Two Kaua’i swimmers qualify for state

LIHU’E — “It’s going to be rough for the next two or three weeks,” Greg Holzman said Monday as he watched Mokihana Aquatics swimmers at practice.

Holzman’s son Matthew, 12, and Keenan Anaya, 16, led a contingent of five Mokihana Swimmers who returned from the 26th annual Pearl City Invitational over the weekend.

Matthew “had a perfect meet,” said Mokihana Aquatics coach Orlando “O” Anaya. Competing in 10 events over three days, Matthew showed improvement in all 10 events while picking up six state qualifying times.

“That’s what you call a breakout event,” Anaya said.

Anaya’s son, Keenan, topped the performance roster and along with Matthew will be heading for the state meet which is scheduled for Dec. 15-18 in Kihei, Maui.

Keenan finished the weekend with eight state qualifying times, one gold medal, three silver medals, and a pair of bronze medals in his 11-event showing.

Orlando said that Keenan also drew a lot of positive comments from both coaches and swimmers alike at the meet that topped 267 competitors on O’ahu.

“Ross Matthew would’ve had a perfect meet, too, if he didn’t DQ in his final event,” Orlando said. In the six events Matthew, 15, competed in, he improved in all, barring the disqualification.

Kaitlyn Jarry, 12, showed improvements in times in six of her eight events, and Meaghan Sims had improvements in her times in two of the 11 events she competed in.

“Normally, we wouldn’t worry about ‘Last Chance’ meets,” Orlando said. “But he (Holzman) is so close, he’s going to try this weekend in Kona to get at least three more state qualifying times.”

Greg Holzman said, “Matthew is less than a second off in his 200 IM (the event where he showed the greatest improvement at a gain of 22.57 seconds), a half second off in the 100 Back, and one and a half second off in the 100 Free.”

“If he has any kind of weekend he showed in Pearl City, he should get the times with no problems,” Orlando said.

Before Keenan and Matthew head for the state competition, both expect to be competing with the Mokihana Aquatics at the Annual Ed Ho Swim Meet hosted by the West Kaua’i Lions Club on Saturday, Dec. 10. Following that event, both swimmers will head to Maui.

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