Na Pueo boys, girls top Na Alii to take MIL surf opener

Dante Silva (green jersey) of Maui Preparatory Academy pushes a turn while Thomas Hobson of King Kekaulike goes left Saturday during the first MIL meet of the season at D.T. Fleming Beach Park. -- One More Photography photo

Maui Preparatory Academy swept the top three places in the boys shortboard, propelling Na Pueo to a win over King Kekaulike in the season-opening Maui Interscholastic League surf contest at D.T. Fleming Beach Park in Kapalua on Saturday.

The Maui Prep girls also claimed the top spot over Na Alii when Irie Gonah won the bodyboard title over King Kekaulike’s Kaya Mullen.

The surfers from nine high schools made the best out of a dying swell. Conditions deteriorated throughout the day with the rising tide.

Dante Silva led the Maui Prep sweep, with Tony Nunez and Tyler Kirby finishing second and third, respectively. King Kekaulike surfers took the next three places.

“It was pretty small in the final compared to the rest of the day,” Silva said. “It was cool because we had three from Maui Prep in the final and three from King Kekaulike, so whoever did better was going to lead overall for the boys.

Irie Gonah of Maui Prep angles left in the girls bodyboard final while Kamalei Roback of Kamehameha Maui looks on. -- One More Photography photo

“It was a pretty mellow final. No one was really hassling or anything.”

Fleming Beach is only a five-minute drive from the Maui Prep campus in Napili, but Silva rarely surfs there.

“I don’t usually surf Fleming that much but we’ve been practicing here for two weeks,” he said. “I kind of gotten to know it.”

This year, all four MIL surf meets count toward the MIL championship. Last year, the MIL championship was determined by the season-ending contest at Hookipa Beach Park.

“I like how the point system is this year because every contest counts,” Silva said. “It’s kind of cool to start in first and hopefully we can keep the lead.”

King Kekaulike’s Kayla McCarthy competes in girls shortboard. -- One More Photography photo

Gonah’s win over Mullen was the difference for Maui Prep. Na Pueo edged Na Alli 3,951-3,923 — Gonah received 1,000 points for her win while Mullen garnered 900.

“I had no idea, I just wanted to go out and have fun because I made it to the finals,” Gonah said. “I was so surprised I won because I didn’t think I had done that well.”

Gonah was more pleased with her team’s win.

“That’s what I’m happy (about) the most,” she said. “It’s really good to come out here and surf with our teammates, and I just love it so much. I’m pretty stoked that we won.”

First-year head coach Aaron Huish was just as thrilled as Gonah.

The Warriors’ Kahiau Luat-Hueu takes off on an inside wave in boys bodyboard. -- One More Photography photo

“I’m just elated, just over the moon,” Huish said. “They did amazing and our shortboard boys, they just naturally have amazing talent, and to take first, second and third is pretty wild.”

Defending MIL champion Kayla McCarthy of King Kekaulike won girls shortboard at Fleming for the second straight year.

“It was a hard heat because it was really inconsistent,” McCarthy said. “I got really blessed, caught the waves that I needed and I got a really good snap in.”

Kahiau Luat-Hueu of Kamehameha Maui won in boys bodyboard.

“It was my first big win for sure,” he said. “It was a critical small wave, choppy heat. I was getting boxed out by the King K competitors, so I had to do something different. So I went up for an invert and I landed it.”

The next MIL surf contest is at Koki Beach near Hana on March 31.

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MIL MEET NO. 1

Saturday’s Results

At D.T. Fleming Beach Park

Boys

Team–Maui Prep 4,453, King Kekaulike 4,226, Kamehameha Maui 2,872, Lahainaluna 2,252, Baldwin 1,644, Hana 1,567, Seabury Hall 927, Maui High 659, Haleakala Waldorf 406.

Shortboard–1. Dante Silva, Maui Prep; 2. Tony Nunez, Maui Prep; 3. Tyler Kirby, Maui Prep; 4. Ramon Rode, King Kekaulike; 5. Thomas Hobson, King Kekaulike; 6. Kyle Hobson, King Kekaulike; 7. Nalu Ho, Lahainaluna; 8. James Kemper, King Kekaulike; 9. Connor Prados, King Kekaulike.

Bodyboard–1. Kahiau Luat-Hueu, Kamehameha Maui; 2. Tyler Kirby, Maui Prep; 3. Alex Fahland, King Kekaulike; 4. Miles Obley, King Kekaulike; 5. Itai Holland, King Kekaulike; 6. Hunter Carpio, Baldwin; 7. Jacob Julian, Kamehameha Maui; 8. Joshua Kinnney, Kamehameha Maui; 9. Mark David, Lahainaluna.

Girls

Team–Maui Prep 3,951, King Kekaulike 3,923, Kamehameha Maui 3,339, Lahainaluna 2,271, Seabury Hall 1,244, Maui High 1,085, Baldwin 712, Haleakala Waldorf 403.

Shortboard–1. Kayla McCarthy, King Kekaulike; 2. Ashley Taoka, Maui High; 3. Kaya Mullen, King Kekaulike; 4. Madison Runyon, Lahainaluna; 5. Irie Gonah, Maui Prep; 6. Ashley Nielson, Maui Prep; t7. Breanna Higgs, Lahainaluna; t7. Kamalei Roback, Kamehameha Maui; t9. Fernanda Baldonado, Baldwin; t9. Rose Delaney, King Kekaulike.

Bodyboard–1. Irie Gonah, Maui Prep; 2. Kaya Mullen, King Kekaulike; 3. Kamalei Roback, Kamehameha Maui; 4. Madison Runyon, Lahainaluna; 5. Maya Crow, Seabury Hall; 6. Jolene Munch, Maui Prep; t7. Riann Fujihara, Kamehameha Maui; t7. Kawai Kupuni, Kamehameha Maui; t9. Kayla McCarthy, King Kekaulike; t9. Jordan Houglum, Maui Prep.

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