‘Little ones blow up big’ at Mokihana trials

LIHUE — Dynamite comes in small packages, said Mokihana Aquatics coach Orlando “O” Anaya Sunday.

“I seriously considered canceling our timed trials meet this weekend,” Anaya said following the two-day meet at the Kauai High School pool. “We knew that only half of our swimmers would be swimming, and had notice that some would not be able to participate Sunday.”

But Anaya needed the official times that come out of a racing situation, and the meet went on.

Alana Cayabyab, 10, secured Swimmer of the Meet honors, getting personal bests in nine of her 10 events.

“No doubt about it,” Anaya said. “She is amazing. She’s already a state-level swimmer, and over the weekend, posted nine new best times with all nine being new state-level QUAL times.”

Cayabyab splashed through the two days of competition with her best event coming in the 200 Freestyle where she chopped 15.92 seconds off her seeded time, touching the wall on a swim which stopped the clocks at 2 minutes, 36.17 seconds.

Her only non-best swim leaves her with nine QUAL events and one HIAA event.

Cayabyab also swam with Sara Funtanilla, 11, who was pushed by the 10-year-old and finished with personal bests in five of her 10 events, the biggest improvement coming in the 200 Individual Medley where she touched at 3:13.28 for a 6.21 improvement.

“Today, we saw some of the best swimming, ever,” Anaya said. “Whatever it was — the cool weather, the crazy support from the few families — it was great. We did see some great swimming on Saturday, too, Lily Stokes’ five best times leading the way. But it is about the whole meet — two days.”

Lily Stokes, 12, swimming just one day, posted five improvements in five events, her best showings coming in the 100 Freestyle (1:19.59) for a 12.66 improvement and the 200 IM (3:30.17) for a 12.50 improvement.

Her sisters, Samanta, 10, posted her best event in the 100 Backstroke (1:42.19) for an 8.88 improvement, and Grace, 14, coming from the Kauai Interscholastic Federation cross country meet to swim five events, her best event coming in the 200 Fly (3:17.64) for a 4.27 improvement.

Luke Roberts, 12, swam his last race in the 11-12 age group, leaving the pool with four improvements in 10 events, his best showing coming in the 100 Backstroke (1:20.93) for a 2.68 gain and in the 50 Butterfly (39.09) for a 2.08 improvement.

On the other end of the spectrum, Kaedyn Santiago, 6, caught the eye of deck officials through his 10 events,where he finished first in four of the swims.

Although not qualifying for any times, Santiago was predicted to become a strong swimmer by the swim referees.

Juvan Logan, 10, was pushed to his best by swimming with Roberts and Destry Shibuya.

Logan posted four improvements in 10 events, his strongest showings coming in the 200 Free (3:52.03) for a 53.46 improvement and in the 100 Backstroke (2:05.60) for a 36.47 improvement.

Shibuya rounded out the field with five personal bests, his best showing coming in the 100 Breaststroke (1:57.97) where he posted a 12.23 improvement.

Nevaeh Ibanez, 8, swam in five events, posting an improvement in the 50 Fly where she touched at 55.73, and Chloe Inouye, 7, got her best swim in the 200 Freestyle, where she posted a 6.36 improvement, one of three she earned over the two days.

“What we witnessed on this second day of the meet is one for the ages,” Anaya said. “Just seven swimmers, all 12 and under. Little ones. They blew up big! Now you know why I say, ‘dynmite comes in small packages.’”

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

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