McCarthy halts Johnston’s MIL winning streak

King Kekaulike High School’s Kayla McCarthy heads to a shortboard win in Saturday’s season-opening Maui Interscholastic League surf contest at D.T. Fleming Beach Park. -- 1morephotography.com / DAYANIDHI DAS photo

King Kekaulike High School’s Kayla McCarthy heads to a shortboard win in Saturday’s season-opening Maui Interscholastic League surf contest at D.T. Fleming Beach Park. -- 1morephotography.com / DAYANIDHI DAS photo

Kayla McCarthy of King Kekaulike High School won the girls shortboard division during the Maui Interscholastic League’s season-opening surf meet Saturday at D.T. Fleming Beach Park in Lahaina, ending the two-year winning streak of Maui Prep’s Sophia Johnston.

In the final, two judges had McCarthy winning while the other chose Johnston, who ended up placing third — Madison Runyon of Lahainaluna edged Johnston for the runner-up spot.

“It was fun,” McCarthy said. “I was looking for the right position, waves were kind of sporadic. I feel very blessed. I was asking God to give me a wave or two.”

McCarthy caught three waves in the final — it was her second that drew the highest score of the heat. She was able to squeeze in two turns in the shifty conditions before completing her ride in the whitewater.

Johnston, who had won eight consecutive MIL shortboard contests, including two league-championship meets, took the loss in stride.

Sophia Johnston of Maui Prep won a bodyboard title in Saturday’s meet. -- 1morephotography.com / DAYANIDHI DAS photo

Sophia Johnston of Maui Prep won a bodyboard title in Saturday’s meet. -- 1morephotography.com / DAYANIDHI DAS photo

“It’s kind of good (the loss) came early in the season,” she said. “Now I know what to build on and get my head in the game.”

Johnston came back three heats later to claim the bodyboard title over McCarthy.

Axel Rosenblad, a King Kekaulike freshman, also defeated a defending champion, Spike Shannon of Baldwin, to claim the boys shortboard title. All judges had Rosenblad as the winner.

“I did multiple backside turns and was able to link them together,” Rosenblad said. “It was fun, a lot more cruisy than the other contests.”

Rio Grace, a Haleakala Waldorf senior, became the first from his school to win an MIL surf contest, claiming the bodyboard title.

Rio Grace of Haleakala Waldorf also won a bodyboard title in Saturday’s meet. -- 1morephotography.com / DAYANIDHI DAS photo

Rio Grace of Haleakala Waldorf also won a bodyboard title in Saturday’s meet. -- 1morephotography.com / DAYANIDHI DAS photo

“It was unexpected,” said a beaming Grace, who earlier this year won two MIL swimming titles. “My main sport is (shortboarding). The first time I bodyboarded was at the MIL in Hana last year. I just went for it today. I busted some serious rolls.”

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MIL MEET NO. 1

Saturday’s Results

At D.T. Fleming Beach Park

Axel Rosenblad of King Kekaulike rides a wave en route to a first-place finish in the boys shortboard division. -- 1morephotography.com / DAYANIDHI DAS photo

Axel Rosenblad of King Kekaulike rides a wave en route to a first-place finish in the boys shortboard division. -- 1morephotography.com / DAYANIDHI DAS photo

Girls

Shortboard–1. Kayla McCarthy, King Kekaulike; 2. Madison Runyon, Lahainaluna; 3. Sophia Johnston, Maui Prep; 4. Skylar Lickle, Seabury; 5. Nandi Carano, Hana; 6. Irie Gonah, Maui Prep; 7. Lily Gavagan, Kamehameha Maui; 8. Ashley Taoka, Maui; 9t. Hailey Papritz, Haleakala Waldorf; 9t. Alexa Narayan, Maui Prep.

Bodyboard–1. Sophia Johnston, Maui Prep; 2. Kayla McCarthy, King Kekaulike; 3. Madison Runyon, Lahainaluna; 4. Irie Gonah, Maui Prep; 5. Alexa Narayan, Maui Prep; 6. Jaden Sing, Maui; 7. Kylie Malcolm, Haleakala Waldorf; 8. Summer Rusnak, Haleakala Waldorf; 9. Nikki Rafael, Baldwin.

Boys

Shortboard–1. Axel Rosenblad, King Kekaulike; 2. Spike Shannon, Baldwin; 3. Tyler Kirby, Maui Prep; 4. Kaawaloa Shamblin, Hana; 5. Jackson Green, King Kekaulike; 6. Kyle Hobson, King Kekaulike; 7. Xavier de Jetley, Hana; 8. Kaelo Lindsey, Kamehameha Maui; 9. Rio Grace, Haleakala Waldorf.

Bodyboard–1. Rio Grace, Haleakala Waldorf; 2. Kaawaloa Shamblin, Hana; 3. Alex Fahland, King Kekaulike; 4. Trae Grow, King Kekaulike; 5. Spike Shannon, Baldwin; 6. Tanek Rycynski, Maui; 7. Xavier de Jetley, Hana; 8. Tyler Kirby, Maui Prep; 9. Joshua Kinney, Kamehameha Maui.

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