Kauai Jr. Lifeguards get 10th state title

LIHUE — The Kauai Junior Lifeguard program returned home from Maui with its 10th straight state title Saturday.

“The kids were solid out there,” said Kalani Vierra, Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau supervisor. “Our kids finished more than a hundred points ahead of the No. 2 finisher.”

The Kauai contingent, amassed following the island finals last week at Kalapaki, roared through the state competition, collecting 215 points. The team from the Big Island finished second with 119 points followed by host Maui with 105 points for third place.

Leading the Kauai crew, the boys 15-17 tallied gold in four events, led by Kaeo Kruse getting first place in the 1000 meter run, 15-17 division; the 250 swim, boys 15-17 division; and leading the paddle board, boys 15-17 division.

Noah Lamadrid led the boys beach flags, 15-17 division, followed by Hikari Oberman getting second and Gavin Bryan nailing third.

The Kauai girls 15-17 found gold in three of the four events followed by the girls 13-14 getting one top finish and the boys 13-14 getting one top finish.

Joy Claypoole, an Island School student, topped the 1000 meter run, girls 15-17 followed by Haley Chasing in second, Tambrina Fairbanks in fourth, Sophia Britzmann in fifth and Yasmine Ware in sixth.

Haley Chasing rose to the top in the 250 swim, girls 15-17 division followed by Ware in second, Maluhia Stark-Kinimaka in third, Kate Machorek getting fourth and Britzmann getting fifth place in the Kauai near-sweep of the event.

Mainei Kinimaka took the lead in the paddle board, grls 15-17 division, the other team members including Maluhia Kinimaka, Abirae Stine, Britzmann, and Chasing.

Wailana Gandeza carried the Kauai girls who mustered a second finish in the girls beach flags, 15-17 division followed by Maliana Kaui getting fourth.

Sunny Patey got the only medal, a gold, in the 1000 meter run, Girls 13-14 division.

In the 250 swim, girls 13-14 age group, Kaira Kaaihue finished third followed by Ava Wagner getting fifth.

Tiana Tomoda-Bannert had the silver medal in the girls beach flags, 13-14 division followed by Anaiah Christensen finishing in third place.

Patey set the pace for the paddle board, girls 13-14 division who finished second.

Eric Potter found gold in the 1000 meter run, Boys 13-14 division followed by Kustom Wise in third, Gabriel Allen in fourth, and Blake Lewis in sixth.

Asa Hendrickson was the top Kauai finisher in the 250 swim, boys 13-14, Hendrickson collecting fifth place followed by Sam Britzmann in sixth.

Wise finished second in the boys beach flags, 13-14 division, the first Kauai boy followed by Eli Fox finishing in sixth.

Fox set the pace for the Kauai team in the paddle board, boys 13-14 where the squad finished third, Fox being followed by Hendrickson, Britzmann, Wise, Potter and Allen.

The boys 15-17, finishing tops in all four events, saw Kruse set the pace in the 1000 meter run, Boys 15-17 followed by Micah-Kamuela Nobriga-Ferris in second, Andrew Herr in fourth and Lamadrid in sixth.

Following Kruse’s lead in the 250 swim, boys 15-17, Nobriga-Ferris marked third followed by Daniel Lagana getting fourth and Bryson Baligag nailing the sixth berth.

Following Kruse’s pace in the paddle board, boys 15-17, Nobriga-Ferris, Gavin Bryon, Charles Fox, Lagana and Oberman made up the victorious team.

Randy Ortiz, one of the Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau supervisors, said with the state championships, the Kauai Junior Lifeguard program will be taking 17 juniors to the National Championships at Manhatten Beach, Calif.

This is the first time the Kauai Junior Lifeguard program has ventured past the state championship, and Vierra said they’re already scheduling training for the national level competition, which runs Aug. 6-9.

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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