The Bull

Parker Bulls Paddling Takes On States

Another banner in the hall and a new rule in the rule book.

Sophia Kaufmann

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This Saturday the Parker Bulls Paddling team was excited to participate in the State competition! This is a huge honor and accomplishment for Parker School.

At the BIIFs race on January 20th you needed to place 3rd or better to go on to the states race. The Bulls were sadden to have gotten 4th in both the girls and boys varsity races, but they were still very proud of their team. In the last race of the day the Varsity Mixed Crew secured their spot at states by taking 3rd in their race. The whole team was excited as can be. This is the first crew to go to states since the 2014-2015 season. 

The Bulls worked hard at practice in the two week period between BIIFs and States. Although a crew is six people in a canoe, over the two weeks the coaches had to narrow the team of 30 down to a final ten because that is all that you can put on your roster to race in a crew. The final ten included Shione Mochizuki (12), Jenna Harris (11), Malia Dills (11), Klowee Silva (10), Iyses Moorehead (10), Mathias Migliorini-Marchesi (12), Gregory Kim (11), Lyle Coffee (11), and Zane Robertson (10).

The night before the race the team gathered in the lower hall at Parker School and had their last team dinner of the season. This would usually happen with just the final ten if States were held on a neighboring island. This year the states race was held at Hilo Bay on Hawaii Island so the entire team was able to go and cheer on their team along with the other Big Island schools that were participating.

Saturday morning arrived and the team was excited and nervous for their long day ahead. They arrived at the harbor, sat up their spot, and awaited the races.

Parker Bulls hid from the sun under their tent and waited for their heat. In the preliminary race if you get 1st or 2nd you go straight to the finals. The Bulls got 5th making them have to go to the semifinals. In the semi-finals you also have to place 1st or 2nd to go into the finals. In the semi-finals the Parker Bulls cheered on their team as they raced Kalaheo to the finish line battling for 2nd. Watching in anticipation they see the two canoes drop their paddles at the EXACT same time. In amazement as well as confusion everyone looks at each other asking if they saw it too. Who got 2nd and who got 3rd? No one knew.

They quietly waited to hear it over the loud speaker, only for no announcement to be made. After a long period of waiting the team walked over to the officials booth to meet up with their coaches and see what was going on. “Well, congratulations guys, you broke the system” he said. Confused, they asked what he meant. Parker and Kalaheo had tied exactly for 2nd and 3rd. For a sport like paddling that is virtually impossible. In all the years of High School paddling this had never happened before, and there was no rule in the rule book for what to do. The judges, referees and athletes were dumfounded. The officials contemplated looking at the times from the preliminary race, but in Parkers defense they had a different crew in their preliminary crew than they did in their semi-finals crew, which would cause for a slight time difference. They could not send both crews through to the finals due to there only being 8 lanes. The coaches took their time and tried their best to make the fairest call they could. After over an hour of deliberation, many phone calls to the headquarters on Oahu, and due to no tie breaking rule in the rule books, the officials had to go with whoever got the fastest time in the preliminary race. Parker finished with a time of 04:19.17 while Kalaheo had a time of 4:17.03, sending Kalaheo to the finals. Both teams exchanges hugs, congratulations, and good lucks before the final race of the day.

Parker and Kalaheo have forever changed the rule book for High School paddling because there needs to be a new tie breaking rule added. This is pretty legendary if you ask me.

Parker stood on the beach cheering on Kalaheo in the finals. They had a great race and finished in 5th. Punahou, who was in first, buried the flag on their turn causing them to disqualify. So technically Kalaheo finished in 4th.

Although Parker Bulls did not race in the finals, they know in their heart they made it to the finals and finished with Kalaheo in 4th.

It is amazing to see how much the team has improved since the beginning of the season. Parker Bulls is arguably one of the physically smallest teams that were there. The teams they raced against were made up of what looked like full grown men. The Bulls were proud of themselves for being strong enough to be able to hold their own against these teams. They were very stoked to have made it this far.

This marks the end of the season for the team, and the very end for four paddlers as they are going to graduate. It was an honor the be coached by our coaches because of how much wisdom and knowledge they have about the sport.

From left to right: Mathias Migliorini- Marchesi, Lucy Callender, Coach Derek, Sophia Kaufmann, Shione Mochizuki, Coach Mike.

 

Each year the coaches look for ways to improve the team as a whole so they can push harder and harder, and hopefully make it to states again next season.

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