Swim Kauai Aquatics places 6th at Oahu meet

Swim Kauai Aquatics recently completed a successful team effort at the 36th annual Harry Mamizuka Invitational Swim meet hosted by Manoa Aquatics on Oahu.

Sixteen SKA athletes entered the meet and scored 312 points garnering a sixth-place finish led by Zach Safford, 16, in the 15-16 mens division.

“It was so great to see our younger swimmers respond to the encouragement from the more experienced athletes. The results show a total team effort going forward into the long course season,” said SKA head coach Curt Colby.

Safford, who swam in Seattle at the USA Swimming Speedo Sectionals championships in March, won the 100-meter breaststroke (1:15.94) and 100-meter butterfly (1:01.62), placed second in the 100-meter freestyle and placed third in the 200-butterfly and 200-meter individual medley respectively, and a fifth in the 200-meter backstroke.

His efforts earned Safford the high point championship trophy for his age group.

Kai Norman, 12, finished with 46 points and was closely shadowed by fellow 11-12 division teammate, Ryden Williams. Norman powered his way to four individual titles in the 50-meter freestyle (30.09), 50-meter butterfly (33.67), 200-meter freestyle (2.25.50) and 100-meter butterfly (1:13.86).

Norman and Williams combined for 84 team points and finished second and third in their age group.

Ryden’s older brother Akira Williams, 14, swam in the men’s 13-14 group and scored three first-place finishes in the 50-freestyle (26.91), 100-meter freestyle (57.07) and 200-meter freestyle (2.09.76) en route to scoring a team-high 52 points.

Trevyn Nishimura, 10, scored points in seven out of eight events, and teammate Talen Koerte, 9, made top eight finishes in four events. Henry Scherer, 15, swam well enough in the 100- and 200-meter butterfly to score points in the 15-16 men’s division.

On the women’s side, SKA 13-14 division swimmers Malia Splittstoesser, Julia Safford, Alana Cayabyab, and Xaveria Rodriguez won the women’s 13-14 Medley Relay in 5.16.62. The win marks SKA first relay championship at an invitational event.

The girls were joined by Asha McGinnis and Mercedes Stearns to score points in the 400-meter freestyle and 400-meter medley relays. All six girls are 13 years old.

Individually, Xaveria just missed winning the 50-meter freestyle and placed second at 29.78, and achieved scoring swims in five of her eight events for the weekend.

Malia Splittstoesser had a breakout swim in the 200-meter individual freestyle event and placed second in 2.26.64.

Julia Safford swam her best in the 100-meter breaststroke (1.29.58) for a fourth-place finish.

In the women’s 11-12 division, Haley Kaeo, 12, scored points in four of eight events and had her best effort in the 200-meter butterfly (2.58.09) and garnered a fifth-place finsh in the event. Hayley was joined by little sister Pulama Kaeo, 9, who was attending her first invitational event and swam in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle and 50-meter breaststroke.

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