Swimming, Paddling Splash into Season
With Molokai High School athletes gearing up for the winter season of competition, the swimming and paddling teams are training to make a splash this year.
The Boys and Girls Swim teams are preparing for the upcoming season with a new head coach, Amanda Labriola. Labriola comes to Molokai from Westerly, Rhode Island where she has coached numerous swim teams and also coached at Westfield State University. She has also been coaching the Molokai Dolphins Swim Team.
She said she is excited for the high school season.
“I have about 16 swimmers this year which is an awesome turnout,” said Labriola. “We have got some great new talent added to our team this year which is awesome because of the [number] of good swimmers that graduated last year.”
The team’s first meet is at home on Jan. 4, followed by the MIL Invitational at Kihei Aquatic Center on Jan. 13-14. The team will return to that venue on Jan. 20-21, and close out the season with the MIL Championships scheduled for Feb. 3-4 and the state championships the following weekend at the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex.
The Molokai Canoe Paddling team is returning under the leadership of Head Coach Stefani Hubbard. Last year, the girls’ team finished fifth in the state championships, and Hubbard is ready for another good season.
“Compared to past years, our team is fairly young, both in age and paddling experience,” she said. “But they certainly make up for it with will and desire. I am really looking forward to see when they put forth and how they measure up to the competition.”
In her third season as head coach, Hubbard will have a mixed crew this year.
“This is the first time in years that we’ve had any boys come out for paddling,” she said. “This has resulted in us being able to create both a girls crew and a mixed crew. Both crews will be traveling to Maui at least three times to compete.”
Molokai will travel to Maui for all their races, starting on Dec. 17 and every weekend in the month of January. The State Canoe Racing Championships will be held at Keehi Lagoon on Oahu on Feb. 4.