Swimmers make state cuts at SKA meet

Trevyn Nishimura, 9, earned his first-ever state qualifying, — now labeled as AAA in Hawaiian Swimming — time standard Saturday at the YMCA pool. 

The Swim Kauai Aquatics swimmer was joined by Hayley Kaeo, 12, who walked off with two state time standards — 100 yard backstroke (1 minute, 13.01 seconds), and 500 yard freestyle (6:06.76) — to become the only two SKA swimmers to emerge with state cuts at the SKA’s first home meet since June.

Nishimura posted his AAA time standard in the 200 yard freestyle, touching the wall at 2:43.39 while taking more than 6 seconds off his previous best time in the event.

Ava Wagner, 16, rounded out the state qualifying performances in the 1,000 yard freestyle, stopping the clock at 11:37.99.

Nishimura, Kaeo and Wagner were just three of the 46 athletes who combined for a total of 97 personal best times, including the four state time standards with SKA’s new head coach Curt Colby.

“It was a great meet,” Colby said. “The kids have been working really hard both in the pool and out, doing CrossFit and yoga so they are a little tired, but I thought they looked really good for the first meet of the season. There were lots of new time standards and personal bests.”

The state qualifying performances earn the three swimmers a spot at the state championships coming up in December in Kona.

Joining the state qualifying performances, SKA swimmers also collected new AA time standards which qualify them for the Bill Smith Invitational on Oahu.

Kiana Kaaihue, 10, cut more than two seconds off her 50 yard freestyle (34.01), and “T” Koerte, 8, hit a AA cut in the 200 yard freestyle (3:02). Lucas McSweeny, 10, took 16 ticks off his 200 yard Individual Medley, touching at 3:20.20, and Xaveria Rodriguez, 13, chopped nearly 10 ticks off her 100 yard backstroke with a 1:13.77 swim.

Kaeo, in addition to her state qualifying performance, was one of three SKA swimmers posting perfect meets. She was joined in the perfect circle by Chelsy Choy, 12, Clara Christensen, 11, and Tia Trovato, 12.

The meet also was an opportunity for new swimmers Damon and Kenyon Johnson, Linn and Patrick Hardy, and Mahina Dameron to experience their first swim meet after participating in individual and relay events.

Colby and his wife Marie are thrilled with the opportunity to coach SKA swimmers.

“Kauai is my favorite place in the world, and coaching swimming is my favorite thing to do,” Colby said.

Colby comes to SKA after coaching the Boulder Elks Swim Team age group program working with the 9 to 12 year olds, Boulder High School, and the Boulder Aquatic Masters swim team.

He is an avid surfer and waterman, swam collegiately for Princeton University, and has held masters swimming national rankings for his age group in 2011 as a breaststroker.

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