Javin Hennessy swept all three events in the special keiki competition set up Saturday during the island finals of the Kauai Junior Lifeguard program at Kalapaki Beach.
“We set up a special keiki division so the younger kids could share the excitement of the island finals,” said Randy Ortiz, one of the Junior Lifeguard instructors and a Kauai Fire Department Ocean Safety Bureau lifeguard supervisor. Those county agencies, Kauai Lifeguard Association and numerous community sponsors put together the free, annual event.
Javin Hennessy topped the 500-yard run, the run/swim/run shuttle race, and the highly popular beach flags event, beating out Curren Pope and Hunter Frieger-Ladera in all three of the events culled from the schedule of Junior Lifeguard offerings.
On the girls’ side, Kiani Ortiz topped the 500-yard run, Sienna Temme edged out Koi Pope in the run/swim/run race, and Liliwai Keahiolalo emerged tops in beach flags after the pack nosed ahead of Pope in the opening round.
Operating under a blazing sun and in clear water churned by a small east bump, the island finals brought together participants from 12 to 17 years old who took part in this year’s Junior Lifeguard programs at different sites from Hanalei to Salt Pond.
The Kauai Keiki and Junior Lifeguard program is a free, ocean-safety awareness program offering instruction in lifesaving skills, drug awareness, rescue skills, first aid including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, teamwork, problem-solving, beach and ocean awareness, and beach hazards.
The skills are taught via challenges such as the 1,000-meter run, 200-meter ocean swim, run/swim/run race, Iron Guard, paddleboard relay, and the highly competitive beach flags.
In Iron Guard, one of the more recent additions to the lineup, participants run 500 meters, swim 200 meters, and paddle 200 meters.
The day of competition included lunch being served by Jamie Arreola and the Duke’s Canoe Club crew.
Afterwards, Kalani Vierra, Ocean Safety Bureau supervisor, said more than 40 youngsters will be organized into a Kauai team to compete in the state finals at Ala Moana Beach Park in Honolulu Saturday.
Kauai had a 13-year string of consecutive state victories, interrupted last year by Oahu.
“We’ll try again this year,” Vierra said. “The one good thing about Kauai having all those wins is it raised the bar for the program throughout the state. We had more people looking at this and working harder.”
Ortiz said the team will come back from Honolulu Saturday, then head to California for the nationals on Sunday.
Keiki girls 500-yard run: Kiani Ortiz, Liliwai Keahiolalo, Sienna Temme, Rianna Chang
Keiki boys 500-yard run: Javin Hennessy, Curren Pope, Hunter Krieger-Ladera
Keiki girls run/swim/run shuttle: Sienna Temme, Koi Pope
Keiki boys run/swim/run shuttle: Javin Hennessy, Curren Pop, Hunter Frieger-Ladera
Keiki girls beach flags: Liliwai Keahiolalo, Kiani Ortiz, Sienna Temme, Koi Pope
Keiki boys beach flags: Javin Hennessy, Hunter Krieger-Ladera, Curren Pope
Girls 12-14: Nabe Edwards, Kalista Brigante, Tauehi Dubocage, Malia Splittstoesser, Summer Navarrete, Sailor Keahiolalo
Boys 12-14: Kellen O’Rourke, Jeremy Herr, Kawai Beeby, Makani Trask, Nahoa Davis, Bradly Pratt
Girls 15-17: Victoria Hennessy, Temari Davis, Juliana Tampus, Aleya Stearns
Boys 15-17: Dutch Fairbanks, Keon Orlando, Lai Viernes, Henry Scherer, Jaheim Scoburgh
Girls 12-14: Malia Splittstoesser, Mercedes Stearns, Alana Cayabyab, Asha McGinnis, Olivia Lutkevich, Olivia McSweeney
Boys 12-14: Kai Norman, Lucas McSweeney, Kawai Beeby, Bradly Pratt, Keliko Pa, Nahoa Davis
Girls 15-17: Maddie Hoesel, Mercedes Stearns, Julia Safford, Asha McGinnis, Juliana Tampus, Aleya Stearns
Boys 15-17: Zach Safford, Henry Scherer, Dutch Fairbanks, James Pratt, Keon Orlando, Justice Chatfield
Girls 12-14: Malia Splittstoesser, Alana Cayabyab, Olivia Cutkevich, Asha McGinnis, Kalista Brigante, Olivia McSweeney
Boys 12-14: Kellen O’Rourke, Kawai Beeby, Kai Norman, Jeremy Herr, Lucas McSweeney, Makani Trask
Girls 15-17: Maddie Hoesel, Juliana Tampus, Julia Safford, Lani Alo, Victoria Hennessy, Aleya Stearns
Boys 15-17: Henry Scherer, Dutch Fairbanks, Zach Safford, Lai Viernes, Keon Orlando, Elijah Namordi
Girls 12-14: Malia Splittstoesser, Mercedes Stearns, Olivia Lutkevich, Asha McGinnis, Olivia McSweeney
Boys 12-14: Kawai Beeby, Kai Norman, Kellen O’Rourke, Lucas McSweeney, Keliko Pa, Jeremy Herr
Girls 15-17: Juliana Tampus, Maddie Hoesel
Boys 15-17: Dutch Fairbanks, Henry Scherer, James Pratt
Girls 15-17: Winners, Kalapaki, West Side, Paki Two
Boys 15-17: Kalapaki II, NSB, KB Boys
Girls 12-14: Kelsey Ortiz, Alana Cayabyab, Sailor Keahiolalo, Tauehi Dubocage, Summer Navarette, Alexis Chatfield
Boys 12-14: Kellen O’Rourke, Keliko Pa, Jeremy Herr, Kai Norman, Kawai Beeby, Nahoa Davis
Girls 15-17: Waileia Edwards, Temari Davis, Victoria Hennessy, Juliana Tampus, Maddie Hoesel, Tehane Kinimaka
Boys 15-17: Dutch Fairbanks, Lai Viernes, Zach Safford, Elijah Namordi, Justice Chatfield, Henry Scherer