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Student Voice of Kalaepōhaku

The Collegian

Student Voice of Kalaepōhaku

The Collegian


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Hanalei Haresa defies the Odds


There are many incredible tales of athletes defying the odds at Saint Louis. Hanalei Haresa, a junior, has had a remarkable journey, from battling birth defects to emerging as a star in various sports.

From birth until the age of ten, Haresa’s journey began with a difficult start. He encountered challenges that made simple activities like walking a struggle. However, despite these obstacles, he persisted. “I had a hard time walking and normal kid activities, but it’s been pretty good,” recalls Hanalei.

Haresa’s love for sports emerged early on. At the age of four, he started playing baseball, football, and track. Despite his initial struggles, his determination and passion for athletics drove him forward.

“When I was still in my mom’s stomach, there was this type of acid that burned off my toes and cut off my toes,” he explains. “This condition required me to regrow his toes from the time of conception, resulting in one foot with smaller toes,”  

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Despite this physical challenge, Hanalei emphasizes that the biggest hurdle was overcoming the mental barrier it created.  Haresa’s hard work and dedication paid off, earning him numerous accolades and accomplishments. Most notably, he was part of the team that secured the HSAA 2024 State Championship and was a multiple-time Junior Olympic state champion. 

As Haresa finishes this track season, he plans to take on a leadership role, filling the shoes of graduating seniors this year. “He has the feet to fill those shoes,” says track and field Head Coach Alexander Fonseca. 

Haresa emphasized the importance of perseverance and hard work in overcoming obstacles. “Never let it get in the way of what you want to do with your life and your passions,” he says, reassuring aspiring athletes that their dreams are attainable with dedication and resilience.

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About the Contributor
Michael Joshua
Former HHSAA track and field champion Michael Joshua (MJ) Price has been a Crusader since the sixth grade and is a Staff Writer for The Collegian this year.  This will be his seventh year attending Saint Louis School.  Price decided on Saint Louis School to pursue his education because both his uncle and cousin attended the school before him.  Price used to play football, volleyball, basketball, and run cross country, but decided to focus his efforts in Track and Field.  Last season, he was a member of the 2022 State Champion Saint Louis School Track Team.  Price continues to pursue his love of running at the national level, sharing, “Over the summer, I competed in something kind of like the Olympics.  It's called the Nike Nationals”.

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