To achieve success, no matter in what area, in the pool or out, involves commitment and surrendering to the process it will take to get you to where you want to be.”
—Mark Noetzel, head coach
With a proud and successful history, Ka Makani swimming attracts athletes of all levels. The program has grown tremendously since the school’s early days, when swimmers commuted daily to a makeshift pool constructed of telephone poles chained together in a corner of Kawaihae Harbor. Today, HPA’s solar-heated Dowsett Pool combined with persistent talent on both the girls and boys teams have built a powerhouse program.
HPA swim teams are a competitive force at both the BIIF and state levels, with a record of accomplishment that any school in the world would be proud to own. Head Coach Mark Noetzel, who earned All-America status at the University of Michigan as a collegiate athlete, also coaches the Academy Swim Club, a year-round swim program, which practices after the school’s team during the season.
Diving is also a part of the program at HPA, and caters to those who love dance, gymnastics, acrobatics, and trampoline. But athletes with none of those experiences can still excel, too. Some do well due to strength, others due to flexibility, timing, grace, or guts.
The boys swim team won the state championship in 2011, and Noetzel says that Jacob Riis and the Stone Cutter’s Credo helped drive the squad: “When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” From Noetzel’s perspective, the swimmer works patiently for the opportunity when all the hard work will result in accomplishing a well-deserved finish time.
Recent team championships
BIIF: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, ’16, ’15
State: 2011, 1998
BIIF: 2020, 2018, 2017, 2016, ’15, ’14
Recent player accolades:
Maile Lawson, state champion, 100-meter breaststroke