LIHU‘E — Cody Taboniar is one of the swimmers facing his first big swim meet this weekend.
“Cody just started swimming with us, but he’s been doing real well, so I expect he’ll be one of the swimmers to watch,” said Coach Orlando “O” Anaya, the Mokihana Aquatics head coach, during practice, Tuesday afternoon at the Kaua‘i High School pool.
Mokihana Aquatics will host its 23rd Fun Meet this weekend at the Kaua‘i High School pool with the opening ceremonies starting at 9:30 a.m., Saturday. The meet continues through Sunday.
“This will be Cody’s first meet, but he’s been keeping up with our other swimmers in the 10 year-old group, so I expect he’ll do well,” Anaya said. “Because it’s his first meet, he has no seeded times and will be swimming in the C class.”
Anaya said they’ve gotten commitments from the Aloha Aquatics Association from Mililani, O‘ahu who’ll be coming down a little earlier to get used to the pool. The Kamehameha Swim Club from Kapalama, O‘ahu, the Hickam Hurricanes Swim Club from the Hickam Air Force Base on O‘ahu, Hilo Aquatics from the Big Island, Pearl City Aquatics from O‘ahu and the Warrior Aquatic Club from Ke‘eau on the Big Island will be matching swimmers against the host Mokihana Aquatics.
“The Mokihana Fun Meet is not an annual event because it has not run every year in a row,” Anaya said. “It used to draw between 200 to 300 swimmers, but now, it’s down to about 100 swimmers.”
The first Fun Meet was held in 1983 at the Kapa‘a swimming pool and was held yearly for nine years until 1992.
Following the passage of Hurricane Iniki over Kaua‘i, the meet was suspended from 1993 to 1996, starting up in 1997 at the Kaua‘i High School pool. The Fun Meet moved to the Waimea Swimming Pool in 2008 and 2009 due to pool renovation at the Kaua‘i High School pool.
He said volunteers from swimmers’ families pitch in to make the event the success it has grown to become, doing everything from running the food booth, supplementing the offerings with many home-made goodies, preparing and hosting the hospitality areas for visiting teams, and hosting the mahalo lu‘au in addition to doing meet duties.
There is no charge to view the competition, Saturday or Sunday, and there are numerous opportunities to support the swimmers through the food booth and beverage stands.