The Punahou Athletic Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made significant contributions to athletics at Punahou. Initiated in 1980 by the O-Men, and revived in 2008 by both the O-Men and Nā Wāhine Pā’ani ‘o Punahou, honorees are inducted by ceremony and have their names listed on the Hall of Fame koa plaques that hang in the Athletic Office.
There’s no doubt that natural talent and athleticism run in Milia Macfarlane Alapa’s genes. Her father, Walter Macfarlane ’62, was the first Punahou athlete to earn nine varsity letters (in football, basketball and track), and a Punahou Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. They are the first father-daughter duo to be awarded this honor.
Alapa played both varsity basketball and varsity volleyball all four years at Punahou. As a starting point guard, she was the basketball team’s top scorer and assist leader three of the four years, leading the team to a state championship in 1998. She was named ILH Player of the Year in 2001 and USA Today co-player of the year in 1999.
As captain of the volleyball team during her junior and senior years, she helped the team capture ILH and state championships, and also piled up numerous individual athletic awards, including Nissan Hawai’i State Player of the Year and Gatorade Hawaii State Player of the Year in 2000.
Lindsey Berg ’98
Lindsey Berg first caught the eye of Punahou varsity volleyball coach Diana McKibbin when she was 7, practicing her jump serve on the beach at the Outrigger Canoe Club. By the time she was a high schooler, jump serving was an innate skill, and she was able to consistently ace her opponents.
“Lindsey came on the court and started serving, and she could nail down five, six, seven aces in a row through her jump serving,” McKibbin said. “I remember once she probably served 13 in a row. ‘Boom, game over.’”
While at Punahou, Berg was named to the All-State volleyball team three years in a row. After attending the University of Minnesota, she was named to the All-America and All-Big Ten teams. She joined the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team from 2003 – 2013, and was a three-time Olympian in 2004, 2008 and 2012, winning two silver medals. She also played professionally in Italy and Turkey.
“She’s a passionate, fiery, competitive gal,” McKibbin said. “I knew that she was going to take charge and lead because she was born to be a leader.”
Jason Ching ’96
Jason Ching was a three-sport athlete at Punahou, competing in football, basketball and track, and earning three letters in each sport. His dominating performances as a defensive lineman earned him a selection to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA first-team in 1995.
The accolades did not stop there. He was named Honolulu Quarterback Club 1995 Male Prep Athlete of the Year and earned All-American selections from USA Today, Disney World, Reebok, Parade Magazine, ESPN and Student Prep. Ching became the first player from Hawaiʻi selected as Western Gatorade Player of the Year, and he was rated No. 26 on the Chicago Sun Times list of Top 100 Players Nationally.
Local honors included numerous ILH All-Star and All-State selections.
Highly recruited, Ching attended the University of Notre Dame. In his freshman year, he was the only member of his class to make the traveling squad.
Cleo Higgins ’65 Droege
At a time when few athletic opportunities existed for girls, Cleo Higgins Droege was setting records in the pool. With her father, Roland, a Punahou economics teacher and swim coach, she learned how to swim at Punahou’s Waterhouse Pool.
By age six, she was competing for the Punahou Swim Club and held state records in the 25-yard freestyle and backstroke.
During her freshman year, while competing in an international dual meet with Japanese Olympians, she became the first Hawai‘i female to break the 1:00 mark in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing in a time of 59.9 seconds. It was a mark she would continue to beat, setting a new ILH record of 58.6 seconds in March of 1962.
Droege raced past her competition throughout high school, setting new ILH records in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle and anchoring a record-setting 200-yard freestyle relay. As a senior, she competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials, missing the qualifying time in the 100-meter freestyle by just one-tenth of a second.
For her athletic achievements, she was presented the Thurston Swim Award in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965, and was named Punahou’s first-ever Outstanding Female Athlete in 1965.
David “Boy” Eldredge IV ’79
Boy Eldredge was a three-sport athlete at Punahou School, playing football, basketball and baseball.
A natural talent, Eldredge racked up the awards at Punahou. He was named Most Inspirational Player for football and basketball twice, and once for baseball. He earned ILH First-Team honors in all three sports. In baseball, Eldredge was named to the All-State team twice, and was a High School All-American his senior year.
As a high-school senior, Eldredge was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds, but chose to attend Brigham Young University to play baseball. In college, he was an All-Western Athletic Conference selection and was voted team captain of the Cougars’ top-ranked baseball club in 1983.
Eldredge’s success continued after college when he shifted to coaching. His winning percentage as head coach of Southern Utah University remains the highest in school history. He has coached five national championship youth baseball teams and a number of sports at Punahou throughout the years. He currently serves as an athletic associate at Punahou and is head coach of the girls softball team.
John Flanagan ’93
John Flanagan was a dominant force in the pool. As a freshman at Punahou, he helped the varsity swim team win the state championship after Kaiser High School had won the previous two. The Punahou team never lost while he was there, and Flanagan won a host of individual state championships along the way. He also ran cross country and track at Punahou.
Flanagan attended Auburn University and was a member of the NCAA National Championship team in 1997. In 2001, he was the National 10K open water champion and placed fourth in the world championships. He represented the United States on the national open water swim team for four years.
After retiring from swimming, he turned his attention to triathlons and worked his way up to competing in Ironman races. At the 2009 Ironman World Championships, Flanagan was the first one out of the water.
Flanagan has also enjoyed success as a coach. He and his younger brother, Kevin Flanagan ’96, are head coaches for Kamehameha Swim Club. The team has won numerous state championships under their guidance.
Todd Iacovelli ’02
Todd Iacovelli is one of the best runners to come out of Punahou. He was a five-time state champion and two-time Gatorade Hawaii track and field athlete of the year. He set state records in the 1,500- and 3,000-meter runs.
Iacovelli attended University of Michigan. He was selected to the All-Big Ten academic team each year he was there. He was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week after running a 14:23 in the 5,000-meter run.
After graduating from college, he used his final year of NCAA eligibility at Hawaiʻi Pacific University while pursuing his MBA. During that final season, he earned NCAA Division III All-America honors in cross county.
Iacovelli is head coach of Punahou’s track team and assistant coach for the cross country team.
Debbie Lambert ’94
Debbie Lambert’s explosive jumps made her a star on the track field and a commanding outside hitter in volleyball. At Punahou, she won state championships in the long jump, high jump, triple jump and low hurdles. She also is one of only two women to have earned three most outstanding performer awards at the Punahou Relays.
As a senior, she helped return Punahou to volleyball dominance. “She was the beginning of that changing of the guard, and she went through a three-year evolution of experimenting with her competitiveness,” said coach Peter Balding ’77.
In 1993, Punahou was third in the ILH leading up to the final state tournament, and the two-week break helped the team rest and allowed Lambert to develop a new serve. In the first match of the tournament, she had multiple aces, giving her team a new secret weapon and a few guaranteed points. Punahou won the state championship, its first in 20 years, and Lambert was named All-State Volleyball Player of the Year.
“Debbie was hands-down the best player in the gym three nights in a row,” Balding said. “No one could stop her. She was an extremely hard worker and physically, she pushed the limit. She pushed it as hard as she could.”
She continued competing at Stanford University, where she helped her team win three national volleyball championships.
Eri Macdonald ’99
During Eri Macdonald’s freshman year at Punahou, her cross country and track coaches knew she had natural talent, but didn’t know she would become a top athlete so quickly. Yet, as a freshman, Macdonald was named the top female athlete in ILH track.
With her smooth stride, good arm swing and natural gait, she elevated herself above the competition, becoming a four-time state champion in the 800 meters in track and a four-time state champion in cross country. As a senior, she won state track titles in the 400, 800 and 4×400. She also was named Punahou Athlete of the Year and included in the Hawaiʻi High School Athletic Association Hall of Honor.
“She really had that ability to push through the pain barriers that a lot of high school athletes shy away from,” said Dan Tuttle ’73, her coach at Punahou. “Eri put it in another gear. She had gears that she could shift into that nobody else had at the time, and that’s what made her so dominant. Eri Macdonald was the best middle-distance runner that Punahou has ever seen, and perhaps the state has ever seen on the female side.”
Macdonald’s father, Duncan Macdonald, was a standout distance runner himself and now coaches the Punahou girls track and field team.
Joey Meyer ’81
Joey Meyer was a towering, intimidating presence on the football field and the baseball diamond. He parlayed his physical strength into numerous All-ILH and All-State selections in both sports, and a total of seven varsity letters.
After graduating from Punahou, he attended University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa on a football scholarship, and the coach also let him play baseball.
Meyer was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1983. His penchant for hitting with power was on full display as he progressed through the minor leagues. He made history on June 2, 1987. While playing for the Triple-A Denver Zephyrs, he hit a baseball 582 feet into the upper deck of Mile High Stadium in Denver. At the time, it was the longest home run ever hit in minor league baseball history.
He was called up to the major leagues in 1988, and became the first and only player to hit a walk-off home run off one of the most dominant pitchers in major league history, Roger Clemens.
Jodilana Jackson ’95 Patterson
While many swimmers excel in a particular stroke, Jodi Jackson Patterson dominated the individual medley, a race that combines the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. In each of her four years at Punahou, she won the state championship in the 200 meters individual medley. She also captured the state title in the 100 meters butterfly in 1993, 1994 and 1995.
“Jodi didn’t want to lose,” said Jeff Meister, her coach at Punahou. “She wasn’t mean about it. She wasn’t arrogant about it. No matter who was around her, she was going to do whatever it took to get to the wall before them.”
Patterson also competed in cross country and kayaking. For all her sporting feats, she was named Athlete of the Year in her sophomore, junior and senior years. She also received Punahou’s President’s Award in 1995.
After Punahou, Patterson attended Stanford University, then medical school at University of Hawai‘i’s John A. Burns School of Medicine. She is now an obstetrician/gynecologist in Northern California.
Donny Utu ’95
Donny Utu’s combination of speed, power and vision made him a force on the football field and basketball court, earning him three varsity letters in each sport.
Utu was a star wide receiver, setting multiple school and state receiving records. As a senior, he set the ILH single-season mark for most touchdowns with 15, beating his previous record of 12 set in his junior year. He also finished his career with ILH records for receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.
His school record of 240 receiving yards in a game against Damien Memorial School stood for 21 years until it was broken in 2014. Utu’s accomplishments led to his induction into the Nissan State of Hawaiʻi Hall of Fame in 1995.
His basketball honors include being named to the All-ILH team in 1993, and the Hawaiʻi Select All-Star Team in 1993 and 1994.
After graduating from Punahou, Utu played football at University of Utah. He was named Offensive Player of the Game when the Utes faced Brigham Young University in the Mountain West Championship game.
Kevin Wong ’90
Kevin Wong is known for his volleyball career, but his first love was basketball. In his senior year, he was named captain and led the team to a state championship. The volleyball team also won a state championship that year, and he was an All-State First Team and State All-Tournament Team selection in both sports. He was also named to the Hawaiʻi High School Athletic Association Hall of Honor in 1990.
Wong attended University of California, Los Angeles and made the volleyball team as a walk on. The team won two NCAA National Championships while he was there, and he was a three-time NCAA All-American. He also played on the United States Volleyball Collegiate National Team.
Wong went on to enjoy a 15-year beach volleyball career that included a fifth-place finish in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Other accolades include being named the No. 1 Pro Beach Volleyball Player and King of the Beach in 2001.
After retiring from volleyball, Wong forged a career as a television analyst for NBC Sports. He covered the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympic Games and continues to lend his talents to volleyball broadcasts. He currently serves as a board member for the Positive Coaching Alliance, and was honored by USA Volleyball as outstanding male coach after leading his team to a gold medal at the Girls Junior National Championships in 2014.
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