Kamehameha Maui Sends Impressive 21 Student Athletes to College
By Wendy Osher
An impressive number of seniors from the Kamehameha Schools Maui campus will be playing collegiate level athletics after signing letters of intent earlier this year.
A total of 21 student athletes either signed letters of intent, or agreed to play with scholarship support when they go to college in the fall.
That translates to 27.2% of the school’s 77 senior athletes, or 17.5% of the 120-member senior class, according to school administrators.
The numbers are also up from last year when six senior athletes at KSM advanced to play collegiate level sports.
School administrators called the news “astonishing” and “impressive” and said a large part of the increase was the creation of an Athletic Counselor position, which is currently filled by Michelle Arnold, who is now in her second year at the post.
“To say this class is unique, even talented, would be an understatement,” said Arnold.
“These student athletes have learned the value of hard work, dedication, and perseverance; their commitment to excellence has afforded them opportunities to follow their dreams,” she said.
School administrators say Athletic Director Blane Gaison also has connections on the national level, which also are notable.
During a recent signing ceremony, Gaison thanked the families of the student athletes and charged the students to go forth as “ambassadors” of their communities and the state.
Below is a complete list of the soon-to-be college athletes, the schools they plan to attend, and the parents who supported them in their academic and athletic success:
- Madison Vaught, University of Buffalo, the State University of New York, Softball. Parents: Mark and Melinda Vaught.
- Chandler Alo, Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, California; Soccer. Parents: Mark and Rochelle Alo.
- Lily Higashino, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California; Soccer. Parents: Peter and Carolee Higashino.
- Paula Siaosi Ngalu, Brevard College, Brevard, North Carolina; Football. Parents: Paula and Minette Ngalu.
- Kauanoe Vanderpoel, St. Martin’s University, Lacey, Washington; Track & Field. Mother: Brooke Nacua.
- Kaiulani Vila, Alvin College, Alvin, Texas; Softball. Mother: Koleka Kaho‘ohalahala.
- Emma Yen, Chandler-Gilbert College, Chandler, Arizona; Women’s Volleyball. Parents: .Gordon and Ro-Ann Yen.
- Patricia Batoon: Women’s Volleyball, Notre Dame de Namur. Parents: .Angel and Louise Batoon.
- Taylor Awai: Women’s Volleyball, San Francisco State University. Parents: Lyle and Jennifer Awai.
- Avinash Singh: Men’s Soccer, Chaminade University. Parents: Baldev and Kimi Singh.
- Daniel Quenga: Men’s Soccer, University of the Pacific. Parents: Daryl and Vicky Quenga.
- Marley Duncan: Women’s Soccer, Willamette University. Parents: Charles and Kehau Duncan.
- Cheyenne Maio-Silva: Softball, Linfield College. Parents: Darren and Marlo Silva.
- Kaui Uweko‘olani: Softball, Pacific University. Parents: Dwayne Uweko‘olani and Caroline Sadiri.
- Mikaele Kane: Swimming, University of Hawaiʻi. Parents: Dane and Wendy Kane
- Jarom Santiago: Baseball, College of the Siskiyous. Parents: Von and Summer Santiago.
- Kiana Antonio: Track & Field, Linfield College. Parents: Albert and Kuʻulei Antonio.
- Leimana Hassett: Water Polo, Whittier College. Parents: John Hassett and Kehau Kaʻauwai.
- Quinn Kihune, Chabot College, Football. Parents: Howard and Kathy Kihune.
- Travis Kanamu, Laney College, Baseball. Parents: Travis and Rhonda Kanamu.
- Charity Sadang, Sheridan College, Women’s Volleyball. Parents: Jason and Winona Sadang.
“What these student athletes have accomplished is a testament to the talent we have here on Maui, not to mention, here in Hawai’i,” said Arnold.
“They have earned the privilege of infiltrating the college ranks and will undoubtedly make their statements and pave the way for those that will follow,” she said.