LAWSON BREAKS RECORDS AT LONG COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS
By Rick Winters - West Hawaii Today
Kona Aquatics had a strong showing at the 2016 Hawaii Age Group Long Course Championships, placing fifth out of about 30 teams, while competing at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center on Oahu.
Kamehameha and Hawaii Swim Club had the numbers to take first and second respectively. Kamehameha cruised to first with 2,270.50 points and Hawaii (1,072) followed in second.
Aulea Swim Club (774) and Punahou Aquatics (559.50) wrapped up the top four. Kona Aquatics finished with 385.50.
Wrapping up the top 10 in the team competition were Splash Aquatics-Makiki (370), Lahaina Swim Club (238), Ilani Swim Club (181), Maui Swim Club (154) and Aloha Aquatics Association (141).
As expected, 13-14 year-old age group phenom, Maile Lawson, won the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke events, breaking the age group state record in each.
Lawson dominated the 200 by nearly 15 seconds, finishing with a time of 2 minutes and 35.50 seconds. The 100 was not much closer. Covering only half the distance of the 200, Lawson still won by five seconds. She finished with a time of 1:12.54.
“We changed a few things in her technique and the results were all positive,” head coach Steve Borowski said. “Her 200 was phenomenal and her 100 was exceptionally surprising. It was just amazing.”
Showing her versatility, Lawson also managed to pull off the victory in the 13-14, 200 IM with a time of 2:28.41. It was her closest victory of the meet, with Kamehameha’s Jamy Lum placing second at 2:31.02. Lum entered the finals with the faster heat team at 2:31.33 to 2:32.05.
Silas Wiley also came away from the meet with a victory for Kona Aquatics. In a race decided by a fraction of a second, Wiley touched the wall first in the 13-14 year-old, boys 100 backstroke with a time of 1:05.54. Devi Alejado, of Hawaii Swim Club, finished second at 1:05.60.
“He is better in the 200 because he is more of a distance guy, but he was able to get out a little faster and he just kept going,” Borowski said.
The Kona Dolphins and Academy Swim Club also represented the Big Island in the Long Course Championships.
Kona Dolphins’ Clayton Oblero-Laboy earned a first place finish in the boys 10-and-under, 50 butterfly with a time of 35:64. He touched the wall just before Hawaii Swim Club’s Connor Seminavage (35:66).
Lileikis family dominates
Can anyone stop ’aukai and Nohea Lileikis. So far it doesn’t appear so. Both swimmers came away with four individual titles from the Long Course Championships.
’Aukai Lileikis was the only swimmer from the state who competed in the Olympic Trials for the Rio Games. Over the last week he showed why he is the top freestyle swimmer in Hawaii by winning the boys 17-19 year-old, 50, 100 and 200. He finished in times of 23.55, 50.41 and 1:51.60 respectively. He also placed first in the 200 IM (2:08.30).
Younger sister Nohea Lileikis showed a versatility unmatched during the Long Course Championships by winning short and long races in the girls 15-16 year-old division.
Like her big brother, Nohea Lileikis was strongest in the freestyle events. She won the 200, 800 and 1500 in times of 2:06.38, 9:12.60 and 17:43.46 respectively. She also placed first in the 200 backstroke (2:24.60)
The Lileikis siblings compete for Aulea Swim Club.
Though he does not coach them, Borowski does have a history with the Lileikis clan.
“A long time ago I coached their mother, who was a good swimmer and competed in college,” Borowski said. “Just getting back from the Olympic Trials I did not know how motivated ’aukai would be, but his time in the 100 free was only two-tenths off his time at the Trials.”
“Nohea was roommates with Maile in Fiji,” Borowski added. She had a great meet. Both are really good kids.”