By Rodney S. Yap
The sport of surfing made history Saturday at Ho’okipa Beach Park, completing its first sanctioned high school surf season.
The Maui Interscholastic League, its eight participating schools and 60 competitors, served notice to the rest of the world — not just Hawaii — that the sport of riding waves requires skills that can be scored and worthy of special distinction.
After all, Hawaii designated surfing as the 50th state’s official individual sport in 1998, 12 years after outrigger canoe paddling was adopted as the official Hawaii team sport.
The inaugural MIL surf championships concluded its three-meet season Saturday with Baldwin and Lahainaluna high schools earning team titles in the boys and girls divisions, respectively.
The Baldwin boys finished with 4,064 points, compared to runner-up King Kekaulike’s 3,608. Lahainaluna was third (3,249), followed by Maui High’s 2,382.
The Bears were led by Samuel Medeiros’ third-place finish in bodyboarding. Teammate Maverick Donahue was tied for fifth. Kaohu Puaa finished fifth for Baldwin in the shortboard division and teammate Ryota Seki was seventh.
The girls of Lahainaluna scored 3,772 points to win the team title for the third straight week. King Kekaulike was second with 3,212 points, ahead of Baldwin’s 2,195 and Seabury Hall’s 729.
Youth appeared to prevail at Ho’okipa as freshman Aloha Lopez of Lahainaluna defeated senior teammate Sierra Lerback in the girls shortboard division. The Lunas had four girls place among the top seven in the shortboard division, while Rose Millard was third in bodyboarding.
King Kekaulike freshman Cody Young topped the boys shortboard division, beating runner-up Ridge Lenny of Seabury Hall and Mack Crilley of Maui High.
The other MIL champion from King Kekaulike was Ginger Prados, who managed to outscore her twin sister, Amber, for the third time in as many weeks. Sophomore Ginger Prados was the only MIL competitor to finish the season undefeated in her respective discipline.
Before the sport was officially sanctioned in the MIL, it was organized as a club sport and coordinated by Kim Ball, long-time Lahainaluna wrestling coach and owner of Hi-Tech Maui Surf Sports. Ball spent countless hours over the last decade lobbying for the sport’s approval at the prep level before a number of state boards, committees, legislature and government officials.
It is largely because of Ball’s groundwork and persistence that the sport was able to achieve its current pinnacle, while continuing to flourish.
MIL SURF CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Ho’okipa Beach Park; April 19
1. Baldwin 4,064
2. King Kekaulike 3,608
3. Lahainaluna 3,249
4. Maui High 2,382
5. Hana 2,088
6. Seabury Hall 1,479
7. Maui Prep 861
8. Haleakala Waldorf 121
1. Cody Young, King Kekaulike
2. Ridge Lenny, Seabury Hall
3. Mack Crilley, Maui
4. Klyde Neer, Hana
5. Cyan Clark, Lahainaluna
5. (tie) Kaohu Puaa, Baldwin
7. Mario Menze, Lahainaluna
7. Ryota Seki, Baldwin
1. Nainoa Steward, Lahainaluna
2. Joseph Pu, Hana
3. Samuel Medeiros, Baldwin
4. Don Charles Thompson, King Kekaulike
5. Analu Amadeo, King Kekaulike
5. (tie) Maverick Donahue, Baldwin
7. Jonah Ventura, Lahainaluna
7. (tie) Justice Jacinto, Lahainaluna
1. Lahainaluna 3,772
2. King Kekaulike 3,212
3. Baldwin 2,195
4. Seabury Hall 729
5. Maui Prep 531
6. Hana 387
1. Aloha Lopez, Lahainaluna
2. Sierra Lerback, Lahainaluna
3. Kulia Doherty, Baldwin
4. Isabella Pickering, Seabury Hall
5. Tasha Jahrmarkt, King Kekaulike
5. (tie) Serene Gunnison, King Kekaulike
7. Sophia Johnston, Maui Prep
7. (tie) Candace Hanneman, Lahainaluna
7. (tie) Makoa Ah Sam, Lahainaluna
1. Ginger Prados, King Kekaulike
2. Amber Prados, King Kekaulike
3. Rose Millard, Lahainaluna
4. Mikiala Holley, Baldwin
5. Pomai Kahaialii, Baldwin
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