Chrislyn Simpson-Kane and Cash Berzolla, both from King Kekaulike High School, successfully defended their Maui Interscholastic League individual surfing titles on Saturday at Hookipa Beach Park. Simpson-Kane emerged victorious in the girls’ category, while Berzolla clinched the boys’ crown. The championship marked the end of the season, and the event saw the top 38 boys and 33 girls surfers from the MIL competing in five-person heats.
Simpson-Kane had finished second in the previous two MIL regular-season meets, behind Kihei Charter’s Kaya McCord at Koki Beach and Maui High’s Tamryn Taoka at Lahaina Harbor. In the final, Simpson-Kane faced Taoka in a close contest, which she eventually won by catching a wave with just over two minutes left. She scored a 7.60 with her back-handed attack, throwing up a big spray, which was the highest score of the final. Simpson-Kane and Hana’s Barron Hanes were the only competitors to win all three of their heats leading up to the final.
Berzolla led a 1-2-3 sweep for King Kekaulike in the boys’ final. Berzolla caught a wave with less than a minute left in the 20-minute final and got a score that moved him past Na Alii teammates Chase Burnes and Otis Buckingham by less than a point. Berzolla scored a 6.87 by fitting three high-speed wraps into the wave pockets. His two-wave total was 13.80 while Burnes had a 13.10 and Buckingham scored a 12.97. Burnes was competing in his first MIL championship meet, and Hanes finished fourth in the boys’ final, while Niko Banto of the team champion Maui Prep finished fifth.
Simpson-Kane had a remarkable week, having claimed the Hawaii Surfing Association girls 14-15 state title at Ala Moana Bowls on Oahu. Her win qualified her for the USA Surfing Championships in California. The other two finalists in the girls’ category were Haleakala Waldorf’s Lou Bouvet, who finished fourth, and Lahainaluna’s Gianna Pogni, who finished fifth. Tamryn Taoka of Maui High was the runner-up in the girls’ category, and Sloane Jucker of Maui Prep placed third. However, Jucker had the highest-scoring wave of the entire meet, with two judges giving her a score of 9.0 in her semifinal win.
1. Chrislyn Simpson-Kane, King Kekaulike, 14.10; 2. Tamryn Taoka, Maui High, 11.60; 3. Sloane Jucker, Maui Prep, 10.06; 4. Lou Bouvet, Haleakala Waldorf, 9.77; 5. Gianna Pogni, Lahainaluna, 8.07
Heat 1–1. Cash Berzolla, King Kekaulike, 12.06; 2. Niko Banto, Maui Prep, 11.83; 3. Otis Buckingham, King Kekaulike, 11.67; 4. Blake Gebb, Seabury Hall, 11.30; 5. Zolten Poulsen, Maui Prep, 11.00
Heat 2–1. Barron Hanes, Hana, 11.93; 2. Chase Burnes, King Kekaulike, 10.74; 3. Teiva Keomaniboth, King Kekaulike, 10.14; 4. Ezra Offergeld, Maui Prep, 10.00; 5. Kyle Kelmenson, Haleakala Waldorf, 4.36
1. Cash Berzolla, King Kekaulike, 13.80; 2. Chase Burnes, King Kekaulike, 13.10; 3. Otis Buckingham, King Kekaulike, 12.97; 4. Barron Hanes, Hana, 10.77; 5. Niko Banto, Maui Prep, 10.27
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