There was no Mokihana Aquatics Swimmer of the Meet from the 69th annual Keo Nakama Invitational swim meet which concluded Sunday at the re-named K. Mark Takai Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center on Oahu.
The swimming facility at the Central Oahu Regional Park was re-named Saturday coinciding with the late congressman’s 50th birthday, and the 50th anniversary of Takai’s swimming coach, Ken Suenaga.
Mokihana Aquatics sent four swimmers — Madeline Hoesel, 15, Ian Raquel, 11, Kaedyn Santiago, 10, and Tyler Tanaka, 13 — to participate. Following the three days of competition, however, Coach Orlando “O” Anaya broke tradition by not naming a Swimmer of the Meet.
“This is a first that no swimmer of the meet has been named,” Anaya said. “We should have done better. Let us leave it at that.”
Tanaka, swimming in his aged up 13-14 age group, continued to be impressive, finishing with four HI-AA time standards and four HI-A times. He posted six new best times in the new age group and two new times, his best showing coming in the 200 breaststroke where he touched the wall at 3 minutes, 7.48 seconds for a 5.44-second improvement over his seeded swim.
Santiago finished with six new times in an invitational meet, including getting two HI-AA time standards, one in the 50 freestyle (40.90) and the other in the 100 freestyle (1:32.92).
Raquel finished with three HI-AA times in five events and posted three new best times, his strongest showing coming in the 100 backstroke (1:30.61) where he improved by 2.31 seconds in one of his HI-AA swims. His other HI-AA swims came in the 400 freestyle (6:01.39) and the 200 freestyle (2:55.55).
Hoesel finished the meet with six HI-AA time standards and posted six new best times, her strongest showing coming in the 100 backstroke (1:17.56) where she finished fifth overall for a 3.60-second improvement. Hoesel, the Kauai Interscholastic Federation backstroke title holder, also posted HI-AA times in the 200 backstroke (2:55.46 for a 5.03-second improvement), 100 freestyle (1:08.86 for a 2.62-second improvement), the 200 freestyle (2:29.02 for an 8.17-second improvement), the 50 freestyle (31.18 for a 1.90-second improvement), and the 400 freestyle (3:08.13).
“She was strong,” Anaya said. “Entering the 100 backstroke in the long course pool, Maddie was seeded No. 16 of 18 swimmers. But she broke through and finished in fifth place. That is fantastic.”