LIHUE — Some of the toughest swimmers in Hawaii will be in action at the Kapaa Swimming Pool when Mokihana Aquatics takes the covers off the 29th running of its Fun Meet on Saturday and Sunday.
“While the meet started 35 years ago, we had to cancel the meet for a few years because of hurricanes Iwa and Iniki,” said Mokihana Aquatics coach Orlando Anaya.
Swim competition starts from 9:30 a.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m., Sunday and continues until mid-afternoon. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 9 a.m., Saturday.
As the ink for the final psych sheet dries, more than 80 swimmers from Oahu, Maui and the Big Island will be meeting up with Kauai swimmers, including those from Swim Kauai Aquatics, in nearly 600 events over two days.
The event is sanctioned by USA Swimming, sponsors of the USA Olympic swim team.
“The meet has no fees for attending, but entries were restricted to only USA Swimming members,” Anaya said. “Because USA Swimming is the sponsor of the USA Olympic swim team, yes, you could see future Olympians this weekend.”
One of the early events will see three Kauai swimmers who just returned from the Junior Lifeguard National Championships in Florida.
Mokihana Aquatics’ Maddie Hoesel, the current Kauai Interscholastic Federation backstroke title holder, will go up against Alana Cayabyab and Malia Splittstoesser, both of SKA in the Girls 100 Yard Freestyle event, being separated by just .26 second, Splittstoesser being seeded at 59.02 seconds, Cayabyab at 59.19, and Maddie at 59.28.
Splittstoesser and Cayabyab will be among the women’s 2000-meter medley relay team who holds the top seed in the event.
Anaya said a lot of swim teams could not participate in this year’s event because two of the state championships are not being held on Oahu, this year.
One of the swimmers flying in for the meet is Evan Wong of the Iolani Swim Club who, late in 2016, flew in special to qualify for a long distance race at the Regionals in Washington state where he finished in good shape. During the qualifier, Wong flew in with his mother, and following his feat, was ready to walk back to Lihue Airport from the Kauai High School pool.