KIHEI — Kaua‘i High School freshman swimmer Kamaira Silva is confident entering her first-ever Hawi‘i High School Athletic Association K. Mark Takai Swimming and Diving Championship at the Kihei Aquatic Complex on Maui.
Silva, one of Kaua‘i’s top-tier representatives at the met and one of 16 Red Raiders who qualified for individual events or relays, aims for hardware in competitive high school swimming.
Entering her sixth season in competitive swimming, said she is on a mission to win a state-championship title.
For Silva, that mission started six seasons ago, when her parents pushed her into club swimming and eventually harnessed her skills, which now may allow her to capture a state swimming title.
The opportunity to have a chance to win state gold is rare for a freshman competitor.
“I am both excited and nervous,” Silva admitted.
At last Saturday’s Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation Championship event, Silva saved some of her best performance for the regular-season finale.
Silva shattered Yasmine Ware’s 2015 mark KIF championship meet record in the 100-yard freestyle, recorded a time of 54.19.
Headed off the blocks in the prelims, Silva said she felt good about her chances of achieving her goals.
“I feel I have a pretty good chance of making it to the finals, and that is my goal headed into my first state competition,” Silva said. “In both of my (individual) races, I feel I have a pretty good chance.”
Red Raiders’ coach Kelsey Tanaka said was pleased with the performance of all of the swimmers, particularly their two standouts — Silva and junior Kai Norman.
Silva will race the 50 freestyle, the 100 and 200 individual medleys and the 400 freestyle relay.
Strength in numbers
Silva isn’t the only Red Raider who qualified for the state meet.
The list of accomplished Kaua‘i High swimmers is long, and it includes — Jeremy Herr, Kai Mottley, Kai Norman, Jacob Reese, Jacob Rich, Destrey Shibuya, Sol Trevino, Ryden Williams, Alana Cayabyab, Daisy Claytor, Natalie Claytor, Miya Reese, Julia Safford, Silva, Malia Splittstoesser, Nevaeh Ibanez and Giordyn Riopta.
“All of our swimmers (at state) are fairly strong, and they all did very well this season,” Tanaka said. “We have a couple of standouts.”
A green wave
In addition to several of the standout Red Raiders, the Kapa‘a Warriors will send several off-island competitors to state.
Several of the Warriors’ competitors include Kamalei Berg, Braden Chang, Treysen Nishida, Ian Racquel, Tyler Tanaka, Lani Alo, Maddie Hoesel, Asha McGinnis and Chloe Zumwalt.
The off-island experience
Part of the experience of the head to state is seeing some of the elite competitors in the state of Hawaii, and in some cases, the country, according to Tanaka.
Tanaka hopes his team soaks up the experience against top-tier off-island competition.
It isn’t just getting to see collegiate, and in some case, Olympic-caliber swimmers, but it’s about the experience, Tanaka said.
“It is a great experience for them to see the caliber of competition,” Tanaka said. “It’s pretty great to go to state, and I hope our competitors enjoy themselves.”
Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.