LIHUE — Who was going to be the Swimmer of the Meet for the Mokihana Aquatics age group with distance timed trials?
“I spent all morning going over in my brain if the swimmer award should go to Leigh Idica or Tyler Tanaka,” said Mokihana Aquatics coach Orlando “O” Anaya. “I reviewed the times. I looked over the splits. I watched them race over and over again in my mind. This was a hard one. We do not like to name co-swimmers of the meet so it actually came down to looking at two halves of the race, and even then, the choice was difficult.”
Leigh Idica, 11, was awarded the Swimmer of the Meet following the two-day time trials that wrapped up Saturday at the Kauai High School pool.
Idica finished with new best times in three of the four events she swam in, her strongest showing coming in the 400-yard individual medley, where she touched the wall at 6 minutes, 8.47 seconds, besting Ian Raquel, 11, and claiming a HI-AA time standard in the swim where she improved by 13.78 seconds. She also chopped 9.05 seconds off her 500-yard freestyle (6:44.43), where she finished with a HI-A time.
Tanaka, 12, finished with four best times in six swims, finishing with HI-AAA times in three events. His strongest swim came in the 400-yard individual medley (5:31.33), where he was spurred on by Sara Funtanilla and Madeline Hoesel, both swimmers being disqualified in the swim.
“This small group of swimmers just won’t break,” Anaya said. “They are not normal. This is not normal. They are supposed to break, but they swam tired. They swam hurting and fatigued. Yet, they just keep on swimming.”
Other Mokihana swimmers making notable marks in the swim meet that came the day following high school graduation:
w Keison Haraguchi, 11, picked up three personal-best times in four swims, his best showing coming in the 500-yard freestyle (7:53.26), a 27.19-second improvement.
w Katy Hoesel, 12, finished with just one personal best, but she posted a 69.92-second improvement in the 1000-yard freestyle (17:28.43).
w Raquel finished with two personal bests, his strongest coming in the 400-yard individual medley (6:19.60), where he finished second to Idica but gained 14.79 seconds on his previous best swim.
w Kaeleb Santiago, 8, was another huge gainer, picking up two personal bests in three swims and showing a 68.34-second improvement in the 200 individual medley (3:57.84).
w Isabella Sorenson, 8, was another youngster picking up a double-digit improvement (24.21 seconds) in her 200-yard individual medley race (3:48.56), where she finished first.