Swim Kauai Aquatics coach Curt Colby was pleased to announce the team’s 10th place finish at the Age Group Short Course Championships which wrapped up Dec. 18 at the Kona Community Aquatic Center on the Big Island.
“SKA was ready for the championships this year,” Colby said. “The team demonstrated this with its 10th place finish overall, scoring 209 points, edging out the Hilo Aquatics team (208 points) by a point.”
The showing in Kona demonstrates the growth made by SKA swimmers over a year’s time.
“If you look at the previous two state meet finishes, you can see the team’s progression upward,” Colby said. “A year ago, the team finished 11th with 132 points. During the summer, SKA swimmers tied for 10th at 172 points.”
SKA’s team performance was led by Jack Machorek, 17, finishing the state championships ranked third overall in the boys 17-18 division at 39 points, and Akira Williams who swam in the boys 15-16 age group. Both swimmers finished with a pair of gold medals in their respective swims.
Machorek pocketed two new state titles and set SKA team records with his wins in the 200 individual medley (touching the wall at 1 minute, 53.80 seconds), and the 500 freestyle (4:34.75) while Williams added state titles in the 200 freestyle (1:44.77), and the 50 freestyle (21.16) which is a new SKA team record.
Adding to the team’s point totals, SKA swimmers tallied six second-place finishes, led by Machorek finding silver and a team record in the 400 IM (4:03.76), Williams in the 100 freestyle (46.60) — another team record — and the 200 IM (1:58.63), Mahina Dameron, 10, in the 200 freestyle (2:17.26) and the 200 IM (2:38.78), and Zach Safford, 18, in the 100 breaststroke (58.61), another a team record.
More points tumbled in with the 11 third-place finishes which included Dameron in the 100 IM (1:14.15), Chloe Inouye, 11, in the 50 breaststroke (33.76), and Pulama Kaeo, 10, in the 100 backstroke (1:13.93) and the 200 freestyle (2:23.60).
Machorek added points with his 200 freestyle (1:42.60), Lucas McSweeney found bronze in the 500 freestyle (5:45.72), and Safford had a trio of bronzes in the 200 breaststroke (2:08.84), the 200 IM (1:56.00), and the 50 freestyle (22.03).
Sadie Stearns, 14, found bronze in the 1,650 freestyle (19:41.14) along with Isaac Vallance, 14, who touched the wall at 17:53.37 in the longest event of the meet.
Alana Cayabyab, 14, was part of three relay events that put 14 points in the tally. Her individual stand-out swim was in the 200 butterfly (2:23.62) where she dropped six seconds from her seeded swim.
Hayley Kaeo, 14, recovering from an injury sustained during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball season, was also part of the three scoring relays.
Maddie Hoesel, 15, finished fourth in the 100 backstroke (1:03.34) and eighth in the 200 backstroke (2:21.52). Tematahira Perreira, 11, was competing in his first state meet and found a medal with his eighth finish in the 100 backstroke (1:11.23).
Xaveria Rodriguez, 15, just missed the finals cut in the 50- and 100 freestyle events, but picked up time drops in the 100 butterfly (1:03.83) and the 200 freestyle (2:02.95), and Julia Safford, 15, picked up a time drop in the 200 breaststroke (2:41.11).
Kamaira Silva turned 13 on the first day of the meet and had to swim in the 13-14 age group, making her the youngest swimmer in that class, C0lby said. She finished missing the medal in the 1,000 freestyle, touching at 11:57.43 for ninth place, a Hawaii AA time standard.
Tyler Tanaka, 13, another new 13-14 age group swimmer, picked up best times in all three of his state swims — the 100 breaststroke (1:12.34), the 200 breaststroke (2:33.88), and the 200 IM (2:23.14).
Ryden Williams, 14, picked up best times in all six swims and came close to making finals in the 100 backstroke (2:14.44) and the 200 freestyle (1:58.45).
“Ryden is now determined to work even harder to make finals this summer at states because he had so many near misses,” Colby said. “As a coach, I was pleased to see so many great swims. The team spirit and cheering was over the top! Way to go, swimmers! We will continue to build on this success with more hard work, and smart swimming.”
Swim Kauai Aquatics will host its second clinic with Olympic Champion 50 freestyle swimmer Anthony Ervin on Jan. 5 at the YMCA pool in Puhi.