Kaua‘i Loves You! lives in Kalapaki swim challenge

NAWILIWILI — The Kaua‘i Loves You! event kicked off bright and early Saturday morning, but instead of a full-blown triathlon, this year’s event was limited to a swim race only.

Dan Britzman of Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics, sponsor of the event, said they were speaking with the Hanalei Canoe Club about possibly doing the swim race as part of a rough water series, with winners accumulating points towards a year-end overall standing similar to programs being done on O‘ahu.

The Saturday race was broken into three segments, a keiki 200 yard ocean swim, a 750 meter and a 1,500 meter race.

Each race was open division with the top three finishers receiving a winner’s medal in the men and women categories.

Each swimmer also earned a certificate, race T-shirt and swim cap.

Jack Machorek, 11, a familiar name in SKA meets both here and off-island, pushed out an early lead in the keiki division to finish first overall and head the boys category.

He crossed the line on a 3:03 swim, Dutch Fairbanks, 11, following at 3:23, challenged by Sam Britzmann, 12, who finished third on a 3:35 swim in the boys category.

Malia Splittstoesser, 9, finishing fifth overall, was the first girl finisher on a 4:14 swim followed by Xaveria Rodriguez, 9, crossing eighth overall, at 4:27.

Olivia McSweeny, 9, finishing 12th overall, was the third girl at 5:17.

Isabella Bivens, 5, the youngest swimmer at the challenge, had the crowd’s support behind her as she emerged from the water to cross the line at 8:34.

She was followed by 6-year-old Caroline Morris who stopped the clock at 8:42.

While the boys topped the keiki division, women took over on the distance races as Nancy Pappas and Jessica Elgin were the first two out of the water in the 750 meter ocean swim. Pappas stopped the clock just a second ahead of Elgin at 17:25 to Elgin’s 17:26. Lauren Griswold, fourth overall, was the third female finisher at 20:4.

Familiar triathlon finisher Jacob Punzal was the first male finisher in the 750 meter, ending third overall at 19:48. Evan Price and Terry Taylor rounded out the field on swims of 23:32 and 32:54, respectively.

Anya Littlefield, the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation and SKA standout, topped the 1,500 meter swim, emerging at 22:17 over Kate Machorek at 22:31.

Littlefield was tops in the club women class followed by  Tambrina Fairbanks (28:41).

Shannon Wigent, finishing seventh overall at 27:14, topped the open women class followed by Monique Chow (31:08) and Bridget Wright (31:11).

Tyler Keith, finishing third overall, topped the club men class on his 25:31 swim followed by Quinn Hannah-White stopping the clocks at 25:58. Saber Fairbanks,13, the youngest swimmer in the 1,500 meter, crossed the line 16th overall, to finish third in the class on a 34:15 swim.

David Hathaway, crossing the line sixth overall, topped the open men class with a 26:37 swim followed by Brandon Jacinto at 27:06 and Joe Kali at 27:18.

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