LIHUE — Swim Kauai Aquatics swimmer Chloe Inouye, 12, found gold at the Pacific Northwest Regional swim meet by taking the 50 breaststroke in Seattle during the meet that was wrapped up March 24.
Inouye touched the wall on a 31.03-second swim. She was praised by SKA coach Curt Colby as being the top performer of the group of five SKA swimmers who qualified for the meet.
In addition to the gold medal, Inouye scored points in all six of her events in the Girls 12-year-old division, placing second in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.08), third in the 500 freestyle (5:24.22), third in the 50 freestyle (25.23), fourth in the 100 freestyle (54.72), and eighth in the 200 freestyle (2:02).
“This was impressive swimming for competing in trials and finals over four days,” Colby said. “Chloe, last year at this same meet, scored three medals. This is such a great improvement to now medal in all six of her events. She also scored 34 of the 38 team points.”
Joining Inouye at the meet contested at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatics Center were Mahina Dameron, 12, Heidee Kaeo, 12, Kamaira Silva, 14, and Kai Mottley, 14.
“The SKA swimmers were up to the challenge, all of our SKA swimmers achieved at least one personal best time,” Colby said. “For some of the swimmers, this was their first opportunity to swim in such a highly competitive meet with more than 1,000 swimmers.”
Dameron, also competing in the Girls 12 division, pocketed four best times in her six events, earning a medal in the 200 freestyle with her best time of 2:01.76. Colby said she just missed Top 8 in three other events, finishing ninth in the 500 freestyle (5:29.85), the 100 butterfly (1:02.89), and the 200 butterfly (2:22.69).
“Mahina also achieved Zone qualifying times,” Colby said. “This makes her eligible to apply to represent Team Hawaii in the Zone Championships that will take place this summer in Oregon.”
Kaeo, also competing in the Girls 12 division, picked up four personal bests at her first experience at the mainland meet. Her top event was the 500 freestyle (5:30.75) where she finished 11th, and was a second out of the Top 8. Her other best times came in the 50 freestyle (26.77), the 100 backstroke (1:06.54), and the 100 individual medley (1:10.07).
“To have these three swimmers swim so well in the 500 freestyle is a testament to their hard work in training,” Colby said. “They push each other every day, and these results is evidence of that.”
Silva, competing at the regionals for the second year, finished with two breakthrough swims in the 100 and 50 freestyle events. She broke the 56-second barrier in the 100 freestyle (55.93) for the first time, and broke the 26-second wall in the 50 freestyle (25.52).
“Her work on her dives, turns, and underwater streamlines has helped her improve sprinting ability,” Colby said. “She has always been one of the fastest swimmer in the pool, but with these improvements, her times now reflect that.”
Mottley picked up his best swim in the 100 butterfly where he touched the wall at 57.44, a .34-second improvement.
“This year has seen dramatic improvement in his swimming,” Colby said. “These improvements enabled him to qualify for his first mainland meet, and I am expecting many more time drops, this year.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.