Kealakehe girls swimming takes down Punahou to win school’s first state championship in 2010

  • Madison-Gail Hauanio, pictured here competing for Cal State East Bay in 2015, was one of the Kealakehe swimmers that helped the Waveriders win the 2010 girls state championship, the first team state title in school history. (Kelley Cox/West Hawaii Today File Photo)

Editor’s note: While the sports world is shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, West Hawaii Today will look back every Tuesday at memorable sports moments on the Big Island.

The Punahou girls showed up to the HHSAA swimming and diving championships in 2010 looking for their fifth consecutive state title. The Buffanblu girls had won — at that point — 45 championships in the sport, dating back to 1958.

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The only thing in their way on Feb. 13, 2010 were the Kealakehe Waveriders and a former Buffanblu coach.

The Kealakehe girls swimming and diving team showed up to Kamehameha’s Naeole Pool that day and claimed the school’s first team state championship, securing the title on the final girls race of the day, the 400-yard freestyle relay featuring Madison-Gail Hauanio, Jade Morton, Kelly Jernigan and Alyssa Foo.

Waverider coach Steve Borowski said winning the title that year was “a miracle,” and said he predicted the Waveriders to finish in second after the trials the day before. Borowski had previously coached the Punahou girls and boys teams to 13 straight state titles from 1974-1986.

“Everything went right, and then some,” Borowski told Hawaii Tribune-Herald’s Matt Gerhart after the win. “After Friday’s times, if would have added up the points, we would have been 10 points behind. We weren’t even focusing (on the team title).

“Madison came through big for us.”

The Kealakehe relay team also finished in first in the 200-yard medley relay. Hauanio won the 200-yard individual medley and Foo placed first in the 100-yard breaststroke, with Hauanio behind her in second.

The Waveriders finished with 48 points, ahead of Punahou’s 43.

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The first state championship in Kealakehe history wasn’t the only victory for Borowski that day — his son, Hawaii Prep swimmer Logan, won the state title in the boys 50-yard freestyle.

As far as my coaching career, today is right up there among the best,” Borowski said. “The timing was right for us. The talent is a little spread out on Oahu this year. I’m just happy for all the Big Island swimmers.”

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