 15-17: Emma Makepa-Foley (1st)
Boys 13-14: Greg Fujimoto (1st)
Boys 15-17: Kaimi Kaneholani (2nd), Noah Myers (4th), David Wallace (6th).
100 Meter Run-100 Meter Swim-100 Meter Run
Girls 13-14: Bethany Hamilton (4th), Jackie Brady (5th)
Boys 15-17: Fletcher Parker (1st)
200 Meter Swim
Girls 13-14: Bethany Hamilton (6th)
Boys 14-17: Fletcher Parker (3rd)
Paddle Board Relay – Teams
Girls 13-14: (1st) Alana Blanchard, Camille Brady, Jackie Brady, Shay Donnelly, Bethany Hamilton, Kristen Steiner.
Girls 15-17: (2nd) Moitia Brede, Danielle Davis, Emma Makepa-Foley, Katelyn Umetsu.
Boys 13-14: (2nd) Kenji Brede, Dustin Foley, Ivyr Luellen, Dylan Mellamed, Kyle Mira.
Boys 15-17 (2nd) Savase Brede, Elliott Byfield, Jeremy Ferguson, Cory Mira, Noah Myers, David Wallace.
1. Pokai Bay (West O‘ahu), 2. North Shore O‘ahu, 3. Kaua‘i, 4. Maui, 5. Ala Moana, 6. Big Island, 7. Kailua, 8. Waimanalo.