Stearns gets state cut at weekend’s SKA swim meet

PUHI — Sadie Stearns, 13, crushed the 1,650-yard freestyle, earning a state qualifying time by more than 25 seconds in her age group Sunday at the YMCA pool.

Despite losing her swim cap midway through the mile swim which she attempted for the first time, Stearns stopped the clock at 19 minutes, 37.80 seconds becoming one of three additional state cuts added to the Swim Kauai Aquatics roster.

“This was a good solid day of racing,” said Curt Colby, SKA head coach. “These kids have been working hard over summer to achieve their goals and improve their times. With these new state cuts, SKA now has a total of 19 qualified swimmer for the Hawaiian Swimming State Championships on Oahu, July 14 through 17.”

Stearns also posted an improved swim in the 500-yard freestyle, touching the wall at 5:42.60.

Xaveria Rodrigues, 14, was another state swimmer, picking up an AAA cut in the 100 yard breaststroke with her 1:15.50 swim, an improvement of more than two seconds off her seeded time. She also posted personal best times, improving in the 50 yard (25.82), and 200 yard (2:08.76) freestyle events.

Jack Machorek rounded out the additional state cuts with a personal best 23.18 swim in the 50-yard freestyle.

Considered the “last chance” for new qualifying state swims, the SKA age group meet yielded 24 athletes emerging with personal best times, including two visitors, Kaleb Kester, 11, a former Kauai resident who now lives on Moloka‘i, and Jordan Biggerstaff, 9, who swims with the Santa Clara Swim Club.

Biggerstaff snagged a personal best in the 50 yard freestyle while vacationing here.

Kester, swimming with the Maui Dolphins Swim Club affiliate on Moloka‘i, finished with three new personal bests, two being HI AA times in the 50 yard freestyle (31.40) and the 200 yard Individual Medley (2:52.10).

SKA swimmer Isaac Vallance, 13, set the pace for HI AA swims, grabbing three new HI AA times for his efforts in the 100 yard (1:02.15), 200 yard (2:14.87) and 500 yard (6:01.80) freestyle events. He continued on to a perfect meet, adding new best times in the 50 freestyle and 100 yard backstroke.

His brother, Micah, 9, finished with four new best times in the 50, 100, and 200 yard freestyle, and the 50 yard backstroke events.

Mahina Dameron, 9, was another perfect swimmer, posting new best times in her five events, including a AA cut in her 50 yard backstroke (43.02). She secured personal bests in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle, 50 yard butterfly and 100 yard IM events.

Pulama Ka‘eo, 9, finished the day with three best times with an AA cut in her 100 yard IM (1:34.43), her first time for this event. She trimmed time with her 50 and 100 yard breaststroke as well.

Dutch Fairbanks, 15, finished the day with an AA cut in his 50 yard freestyle, touching the wall at 25.93, and Olivia Lutkevich, 13, swimming against Stearns in the 1,650 freestyle, nailed personal bests in all of her events, locking in an A cut in her 50 yard (32.32) and 1,650 yard (22:54.49) freestyle events, and in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:32.31).

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