Swim Kauai Aquatics team veterans, including Yasmine Ware, Kate Machorek, Bryson Baligad, and Kayla Ishida, led the charge to an eighth place overall finish at the 2014 Hawaiian Swimming State Short Course Age Group Championship on Maui in December.
SKA sent a team of 22 athletes ages 9 through 17 years old to compete over four days with more than 350 of the top swimmers in the state.
“I’m very proud of how well these kids have trained,” said SKA Coach Doc Ludemann. “They are dedicated, coachable and hard working. It paid off. The team combined for a total of 48 championship medals, which are earned by placing in the top eight in the state in their respective events. The team also earned a number of personal best times and finished in eighth place overall out of nearly 30 teams.”
Ware, a senior at Kauai High School, earned five state championship titles, including the 50 yard and 100 yard freestyle, the 100 yard butterfly, and the 100 yard and 200 yard backstroke events.
Machorek, a senior at Kauai High who will be swimming for the United States Military Academy at West Point in the fall, took second place in the 100 yard and 200 yard freestyle events, and the 200 yard backstroke. Her distance events, the 500 yard freestyle and 400 yard individual medley, earned bronze finishes. She rounded out the meet with fourth-place finishes in the 200 yard IM and the 100 yard backstroke, the cumulative finishes earning her fourth overall for the girls 17-18 age group.
Ishida, a senior at Waimea High School, showed well in the mid-distance events, earning a fifth finish in the 200 yard breaststroke, seventh in the 200 yard butterfly, and eighth in the 200 yard backstroke. Ishida sprinted to a sixth in the 50 yard freestyle to wrap up the meet in 13th, overall.
Baligad, a senior at Kapaa High School, finished seventh in the boys 17-18 division by earning third in the 200 yard back, fourth in the 100 yard back, and 400 yard IM, and seventh in the 50 yard free.
“This was my first big meet in a very long time,” Baligad said in an SKA release. “I was extremely nervous going against people who regularly compete at this level, but at the same time, I felt very prepared and ready to take on whatever lay ahead of me.”
The four seniors have spent the last decade training and competing together, the SKA release states. The Maui championships was special, bringing them together for a final swim.
SKA continues to train at the YMCA pool in Puhi and welcomes newcomers to stop by for more information on joining the community swim club.