SKA swimmers qualify

LIHU‘E — Eight Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics swimmers earned their eligibility over the weekend to the upcoming Sakamoto Invitational swim meet.

According to SKA coach Ro Davis, the qualified swimmers earned Hawai‘i AA+ times to become eligible for the meet on Maui that will take place May 26-28.

En route to their qualifications, SKA swimmers Ben Baldwin (15-16 Boys) and Michelle Woltmon (15-16 Girls) gave swim fans a Mother’s Day treat as both swimmers offered up good races with their Mokihana Aquatics counterparts.

Woltmon, in the final heat of the Girls 13-18 200-yard freestyle event, provided spectators with a seat-edge performance as she battled Mokihana Aquatics’ Kesia Anaya, 13, and Meaghan Sims, 16, for the race that was not determined until the final 20 yards when Woltmon surged ahead for the finish.

Baldwin, on the other hand, kept the fans on their hands throughout the final heat of the Boys 13-18, 200-yard freestyle event.

Coming off the blocks on a dead heat, Baldwin surged into the lead off the turns only to have Mokihana Aquatics’ Keenan Anaya pull ahead on the stretches.

The seesaw battle continued until the final leg when despite a concerted effort in the final yards, Baldwin was unofficially declared the winner on a 1:50:28 time over Anaya’s 1:50:41.

“We are very proud of these eight swimmers and their achievements,” Davis said in an e-mail announcing the SKA qualifiers.

“We did have 36 swimmers entered in the meet this weekend, and all of those who competed did superbly.”

Davis said Mokihana Aquatics “ran a great meet which was certainly ‘fun’ for all those involved.”

Among the special treats offered up by Mokihana Aquatics’ coach Orlando “O” Anaya, swimmers were invited to submit “Mom-o-grams” which Anaya read between events, and sometimes invited the swimmer authors to come up and read their own.

“This is great,” one mother of a young swimmer told Anaya. “It is so touching.”

A post-meet get-together to honor all of the mothers, parents and volunteers alike, was held following the two-day event.

In addition to Baldwin and Woltmon, other SKA swimmers qualifying with Hawai‘i AA+ times include Sonya

James (15-16 Girls), Emma Rausch (13-14 Girls), Ryann Linthicum (11-12 Girls), Anya Littlefield (11-12 Girls), Jennifer Lyon (9-10 Girls), and Kiki Abrams (9-10 Boys).

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) and dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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