HONOLULU — The Kauai Junior Lifeguard contingent did it again Saturday. The 45-member contingent from the Garden Island picked up the state championships during the Junior Lifeguard state finals which was held at the Ala Moana Park on Oahu.
The announcement was made by Monty Downs of the Kauai Lifeguard Association in an email and later confirmed by text messages from Honolulu Saturday afternoon, including one which contained a photo of the Girls 12-14 division Paddleboard Relay team who picked up a championship.
“The kids were amazing,” said Eugene Ancheta, a Kauai Junior Lifeguard instructor. “They came out of the gate blazing on all cylinders. In the 1,000 run, the kids were unreal — Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5 in the young girls, Nos. 1, 2, 3 for the young boys.”
The state title is the first following last year’s loss which broke a string of 13 consecutive state titles.
“Kauai swept the paddleboards — all brackets,” Ancheta said. “The kids kept asking if we won. I had to tell them ‘You gotta wait. But think about it, you guys keep going up for the cards. Do the math in your head.’”
Eugene Ancheta and Randy Ortiz, instructors with the Kauai program, said the team traveling to Oahu included 45 members assembled following the island finals last weekend at Kalapaki Beach.
Following the state competition, the roster will be honed to 12 members who will travel to Florida to compete in the national championships. They will be joined by Ancheta who will compete in the adult division in an attempt to add more gold medals to his collection.
The team returned to Kauai Saturday night.