LIHU‘E — Four Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics swimmers — Chloe Inouye, Brandon Lin, Elizabeth Wallace and Moana Liddell — helped Team Hawai‘i finish in 10th place overall during the Best of the West 2021 Western Age Group Zone Championships that finished on Aug. 7 in Lewisville, Texas.
Team Hawai‘i included 14 swimmers, including others representing O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island.
The 2021 Western Zone Age Group Championship is the only age-group meet that is sponsored by the Hawaiian Swimming’s local swimming committee that athletes may compete in as an all-star team competing under Team Hawai‘i.
“This was an amazing opportunity and honor to represent Hawai‘i and wear the Hawaiian flag on their swim caps,” said Lee Liddell, Moana Liddell’s father.
“During the four-day event, our swimmers competed against state elite teams like California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Montana, Alaska, New Mexico and Utah,” he said.
“Each day you could see our Kaua‘i swimmers growing, challenging and making a definite impact on the competition,” Lee said. “The true aloha spirit was on deck — Team Hawai‘i showed with Hawaiian flags and was one of the most-popular clubs at the meet.”
Inouye led the SKA delegation by participating in the 13-14 age group, scoring 34 points for the team with some personal good swims.
“Chloe brought much-needed leadership to the group,” said Team Hawai‘i Head Coach Eric Nagoshi. “Her experience at this Western age group meet year after year really has helped the other first-time athletes calm nerves and get up and race.”
Lin, coming off a Junior Olympics swim meet in California, scored 64 points for Team Hawai‘i, competing in the boys 11-12 age group.
“Brandon’s big races in the mornings and evenings really helped inspire others to get up and race,” Nagoshi said. Brandon went 6-for-6 with making finals and was the third-highest scorer on the team.”
Moana Liddell and Elizabeth Wallace both competed in the girls 10-and-under age group. Liddell pulled in 12 points for Team Hawai‘i after making four out of five finals with a noteworthy performance in the 100-meter backstroke. Wallace scored eight points, particularly shining in the 200-meter individual medley.
“Moana and Elizabeth brought much-needed energy and positivity as well as helping make an overall high-pressure meet very fun with their youthful energy,” Nagoshi said. “The coaching staff and I were also very impressed with how mature and aware both girls were, given this was their first big meet at their young ages.”
Following the meet in Texas, the SKA swimmers are eyeing the Hawai‘i State Championship meet scheduled for February, and the Pacific Northwest Regional Championships in March.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.