Kauai Junior Lifeguards headed for nationals

NAWILIWILI — Kauai Junior Lifeguard Henry Scherer said they will be using a paddleboard different from the type they used at the state competition when they take to the water at the National Lifeguard and Junior Lifeguard Championships on Wednesday at Daytona Beach, Florida.

“This is going to be a crazy weekend,” said Eugene Ancheta, a Kauai Junior Lifeguard instructor and coach. “I’m doing the Spartan event on Oahu so all I have time to do is come home, do a quick change of clothes, freshen up and it’s back to the airport.”

Sherer is also in the same boat, participating in the Spartan event before heading to the national lifeguarding event presented by the United States Lifesaving Association.

“This is not the first time I’m doing the Spartan,” Scherer said. “They have different events so Eugene will be doing his event and I’m on my own event. We should be good.”

Scherer was on the list of the Kauai Junior Lifeguards who made the national team. Others include Abigail Stearns, Kawai Beeby, Dutch Fairbanks, Cole Frye, Victoria Hennessy, Maddie Hoesel, Kai Norman, Keon Orlando, Kellen O’Rourke, Malia Splittstoesser, Mercedes Stearns and Julianna Tampus.

Alternates include Kelta O’Rourke, James Pratt, Alana Cayabyab and Zachary Saffery.

One of the areas Scherer was concered about was the difference in paddleboards.

“These that we’ll be using at nationals are harder to handle,” he said. “They go faster, but they’re also made of fiberglass as compared with the foam types we used at states.”

Practice focused on the juniors getting familiar with the new type paddleboards. One of the key areas which helped Kauai secure the state championships was the Paddleboard Relays where all four divisions swept the competition.

During practice, Ancheta was busy coaching the kids on the proper body placement on the board, hand positions for launch and generally repeating their launches.

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