Keiki dive into lifeguard finals

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Tavehi Dubocage deals with a short break coming ashore from the Paddleboard Relay, Saturday at the Kauai Junior Lifeguard island finals at Kalapaki Beach.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Keanu Brown takes the anchor leg handoff from Jaiden Sams, Saturday during the site-specific Paddleboard Relay at the Kauai Junior Lifeguard island finals at Kalapaki Beach.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Keanu Brown leads the pack during the run portion of the Iron Guard event, Saturday at the Kauai Junior Lifeguard island finals at Kalapaki Beach.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Juliana Tampus reacts to a shore break, Saturday during the Iron Guard event at the Kauai Junior Lifeguard island finals at Kalapaki Beach.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Keanu Brown holds the lead coming out of the water during the Juniors Run Swim Run event, Saturday at the Kauai Junior Lifeguard island finals at Kalapaki Beach.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Alana Cayabyab takes the lead coming out of the water in the Run Swim Run event, Saturday during the Kauai Junior Lifeguards island finals at Kalapaki Beach.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Waiani Dubocage and Mila O’Rourke are neck and neck coming out of the water in the Keiki Run Swim Run event, Saturday during the Kauai Junior Lifeguard island finals at Kalapaki Beach.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Mila O’Rourke edges out Isla Anderson in a spray of sand during the Keiki Girls 8-9 Beach Flags at the Kauai Junior Lifeguard island finals, Saturday at Kalapaki Beach.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Ka‘ui Kanahele and Waiani Dubocage battle for the flag during the Keiki Girls 10-11 Beach Flags event, Saturday at the Kauai Junior Lifeguard island finals at Kalapaki Beach.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Zack Edwards, in black shirt, ices out Evan Padilla for the flag as Kamanu Silva is unchallenged in his claim during the semifinals of the Keiki Boys 100-11 Beach Flags, Saturday at the Kauai Junior Lifeguard island finals at Kalapaki Beach.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Zack Edwards nudges out Kamanu Silva for the coveted final flag during the finals of the Keiki Boys 10-11 Beach Flag finals, Saturday at the Kauai Junior Lifeguard island finals at Kalapaki Beach.

KALAPAKI — Waiani Dubocage and Damien Chang were strong in the Keiki Division events, each young athlete earning a pair of wins Saturday during the Keiki and Junior Lifeguard island finals that took place at Kalapaki Beach.

Kalani Vierra, Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau chief, said they wanted the keiki to be more involved in the competitive side of the ocean safety program, and this year, was on schedule to participate in three events — the 500-meter run, the Run Swim Run, and the popular Beach Flags competition.

Waiani finished by winning the 500-meter run, and the Run Swim Run events before being edged out of the final flag by Ka‘ui Kanahele in the Beach Flags competition, the event drawing enough interest, it was broken down into two age groups — the 8-9 age, and the 10-11 age.

Similarly, Chang put his mark on the 500-meter run, and the Run Swim Run.

The Junior Lifeguards, ages from 12 through 17 years old, took to six events, including the more fun Paddleboard Relay that pit the three different sites where the summer water safety programs took place — Hanalei, Kalapaki, and Salt Pond.

Kane Casillas, a strong distance runner for the Kauai Interscholastic Federation, set the stage early, taking the 1,000-meter run, but coming up short in the Beach Flags where he relinquished the final flag to Kellen O’Rourke.

“He’s a sprinter,” Casillas said. “That was a clean win. He just beat me. But I took the long run this morning.

On the younger of the two age groups in Juniors, another Dubocage, Tavehi, set the pace early, taking the long run, the Run Swim Run, and the Beach Flags in the 12-14 age group.

Her counterpart on the boys’ side was Keanu Brown who made his mark in the Run Swim Run, the 200-meter swim, and the Iron Guard event where he pulled ahead in the paddleboard segment for a strong finish.

“We come back Tuesday,” said Eugene Ancheta, a Junior Lifeguard instructor. “We need to decide who our Young Guns are going to be, and we start practice Tuesday here at Kalapaki. Saturday morning, we’re on the plane to Makaha for the state finals.”

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