High School Bodybuilders Amaze

Elijah ‘Kala’ McShane

Elijah ‘Kala’ McShane at last year’s Mr. High School Body Building Championship. Robert Tolentino photo

Safe and Drug Free School and Olomana School present the 10th annual Hawaii High School Bench Press Contest and the Mr. and Miss High School Body Building Championships March 9 at the Ward Warehouse stage.

“Our goal is to give kids an opportunity to showcase what they can do,” says event creator Daniel Suzuki, teacher in charge at Olomana School Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility. “I like to give kids opportunities in positive activities, and weightlifting is one of those things that can help build self-esteem, and anybody can engage in and get better at.

“Also, weightlifting is a popular P.E. elective offered, and having a competition gives these kids something to work for. Without it, it’s like practicing with no game. It’s no fun. And I think that’s what our kids need.”

Last year’s Mr. High School winner Elijah “Kala” McShane has since graduated from Saint Louis School but continues to train and compete. He also won Saint Louis School’s Mr. Crusader contest three years in a row.

Three weeks later at the Stingrey Classic. Photos courtesy Elijah Kala McShane

“I really want to turn pro, hopefully in the next three or four years,” says McShane, who attends Honolulu Community College and works at GNC. “Bodybuilding is my life. It’s hard work every day. If you screw up one little meal, you can screw up your look. And that’s what I like about it, that there isn’t anybody except me. I’m holding all the stress on myself. Yeah, there are coaches who help me, but when you get on the stage, there isn’t anybody but you and your competitors.”

McShane, whose coaches are AD Cherry and Kristie Borja, trains at Power House Gym in Pearl Kai six days a week. He’s also training people, including some who are competing in this year’s Mr. High School contest.

“When I was a freshman, there was a senior, Marcus Kimura, he was really big and he helped me train,” says McShane. “He’s the whole reason why I got started in bodybuilding and then I just made it my goal.

“Now, bodybuilding is what I do and promote all day. I think everybody should be into a sport like this, or just health and fitness because health and fitness is what Hawaii needs.”

The Hawaii High School Bench Press Contest and Mr. and Miss High School Body Building Championships are open to students from any high school statewide, public or private. There is no cost to enter, and forms are available through school P.E. teachers, or call Suzuki at 266-7870. Deadline to enter is March 2.

The Bench Press contest takes place at 5 p.m. Each lifter will be given three attempts, and the Wilks Formula will be used to determine the winners in each division.

The Mr. and Miss High School Body Building Championship begins at about 7:15 p.m., and all contestants must have a 1 minute and 30 second posing routine to music. The top four finishers for Mr. High School and the top two for Miss High School will receive trophies.