KONA — Swim Kauai Aquatics clinched fifth place, which is the highest a neighbor island swim team placed, at the recent Hawaiian Swimming State Championship Meet held in Kona from Dec. 19-22.
This is the highest any swim team from Kauai has ever placed at a state championship meet.
Swim Kauai Aquatics sent 16 of their top swimmers to the four-day meet and SKA brought home three state champions to Kauai; Yasmine Ware, 16, Kate Machorek, 16 and Akira Williams, 12.
“It was an amazing meet to be a part of, all of the athletes there were very fast,” said head coach Billy Brown. “I was so impressed with all of our swimmers and their efforts in each and every race. The swimmers thrived on the support of their teammates back home, their parents and ohana at the meet and the training from their coaches.”
Williams led the charge for the Kauai boys and won the 200-yard freestyle event for ages 11 through 12, stopping the clocks at 1:56.16.
He also clinched five second-place finishes at the meet and a third-place finish as well.
Williams posted personal best times in all of his events during the course of the meet and earned second place overall in the age group.
Ware captured four state titles in the girls division aged 15 through 16: the 50-yard freestyle (23.73), 100-yard freestyle (51.65), 100-yard butterfly (56.07) and the 200-yard individual medley (2:06.43).
She placed in the top five in each of her other races, and finished in second place overall in the state in her age division.
Machorek won a state title in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:54.70.
She placed in the top six in the state in all of her other events at the meet and earned fifth place overall in the girls division aged 15 through 16.
Ryden Williams, 10, and Kai Norman, 10, performed well in the boys division aged 10 and under.
Both boys made finals by placing in the top eight in the state in multiple events. Ryden placed in six events. He placed highest in the 50-yard freestyle with a second place finish (29.23).
He finished the meet in 5th place overall for his age division.
Teammate Norman also made his mark in the division with four top eight finishes and all new personal best times. He scored highest in the 100-yard butterfly with a third-place finish and clocked a time of 1:14.12.
He placed eighth overall in the same age division.
Hayley Jay Kaeo, 10, made it into the finals at her first ever state meet.
She posted six personal best times over the course of the weekend, and placed eighth in the 100-yard individual medley in the girls division aged 10 and under.
“The younger swimmers really came through big this meet,” Brown said. “Kai and Ryden made their first Western zone times and Hayley made her first finals. All of our kids had huge drops and really raced aggressively all weekend.”