They come from each of the three public high schools on Kauai. They are all valedictorians for their respective schools with GPAs of 4.0, or higher. And they swim for Swim Kauai Aquatics.
Bryson Baligad of Kapaa High School, Kate Machorek of Kauai High School, and Kayla Ishida of Waimea High School are in the final stages of preparation for the graduation ceremonies which take place Friday at various locations around the island.
Baligad will be addressing the graduates and their families and friends at the Mayor Bryan Baptiste Memorial Sports Complex starting at 6:30 p.m. Machorek will be on the podium at Vidinha Stadium starting at 5:30 p.m., and Ishida will be under the lights at the Waimea High School front lawn starting from 6:30 p.m.
A spokesperson from Swim Kauai Aquatics said the three friends started swimming together as young children and have been involved in swimming throughout their respective childhoods. All three have represented SKA at the state championships, and each has represented their respective high schools at the OC16 Hawaii High School Athletic Association state swimming and diving championships. They will continue to swim in college following graduation.
Baligad, who admits he hated the water when he first started swimming at 7 years old, will be attending the Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, with a major in engineering. He is the Associated Student Body President and Kauai Interscholastic Federation All-Star in swimming at Kapaa High School.
Machorek is heading to the United States Military Academy at West Point and will be swimming at the Division I level in the Patriot League. She started her swimming career at 4 years old following her discovery of the love of water at swim lessons. She is a KIF swimming all star for Kauai High School.
Ishida, announced as one of three Grove Farm Scholarship recipients, received an appointment to the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut and will pursue a degree in Marine Environmental Science. She started swimming at 11 years old at the club level as well as for the Menehune where she qualified for the state championships.