Girls water polo launched as an ILH sport in 1996, and Maureen Flanagan Cole was there to set the standard in excellence. Not a bad way to start your first year at a new school. Cole entered Punahou as a freshman and left as a three-time MVP, leading Punahou to four ILH first-place finishes in water polo.
“When you are in the moment, you don’t really realize you are a part of history, but looking back I like to think that my peers and I helped get the program started on a positive note,” Cole said.
Cole also excelled in swimming, winning the 50- and 100-meter freestyle as a senior, when she was also a member of the state record-setting 200-meter freestyle relay team. She was also a part of two 200-meter medley relay state championship teams.
She went on to play for UCLA’s water polo team, winning three NCAA championships and earning All-American honors. She was also a member of the U.S. National Team. She continues her participation in water polo as the coach of the University of Hawai‘i women’s team, and was recently inducted into the Hawai‘i Swimming Hall of Fame.