Splits show parity in KIF Air Rifle opener

HANAPEPE — Splits ruled the opening day of the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation Air Rifle season as hosts Waimea and Island School split its series against Kaua‘i and Kapa‘a, Wednesday afternoon.

Kristyn Yamamotoya, a strong returning shooter for the Red Raiders, paced the Kaua‘i girls to an 1140-1108 edge over the Menehune and Austin Kunishige fired off a 237, including a near-perfect 98 in the prone position, to lead the Waimea boys to an 1151-1027 showing over Kaua‘i High School at the Hanapepe Armory, re-opening its doors following renovation work since the last season.

Numbers were the key to the Island School split over Kapa‘a High School at the Voyagers’ campus as the Island School boys won 981-365 over Kapa‘a and the Warrior wahine captured a 1023-265 edge over Island School in a match that was punctuated by the passage of a late afternoon squall in Puhi.

In both losses, the Kapa‘a boys’ team fielded just two shooters to the maximum five allowed and similarly, Island School fielded just two wahine.

“Weather was a bit of a problem as rain hit us in the standing position,” Sean Magoun, coach of the Island School teams, said. “Then, the scores went downhill from there on all sides.”

Marcus Punua, one of four returning shooters for the Voyagers set the pace in the boys’ match, copping a day’s high 216 (93-66-57) including falling just seven points shy of perfect in the prone position.

He was joined by Chad Andrade, coming off a heavy farm fair where he competed in the 4H Livestock competition, adding 213 (83-70-60) points, including the day’s best 70 in the kneeling position and 60 in the standing position.

In both stances, Punua was a heavy challenger, falling just four points off the pace in the kneeling and three points back in the standing position, the most challenging of the three positions.

Cole Moore (81-60-46-187), Micah Kimi (74-61-49-184), and David Caminos (78-59-44-181) accounted for the Island School boys’ team scoring.

Justin Apiladol (59-56-57-172) and Kalani Murakami (84-46-63-193) accounted for the Kapa‘a boys’ scoring.

Strong consistency was the mark of the Kapa‘a girls who had four of their five wahine shooting in the 200-plus range, all within four points of each other.

Shyanne Almazar led the team with a 209 (77-75-57) including the day’s high in the kneeling position followed by Mary Walker finishing just three points back at 206 (72-74-60), the returning sharpshooter copping the day’s high point in the standing position.

Marissa Goo (79-73-53) and Kaylyn Armstrong (86-71-48) finished tied with 205 points apiece, Armstrong capturing day’s high point in the prone position at 86 points challenged by Goo at 79.

Alison Yamamoto rounded out the Kapa‘a girls’ team scoring at 198 (76-63-59), falling just a pair below the 200-mark with respectable performances in the prone and kneeling positions.

Allison Culliney (76-38-36-150) and Franny Kimi (65-15-35-115) provided the Island School girls’ scoring.

Yamamotoya ended the day with the best scores of the day, pegging 239 (83-84-72) points including a strong 72 points in the standing position. She led the team of Red Raiders who saw Delissa Nobriga, another returning Red Raider, blasting to a 237 (84-86-67) quick round.

Britney Fernandes (86-90-60-236) nailed a day’s best 90 in the kneeling position followed by Sara Koide (88-77-64) and Marissa Chun (85-54-60-199) rounding out the Kaua‘i girls’ team scoring.

Waimea had all five of its shooters surpassing the 200-mark with Rachel Umetsu leading the charge at 246 (89-87-70) followed by Jackie Taylor (90-77-56-223), Robyn Ijima (81-83-51-215), Angelica Tran (84-65-64-213) and Kimberly Aguilar (83-74-54-211).

Austin Kunishige fired off a day’s best 255 (98-81-76), including a near-perfect 98 in the prone position to lead the Menehune men. He was followed by John Medeiros (85-80-72-237), Jaron Parongao (82-76-65-223), Kristopher Toma (88-76-56-220) and Anthony Dalicon (82-62-50-216).

Island School next travels to the Kaua‘i High School range next Wednesday while Kapa‘a will host Waimea at its range on the Kapa‘a High School campus.

Silence is the key to spectating the matches and the public is invited to view the competition at no charge when the first rounds fire at 3 p.m.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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