Veteran swimmers, first-timers spice up SKA meet

Fans cheered a variety of achievements at the YMCA pool at the Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics home meet on Saturday.

Jack Machorek, 11, picked up a new state qualifying time standard, the only one at this meet, in his first go in the 500-yard freestyle, touching the wall at 6:26.01.

Adding to the state qualifying standard, Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics swimmers piled up seven new AA times, 18 new A times and 15 new B time standards — in addition to Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation swimmers adding to their already successful swim season.

Riley Young, 13, led a field of six swimmers achieving perfect meet with improvements in all swimming events. Young pocketed two AA times in the 50 (28.37) and 100 (1:03.91) and reaped A times in his 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events.

Athena Alexander, 11, was perfect in four events, attaining A times in her 10-yard freestyle with a B time standard.

Maya Rivera, 11, also garnered a perfect meet, her biggest showing coming in the 100-yard freestyle where she touched at 1:26.68, chopping 11.28 seconds off her seeded time. She also earned a B time standard in the 100 (1:43.81) breaststroke.

Julia Safford, 9, pocketed four new time standards, getting an AA time in the 100-yard breastroke, two A times in the 50-yard backstroke and 50-yard breaststroke and a B time standard in the 200 Free.

Malia Splittstoesser, 9, earned an A time for her 50-yard freestyle (38.16) and a B time in her 100-yard individual medley.

Lucas McSweeny, 7, rounded out the perfect swimmers with four new times, his highlight event being the 100-yard freestyle where he dropped 21.79 seconds on his 1:55.33 swim.

“It was a great job by all our swimmers, today,” said SKA Coach Billy Brown. “It’s fun to see those new kids hammer out their first ever 25- and 50-yard events. It was exciting for all of us on deck today.”

Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics welcomed eight new swimmers to their first swim meet — siblings Cameron, 8, William Buchanan, 10, Sophie and Eli Kessler, both 8, Kaylee, 11, and Robert, 10 Russell, James Pratt, 9, and Xaveria Rodriguez, 9 — all competing in four individuals events apiece and copping many B times for their efforts.

“We had new kids today,” Brown said.

 “We had kids who have been steadily dropping their times and earning new time standards, and we had the senior girls qualifying for two additional races at the upcoming Senior Sectional meet in Seattle.”

Sophie Britzmann, 16, Anya Littlefield, 18, Kate Machorek, 14, and Yasmine Ware, 15, all Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics and KIF standout swimmers, combined their individual best strokes to secure two new Senior Sectional time cuts, locking in times in the 200- and 400-yard medley relays.

The two new times add to their already secured three freestyle

relay times for the meet scheduled in two weeks.

Akira Williams pocketed two AA times, touching the wall at 42.91 in the 50 Butterfly and hitting 3:22.47 in his first-ever 200 IM.

Ryden, 8, Akira’s younger brother, pulled in an A time in his 50 (48.46) Backstroke and Zach Safford touched at 1:23.13 in the 100 Butterfly for a 9.79 improvement.

KIF swimmers Tyler Keith, 15, and Kaz Tasic, 17, gained new time standards, Keith earning an AA time in his 200-yard breastroke (2:45.94) for a 15.65 improvement and Tasic getting new A times, in the 100 (1:10.06) Butterfly and in the 500-yard freestyle (6:07.29).

Other A time standard swimmers included Britnee Akau, 12, Sam Britzmann, 12, Gabriela Bryan, 9, Malina Dwight, 12, Tambrina Fairbanks, 15, Sarah Keith, 11, and Carolyn Price, 12.

Swimmers pocketing B time standards include Francesca Bivens, 7, Mikayla Holtzman, 7, S. Keith and Braydon King, both 8, McSweeny, Rivera, Splittstoesser and Matthew Vickers, 9.

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

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