Comment

3 Golds for Coach Steve!

COACH STEVE PULLS OFF HAT TRICK AT US MASTERS NATIONALS

By Rani Henderson - West Hawaii Today

Kona’s Steve Borowski pulled off an impressive hat trick over the weekend by sweeping all three swimming events he entered at the 2017 US Masters Summer National Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Borowski competed in the men’s 70-74 age group, winning the 100-meter freestyle on Saturday in a time of one minute and 5.54 seconds, the 50-meter butterfly in 30.81 seconds, followed by the 50-meter freestyle in 27.93.

Borowski’s time in the 50-meter freestyle was also just two-tenths of a second off the current world and national record set in 2015 by Richard Abrahams.

“My goal was just to do my best and not worry about place, time or even the race,” Borowski said over the phone. “For me, the journey was 90-percent, and the race was the end of it.”

Borowski added that while he has always been really good at controlling the psychological side of things when it comes to racing, he was surprised to find that he had trouble controlling his pre-race emotions, including feeling a little scared right before the race.

“My heart rate was really high during the warm ups, and even during breakfast and throughout the day,” Borowski said with a laugh. “I kept telling myself to settle down but I think I was just really excited.”

On his first event, the 100-meter freestyle, Borowski found himself seeded in the lane next to Andrew McPherson, the one competitor favored to win all the events that Borowski planned to compete in.

“I was just behind him on the first 50 (meters) on that first event in the 100 freestyle,” Borowski said. “Then I caught and passed him on the second 50 and after we finished, he told me that he couldn’t believe how fast I came by him at the end. On the second day, I think I was behind him on the dive getting off the block on the 50 butterfly, but I was strong on the second half.”

And in Borowski’s final event, the 50-meter freestyle, he thought that it would be his weakest event. Turns out he nearly matched the world and national record of 27.71.

“I was placed in Lane 1 so I really couldn’t see how everyone else was doing,” he said. “So I just closed my eyes and went as hard as I could. I think I only took like three breaths and on that last lap, I actually swallowed a bunch of water. I felt like I was dying as I had no air for the last 15 meters or so. So when I finished, I was almost afraid to look at the scoreboard. But when I saw my name at the top I was like, oh my god! I couldn’t believe it!”

Comment

Comment

2017 MASTERS NATIONALS - BACK STORY

THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD TO MINNEAPOLIS

By Rani Henderson - West Hawaii Today

Just three months ago, Steve Borowski could barely swim one length of the 25-yard lane at the Kona Community Aquatic Center swimming pool.

It was a surreal moment and one hard to imagine for the legendary aquatic coach and Hawaii Waterman Hall of Famer, who began his career earning All-American honors in swimming and water polo, followed by four decades coaching thousands of athletes to excel in the pool and ocean.

While not having the strength and stamina to swim such a short distance may have deterred most athletes from returning to the pool, it was quite the contrary for Borowski. He was motivated more than ever and for a good reason.

Borowski — who decided to step back in January as head coach of the Kona Aquatic age group and Kealakehe High School swim teams — shared that he had quietly faced a few physical challenges during the first three months of the year that became tough mentally and emotionally to deal with.

“I noticed that I had a tremor in my hand around the first of the year, about the time that I stopped coaching age group,” the 69-year old Holualoa resident said. “After I did a lot of research online, I read that I had all of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. It was super scary as I read there is no cure, and basically, you are going to die slowly and it’s really bad. So you can imagine what that did to me mentally.”

During those first three months, Borowski said that he saw two doctors and again, everything pointed to Parkinson’s. While he was finally able to get an appointment to see a neurologist on Oahu, the waitlist was six-months out.

“January, February and March was hell mentally,” he said. “I finally semi-retired and then I was faced with having to figure out the rest of my life — who’s going to care for me, what’s going to happen, just everything. I was seriously depressed and it was such a tough time. There were all of those psychological variables that played into the physical side of things.”

And during those distressing months, Borowski said that he had his third surgery completed — two knees and an elbow — all done within six-months of one another to repair his meniscus and other soft tissue tears. There was never a time when Borowski felt so low.

But that was until he received a phone call from the neurologist for an earlier opening in their schedule, an appointment he booked immediately.

“I finally get to see this neurologist in March and after he does all of these tests on me he says; ‘You don’t have Parkinson’s. Your father had the same thing and your symptoms mimic Parkinson’s to a ‘T’, but you have something called an essential tremor.’”

An essential tremor affects the nervous system and causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking. It can affect almost any part of your body, but the trembling occurs most often in your hands, especially when attempting to do simple tasks such as writing, drinking from a glass, or tying shoelaces. While it can occur at any age, and can range from mild to severe, it is most common in people ages 40 and over.

“I’ve had light shakes for awhile now but it’s gotten a little worse,” Borowski said. “So when he told me that I didn’t have Parkinson’s it was such a huge relief. I was like, oh my God, this is just unbelievable! In that moment, my life turned around. I felt like I was given another chance.”

While Borowski had already planned on attending the U.S. Masters Swimming Summer National Championships held Aug. 2-6 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to help coach a friend who was competing, his renewed sense to live life to the fullest gave him the confidence to enter the event himself.

“I made the decision to go after I found out that I didn’t have Parkinson’s,” Borowski said. “I said; ‘Why not? Who cares, I should just go and have fun!’ When I started training for this three months ago, I couldn’t even kick when doing butterfly or do flip-turns. I still had a whole bunch of stuff going on with my knees and elbow. And I’m still not a 100-percent.”

Yet slowly but surely, Borowski found his way back into the lanes that earned him All American honors during his teenage and collegiate years, to setting the world, national and state records in the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly as a 50-year-old.

Borowski did it again at age 55, setting world, national and state records in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle, and the 50-meter and 100-meter butterfly events, but that would become the last time that Borowski was in the pool.

Now, 15 years later and on a scant three months of actual swim training, Borowski plans to compete in three long course events at the USMS Summer National Championships in the men’s 70-74 age division: 50-meter freestyle, 50-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle.

“I’ve been lifting weights a lot because I know that I’m not going to get my aerobic base to where I want it to be, but I could build upon my strength,” he said. “But I have to be really careful with my rehab while I’m strength training. I’m in the gym at least 4-5 times per week, and almost everyday in the pool. I usually do about 3000 meters in the pool that is blended between free, fly, and varying intensities. I also train by myself so it’s been tough. And with the increase in exercise, I’ve lost 22-pounds but I feel great.

Borowski says that there will be over 1000 athletes at the swim meet competing in varying age groups with of course, high caliber competition coming from the men’s 70-74 age group.

“There’s a guy in my age group that won all four events in May - Andrew McPherson - he’s going to be there,” he said. “Looking at his times and looking where I am at now, I’m kind of doubtful that I’ll be able to beat him. And while there’s been so many challenges just to get here, it’s been really good. I’m going in with a whole different mindset.”

Borowski’s first competition at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center’s 50-meter indoor pool is the 100-meter freestyle scheduled for today at 12:55 p.m. He will continue with the 50-meter butterfly on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. followed by the 50-meter freestyle at 12:45 p.m.

While Borowski plans to just have fun and enjoy his renewed zest for competition, for those who don’t think they can be competitive at an older age, the legendary Aquatic King has some sound advice.

“Being competitive to me means focusing on self and not others and all the other outside variables that come along with a major competition. It’s okay to be nervous. I call it excited. The journey is 90 percent.”

Comment

Comment

2017 LC Junior Nationals

kona-aquatics-loves-ny.jpg

CHEER MAILE ON AT THE 2O17 LC JUNIOR NATIONALS

Hey Gang! Maile Lawson will be traveling to New York to compete at the 2017 LC Junior Nationals to be held in East Meadow New York. Maile will be swimming the 100 and 200 breaststroke events and is the FIRST KONA Aquatics swimmer to compete at this meet! 

The Junior Nationals is for outstanding swimmers in the US who are aged 18 and below. The meet is the last stepping stone to competing in US Senior Nationals and US Olympic Trials. Way to go Maile! Good luck! We're all so proud of you!

HUGE THANK YOUs to Maile's "sparing" partners: Kuuz, Duke, Ryan, Sheri, Brenda and all of the KONA Aquatics masters swimmers! Big Mahalo to our county pool staff for their positive vibes and morning smiles :)

Comment

Comment

STAYING FIT DURING THE OFF-SEASON

TIPS ON STAYING FIT FOR NEXT SEASON

Pone paddle boarding is an excellent way to stay fit during the offseason!

STAYING FIT DURING THE OFF-SEASON - By Bridge Athletics

STEP OFF THE POOL DECK

This is the time to step back from your rigorous training and do other things. Swimmers are more than welcome to hop in the pool a few times to keep the feel for the water, but don’t hit the pool every day. Instead, use this opportunity to travel, hang out with friends and family, and explore other hobbies.  As significant a part of your life as swimming is, leading a balanced lifestyle will help you maintain a good perspective and keep you from mentally burning out. Additionally, swimming less during this period will help your body repair chronic injuries that built up during training this year.

BE SMART ABOUT CROSS-TRAINING

Every year, there seems to be one athlete who got too excited with cross training and returned to pre-season already injured. Don’t be that person. Take advantage of the sports and activities around you rather than sitting on the couch all break, but be smart about the movements you engage in. For example, running all break when you normally never run could lead to injury because your body is less used to high-impact cardio exercise. Instead, opt for a variety of activities that are both fun and social. Go surfing, hiking and mountain biking. Try stand-up paddle boarding, or one-man canoe paddling if it is available to you. Play sports with friends. Maintaining your fitness this way can be easy and fun instead of seeming like a chore.

MAINTAIN YOUR STRENGTH

Getting back into training in a few weeks will be a much easier transition if you maintain your baseline level of strength. This does not require much investment on your part during your break either. You can do a 30-45 min weight room session a few times per week, or if you do not lift weights yet, you can get in a few sets of pull-ups, push ups, and squats every other day. This will not only maintain your muscle tissue, but it will also keep your body used to the pattern of movements you normally engage in for dryland. You’ll stay fitter during your break and feel better when training starts back up.

Keep these tips in mind for the next couple of weeks, and enjoy your well-deserved break!

Comment

Comment

Off-Season Nutrition Tips

EATING WELL DURING THE OFF-SEASON

Off-Season Nutrition Tips - By Jill Castle, MS, RDN

When the swim season is over, swimmers often wonder if they should change their eating habits. Should they continue to focus on the training diet? Should they eat as frequently as they have been or should they taper eating to reflect a decrease in exercise? Are there foods they can eat to preserve their physique?

When the swimming season ends, eating patterns need to shift to accommodate the decreased demand for energy and nutrients. The goals for eating during the off-season include maintaining a healthy weight, keeping the muscle tone and mass that has been accumulated during the season, and matching nutritional requirements for continued growth and development.

Off-season eating may not be easy for some swimmers, as the habit (and perhaps enjoyment) of eating large portions, pre-training snacks and post-training recovery foods may have become ingrained, making them challenging to reverse.

I like to remind athletes of the difference between a training diet and a regular healthy approach to eating. The training diet not only includes foods that help the athlete meet the demands of exercise and improve performance, it also is a mindset and strategy for getting the most out of the season. The swimmer can think about the off-season diet in this same framework: a focus on nutritious foods that match needs for growth and maximizes health.

One mistake I see young athletes make, in general, is failing to adjust their eating patterns after the season has ended.

I’ve got some quick tips to help swimmers accommodate the changes in training that naturally occur in the off-season phase.

Reduce Calories

It’s no surprise swimmers burn a lot of calories in the pool during the competitive season. As such, the young swimmer especially needs to maintain a calorie intake that covers the demands of swimming and his nutritional requirements for growth and development.

In the teen swimmer, calorie requirements can be as high as 4,000 calories per day (or more), depending on age, gender and training schedule. However, when swim season ends and training tapers off significantly, such a high calorie intake isn’t necessary.

There are a few easy ways to taper caloric intake with a non-dieting approach. One is by reducing the portion size of the hefty pre-training snack. Most growing athletes, even if they aren’t actively training, will need a nutritious afternoon snack to meet daily nutritional requirements and help with appetite management. However, if the swimmer

Comment

Comment

MAILE & DUKE CRUSH COMPETITION

BECKER, LAWSON WIN 10 GOLDS, BREAK THREE HAWAIIAN RECORDS AT STATES

By Rick Winters - West Hawaii Today

Two big island swimmers stole the show at the 2017 Hawaii Age Group Long Course Championships over the weekend.

Kona Aquatics’ Duke Becker and Maile Lawson glided by several state records, while picking up multiple gold medals to lead their club to a seventh place overall finish at the meet, which took place the the Kihei Aquatics Center on Maui.

Due their performances in the pool, both swimmers won the high point standout athlete award in their respective age groups. Becker competed in the boys 11-12 year old division, while Lawson swam in the girls 15-16 year old class.

“It was pretty cool to have two high point athletes on one team,” said Kona Aquatics head coach Eric Rhodes. “Between the two of them they had 10 gold medals and three Hawaiian records. It was kind of nuts because we spend a lot of time training in the ocean, not a pool. I was really thrilled.”

Duke Becker opened the 2017 meet with a bang, grabbing to state records early, which came in the 400-meter IM (5 minutes and 11.65 seconds) and the 200 breaststroke (2:44.21). However, he did not go out with a fizzle. Becker added three more individual gold medals, which came in the 50 breaststroke (34.04), 100 breaststroke (1:15.41) and the 200 IM (2:27.80).

“Duke was phenomenal, untouchable,” Rhodes said. “I knew coaching him six weeks ago he was going to do really well. He was doing collegiate workout sets that where high intensity and challenging.”

Becker was a team player as well, adding four more trips to the top of the podium in relay races, along with Nolan Morton and Aiden Ankrum. The trio, making up three-fourths of four winning relay teams, claiming medals in the 400 freestyle (4:29.66), 200 freestyle (2:02.20), 400 medley (5:05.75) and 200 medley (2:14.75).

Keaulana Haserot filled in the fourth role on the two freestyle relay wins, while Gared Sarubbi-Monell claimed two golds with the medley relays.

“They were our rag-tag group of bad news bears,” Rhodes said. “Everyone else showed up in fancy uniforms and these guys came in wearing surf shorts and swept all the relays they entered. I am really proud of them.”

As for Lawson, she found gold early too, but seemed to get faster as the meet progressed with her biggest victory coming on Sunday in the 200 breaststroke. Lawson claimed the gold with a time of 2:37.58, which broke a state age group record more than 30 years old. The previous best time was set in 1985 by Nadine Takai.

“She actually had an off-swim,” Rhodes said. “We are thrilled she got the record, but she probably could have went faster.”

Lawson entered the meet finally feeling healthy after dealing with back and shoulder issues.

“This was the first time in a long time that she was healthy and she was having a lot of fun,” Rhodes said. “We were able to get her ready to go.”

Lawson showed a lot of versatility in the water, also claiming golds in the 400 IM (5:12.35), 100 breaststroke (1:12.43), 100 butterfly (1:06.56) and 200 IM (2:25.99).

“What really surprised a lot of people at the meet was how she did in the 100 butterfly,” Rhodes said. “That is not her race but we knew she had it in her. She is versatile, has a great attitude, is fun to coach, smart and talented. As she continues to progress, she has a lot of great opportunities to swim in college.”

Comment

Comment

5 Golds . 2 Records . 1 High Point

Duke Becker smiles after his 400 IM & new record breaking effort.

DUKE BECKER BAGS A PAIR OF RECORDS ON MAUI

By J.R. de Groote - West Hawaii Today

KIHEI, Maui — Duke Becker added his name to the record book this week — twice.

The 12-year-old Kona Aquatics swimmer broke two state age-group records at the state long-course swimming championships at Kihei Aquatic Center on Maui.

“I hope the records stay for a while,” Becker said with a laugh. “I really just tried to go in and follow the strategy my coach had set up for me.”

Becker’s first record came in the 400-meter individual medley on Thursday. He set the mark with a time of 5 minutes, 11.65 seconds, finishing almost 20 seconds ahead of the next closest participant. The previous record of 5:17.62 was set in 2013.

His second record-breaking feat came in the 200-meter breaststroke on Friday, clocking a time of 2:44.21. The previous record-time was 2:45.30, set in 2015.

“It was a big day for Duke. He’s just an incredible athlete — very talented and coachable with a great attitude,” Kona Aquatics age-group head coach Eric Rhodes said. “He’s been crushing these state records.”

For good measure, Becker added his third individual gold in the 50-meter breaststroke with a time of 34.04, just edging the second place finisher Aidan Allred (34.69).

Becker was also a part of Kona Aquatics’ two gold winning relay teams in the 400-meter freestyle (4:29.66) and medley (5:05.75). The core trio of Becker, Nolan Morton, Aiden Ankrum swam on both relay squads, while Keaulana Haserot contributed on the freestyle relay and Gared Sarubbi-Monell on the medley team.

“All those guys are the same age, so it’s going to be a lot of fun seeing them come up together,” Rhodes said.

The Maui meet continues through Sunday, and Rhodes predicts a few more records could fall, especially with speedy Kona Aquatics swimmer standout Maile Lawson set to swim.

“We are not the biggest program here, but we have a ton of talented swimmers,” Rhodes said. “I think it surprises some people. They ask us what the secret is.”

Among the other clubs swimming on Maui from the Big Island are Academy Swim Club, the Kona Dolphins, Hilo Aquatic Club, Hawaii Island Swim Club and Warrior Aquatic Club.

Becker — who attends Innovations Public Charter School — has a few more races to compete in, but away from the pool there is some fun to be had.

“I have a lot of friends on other swim teams that I only get to see a few times a year, so I’m excited to hang out with them” Becker said. “I’m just really hyped up for the next two days.”

For those looking to follow the event, live results are available at: results.teamunify.com/hslsc/.

Comment

Comment

Tight races light up 2017 King’s Swim

2017 KING'S SWIM

By J.R. De Groote West Hawaii Today

KAILUA-KONA — The King’s Swim came down to a sprint on Tuesday morning at Kailua Bay, providing an explosive start to the Fourth of July.

Brock Imonen and Weilyn Foo guided the lead pack of athletes into Kamakahonu Bay and the young duo were neck-and-neck as they reached the shore. However, Foo stood up in the water just a second too early and it proved to be costly.

Imonen took advantage and dashed up the beach just a little quicker than his peer, clocking a time of 23 minutes and 27 seconds, notching the overall victory in the 1.2-mile race.

Foo followed less than a step behind at 23:28.

It was deja vu for Foo, who also had to settle for second behind Imonen at the Hapuna Rough Water Swim last month after a similar sprint up the sand. However, he wasn’t too down about it postrace.

“I felt like I paced it right, but you can’t change the past,” the Kona Aquatics standout said. “It’s exciting to be in a race like that and to get out of the water and feel the rush.”

Despite placing second, Foo locked up his second consecutive Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, which is presented by Bike Works to the swimmer who records the lowest cumulative time in the three qualifying races — the Cinco de Mayo Splash, the Hapuna Rough Water Swim and King’s Swim.

After more than three miles of swimming, Foo finished with an aggregate time of 1:10:37, just outpacing Bodhi Whitmore (1:10:51), and Imonen (1:10:53) for the title. Foo didn’t win any of the three races, but he showed consistency, reaching the podium in each.

“I kind of knew about how close it was, but I just felt loose out there,” Foo said. “It’s awesome.”

Whitmore placed fourth overall on Tuesday and third in the men’s division with a time of 23:44.

On the women’s side, Maile Lawson notched her third consecutive victory at the King’s Swim with a time of 23:36. She subsequently claimed her first Triple Crown with a cumulative time of 1:07:04.

“I’m excited — it’s awesome,” Lawson said. “I didn’t really know too much about the Triple Crown until this year and a friend explained it to me. But once I heard about it, I figured I could get into it.”

That might be a bit of a modest understatement.

For those doing the math, Lawson was by far the overall winner in the race for the Triple Crown, and she out-swam the next closest female competitors, Noe Vargas (1:14:22) and Kristen Bennett (1:14:33), by more than seven minutes.

However, the humble incoming junior at Hawaii Prep was just happy to see her Kona Aquatics teammates doing well in the King’s Swim.

“I would say it’s like a home race for us. Almost our whole club competes in it,” Lawson said. “We get excited for this and talk about it beforehand. It kind of bonds our team.”

Foo agreed that the Kona Aquatics Club feels fairly at home in the comfortable waters of Kailua Bay.

“I feel like I could close my eyes and race here,” Foo said with a laugh.

In the small area around Kailua Bay that hosted fishing, recreational paddling and even a yoga class on the morning of Independence Day, the 23rd edition of the annual swim competition was the star attraction.

“The conditions were perfect today. There was no swell, the visibility made it gorgeous, and we had terrific water patrol out there, keeping everyone safe,” race director and Kona Aquatics guru Steve Borowski said.

Borowski moved the event to the July 4 a few years ago to avoid conflicts with other things going on around the bay. It has worked swimmingly, as nearly 250 swimmers put barbecues and fireworks on the back burner to finish the race named after King Kamehameha.

“The goal was to create an event for the community, and to give people the chance to swim part of the Ironman course,” Borowski said. “It also was meant to give people a goal to look forward to, which is always important.”

Comment

Comment

2017 King's Swim!

KONA Aquatics family, fun & festivities at the 2017 King's Swim

Congratulations to all participants in the 2017 King's Swim. We had a blast hosting everyone in this year's fun and family oriented open ocean swim race. Click on the link below to jump to this year's race results!

2017 King's Swim Race Results

Comment

Comment

Hapuna Roughwater Swim

KONA AQUATICS SWIMMERS COMPETITIVE AT 2017 HAPUNA

By Rick Winters - West Hawaii Today 

KOHALA COAST — Contrary to its name, the Hapuna Rough Water Swim took place under smooth conditions as a group of elite, young swimmers battled to the finish in the 39th annual event along the Kohala coast on Sunday.

Taking place on the north side of the beach, Academy Swim Club’s Brock Imonen claimed first place overall with a time of 23 minutes and 36.29 seconds. He was followed by Weylin Foo (23:38.14) and Bodhi Whitmore (23:40.13) rounded out the top three.

In the female division, Taylor Doherty and Maile Lawson — teammates at Hawaii Preparatory Academy but rivals on the club swimming scene with Doherty competing for Academy and Lawson competing for Kona Aquatics — produced a photo finish at the line. Doherty just edged Lawson by four-tenths of a second.

Doherty finished fourth overall with a time of 23:40.38. Lawson was fifth at 23:40.79 and Noelani Vargas rounded out the top three with a 14th place overall time of 24:37.62.

The top 10 swimmers all stayed in a tight lead pack with only 19 seconds separating the first place person from the 10th.

“I knew Doherty was right behind me and so was Bodhi, who passed me right before the finish last time,” Imonen said. “I had to make sure I cut the final buoy close so he could not pass me this time and then it was a sprint to the finish.”

For Doherty, she and Lawson knew it was down to them as they passed that final buoy.

“I swim with Maile a lot and I know her swim suit and goggles well,” Doherty said. “As soon as I made that last turn on my left side, we saw each other and kind of smiled. I knew it was going to be her or I and now we had to kick it into gear.”

Both Lawson and Doherty touched the sand at about the same time, but Doherty managed to out-sprint her competitor in the short run up the beach, edging her shoulder in front of Lawson for the win.

“She (Doherty) is an awesome competitor and is a good swimmer to pace from behind,” Lawson said. “This was a great race with an awesome finish and it was really fun.”

The Hapuna Rough Water swim was the second leg of the Big Island’s Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

The first leg of the competition, the Cinco de Mayo Swim, took place at Anaehoomalu Bay in Waikoloa. Aapo Eerola won the event, but the HPA boarder is back at home in Sweden and did not compete at Hapuna.

Whitmore placed second at the Cinco de Mayo Splash and his overall time of 47:07.13 is good enough to take over first place for the Triple Crown after two races. Foo finished third at Cinco de Mayo and his overall time of 47:09.14 puts him in second place. Imonen is third with a time of 47:26.29, making the boys competition a hotly contested affair entering the Kings’ Swim at Kailua Bay on July 4.

In the female division, Karlyn Pipes placed first at Anaehoomalu but was fourth in the division at Hapuna with a time of 24:40.27. Her overall time of 48.25.27 drops her to second behind Lawson, who has a two-race time of 47.28.79 after also placing second at Anaehoomalu. Third place in the female division is tightly contested between Mina Poppas, Noelani Vargas and Kristen Bennett.

Comment

4 Comments

2017 King's Swim

ALOHA!

Kona Aquatics is very excited about hosting our 23rd Annual King’s Swim, a 1.2-mile ocean swim here at the Kona pier this Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Our race is held to honor King Kamehameha the Great, and it finishes at Kamakahonu Beach where he once lived. Last year’s King’s Swim saw 236 participants finish the race, ranging in age from seven to 79 years of age.

We have fifteen age divisions for both males and females, and awards are given to the top three finishers in each age group. The age divisions are: 10 and under, 11-14, 15-18, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, and 75 and over. Our goal has always been to keep the entry fee at only $15 per swimmer, and so we ask for sponsorships for each division. The $100 sponsorships help to cover all the expenses necessary to put on this first class race: awards, insurance, hospitality, and also to provide assistance for those who are unable to afford the entry fee.

Kona Aquatics age group and masters swim teams now have about 140 total members. Our Masters program is very likely the most “dropped in” Masters workout in the World, averaging three visiting swimmers per workout. The age group team starts swimmers as young as age seven, and prepares them to compete at the high school level, with many competitions along the way. A great number of Kealakehe High School swim team boys and girls grew up with and continue to swim for Kona Aquatics. We are very proud to have several of our kids go on to swim at the college level: Madison Hauanio, Leahi Comacho, Cara Jernigan, and Katie Jefferson are few of our recent graduates who are continuing their aquatic careers. 

We at Kona Aquatics appreciate your contribution, and, as always, your sponsorship will be announced during the event. A check payable to Kona Aquatics may be mailed, or handed, to me, Eric, or Kristen. Mahalo nui for your consideration and support. Wishing you a wonderful year!

Warmest regards,

Coach Steve

4 Comments

Comment

Racing Start Technique Video

Aloha Team. Here is a link to the video that we all reviewed at this afternoon's practice. We will post this up on our Facebook page and will send out the link to the entire team over the weekend. Super excited with the progress the entire team is making with their dives!

Comment

Comment

Arena Pro Swim Series

MAILE LAWSON TO COMPETE AT THE ARENA PRO - SANTA CLARA

Aloha gang! Make sure you wish Maile the best of luck as she prepares for the final leg of the Arena Pro Swim Series which will be held in Santa Clara next week!

Here is the most recent press release from USA Swimming:


USA SWIMMING

May 18, 2017, For Immediate Release:

Many of the United States’ top swimmers – including several Bay Area Olympic medalists – will be in action at next week’s arena Pro Swim Series at Santa Clara for a final tune-up ahead of next month’s Phillips 66 National Championships.

Olympic champions Nathan Adrian (Bremerton, Wash./California Aquatics), Anthony Ervin (Valencia, Calif./SwimMAC Carolina), Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Stanford Swimming), Simone Manuel (Sugar Land, Texas/Stanford Swimming) and Ryan Murphy (Jacksonville, Fla./California Aquatics) are expected to highlight the field for the June 1-4 event at Santa Clara’s legendary George F. Haines International Swim Center.

The four-day meet opens Thursday, June 1, with a 5 p.m. PDT timed-final, distance freestyle session and continues throughSunday, June 4, with daily prelims at 9 a.m. PDT followed by finals at 5 p.m. Single- and all-session tickets are on sale now online.

Among the additional Team USA Olympians slated to swim include men’s individual medalists Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill./Trojan Swim Club), Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill./Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatic), Cullen Jones (Irvington, N.J./Wolfpack Elite), Chase Kalisz (Bel Aid, Md./North Baltimore Aquatic Club) and Josh Prenot (Santa Maria, Calif./California Aquatics). On the women’s side, Cal standout Kathleen Baker (Winston-Salem, N.C./SwimMAC Carolina) and Elizabeth Beisel (Saunderstown, R.I./Bluefish Swim Club) are individual medalists expected to compete.

Three days of television coverage from Santa Clara will air on NBC Sports Network, including live telecasts at 8 p.m. EDTon Friday, June 2 and Sunday, June 4. The Saturday, June 3 action will be broadcast on delay at 1:30 a.m. ET on June 4. All three finals sessions also will be streamed live via NBC Sports. A live webcast also will be available at usaswimming.org.

This event is the fifth and final stop of the 2017 arena Pro Swim Series. The men’s lead is shared by U.S. Kalisz and Prenot with 38 points, while Olympian Melanie Margalis (Clearwater, Fla./St. Petersburg Aquatics) tops the women’s standings with 39 points.

The arena Pro Swim Series scoring system awards eligible swimmers prize money and points based on first-, second- and third-place performances at each meet in the Championship final only. The prize money and scoring system is as follows: First place, $500 (five points); second place, $300 (three points) and third place, $100 (one point).

At 2017 Phillips 66 Nationals, the point totals will double to 10 points for first place, six for second and two points for third place. The final series tally will be computed after the 2017 Phillips 66 National Championships, slated for June 27-July 1 in Indianapolis, and the prizes will be awarded at that time.

The top eligible male and female overall point total winners in the series will earn a one-year lease of a BMW vehicle, as well as a $10,000 series bonus.

Comment

Comment

Its Time To Hunt!

CONTENDERS - MOTIVATIONAL VIDEO

The journey to your dreams always starts from within...by Mateusz M.

http://www.mateuszm.com/contenders/

Not only you are facing problems but actually, we all do. If you’re trying to achieve, there will always be obstacles big or small, we all face them. But what matters is not the obstacle itself but your reaction. “The winners mentality is no matter what, no matter how grim it seems, no matter what people are saying, I know I can win. Play by Play, not letting any opportunity slip by and believing that it’s possible, I can win.”

I hope that this video will help you see your struggle, pain or any hardships in different way. And I hope it will help you to turn your pain into energy to keep going.

Click link below to view video:

http://www.mateuszm.com/contenders/

Comment

Comment

2017 CINCO DE MAY OCEAN RACE

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL KONA AQUATICS PARTICIAPNTS!

The results from yesterday's Cinco de Mayo Ocean Race are in. Click here to view. Congratulations to all KONA Aquatics swimmers for participating and doing a great job (especially our little ones). See you all again next year.

Click here to jump to the results page - Mahalo JTL Timing Systems for the quick turn around. 


By Rick Winters - West Hawaii Today

WAIKOLOA — The Big Island Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming kicked off on Saturday with the first leg of the summer series, the Cinco de Mayo Splash, held at Anaehoomalu Bay.

Hawaii Prep junior Aapo Eerola placed first overall with a time of 23 minutes and 24 seconds. His time was surprisingly, nearly three minutes off the first place time from last year. This was due to the fact that the 2017 course accidentally measured out to 1.2 miles instead of the usual 1-mile distance.

Eerola edged out Bodhi Whitmore (23:27) and Weylin Foo (23:31) in a close battle to the finish for the top three swimmers. Foo won the Cinco de Mayo Splash in 2016, which eventually led to a triple crown win as well in the male division.

In the race for top female, Maile Lawson veered off course after the turn for the second year in a row and this time it cost her as Karlyn Pipes beat Lawson to the finish line with an overall fifth place time of 23:45. Lawson finished just three seconds behind in sixth place overall.

Ku’uleionalani Patterson, last year’s triple crown winner in the female division, wrapped up the top three performances in the division with a time of 23:58, good enough for ninth place overall.

For Eerola, the Cinco de Mayo Splash was the high school distance swimmer’s first race in the open ocean, but the win did not surprise the young man from Finland.

“I knew I had a chance,” Eerola said. “It was a pretty good race, the water was clean, and there were no waves. The biggest challenge was dealing with the current pushing me sideways, but I just kept my head down, my eyes closed and went as fast as I could.”

In the women’s race, Lawson looked to repeat as champion but was having difficulties swimming with the lead pack. She then made a decision, which led to what she called “The Veer, Part 2.”

“I was swimming behind a group of people coming back and they were kind of criss-crossing and I got tired of it, so I went to the right of it,” Lawson said. “I was doing pretty well on the outside by spotting a large palm tree on the beach, but over the last 500 yards I put my head down and sprinted. I did not spot and the next thing I knew I was too far right and everyone on the beach was waving me to go left.”

Lawson, who is rarely in a bad mood after a race, was all smiles after finishing second in the female division.

“It was a fun race and I enjoyed it,” Lawson said. “I was able to race with teammates who had not competed in an open water race before and they did well, and it was good to see that. The conditions were also really nice.”

For Pipes, experience and strategy led the masters swimmer to victory, capping off a whirlwind of activity over the past two months. This was Pipes first overall female victory since 2011.

“I played the race smart and got in a fast group at the beginning, staying in the back of the pack and hanging on for dear life,” said Pipes, who knew she had a chance to win after the turn. “I saw that Maile had veered right coming back and we were even at that point. I realized I had a straight path and knew the course error would cost her.”

Pipes was back on the Big Island after a seven week adventure that spanned three countries and 14 U.S. states. The trip started with Pipes celebrating her 55th birthday by getting married on the Caribbean Island of Nevis.

Pipes then helped Special Olympic swimmers compete in the first Special Olympic relay channel crossing. The event took place between Nevis and Saint Kitts in the shallow two-mile channel named the Narrows.

Pipes wrapped up her trip with several swim meets in the pool, which culminated in the U.S. Masters Spring National Championship in Riverside, California. In her three swim meets on the mainland, Pipes set 13 new USMS National records, several of which she already owned.

“It was a long trip, but the thing that grounds me after meeting so many wonderful people and coming back to Kona, is getting back into the ocean,” Pipes said. “There are no walls, no lane lines, and plenty of interference. It is a scramble out there. You just have to keep swimming and pretty soon you are at the end.”

A total of 232 swimmers finished this year’s Cinco de Mayo Splash.

The next leg of the Triple Crown of Ocean Water Swimming will take place on June 17 with the Hapuna Roughwater Swim. The King’s Swim will wrap up the series on July 4.

The male and female who competes in all three races and has the fastest cumulative time, will be named triple crown winners. Last year. Patterson finished with a total time of 1:08:15. Foo was the fastest male at 1:08:21.

Lawson, who won both the Cinco de Mayo Splash and King’s Swim last year, will have a chance at the triple crown this year after missing the Hapuna Roughwater Swim in 2016 while racing for the U.S. in Fiji.

“Hopefully I will have a shot at the triple crown this year but we will see what happens,” said the modest Lawson. “I feel like I will do better next month at Hapuna, but anyone who swims their best deserves to win.”

Comment

Comment

3.6 Scholar Athlete Dinner

SWIMMERS REWARDED AT FIRST 3.6 SCHOLAR ATHLETE DINNER

Our 2017 3.6 Scholar-Athlete Dinner Attendees had a blast!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF OUR 2017 THREE.POINT.SIX DINNER ATTENDEES!

Congratulations Catilyn, Shaye'Lynn, Archer, Kinsey, Avery, Jacey, Jaxxen, Jeremiah, Sophia, Blair, Cameron, Ethan, Nate, Wesley, Mark, Nolan, Jada, Keaulana, So Myong, Emma, Rebecca, Haiden, Kiana, Luka, Kailey, Kawena, Aiden, Gared, and Finn! 

Lets all meet up with even MORE of our team mates for the next 3.6 Scholar Athlete Dinner! Cheers!

A HUGE Mahalo to the owners and staff at La Bourgogne for hosting our athletes!

Comment