KAPAA — Tyler Tanaka, 11, overcame stomach cramps and illness to finish as the only Mokihana Aquatics swimmer to post a perfect meet Sunday at the Mokihana Aquatics Fun Meet at the Kapaa Pool.
“Tyler was most impressive coming off a couple days of being sick, and swimming through some mean stomach cramps,” said Mokihana coach Orlando “O” Anaya. “You have to be impressed with all of the Mokihana swimmers, volunteers, parents and club supporters. Just awesome.”
Leigh Idica, 9, was perfect on the Saturday performance, finishing with improved swims in her events, and securing a HI-AA time standard in the 100 freestyle, touching the wall at 1 minute, 18.57 seconds, an improvement of 5.32 seconds on her seeded swim despite finishing 10th in the field. Idica went on to show improvements in nine of her 10 events and captured first place in the 50 backstroke, touching at 44.04 for a 4.23 improvement.
Tanaka roared back Sunday, finishing the two days with five first-place finishes in 10 events while posting improvements in all events and marking HI-A time standards in all events but one.
Kilo, undecided on what kind of storm it would develop into, threatened the annual Fun Meet when flash flood warnings appeared on Friday. This put a damper for 110 swimmers representing eight teams from around the state as well as a couple of Mainland swimmers who found the meet through the county’s Kauai Festivals website. The meet posted nearly 1,000 entries over two days and more than 250 meals were served at the Mahalo luau Saturday night.
“Last year, we could only get two people for this meet,” said Tom Matsumoto, coach of the Maui Swim Club. “This year, we had 22 swimmers and 28 parents sign up. This is truly a fun meet, and next year, watch — we’ll have more.”
Earlier in the week, Michelle Stokes reported that daughter Gracie, 16, was doing well following her six-month post operation MRIs. Gracie underwent brain surgery earlier this year after completing the Kauai Interscholastic Federation swim season, but missed going to states because of the surgery.
“We are very happy things are improving just the way the surgeon said they would,” Michelle said in an email. “Amazing. He said it should take about a year for her to feel 100 percent, and hopefully, her symptoms will eventually all go away. Gracie is ready to get back to swimming fast.”
Gracie swam in six event, even posting an improvement in the 50 freestyle where she touched at 27.50 for a HI-AA time standard and a .60 improvement.
Samantha Stokes, 12, Gracie’s younger sister, also fared well, securing a first place and two HI-AA standards while improving in eight of her 10 events. Her best swim came in the 100 individual medley, where she finished first on a HI-A 1:23.49 for a 13.58 improvement.
Kamaira Silva, 10, also posted a near-perfect meet, finishing with four HI-AA time standards and improving in nine of her 10 events. Her biggest accomplishment came in the 100 butterfly where she touched t 1:39.09 for a HI-A time and a 27.18 improvement.
Nevaeh Ibanez, 10, was another strong performer, finishing with six QUAL swims and posting improvements in nine of her 10 swims. Her strongest swim came in the 100 breaststroke where she stopped the clock at 1:28.32 for a QUAL time and a 5.43 improvement.
The Mokihana Aquatics Fun Meet 2015 was dedicated to RuthMarie Mokihana “Ruthie” Jumawan Aspacio who died April 18 in Yuma, Arizona.
Born on Oahu in 1970, Aspacio moved to Kauai where she attended Kapaa Elementary School, Kapaa Intermediate and High School and continued with pre-nursing courses at Kauai Community College where they described her as a “true selfless caregiver at heart.”
“As a member of the Mokihana Aquatic Swim Team for many years, she was good at it,” Anaya said. “She loved it. She was proud in being able to swim for this team, enjoying her fellow teammates. She was excited when she heard they were planning a reunion in two years and planned to attend.”