Tanaka cops 6th top swimmer award

LIHUE — Olivia Roberts was one of the swimmers taking part in the Mokihana Aquatics Mamizuka Qualifying timed trials which wrapped up Sunday afternoon at the Kauai High School pool.

“I started swimming when I was 5 years old, but never did competitive swimming until I was 7 years old,” Roberts said. “I finished with three personal bests.”

Her personal bests, included the 50-yard freestyle where she bettered by 29.72 seeded swim with a 28.87 swim to start the climb. She followed that with a 34.43 swim in the 50-yard backstroke, and closed the meet with a nearly six-second improvement in the 200-yard freestyle (2:18.91).

Mokihana Aquatics coach Orlando “O” Anaya was ecstatic over the performance of not only the Mokihana swimmers, but the contingent of parents who doubled as scorekeepers and cheerleaders throughout the two-day meet.

“You all rock,” Anaya said. “My staff and I have to be the luckiest coaches in the world to have the honor and privilege to work for such an outstanding group of families like the Kaeo ohana who could not thank us enough, and the Roberts ohana from Australia via California who said ‘we never experienced this much — and kind — hospitality in our life.’ From set up to breakdown and everything in-between, these things take the parents way over the top.”

Tyler Tanaka, 11, one of two swimmers marking a perfect meet, or showing improvements in all 10 events, earned his sixth Mokihana Swimmer of the Meet award.

“Did you see how unbelievably well and fast the swimmers were?” Anaya said. “Special shout out to Tyler for his sixth Mokihana Swimmer of the Meet award. The decision for the award was actually quite easy. Yes, Alfred Auger, 9, had a perfect meet, too. Yes, Ian Raquel, 10, made two state qualifying time standards — his first in his young swimming career. But Tyler is already swimming so fast that for him to swim even faster in all 10 events is, well — nutz!”

Tanaka finished the two days of swimming with HIAA times across the board, his strongest showing coming in the 100 breaststroke (1:28.32) where he sliced 4.28 seconds off his seeded swim.

Auger also posted a perfect meet, showing double-digit improvements in the 200 individual medley (29.36 improvement), the 100 breaststroke (25.10 improvement), the 100 butterfly (28.96 improvement), and the 100 backstroke (16.45 improvement).

Raquel’s venture toward his two HIAAA time standards, triggered not only Anaya, but the MokiOhana, the term Anaya used to describe the supportive parents and fans, who showered loud cheering as the 10-year-old worked through the water. He picked up his HIAAA times in the 100 freestyle (1:15.64, 6.43 improvement) and the 200 freestyle (2:48.05, 5.64 improvement). He also posted three HIAA times, four HIA times with five personal bests over 10 events.

Elijah Adams, 9, posted eight personal bests, his strongest showing coming in the 100 breaststroke where he was 14.87 ahead of his seeded swim, Silas Adams, 7, got the crowd going en route to his three personal bests, his best showing coming in the 50 backstroke (12.74 improvement), and Sara Funtanilla, a senior at Waimea High School, finiished with seven best times, the strongest showing for the Mokihana team leader coming in the 200 breaststroke (10.12 improvement).

Katharine Hoesel, 11, posted eight personal bests led by the 100 butterfly (7.65 improvement), and Madeline Hoesel finished with two HIAA swims.

Leigh Idica, 10, finished with six HIAA swims in seven events led by the 200 IM (3.01 improvement), Chloe Inouye, 9, pocketed three state qualifying swims led by the 50 breaststroke (1.57 improvement), Kamaira Silva, 11, earned her HIAA swim in the 50 freestyle (0.72 improvement), and Samantha Stokes, 13, posted all three of her personal bests on Day 1, the strongest coming in the 200 IM (6.24 improvement).

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