Alana Cayabyab finds Long Course medal

LIHUE — Alana Cayabyab won just one event at the Long Course Championships on Maui recently.

Cayabyab earned sixth place in the 100 yard butterfly during the finals of the 2013 Hawaiian Swimming Age Group Long Course Championships at the Kihei Aquatic Center on Maui.

After qualifying for the final in the preliminaries with a 1:31.44 swim, Cayabyab touched the wall at 1:33.50 in the finals for her sixth place win.

 “You should have seen her on the podium when she made the finals and got sixth place overall in the 100 fly, her single championship race,” said Mokihana Aquatics Coach Orlando “O” Anaya. “Her, and my smile was ear to ear. She was so proud you would have thought she had just won the gold.”

Anaya said Cayabyab did well in her long races, but struggled in her two sprint races.

In six events, Cayabyab posted improvements in four swims, her best coming in the 200 individual medley, a distance swim. She touched at 3:13.16, a state Qualifying time, for a 6.45-second improvement.

The 10-year-old Mokihana Aquatics swimmer also cut 4.13 seconds off her seeded swim in the 100 breaststroke, touching at 1:45.39, and took 1.97 seconds off her 100 backstroke where she hit the wall at 1:37.03 — all of which were state qualifying times.

“All in all, she was nothing short of amazing,” Anaya said. “Alana was the youngest girl swimmer from Kauai to swim in a championship final. In fact, she was the only 10 and under girl from Kauai to do so.”

Cayabyab’s climb to the state Long Course Championships started in July when she participated in the Keo Nakama Invitational swim meet.

Entering the qualifying meet in July with just one state qualifying time, Cayabyab splashed her way home with five additional qualifying times to earn her spots in the six events at the state Long Course Championship meet.

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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