The Kamehameha surf team gathers for a team photo after putting together a come-from-behind team victory.
The Kamehameha Schools surf team won its second consecutive national championship this past weekend, taking home the 2015 National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) Interscholastic Championship at Salt Creek, Dana Point, California.
“We were the favorite to defend the titlecoming in, because we returned with most of the same surfers from last year,” said KS Surf Team Coach Lea Arce. “But it wasn’t easy. We struggled early, and needed a come-from-behind victory.”
The team, comprised of Warriors from both the KS Kapālama and KS Maui campuses, finished just four points ahead of San Clemente High School in the final standings, posting 94 total points. KSK senior Cayla Moore defended her individual title, winning the women’s’ high school shortboard title, with KSM senior Imaikalani Devault taking fourth in the men’s high school shortboard division, after winning the title in 2014.
“On the girls’ side, Cayla (Moore) dominated,” said Arce. “She had a couple of eight-point rides, and it was really satisfying for her because she had a close victory last year, but left no doubt this year. Unfortunately, our two senior boys, Charlie Akao and Imai Devault, were in the same semifinal, and only Imai could move on. The final was low-scoring, with not too many waves, and Imai was disappointed that he couldn’t defend his individual title. But we needed his points to get the team victory, so we were glad that he pulled through what he did.”
Along with the national title for the KS high school team, the middle school team finished third overall. KSK seventh graders Hau‘oli Meyers and Tyrra Gallano posted a third place finish in the girls shortboard and a fourth place finish in the longboard division, respectively.
The surf team had placed in the top five nationally in 2012 and 2013, before breaking through for their first national title in 2014, and again this year. KS has also won six surfing state championships in a row.
“We were really a family,” added Arce. “No matter who was in the water, we cheered on everyone, even when some of our surfers got knocked out early. There was a sense of comradery and support for each other. That was probably the key to our victory.”