By Rick Winters - West Hawaii Today
For the first three days of the Hawaiian Short Course Age Group Championships, the Big Island swimming clubs watched as several records fell to swimmers from other Islands. However, the final day of competition saw one of the island’s own grab a record that has stood for 30 years.
Competing in her best event, Kona Aquatics’ Maile Lawson shattered the previous age group record in the girls 13-14 year old, 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2 minutes and 17.06 seconds on Monday at the Kona Community Aquatics Center.
“When I touched and I saw my time, and when I heard everyone cheering, I was filled with joy,” Lawson said. “It was definitely a huge jump in time and an accomplishment for me.”
The previous time of 2:20.98 was set in 1985 by Aulea Swim Club’s Nadine Takai, who went on to set several Masters swimming records and was inducted into the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame in 2012.
Lawson’s coach, Steve Borowski, was on hand 30 years ago to watch Takai set the record.
“Working with Maile for just a short time, she is just a pleasure to coach. She has a high energy and is a lot of fun,” Borowski said. “She has been really coachable.”
Kamehameha Swim Club’s Grace Monahan had two state championship performances on Monday. She won the girls 11-12 year old, 200-yard IM in a time of 2:09.65, and then took the record for the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 58.32.
Aulea Swim Club’s ‘aukai Lileikis broke his fourth Hawaiian age group record as well, finishing the boys 17-18 year old, 50-yard freestyle in a time of 19.95.
In the overall team standings _ which is more of a numbers game than anything — Kamehameha took the title with 2,229.50 points, more than double the next closest team Hawaii Swim Club (896).
Kona Aquatics finished as the top Big Island squad in sixth with 435 points. Hilo Aquatics (271) snuck into the top 10 with a ninth place finish and Academy Swim Club (248) finished 11th.