WAILUA — Kapa‘a High School came out ready to battle, but when the dust settled, Kaua‘i High School eked out the KIF paddling championship on points and the strenght of contributions from its younger paddlers.
“We got the JV Girls, the JV Mixed and the Varsity girls,” said coach Lori Parraga of the champion Kaua‘i teams. “The kids worked hard, and they deserve this.”
In the JV races, which contribute points to the overall standings, Kaua‘i girls, despite strong headwinds and currents in Lane 3, overcame the obstacles with a strong 3:53.85 crossing, almost 6 seconds ahead of Kapa‘a (3:59.03) and Island School (4:16.62).
The JV Mixed crew from Kaua‘i was smooth in its execution as the canoe slipped through the wind-blown chop for a commanding 3:58.49 showing in the first of two heats.
It was enough to hold off the challenge of two Kapa‘a teams and two Island School teams, and Kapa‘a took second and third with the B team (4:12.79) and A team (4:16.92).
Kaua‘i’s varsity girls crew (4:05.20) slipped past Kula (4:05.73) and Kapa‘a (4:06.83) in the preliminary heats, but slowed to a 4:10.60 in the finals, losing the final race to Kapa‘a (4:08.43).
Despite a rerun at the end of the day, the outcome did not change as the Kapa‘a girls slipped through in first place by virtue of their strength on the high end.
Kapa‘a teams finished first in the finals of all three classes, as well as the JV Boys (3:55.93), who beat out Island School (3:58.11).
Warrior men were stoic in their first-place finish of the Varsity Boys race (3:33.78) after they edged out Kula (3:34.61). Waimea finished third at 3:43.43.
In the Varsity Mixed race, Kapa‘a again relied on its strength against the headwinds to claim a first-place finish at 3:52.44 over Kula’s 3:56.43 run. Kaua‘i filled in third at 3:58.76.
The Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association state championships take place in Hilo on March 2.