Kokona Watanabe: 4-Sport Athlete


Ami Yamane

Kalani sophomore Kokona Watanabe participates in four sports this year — volleyball, swimming, paddling, and track — while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Ami Yamane, Sports

Kokona Watanabe (10) is not your typical high school student. She’s a sophomore at Kalani and participates in four sports — volleyball, swimming, paddling, and track — while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. 

Watanabe’s main sport is swimming; she started at the age of five before moving to Hawai’i from Guam. Since then, she’s had many accomplishments but her biggest was winning 3rd place overall in her age group at the State Championship meet in Maui on July 17-21, 2019 with Hawaii Swim Club (HSC). She currently swims for Kalani’s swim team and Sunshine Aquatics.

“I really only joined paddling and track to stay active and try new things,” Watanabe said. “But I ended up falling in love with the sport and team.”

Watanabe’s life is certainly busy, and she hardly has any time for herself or friends. However, she always makes it work and claims she’s “never really” stressed. She loves being able to spend time with her friends while doing what she loves most at practice. She also really enjoys competing and racing.

“I only have one free day in the week and that day is Sunday,” Watanabe said. “And even then, I still have practice in the morning but at least I get the rest of the day to myself.”

In her first year of track, Watanabe was unsure about how she would do, but, her Coach, Kalani English and News Writing teacher Brooke Nasser, said Watanabe was “really easy to coach.”

“One of Koko’s biggest strengths is that she’s competitive,” Coach Brooke said. “She pushes herself in practice and the meets because she wants to win and wants to be fast.”