Kauai wins KIF for coach

LIHU’E — A little nip in the water couldn’t stop the Kaua’i High School swimmers as they honored coach Melissa Hall’s final KIF event with a dominating presence at the KIF Swimming championship Saturday.

En route to taking the KIF title with a combined total of 186 points (115B,71G), the Red Raiders added three team qualifying times. Keenan Anaya and Jarred Perry each qualified for two more events at the Hawai’i High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) meet that will take place on the Big Island later this month.

Kapa’a followed in the points with 110 (75G, 35B) followed by Kula at 51( 37G, 14B), Waimea High School at 42 (10G, 22B), and Island School at 35 (23G, 12B).

Waimea qualified one swimmer for the HHSAA while Island School’s Ben Baldwin added two more qualifying events to his HHSAA list.

With Perry and Anaya on the 200-yard medley team, Kaua’i topped the event on a 1:50.43 performance (1:55.00 HHSAA qualifying). Other team members include Aaron Ramelb and Kelsey Tanaka.

The team of Tyson Chihara, Russell McCluskey, Jr., Noah Murray, and Kyson Gusukuma squeaked to an HHSAA berth by just .16 second as they finished at 1:41.41 (HHSAA 1:41.58). That boys 200- yard freestyle team’s seeded time was 1:37.83.

Anaya and Perry also helped the 400-yard relay team qualify with a 3:30.34 finish (HHSAA 3:44.40), bettering their seed time of 3:34.12 in the first finish over Waimea while establishing a new KIF pool record by almost four seconds. Team members include Anaya, Perry, Mathew Ross, and Kelsey Tanaka.

Waimea’s sole individual qualifier finished second in the Boys 100 butterfly as Randy Umetsu was edged out by Kaua’i’s Anaya, but turned in a qualifying time of 57.67 (HH-SAA 59.44). Anaya finished that event at 56.10, a tad slower than the 2006 KIF record he set at 55.73.

In addition to the 100 butterfly, Anaya added the Boys 100 freestyle to his qualifying events with a 52.89 first finish (HHSAA 52.92).

Jarred Perry qualified for the 50-yard freestyle event on a 23.15 first finish (HHSAA 23.80) and the 100-yard backstroke on another first finish at 57.95 (HH-SAA 1:02.10). Perry’s backstroke finish was better than his 57.43 seed time, and challenger Umetsu from Waimea just missed the HHSAA cut by .63 second.

Ben Baldwin, the swimmer for Island School who hosted the KIF Championship, qualified in the boys 200-yard IM on a 2:07.60 first finish (HHSAA 2:15.20), and the Boys 500-yard freestyle where he topped Gusukuma at 5:05.45 (HHSAA 5:26.00) to establish another KIF pool record by over a second.

The first and second finishes by the Kaua’i and Kapa’a girls 400-yard freestyle relay also shattered the KIF pool record of 4:14.75 set in 2001 by the Kaua’i team of Black, Balmores, Williams, and Scheppers.

Kaua’i crossed the line at 4:14.08, hotly chased by Kapa’a who stopped the clock at 4:14.39. Team members for the Red Raiders included Trisha Lamay-Mc-Vay, Casie Ford, Mary Tousend, and Meaghan Sims. The Warriors’ team members include Magen Grooms, Marla Bendor, Camielle Brady, and Jackie Brady. The HHSAA qualifying time for this event is 4:05.42.

That same Kapa’a Girls 200-yard freestyle relay team shattered a 1998 KIF record of 1:53.37 set by Kaua’i High School’s Foster, Black, Romano, and Black.

The Warriors’ team stopped the watches at 1:53.03 with team members Grooms, Bendor, Camielle and Jackie Brady. The HHSAA qualifying time for this event is 1:48.40.

The Local Motion 2006 Hawai’i State Swimming & Diving Championships are scheduled for Feb. 24 and 25 at Kamehameha Schools, Hawai’i.

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