Last season was a year to forget for KIF swimmers at the state level, but the same athletes and a new face look to tackle the state’s best at the 2006 HHSAA/Local Motion Swimming and Diving Championships, which get underway, February 24-25 on the Big Island.
The familiar faces heading to the Kamehameha-Hawai‘i campus on Friday are Kaua‘i seniors Keenan Anaya and Jarred Perry, along with Island School sophomore Ben Baldwin.
And the new face? Well it’s none other than Kaua‘i junior Kyson Gusukuma, who loves his long distance events.
“Nobody else wants to swim in those events (long distance), but he doesn’t mind it at all,” Kyson’s mom, Debbie Kincaid said.
Kincaid and her husband, Chris Gusukuma, will be heading to the Big Island to watch their son at a state swimming event for the first time.
Gusukuma has made it to the next level before, but this is his first try at an individual medal.
He’s currently ranked 15th in the state in the 500 free contest.
Meanwhile, Anaya’s trying to medal in two individual events, the 200 free and the 100 butterfly.
The Red Raider senior is ranked 7th in the 200 free and 8th in the 100 butterfly.
Teammate Jarred Perry also has two contests at states, the 50 free and the 100 backstroke. Perry ranks eighth in both events.
Island’s Ben Baldwin, the only swimmer to medal at last year’s state championships, goes for more hardware in the 200 IM and the 500 free. Baldwin collected a ninth place time in the 200 IM and a sixth place showing in the 500 free.
The Red Raiders will be competing in two relay events, the 200 medley where they’re ranked ninth, and the 200 free where they have the 13th best time in the state.
No KIF girls or relay teams have qualified for states this season.
- Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or firstname.lastname@example.org.