PUHI — Strong wind flurries, cool temperatures and occasional bouts of wind-driven rain could not stop Kauai High School swimmers Jack Machorek and Zachary Safford Saturday at the YMCA pool during the final Kauai Interscholastic Federation qualifying swim meet hosted by Island School.
Machorek, who exploded into the pool with strong KIF record-pace swims last week, continued his powerful demonstrations, netting a state qualifying swim in the boys 200-yard individual medley event by springing off the blocks through the wind-driven rain droplets and added to the natural phenomena by churning the water before stopping the clocks on a swim of 1 minute, 58.97 seconds — a solid state time over the 2:14.29 qualifying mark.
The state qualifying swim was more than two seconds faster than the KIF record he set in 2016 on a 2:01.20 pace.
Excitement peaked around the most exciting swim of the day — the boys 100-yard butterfly — when the first and second finishes earned not only state qualifying swims but were garnered in KIF record-breaking pace.
Safford, consistently showing state-qualifying performances since the KIF season started, continued to reap state times, finishing the 100 fly in a KIF-record-breaking 52.99 seconds. The pace broke the 2016 record of 53.89 he set.
Hot on his tail, Machorek finished second in the event on a 53.86 swim — 0.03 faster than the 2016 record.
Safford went on to acquire another state swim in the boys 500-yard freestyle event on a 5:10.56 time, bettering the qualifying 5:20.79 by 10 seconds in the windy and wet weather.
Both boys joined the Kauai High School Boys 200-yard freestyle relay quad with Luke Roberts and Dutch Fairbanks to set another state swim of 1:39.57.
The weather kept other qualifying swims from getting faster ahead of the KIF swim championships which will go off the blocks Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at the YMCA pool.
The Kapaa girls’ 200-yard medley relay team of Madeline Hoessel, Heather Faretta, Grace Stokes and Juliana Tampas finished first on a 2:07.96 state swim, and Machorek marked 22.91 in his first finish in the boys 50-yard freestyle.
Faretta and Tampas were joined by Asianna Nelson and Lily Stokes on the Kapaa girls’ 200-yard freestyle relay team for a first finish at 1:54.45.
Makani Crowder, Kamanakai Lee, Marcus Robinson and Pakela Panui made up the Kapaa boys’ 200-yard freestyle relay team that earned a state time of 1:42.49 in its second-place finish under the Kauai team (1:39.57).
Safford picked up a 1:03.14 state swim in the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke with his first finish, and joined with Machorek, Roberts and Destry Shibuya on the Kauai boys’ 400-yard freestyle relay team for a state-qualifying first finish at 3:50.80.
The Kapaa girls’ 400-yard freestyle relay team of Hoesel, Nelson and Grace and Lily Stokes rounded out the day’s qualifying swims with a first finish on a 4:10.06 showing.