By Maui Now Staff
Maui’s eight-member rodeo team brought home top honors at the Hawaiʻi High School Rodeo Association competition held earlier this month on Hawaiʻi Island.
Team members earned a total of eight championship buckles and an all-around saddle.
Leading the charge was Kekaulike 10th grader Kanoa Awai-Dickson with awards for state All-Around Cowboy, State Steer Wrestling Champion, and State Rookie of the Year. He also earned the State Team Roping Champion, alongside Kaena Poouahi, a 9th grader, also from Kekaulike.
In addition to the team roping award, Poouahi also took home two other top awards including Hawaiʻi’s Own All-Around Cowboy, and State Poo Wai U Champion.
Other team members earning recognition in the finals of the state competition were Liloa Akoi, a junior at Seabury Hall who earned the State Girls Goat Tying Champion award; and Lauren Egger a senior at Kekaulike who took home the Ariat Sportsmanship Award.
Kanoa Awai-Dickson, who has represented the state at the national level for three years, comes back to the sport after taking time off last year to focus on high school football.
“I’m really proud of our Maui team,” said Awai-Dickson in a statement. “We sacrificed a lot, worked really hard, and it paid off. Maui’s back,” he said.
Other individuals that make up the Maui HHSRA team are: Nikki Baroso, a sophomore at Kekaulike; Kristen Egger a junior at Kekaulike; Kaulana Funes, a junior at Kekaulike; Kasey Kono, a freshman at Baldwin High School; and Riley Polk, a junior at Kekaulike.
Other Maui Awards Included:
- Liloa Akoi All-Around Cowgirl 5th overall; Hawaiʻi High School Rodeo Queen, 1st Runner-up; Barrel Racing 3rd overall; Breakaway Roping 7th overall
- Kanoa Awai-Dickson Tie Down Roping 2nd overall; Boys Cutting 3rd overall; Double Mugging 2nd overall
- Nikki Baroso Girls Cutting 6th overall
- Kaulana Funes Bull Riding 2nd overall; Double Mugging 4th overall
- Kacey Kono Pole Bending 8th overall
- Kaena Poouahi Double Mugging 2nd overall
***Supporting information courtesy Maui District HHSRA.