SKA competes on consecutive weekends on Oahu

It’s been a busy month for Swim Kauai Aquatics athletes. The team traveled to Oahu on back-to-back weekends to compete against hundreds of the top swimmers from across the state.

“All of our swimmers had personal bests at this meet, I’m very proud of them all” said head coach Curt Colby. “These twelve swimmers raced hard, focused on attention to detail in their strokes, and worked race strategies as well.”

First up was the Bill Smith Invitational Swim Meet, named after the Hawaiian Olympian and gold medalist Bill Smith, held at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Complex in Waipio.

Trevyn Nishimura, 10, was the high-point earner for the team with 32 points overall, followed by Zach Safford, 16 (31 points), Akira Williams, 15 (27 points), Hayley Ka’eo, 13 (22 points), Chloe Inouye, 10, (13.5 points), Talen Koerte, 10, (2 points), and Nevaeh Ibanez, 11 (1 point). The team combined to clinch eighth place overall, with only 12 swimmers facing much larger teams.

Nishimura placed well in all of his events of the course of the two day meet, with his greatest success in the 50-yard and 100-yard butterfly events where he placed fourth. Safford secured third place in both the 200-yard individual medley and 200-yard backstroke events. Williams clinched third in the 100-yard freestyle and fourth in the 200-yard freestyle events. Ka’eo highest placing was second in the 100-yard freestyle. Inouye finaled in four events, her top place being fourth in the 50-yard breaststroke. Koerte pocketed a seventh place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, and Ibanez earned eighth place in the 50-yard breaststroke.

Other SKA teammates competing at the Invitational meet were Alana Cayabyab, 13, Dutch Fairbanks, 15, Julia Safford, 14, Issac Vallance, 13, Micah Vallance, 10, and Ryden Williams, 13.

Next up was the Hawaiian Swimming Senior Championship meet, held at the University of Hawaii over Veterans Day weekend. This meet is geared towards the fastest 12-and-older swimmers in the state, and they compete in an open format, not by age groups. Swimmers from Hawaii and California competed as well.

Jack Machorek, 16, Julia Safford, 14, Zach Safford, 16, and Akira Williams, 15, represented Swim Kauai Aquatics exceptionally well at the meet. The three boys all finished in the Top 13 for men, placing SKA in sixth place overall with only three boys and no relays. In fact in the 200-yard individual medley event, three of the top 8 finalists were the Swim Kauai boys.

Machorek, who earned 91 points and placed second overall at the Senior Championship meet, found his greatest success in the individual medley events. He won the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:06.77, earning a new “Futures” time standard for USA swimming, which is a notch below Junior Nationals. He placed second in the 200-yard individual medley (1:55.76), third in the 500-yard freestyle (4:41.96), fifth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:44.55), and seventh in the 50-yard Freestyle (22.42) and 100-yard freestyle (48.41).

Zach Safford, who finished at 62 points and in 11th place overall, did very well in the butterfly events. He placed third in the 100-yard butterfly (52.34) and 200-yard butterfly (1:59.65), and sixth in the 200-yard butterfly (1:59.65). He finished seventh in the 200-yard individual medley (1:59.47) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:13.42), 12th in the 50-yard freestyle (23.06), and 13th in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:01.59).

Williams, finishing in 13th place overall with 57 points, grabbed sixth place in both the 100-yard freestyle (48.08) and 200-yard freestyle (1:47.19). He placed eighth in the 200-yard individual medley (2:00.71) and 100-yard butterfly (54.77), and ninth in the 50-yard freestyle (22.47).

Julia Safford, the youngest teammate and only girl who raced for SKA this past weekend, dropped time in two of her three events. Her new personal best times came in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:14.45) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:41.56), cutting almost 4 seconds off of her previous best.

The team is training hard for the Hawaiian Swimming State Championship meet to be held on Oahu on Dec. 16-19.

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