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  • Writer's pictureElayna Henderson

Parker's Paddling Team Competes in Their First Race of the Season

The Parker School winter sports season is underway, and with it comes the start of the paddling season. This past weekend, the team competed in their first race of the season. After missing the first official race due to poor water quality in the Hilo bay, the team started out their season with a long-distance race, located in Kawaihae. 

Not only was this the first race of the season, but it was also hosted by Parker School. Starting from the mouth of Kawaihae harbor and moving north towards High Rock, each crew raced around 3.5 miles. Four crews entered the competition, one team for Varsity Girls, Varsity Boys, Varsity Mix, and JV mix.

 The girls varsity fought hard, and after two other teams crashed into them, they came in third place! Varsity Boys also fought hard and did an excellent job for a team that hadn’t paddled together before. Varsity Mix did very well, and they paddled hard the whole way through. A special shout out to the JV mixed team, which was made up entirely of new paddlers, who competed in their first race ever!

Going into the race, the team had lots to say. David O’dell, a steersman, said, “I think it’s going to be really fun, and I can’t wait to show all the new paddlers what racing in a canoe race is all about!”

“I’m really looking forward to the race,” said Gibson McIntosh, a junior. The first race of the season is always really exciting, and it is going to be fun to try out a bunch of new crews. It is also really cool for Parker that we have the “home field” advantage this time.” 

“I'm excited to put our skills that we have been working really hard on to the test, and have fun with the team!” said Ava Pajinag, a senior. Natalie Wipp, a junior, said “I'm a little bit scared because I scraped my knee and I'm scared about the water infecting my knee, but I'm psyched about beating HPA.”

After the race, spirits were high. Vincent Galvan, a freshman, said “I need to throw up.” Tehani, a junior, said “there were a lot of people paddling for the first time, and I’m proud of everyone!” Arthur Taylor, a senior, said “We’ll get 'em even harder next time. PS, I love you, Matt.” Kenzie Pajiag, a freshman, said “I'm really hungry and excited to improve!” Riley Todd, a junior, said “It’s consistency that gets us across the finish line.” 

The team had an excellent day, and they are set to race again in Kona next weekend before taking a few weeks off from racing for winter break.

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