SKA splashes into 2014 season

Three miles of swimming in under two hours was the goal of the Swim Kauai Aquatics team Friday during the club’s annual Sunset Swimathon at the YMCA pool.

The event, sponsored by USA Swimming, is the team’s primary fundraiser of the year and organizers strive to make it a party in the water.

During the event, swimmers raised funds for training expenses, coaching, equipment, scholarships, and team-sponsored events.

The event capped off a week which started with the SKA season-opening meet, Sept. 20, where 54 swimmers combined for 128 personal best times, including attaining 27 new Hawaiian Swimming Time Standards.

“The coaching staff is ecstatic about our direction,” said Richard “Doc” Ludemann, SKA head coach. “The dedication of our kids, and the support of our families has only enhanced our drive for future meets, whether at the local, or national level.”

Lucas McSweeny, 9, chopped 11 seconds off his previous best time in the 200 Yard Freestyle, touching the wall at 2 minutes, 41.66 seconds. He continued at the season-opening meet to earn a new A time standard in the 50 Yard Free (36.36).

Kassy McCoy, 10, and Jack Machorek, 13, added to the collection of state times, McCoy getting a QUAL swim in the 100 Yard Individual Medley (1:221.36) and the 100 Yard Free (1:13.53) and Jack pocketing QUAL swims in the 200 Yard Butterfly (2:13.43) and 200 Yard Free (1:57.81).

Bryson Baligad earned a state time in the 200 Yard IM (2:06.42) along with Alana Cayabyab getting state times in the 100 Yard Fly (1:09.81), Jackson Evans finding state in the 200 Yard Backstroke (2:22.04), Zachary Safford making his mark in the 50 Yard Free (25.24), and Henry Scherer racing hard in the 1000 Yard Free (11:28.16).

Other SKA swimmers earned new AA invitational swims, coinciding with the anticipated participation in the Bill Smith Invitational meet on Oahu at the end of the month.

Mao Fukada and James Pratt led the list with three new AA time standards apiece, Fukada finding new marks in the 200 Yard IM (2:47.81), 50 Yard Free (30.16), and 100 Yard Free (1:06.16) while James swam the same events in the boys’ arena with times of 2:46.35, 31.7, and 1:09.71.

Additional AA time standards were achieved by Dutch Fairbanks in the 200 Yard Free, Saber Fairbansk in the 200- and 100-yard Free events, Asa Hendrickson in the 200 Yard Free, Hayley Kaeo in the 200 Yard IM, Bradley Pratt in the 200 Yard Free, Xaveria Rodriguez in the 100- and 200-yard Free, and Julia Safford in the 200 Yard IM.

Sam Britzmann and Luna Trevino banked new A time standards in the 200 Yard Free and 100 Yard Free, respectively.

“Our swimmers continue to work on basic aerobic work, adding in more speed, stroke technique, and race-pace swims,” said Ludemann. “That work is clearly paying off as 13 swimmers, including Emma Bastow, Laa Chun, Saber Fairbanks, Mikayla Holzman, ‘T’ Koerte, Denise Koors, Jack Machorek, James Pratt, Kaylee Russell, Zach Safford, Henry Scherer, Lilly Thompson, and Luna Trevino, posted ‘perfect’ meets, earning new personal bests in each event they participated in on Sept. 20.”

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