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Farmers Shoot Season Highs at States

Molokai’s boys all bested their league championship scores and shooter Keaa Davis reached her goal of competing at the state level at last week’s air riflery championships on Maui.

Out of 50 boys shooters, Molokai’s Josh Cabreros tied for 22nd with 512 points, Jershon Kaalekahi tied for 29th with 506 points and Cody Nip was 40th with 492 points. Davis finished 49th out of 60 girls shooters with 467 points.

“The main person who wanted to improve his score was Josh,” said air riflery coach Chinky Hubbard, after Cabreros was dissatisfied with his league score. “… [The boys] were super happy and stoked. They enjoyed their time there.”

He added that Davis “accomplished her goal” of making it to states her senior year.

Like the Maui Interscholastic League (MIL) championships, the state competition is twice as long as a typical regular season meet, requiring shooters to hit 60 targets instead of 30.

“When you’re watching the meet, it seems long, but when you’re actually in it, you don’t really feel the time ticking away,” said Davis. “You can see your fatigue usually by how you’re doing on your target.”

It was the final air riflery chapter for seniors Cabreros, Davis and Nip. The Farmers will also lose senior girls Hiilani Kaiama-Kanuha and Kamalani Puailihau. Hubbard said all of the seniors were leaders in both shooting and coaching.

“We get good kids, where they can work with first time shooters and they don’t get frustrated,” he said. “They make my job easier.”

After winning their first air riflery title last year, Molokai’s boys dominated the majority of the season. While they only had four shooters—the minimum for a team—they finished in the top four in all but one meet. Kaalekahi was a three-time champion, and Nip always shot within the top four.

Molokai’s top three girls, Kaiama-Kanuha, Davis and Sonja Angst, all got better as the season went on. Kaiama-Kanuha became the first girl to beat out defending champion Tiffany Kokubun for first place. Angst and Davis climbed the standings each meet, with Davis finishing a season-best third place at the MILs and Angst coming two spots shy of qualifying for states.

“When Hii won, it just drives the other girls to drive harder because they want that, too,” said Hubbard. “And it pushes Hii to keep herself at a high level. It’s just motivation for them to … continue progressing.”

Davis also praised the incoming underclassmen who will take over next year.

“They set their goals high and they work toward them,” she said. “Throughout the season I don’t think I’ve seen a single underclassman give up even when their scores weren’t as high as they wanted them to be. … After this year they’re gonna be all that’s left, so I’m glad they put in the effort now.”

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