KAPAA — A state qualifying time standard pushed Tyler Tanaka into the Swimmer of the Meet circle Saturday following the Mokihana Aquatics time trials with distance at the Kapaa Pool.
Tanaka, 10, was one of four Mokihana Aquatics swimmers to finish the two-day meet with perfect meet records, or improving in all of their respective swims.
What set Tanaka apart was his qualifying time standard in the 200 freestyle where he touched the wall at 2 minutes, 47.20 seconds, an improvement of 12.04 seconds over his previous swim.
“This was a really hard call,” said Mokihana Aquatics Coach Orlando “O” Anaya. “The Swimmer of the Meet came down to two swimmers — Tyler and Kamaira Silva. Kamaira swam hard, cutting more than eight and 25 seconds, respectively in her 200 free and 200 individual medley. She showed a very competitive spirit, in my opinion.”
“Tyler made his very first state qualifying time, and also cut off big chunks of time in the process,” Anaya said. “He seemed more relaxed than Kamaira. He was actually off by himself before the races, something Coach Kel Tanaka used to do all the time. Congratulations to Tyler who not only made his first state qualifying time, but broke a Mokihana team record in the process.”
Tanaka also chopped 24.41 seconds off his 500 freestyle event, touching at 7:31.16. His other swims included the 200 IM (3:25.45) and the 200 freestyle (2:54.00), both swims being HIAA time standards.
Silva, 10, was part of the Maui swim with Tanaka and Navaeh Ibanez, and topped her perfect meet with the 200 IM (3:30.05) where she pared 15.83 seconds off her seeded swims. She also improved in the 200 freestyle (2:47.20) with an 8.49-second improvement.
Ian Raquel, 9, posted his perfect meet, leading with the 200 IM (3:52.20) where he was 3.77 seconds better than his previous swim, and Chloe Inouye, 8, topped her perfect showing in the 200 free (2:58.17) for a 7.92-second improvement.
Kaile McKeown, 11, while finishing with just two improvements over five events, set off the excitement on the first day when she stopped the clock at 8:17.07 in the 500 freestyle — an improvement of 138.90 seconds, or more than two minutes over her seeded swim.