KAPAA — Nevaeh Ibanez’s top performances, bettering her seeded swims in eight of 10 events, including clinching three state qualifying time standards, earned her Swimmer of the Meet honors at the “Mom-O-Grams” swim meet hosted by Mokihana Aquatics at the Kapaa Pool.
“This was our Mom-O-Grams meet,” said Mokihana Aquatics coach Orlando “O” Anaya. “This is a Mokihana Aquatics tradition we started 12 years ago, and it makes for a very special Mother’s Day.”
The meet also serves as a qualifier for the 38th annual Soichi Sakamoto Memorial Invitational swim meet scheduled for May 25-27 at the Kihei Aquatic Center hosted by the Maui Swim Club.
Following two days of cold, windy weather, Ibanez, Madeline Hoesel, Kamaira Silva, and Tyler Tanaka made the cut for the Maui meet following the qualifier, which wrapped up Sunday.
“There are many excuses swimmers can make to not do their best,” Anaya said. “Not Mokihana swimmers! With all the adversity, they still swim more than 50 percent best times.”
Ibanez, 10, picked up her QUAL time standards in the 50 fly (37,22), the 50 breast (42.27), and 100 breast (1:33.75), a race which had Anaya talking.
“The 100 breaststroke race between Nevaeh and Lily was truly one for the ages,” Anaya said. “Not to be outdone, Kaedyn and Chloe swim the final race, the 25 free, in spectacular fashion — a race which was even closer than the 100 breast. These two races had to be confirmed by finish judges.”
Lily Stokes, in the 100 breast, touched the wall at 1:33.67, edging out Ibanez by .08 second while chopping her seeded swim by 1.26 seconds. Ibanez also posted a new best time, improving by 1.12 seconds.
During the 25 freestyle race between Chloe Inouye, 8, and Kaedyn Santiago, 8, Inouye closed off her two days of swimming on a 16.66 swim, an improvement of .59 second, edging out Santiago’s 16.95, an improvement of 1.04 seconds.
For Hoesel, 12, one of the Sakamoto meet qualifiers, she posted an improvement of 7.72 seconds in the 200 individual medley when she touched at 2:49.64 for an HIAA time standard. She finished the two days with new best times in five of her seven events, including the 100 breast (1:38.47) where she posted a 4.90-second improvement.
Silva, 10, finished her eight events with three personal bests, her best showing coming in the 100 fly (2:06.27)) for a 2.39-second improvement, and in the 50 fly (53.42) for a 2.25-second improvement.
Tanaka, 10, finished with five new best times in 10 events, his strongest swims coming in the 200 IM (3:26.99) for a 4.58 improvement and in the 50 back (44.97) for a 4.10-second improvement.
Swimmers participating in the Mom-O-Gram meet included Leigh Idica, Maya Kona, Kalie McKeown, Ian Raquel, Jei Li Rosare-Yadao, Kaeleb Santiago, Lily Stokes, and Samantha Stokes.
“Gracie would have loved to have been in the water, especially with Lily in the 200 backstroke (3:05.53),” said Michelle Stokes, the mother of the Kapaa High School swimmer who is recovering from brain surgery. “She does not like being a timer, but is not quite ready for racing, yet.”
“It is so awesome to see so many people working for one common goal,” Anaya said. “Our swimmers are getting faster, smarter, and growing so much wiser by the day.”