LIHU‘E — Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics swimmers Saber Fairbanks and Asa Hendrickson bring the total number of SKA swimmers to 21, heading to the Bill Smith Invitational Swim Meet on O‘ahu following the SKA qualifying meet over the weekend.
“The kids swam so well, earned so many new time standards and two more swimmers were able to qualify for the Bill Smith Invitational on O‘ahu this weekend,” said SKA coach Billy Brown in an SKA release. “We will be taking 21 kids over to compete and represent Kaua‘i. We are so excited.”
The weekend meet — in addition to qualifying swimmers for the Bill Smith meet, which will start Friday — also offered an opportunity for swimmers to improve on their existing times and get recorded times for new events.
“This is a great opportunity for the swimmers to experience a higher level of competition with hundreds of kids on deck, challenge themselves and have a great time with their teammates,” Brown said.
Athena Alexander, Mikayla Holzman, James Pratt, Xaveria Rodriguez, Brianna Ryan, Zach and Julia Safford, and Ava Wagner posted perfect meet status, or improving in all of the events they swam in out of the field of 50 swimmers participating.
“This was a big push for these kids; to see if they can get that new time they’ve been striving for,” Brown said. “They have been working so hard, and it shows.”
In addition to perfect meet honors, Alexander posted new AA time standards in the 200 Yard Freestyle, joining Malina Dwight (100 Freestyle, 100 Yard Individual Medley), Dutch Fairbanks (50 Backstroke), Saber Fairbanks (100 Breaststroke), Mao Fukada (50 Breaststroke), Asa Hendrickson (50, 100 Freestyle), Jack Machorek (200 Breaststroke), Pratt (100 IM), Carolyn Price (100 Freestyle), Rodriguez (100 Breaststroke), Julia Safford (50 Freestyle), Zach Safford (200 Breaststroke, Malia Splitstoesser (100 IM) and Akira Williams (100 Breaststroke).
Of these swimmers, five went beyond the AA time standards, earning new state qualifying times.
These included Dutch Fairbanks (50 Backstroke), Kaira Ka‘aihue (100 IM), Zach Safford (50 Freestyle), Ava Wagner (200 Breaststroke) and Williams (50 Backstroke).
Additionally, Brown challenged the swimmers with new events and longer distances, many swimming the 500 Yard and 1000 Yard Freestyle events, the 200 Yard Freestyle, 200 Yard IM and 200 Yard Breaststroke for the first time.
Andres Gonzalez, Holden Halladay, Asha McGinnis, Zoe McGinnis, Daneica Muraoka, Braden Myrick, Kai Norman, Royce Pabre-Williams and Issac Vallance were the nine new swimmers joining the SKA ‘Ohana, the newcomers competing in their first swim meet.