Seven heading to Hilo

LIHUE — When the Mokihana Aquatics contingent heads to the 30th Charles “Sparky” Kawamoto A/B/C Swim Meet in Hilo, Leigh Idica will be the sole girl among the field of six boys.

“You know what that means?” said Coach Orlando “O” Anaya, Mokihana Aquatics. “That means you become the team manager, junior assistant, and swim your events. You’re doing everything.”

The Sparky’s-bound contingent also includes Rhett Leonard, Alfred Auger, winner of the Swimmer of the Meet honor from the Mokihana age group with distance meet, Elijah Adams, Kaeleb Santiago, and Kaikili La‘a-Moranz-Asuncion.

The meet is geared for swimmers who hold Hawaii A, B, or C time standards and will be hosted by the Hilo Aquatic Club at the “Sparky” Kawamoto Swim Stadium.

“This is the first time Kamaira Silva is not going,” said her mother Maile. “She doesn’t have any of the qualifying time standards. But going to the Sparky’s meet is where she broke through her time standards.”

Auger, who earned Swimmer of the Meet honor during the most recent age group with distance timed trials, is poised to break through some of his Hawaii A times along with Elijah Adams.

“With everyone swimming so well at the timed trials, this ‘Swimmer of the Meet’ recognition is so very extra special,” Anaya said.

Anaya said with the addition of two guest swimmers, Evan Wong of the Iolani Swim Club, and Hayley Kaeo of Swim Kauai Aquatics, Mokihana Aquatics ran 62 individual events with 54 first time, and/or best swims.

“That’s an insane 87 percent improvement,” Anaya said. “If I had not seen with my own eyes, I would never believe that we had an 87 percent improvement with 10 of 17 swimmers having a ‘perfect’ meet.”

Wong, who flew into Kauai just for the 500-yard freestyle, was looking for a 6:03-minute swim to qualify for the sectional meet in Seattle. He emerged with a 5:59 swim and left with a big smile.

Samantha Stokes, 14, was among the field of “perfect” swimmers, logging improvements in all four of her events led with an improvement of 58.62 seconds in her 1,650 freestyle where she touched the wall on a swim of 23 minutes, 13.08 seconds.

Mokihana Aquatics, celebrating its 35th year, will have its athletes participating in 46 individual events and two relay events when the Sparky’s meet unfolds on March 4 in Hilo.

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