Meet comes on heels of strong BI showing
by Dennis Fujimoto – The Garden Island
If this event was held on Kaua‘i, it would’ve been a featured billing.
James Papa, 10, swimming for the Swim Kaua‘i team, recently held off Mokihana Aquatics’ Justin White, 9, for third place in the 100 Yard Butterfly at the Sparky’s meet on the Big Island.
Not only did Papa finish in third, he squeaked past White by less than a second, 1:46.14 to White’s 1:46.96.
Both finishers did well, with Papa improving over his seeded time of 2:04.17 with his finish and earning a HI-A time. White also improved on his 1:55.75 seed time and also picked up a HI-A time in the event.
Papa was part of the group of 11 Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics swimmers who took part in the 20th annual “Sparky” Kawamoto Meet on the Big Island.
SKA coach Ro Davis, who accompanied the group, said these swimmers accomplished 50 lifetime best times out of 57 total splashes.
“The SKA ‘ohana is extremely proud of these kids,” coach Mary Davis said in a press release. “We had well over 90 percent best times, but more importantly, this group of swimmers really showed how far they have come in improving their stroke techniques and racing patterns.”
Nina Albano, 14, led the way for the SKA group, winning four of the six events she competed in, but showing improvement in all of her events.
Sophie Britzmann, 11, Kaeo Kruse, 8, Jack Machorek, 6, Kate Machorek, 9, and Hunter Rogers, 12, all posted 6-for-6 best times in the meet.
Papa and Pualei Pratt, 7, posted 5-of-6 best times.
Makalii Pratt, 11, Kea Sullivan, 11, and Sinead Sims, 15, all posted a number of best times in their six events.
Makalii won the 100 Free (1:15.54) while bettering his seeded time and gaining a HI-A rating. Sullivan the 50 Free event (35.50), beating out Leslie Lockyer, a first-time swimmer for Mokihana (36.61), and earning a HI-A rating.
Sims, following in the wake of her older sister Meaghan, took top honors in the 50 (32.65) and 100 Free (1:15.31) events while placing second in the 100 Back (1:32.56) and the 100 Breast (1:31.00).
Albano, Kruse, Kate Machorek and Papa picked up new AA times at this meet geared for the newer, less experienced swimmers, said coach Ro.
“It was really fun to see Jack Machorek, 6, anchor our SKA 12 and Under relays on both days. They finished first and second in the two relays,” coach Ro said. “The ‘Sparky’ is the only meet where that could happen.”
SKA had 55 swimmers actively training, 21 of whom are at least Hawai‘i AA-plus. Nine of these swimmers qualified for Hawai‘i State Championships.
SKA will be hosting its third “Makin’ Waves” meet Saturday at the Kaua‘i High School pool.
This meet is open to all USA Swimming registered athletes regardless of club affiliation or age.
For entry information, contact coach Ro at 635-6897.