LIHUE – After Kapa’a stunned the powerhouse Kaua’i High boys swim team, some questioned the normal heirarchy in KIF swimming.
They were a minority.
“We had heard about Kaua’i High’s boys team before we started the season and yes, they are really good,” said Kapa’a head coach Kara Punui.
That may be the understatement of the year.
Led by outstanding swims of freshman Keenan Anaya and Jarred Perry, Kaua’i’s boys are doing things never seen on the Garden Island. Anaya became the first swimmer on Kaua’i to swim a sub 2-minute 200-yard Free, demolishing the old KIF pool record by more than 6 seconds. He broke another pool record in the 100 yard Backstroke – both races were done in state qualifying times. In Anaya’s first six individual swims this year, he has broken five pool records, made five state qualifying times, and is the only KIF male swimmer to remain undefeated. Anaya also anchored Kaua’i High’s come-from-behind victory in the boys 400-yard Freestyle relay.
Perry, after a less than perfect turn on his 50-yard Free, came from behind to win that event, and then hammered the rest of the field with a state qualifying time in the 500 Freestyle.
However, the race of the day came in the boys 100-yard Breast. Perennial all-star Jeremy Albano of Kapa’a and Kaua’i’s Jason Ebesu made the first turn at 25 yards in a dead heat. Albano was barely ahead at the 50 and 75 yard mark. Both swimmers came off the third and final turn and went to a higher level than ever before in their last 25 yards. At the finish, Ebesu dived under water to slip past Albano and claim a victory by .08 seconds.
Both swims were personal best times for these athletes.
On the girls’ side, Kapa’a’s depth remains unchallenged.
Bristol King (50 Free) and Amy Lloyd (100 Back) led this week’s charge with solid performances again by Liana Nakazawa. The super sophomore from Waimea, Katelyn Umetsu, remains undefeated winning both her events and leading Waimea girls 200 Medley Relay team to a KIF new pool record, the only record broken on the girl’s side.
Island School’s Erin Emberson was also a dual winner taking her two events: the 200 IM and 500 Free.
Other individual winners on the girl’s side were Kauai’s Roxanne DuBois in the 100 Butterfly, and Waimea’s Leilani Alquiza in the 100 Breaststroke. On the boy’s side, winners were Kapa’a’s Albano in the 200 IM, and Michael Maddock in the 100 Fly, plus Kaua’i’s Matt Murray in the 100 Free.
The next KIF qualifying meet, to be hosted by Kula School, will start at 10:00 a.m. this coming Saturday, Feb. 1 at Kauai High.