Mokihana Aquatics’ Matthew Holzman got one of his Christmas presents early this year.
The 12-year-old swimmer captured his first-ever medal at the 2006 Hawai’i State Age Group Short Course Championships in Kihei, Maui.
“He improved his times in all of his races, except the 50 back and 100 free,” Mokihana Aquatics head coach Orlando Anaya said.
Holzman, who swims in the 11-12 year old division, finished up in 8th-place in the 50 breast for the coveted, shiny medal.
“He (Holzman) said he felt really good and thought he could’ve done better,” Anaya said.
However, according to Anaya, Holzman’s main goal was to make it into the finals, which he did with a fifth-place time in the trials.
Keenan Anaya, a 17-year-old and another Mokihana Aquatics athlete, had a spectacular meet, considering that he took two years off from competitive swimming.
Anaya conquered zone qualifying times (three levels below Olympic trial cuts) in all of his events except the 200 IM.
In all, Anaya, a six-time state champion, ran away with two silvers, two bronzes, and all top-eight finishes in his events (50 free: 4th, 200 fly: 3rd, 200 free: 4th, 100 back: 2nd, 100 free: silver, 200 IM: 7th, 200 back: 4th, 100 fly: bronze).
Massage therapist Mary Holtzman and Mokihana Aquatics associate head coach Winston Kawamoto made the trip to Maui with the two swimmers.
Former Mokihana Aquatics swimmer, Ben Baldwin, who is now competing for Swim Kaua’i Aquatics, finished up with three medals (8th: 200 free, 5th: 200 IM, 7th: 200 back).
Baldwin swam in eight events and his coach Greg Davis was very satisfied with the 15-year-old’s performance.
“The goal was to gain experience, off-island, racing the best that the state of Hawai’i has to offer,” Swim Kaua’i Aquatics head coach Ro Davis wrote in an e-mail.
KIF swimming starts up on January 14 at Kaua’i High School’s pool.
- Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or email@example.com.