LIHUE — Mokihana Aquatics coach Orlando “O” Anaya is excited about his crew of young swimmers who will travel to Hilo for the 32nd Charles “Sparky” Kawamoto ABC swim meet scheduled March 2-3.
“We have a relay again,” Anaya said. “Everybody that knows me knows that I don’t swim mixed relays. Mokihana only swims ‘legitimate’ relays. Yes, all of our boys are 8 and under! Twelve years ago, we swam an 8 and under boys relay, and they brought home the gold — well, actually blue first place ribbons. These four boys could do it again!”
Of that first place team, Anaya said three of the four went on to athletic greatness, one of them graduating two years ago from high school where he attained state champion in the cross country races among the other achievements, including being a key part of the Kauai Junior Lifeguard program.
“This is a new beginning,” Anaya said. “The Mokihana relay team includes Tyler Cole swimming the backstroke, Kaz Caycayon-Obrero doing the butterfly, Racer Faye — he’s only 7 years old — doing the freestyle, and Triton Kurisu, the breaststroker.”
These four have just a little more than two years experience, combined, and will be participating in the 100 medley relay and the 100 freestyle relay events.
“This is the youngest traveling relay possibly ever from Kauai,” Anaya said. “But check this out — of our nine swimmers, three will be swimming in their first race ever. With the exception of team leader Leigh Idica, 13, all of the swimmer are marking their first travel meet. Can you count the butterflies in the air? It is going to be great.”
Joining the relay swimmers, Mokihana Aquatics swimmers making the qualifications to participate in the Sparky’s meet include Kaya Caycayon-Obrero, 9, Aylwen Fife, 7, Idica, 13, Shealee Moises, 8, and Jayna Sams, 11.
The relay swimmers, Kaz Caycayon-Obrero, 8, Tyler Cole, 8, Racer Faye, 7, and Triton Kurisu, 8, will also be competing in individual swims.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.