Ware to represent Hawai‘i at Oceania Championships

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i‘s Yasmine Ware is heading to a place she has never heard of to represent the country she is a part of.

Ware, 15, will be competing next week in the Oceania Swimming Championships held in Noumea, New Caledonia.

Ware, who just completed her freshman season for the Kaua‘i Red Raiders, was selected as one of four girls and four boys from Hawai‘i to represent the United States as Team Hawai‘i.

As the only Neighbor Island swimmer selected, she was chosen based on her IMX Points in relation to other girls in the state. The IMX Points ranking system is used by USA Swimming nationwide to compare young athletes.

“I didn’t really know where we were going at first,” Ware said. “I just know it’s off the coast of Australia.”

Competing in a foreign land while representing her country “is a little nerve-wracking,” Ware said, but once she gets in the water, she said she’ll be able to shake those nerves off.

“I’ll just have to get myself into my zone and swim the race,” she said.

Ware said she knows the other Hawaiian girls on the team and is looking forward to competing against world-wide competition.

“This will be Yasmine’s first international meet,” Swim Kaua‘i head coach Billy Brown said.

“It’s a great opportunity for her to compete with her peers from 14 other countries.”

Brown will be joining University of Hawai‘i coach Jen Buffin on the Team Hawai‘i coaching staff.

The Championship meet, established in 1991, is held every two years, and includes top young athletes from American Samoa, Australia, Cook Island, Fiji, Guam, Hawai‘i/USA, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Northern Marianas, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, and Tahiti.  

The championships also include open water swimming, water polo and synchronized swimming events.

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