Kaua‘i Jr. Lifeguards prepare to defend eight-time state title
NAWILIWILI — Kate Machorek, recently getting accolades for her swimming prowess at the state championships, collected two first place finishes at the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguards Island Finals Sunday at Kalapaki Beach.
The finals brings to a close the summer Junior Lifeguard programs, which were held at various sites around the island and open to young students from 13 through 17 years old.
This year, the Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau and the County of Kaua‘i inaugurated a Keiki Junior Lifeguard program for youngsters under 12 years old, which is being tied in with the final Kalapaki Beach session.
“This is the first time we’re doing the keiki and they did very well,” said Kalani Vierra, the Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau supervisor. “They actually are competing in the island finals along with their older counterparts.”
Kainoa Lum, a water safety officer handling the coordinating of event finishers, said among the keiki standouts for the island finals are Sam Britzmann, Lily Stokes, Samantha Stokes, Tabitha Ross, Dutch Fairbanks, James Pratt, Ella Marcil, Janique Marcil, Makenzie Jones, Kaya Akana, Kelsey Ortiz, Shailah Sanay, Deshaynee Iseri-Carvalho, Jessica Hreljac, Makoa Lovell, Lani Alo, Malia Alo, Ella Hashford, Kai Norman, Zachary Safford, Tommy Gonzales, Kamalei Berg, Jack Machorek, Ryden Williams, Akira Williams, Kapua Mersberg, Logan Yardley, Gabriella Bryan and Evan Young.
Kate Machorek, the older sister of Jack, represented the Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics program when she was successful at the state meet. On Sunday she was the top individualist in the girls 13-14 run swim run event and the girls 13-14 250 meter swim, where she dominated the field.
Kate was followed by another SKA swimmer, Ava Wagner, who also got accolades for her swimming achievements during the summer, Mokihana Aquatics swimmer Gracie Stokes, who recently aged-up, Karly Gonzalez and Mariah Meyer, rounding out the leaderboard for that event.
In the run swim run event, Kate was followed by Wagner, Gracie Stokes and Karly Gonzalez.
Kahi Davis topped the girls 13-14 1000-meter run followed by Ming Hsu, Brianna Griep, Aubrey Kay and Gracie Stokes, while Austin Yardley topped the boys 13-14 event followed by Kustom Wise, Hikari Oberman, Coleman Langtad, Cory Paik and Gabriel Allen.
Tambrina Fairbanks, an SKA swimmer and Kapa‘a High School swimmer, topped the girls 15-17 1000-meter run followed by Haley Chasin, Kawena Kawaihalau, Sophie Britzmann, another SKA and Kaua‘i High School swimmer, Shania Weiss and Liana Patey.
Kainoa Matsumoto topped the boys 15-17 1000-meter run followed by Dominic Armstrong, Micah Ferris, Kawaii Barrett, Michael Kocher and Donnavan McKeague.
Riley Young topped the boys 13-14 250 meter swim followed by Saber Fairbanks and Gabriel Allen.
Haley Chasin topped the girls 15-17 250 meter swim followed by Sophie Britzmann, Abirae Stine, Tambrina Fairbanks, Jennifer Leon and Chloe Stokes.
Quinn Hannah-White, another SKA swimmer who was recognized for his achievements at the state swim, topped the boys 15-17 250 meter swim followed by Kaikea Elias, Micah Nobriga-Ferris, Lars Vali, Michael Kocher and Aukai Schraepter-Kuapahi.
Riley Young picked up his second first place finish of the day by topping the boys 13-14 run swim run followed by Braeden Armstrong, Saber Fairbanks, Gabriel Allen, Evan Hensley and Jack Walters.
Abirae Stine topped the girls 15-17 run swim run followed by Sophie Britzmann, Tambrina Fairbanks, Shania Weiss, Haley Chasin and Tabitha Kauakahi.
Kaikea Elias finished his last year of eligibility in the program by topping the boys 15-17 run swim run event followed by Quinn Hannah-White, Micah Nobriga-Ferris, Lars Vali, China Soria and Gavin Bryan.
Gerilynn Palabay topped Ruby Soria for the top spot of the girls 13-14 beach flags event followed by Karly Gonzalez, Ming Hsu, Gracie Stokes and Mariah Meyer.
Hikari Oberman had a unique tumbling capture to lead the boys 13-14 beach flags event, wrestling Braden Armstrong for the top spot. The pair was followed by Kustom Wise, Evan Hensley, Cory Paik and Austin Yardley.
Another wrestling match was settled by judges decision, as Wailana Gandeza topped the girls 15-17 beach flags over Jazmin Morris. The pair was followed by Tabitha Kauakahi, Chloe Stokes, Kawena Kawaihalau and Shania Weiss.
Micah Quinlan also needed the judges decision to take the boys 15-17 beach flags event over China Soria, Eman Zafirides, Rusty Yamamoto, Josh Flores and Kawai Barrett.
Vierra said based on these results, the Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau will form a team of 30 all-stars to head to O‘ahu Saturday for the state meet at the Ala Moana Beach Park.
The Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguards are eight-time reigning state champions and will be aiming for its ninth consecutive win.
“But we’ll be hosting states next year here at Kalapaki Beach,” Vierra said. “Hopefully, we’ll be looking at defending the title here at home.”