SKA makes club history, Mokihana Aquatics’ Kesia ‘perfect’ at Long Course States champs

Kesia Anaya, 15, improved on all of her swim times, posting a perfect meet at the Long Course State Championships over the weekend.

Kesia, in addition to posting a perfect meet, also finished with two finals swim in her class.

Of the two finals, Kesia netted her biggest improvement in the 200 Backstroke with a 1:20.67 swim, a 6.97 improvement over her seeded time of 1:26.67.

Overall, she finished with four eighth-place finishes in her five events at the meet.

Mokihana Aquatics coach Orlando “O” Anaya was concerned that the three entries “aged-up,” or entered new age divisions for this meet.

“They’re now the ‘young ones’ up against the older swimmers in new, tough divisions,” coach Anaya said in an e-mail.

Despite these concerns, Yasmine Ware, 11, posted a near-perfect meet, showing improvements in five of her six events entered.

Her two biggest gains came in the 100 Breaststroke where she stopped the clock at 1:32.92L for a 3.01 gain, and in the 100 Backstroke where she finished with a 3.06 improvement.

Evan Hamamoto, 13, had one improvement in the two events he entered. That came in the 100 Freestyle where he posted a 1:06.42 swim for a 1.90 gain.

“The swimmers were all well-trained and in peak physical shape for States, but we can’t forget that the mental part of the equation is a big part, too,” Anaya said. “At States, we had some lapses of concentration, and we could have seen some better turns and finishes.”

He said these are things they can work on back home.

“Sometimes, it’s these things that make the difference in a championship meet,” he said.

Overall, Anaya was pleased with his swimmers’ performance.

“We made two finals,” he said. “Some swimmers moved up in rankings, some moved down. We had a great time and a wonderful learning experience. There’s no such thing as a bad meet — just learning experiences.”

The 16 members of Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics made club history with its highest place finish at championship.

“We had absolutely incredible swims by all of the 16 swimmers,” SKA head coach Billy Brown, said in a release. “Our team finished in 15th place at the State Championships, scoring more points than ever before.”

Emma Rausch was SKA’s top swimmer, making the finals for six out of the seven events she was entered in. She also earned the team’s highest finish with a second-place finish in the Girls 15-16 year old 100 Meter Backstroke. Altogether, Rausch scored 21 points for SKA.

Other top finishers were Matt Ross (18 points), Anya Littlefield (17 points) Tyson Chihara (13 points) and Kate Machorek (12 points).

“There were so many personal best times achieved by our swimmers, which is truly the goal,” Brown said. “Twelve of our kids made it to the finals, and four swimmers (Lifflefield, Machorek, Rausch, and Ross) made it to the podium, or top three in the state. It’s been a great season for our team.”

Littlefield earned seven out of eight personal best times. Casie Ford and Ryann Linticum, each earned four out five best times. Makali‘i Pratt earned four out of six best times.

SKA qualified 19 swimmers but only 16 competed.

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