Tory Taboniar captures ‘Swimmer of the Meet’ award at Manoa Meet qualifier

LIHU‘E — Tory Taboniar, 10, was named “Swimmer of the Meet” and a swimmers from the Mokihana Aquatics qualified for the upcoming Harry Mamizuka Invitational at the Manoa Regional Park following the two-a timed trials at the Kaua‘i High School pool over the weekend.

Tobinar was perfect, getting 10 best times in his 10 events, including four state time standards and five AA Invitational time standards.

“Tory really dominated the excitement this weekend,” said Mokihana Aquatics coach Orlando “O” Anaya, following the meet which concluded Sunday. “This made for one of the coaches’ easiest choices for ‘Swimmer of the Meet.’”

Taboniar charged through all 10 of his events, getting the best improvement in the 200 Individual Medley where he finished at 3:25.77, an AA time standard, and an improvement of 13.76 over his seeded time.

His qualifying time standards came in the 100 Free (1:16.66), the 50 Free (33.23), the 50 Back (40.24) and the 200 Free (2:47.59) where he had his second-best improvement, shaving 9.76 over his seeded time.

Taboniar headed the field of seven Mokihana Aquatics swimmers qualifying for the Manoa Meet. Joining him are Sara Funtanilla, Luke Roberts, Marcus Robinson, Micah-Kamuela Nobriga-Ferris, Kyle Riddle and Gracie Stokes.

Ana Yamaguchi celebrated her birthday in style, getting nine out of 10 best times.

“On Sunday, with her family on hand, and choosing to swim against the clock, she blew away all her best times,” Anaya said.

Yamaguchi’s best swim came in the 200 Fly where she touched at 3:14.26, an improvement of 24.78 over he entry time. She also marked double-digit improvements in the 200 Free (2:29.34), the 100 Fly (1:25.13) and the 200 Back (3:04.67).

Anaya said Mokihana’s teen boys, Micah-Kamuela Nobriga-Ferris and Kyle Riddle both qualified for Invitational Long Course meets this summer and Mokihana’s 11-12 boys, Luke Roberts and Marcus Robinson both qualified for Invitationals for the first time since aging up from the 10 and Unders.

Alana Tamashiro, 11, finished eight for 10 best times and continues to impress her coaches, Anaya said, pointing out Grace Stokes, 12, swimming despite sickness, Saturday, finished two-for-three best times and qualifying for Invitationals.

“Our 8 and Unders always steal the show,” Anaya said. “Way too Cute Jake Valenti, also known as ‘Little Big Man,’ is improving on technique; Chris Harvey is following in his dad’s footsteps who has great swimming stories; Isabella Roberts is showing great improvement and our lone 6 and Under, Leigh Indica was oh, so impressive.”

Anaya said what made the weekend so special was marking 72 percent personal best times among the swimmers.

“Normally, as a coach I would be happy with 48 percent best times, but the swimmers were on fire,” he said. “To end with 72 percent best times is saying a lot about how well the swimmers did.”

But he credits a lot of the improvement and work to the deck officials, volunteer times including members of the Kaua‘i High School Key Club who were spread between the meet and the Kiwanis breakfast, and most importantly, parents.

The swimmers and their important parent volunteers were out at the Walmart parking lot, Friday, selling Moloka‘i bread as a fundraiser to help with expenses for the club’s off-island meets.

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

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