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SKA places 11th at Hawaiian State Age Group Championships

With just twelve athletes, Swim Kauai Aquatics totaled 132 points to finish 11th overall at the Hawaiian State Age Group Championships held on Oahu recently.

“Overall, an excellent showing by our SKA athletes with many personal best times and seven new team records. As always, we celebrate our improvements and the hard work that leads to them. We also will improve in the future by learning from our lessons from this meet. It was a 4-day meet demanding endurance as well as speed,” said coach Curt Colby. “I’m proud of our swimmers for their dedication throughout this tough meet and season. Now, some time to rest and celebrate the holidays so we can rededicate ourselves for the next season.”

Chloe Inouye, one of SKA’s newest team members, managed to secure 11.5 points alone which would have put SKA in the top 10 team finishes. She will be eligible to score for SKA at the next team meet.

Top team scorer honors went to Jack Machorek, 16, with 42 points and a third place overall in the boys 15-16 division. His achievement was due to his first place State Championship finishes in two events: the 400-meter individual medley (4:07.31) and the 200-meter individual medley (1:54.04). He also finished second in the 1000-meter freestyle (9:35.15) and the 500-meter freestyle (4:36.97). He also finished fourth in the 200-meter freestyle (1:42.86) and fifth in the 50-meter freestyle (22.05). In addition, he managed to break five team records in the six events he swam in and only missed the record in the 400-meter individual medley by half a second.

Our next top team scorer went to Zach Safford, 17, in the boys 17-18 division with 19 points. He finished second in the 100-meter butterfly (51.46) and fifth in the 200-meter breaststroke (2:12.56), the 200-meter butterfly (1:59.37) and the 200-meter individual medley (1:58.41). His times in the 100-meter butterfly and the 200-meter breaststroke were new team records and new personal bests for three of his four events.

In the boys and girls 9-10 division, three swimmers scored: Trevyn Nishimura, 10, with 19 points, Inouye, 10, with 11.5 points and Talen “T” Koerte, 10, with four points. All three finished with their highest scoring State Meet ever.

Nishimura finished third in the 200-meter freestyle (2:20.24), fourth in the 100-meter freestyle (1:05.06), fourth in the 50-meter butterfly (33.36) and sixth in the 100-meter butterfly (1:19.66). Inouye finished third in the 50-meter breaststroke (37.23), sixth in the 200-meter freestyle (2:23.47) and seventh in the 100-meter individual medley (1:16.15). Nishimura and Koerte just missed a perfect meet with 5 out of 6 events with personal best times.

Neveah Ibanez, 12, SKA’s only 11-12 swimmer at the meet, scored points and personal best times with a fifth place finish in the 50-meter breaststroke (33.96), and an eighth place finish in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:15.23). Kaira Kaaihue, 17, had two personal best finishes with ninth place in the 100-meter freestyle (56.05) and seventh place in the 100-meter backstroke (1:04.46).

SKA’s biggest group was in the 13-14 division with six athletes: Isaac Vallance, 13, finished in 14th place with a personal best time in the 500-meter freestyle (5:30.74).

Five swimmers were in the girls 13-14 division: Hayley Jay Kaeo, 13, Xaveria Rodriguez, 14, Julia Safford, 14, Malia Splittstoesser, 14, and Sadie Stearns, 13). They combined on four scoring relays: sixth place finish in the 800-meter freestyle relay (8:29.77), sixth place in the 400-meter freestyle relay (3:52.01), seventh place in the 400-meter medley relay (4:23.26), and eighth place in the 200-meter medley relay (2:00.56).

Individually, Kaeo, had a personal best fourth place finish in the 100-meter butterfly (1:00.76) and a sixth place finish in the 100-meter freestyle (55.47) to earn eight points for the team. Splittstoesser scored a sixth place finish in the 1000-meter freestyle (11:35.10), seventh in the 500-meter freestyle (5:37.37) and seventh in the 1,650-meter freestyle (19:41.37).

Splittstoesser also led off both medley relays with the backstroke for personal bests: 50-meter backstroke (32.01) and 100-meter backstroke (1:10.32). She finished the meet with five personal best performances.

Stearns finished fourth in the 1,650-meter freestyle (19:11.69) and finished seventh in the 500-meter freestyle (5:37.72). Besides scoring in the relays, Julia Safford swam the 100-meter breaststroke (1:16.72) and the 200-meter breaststroke (2:42.15).

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