Punahou takes boys, girls air riflery crowns

The Punahou girls and boys air riflery teams, under head coach Karen Finley, claimed the 10th Annual Civilian Marksmanship Program/HHSAA state championships yesterday at the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. In the competition, the Buffanblu girls tallied a grand aggregate of 2126, breaking the state record of 2111 set by Sacred Hearts in 2003.

 In the girls competition, Sacred Hearts junior Clarissa Akana took the gold medal with a grand aggregate of 556, missing the state individual championship record set by Vicci Yau of Punahou in 2002.  Second-place finisher Lauren Riford of Punahou fell just a point behind the champion with a total of 555.

Of the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation’s five girls participants, Heather Walker of Kapa‘a was the league’s highest finisher. Walker posted a 468 (174 prone-136 standing-158 kneeling) to finish outside of the top 15, just 38 points off of a medal. Waimea represented the rest of the KIF crew with Rachel Wright finishing with 459 (178-134-147), Brandi Briones with 443 (173-106-164) Joanna Andres with 431 (152-134-145) and BreeAnn Abuan with 378 (163-64-151).    

 In the boys competition, Pearl City’s LeLan Aranaydo held a 11-point lead to take the boys individual championship with a grand aggregate of 546, while St. Anthony’s Paul Berce took home the silver medal with 535.

Tyler Navarro was the KIF’s highest-place finisher at 483 (177-136-170), just 18 points off of a medal. The KIF sent six competitors for the boy’s competition. Kaua‘i’s Shaun Koide finished with 477 (172-146-159), Kent Rapozo finished with 456 (164-133-159), Waimea’s Ty Shinaka finished with 449 (174-117-158), Island School’s Justin-Riley Louis posted a score of 431 (155-110-166) and Kaua‘i’s Kelan Adachi finished at 430 (168-114-148).

 This marks the Buffanblu’s fourth championship for the girls, while the boys claimed their fourth-straight championship in the 10 years of the tournament.

Hawai‘i’s state championship is one of two in the country that are sanctioned by the high school athletic governing body.

Georgia is the other.

Air riflery became a statewide varsity sport in Hawai‘i in 1999. The 2006-07 school year saw its greatest participation with 972 student-athletes competing for 42 schools statewide.

Waiakea’s 2004 boys were the only Neighbor Island school to win the team championship.

The Interscholastic League of Honolulu schools have won both the girls and boys championships every year — except for Waiakea’s 2004 teeam —  since the tournament’s inception.

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