On Saturday, February 10, St. Joseph School, along with Hilo High, hosted the 2024 HHSAA Hawaiian Airlines State Canoe Paddling Championships. Varsity crews from around the state gathered on Hilo Bayfront for a day full of exciting races and camaraderie. It was a beautiful day on the water and on the sand.
Preparations started the day before as our Athletic Director, Mr. Michael Costales, our coaches, and volunteers from Hilo High, Laupahoehoe and Connections worked together to pound stakes in the sand, put up temporary fencing, cone off reserved areas, and build tents for the judges, competitors and VIPS so that those who were in attendance were comfortable.
On race day, there were tents filled with people lining all of Hilo One chering on their favorite crew. Not only were those at the bay able to enjoy the day, but folks were able to watch via the internet as Hilo High School's Student Operated Media Program, KVIKS, broadcasted the event live.
A very proud moment for St. Joseph School and our Hoe Waʻa o ka Manu ʻUla (paddlers of the red bird) crew was when one of our members took part in the opening ceremonies. Olga Arianoff stood proudly in front of hundreds of people and shared her beautiful voice singing The Star Spangled Banner and Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī. Below is a screenshot from the broadcast as she is singing.
It was definitely a chicken skin moment as you could hear the hundreds of people on the beach singing along with her. Watch Olga's performance and a playback of all the races by clicking here.
Fantastic job, Olga. You make St. Joseph proud!