Young Guns Ruled the Day at the 22nd King’s Swim
By J.R. De Groote - West Hawaii Today
KAILUA-KONA — The young guns ruled the day at the 22nd annual King’s Swim at Kailua Bay on Monday.
Maile Lawson set the pace in the 1.2-mile swim, roaring to the finish line at Kamakahonu Beach in 24 minutes and 24 seconds. She was followed closely by Ku’uleionalani Patterson at 24:37 and Hilo’s Bodhi Whitmore (24:39), the top overall male finisher.
Weylin Foo (24:45) finished second among male swimmers and Silas Wiley (25:59) rounded out the podium. Tori Oshiro was the third overall female swimmer.
Both the male and female podiums were made up of participants 18 years or younger, and a whopping seven out of the top 10 spots were taken up by swimmers in the 11-14 age division.
While both Foo and Patterson had to settle for second in their respective divisions, they did manage to put a bow on their Triple Crown campaigns.
Presented by Bike Works, the Triple Crown of open water swimming awards the swimmers with the lowest cumulative time in the three qualifying races — the Cinco de Mayo Splash, Hapuna Rough Water Swim and King’s Swim.
Foo had a cumulative time of 1:08:21, and finished as the top overall male swimmer in the Cinco Splash and Hapuna Rough Water. Patterson was the top overall finisher at the Hapuna Rough Water, and concluded the trio of races with a time of 1:08:15. In all, there were 58 swimmers who completed all three of the races on the Triple Crown circuit.
Nearly 250 participants crowded the start area on a nearly cloudless morning at Kailua Bay for the 22nd edition of the King’s Swim, which featured nearly perfect conditions in the water. After race director Steve Borowski counted down the 3-2-1 start, the mass of swimmers kicked off the day. Some strayed right, taking a scenic route to the turnaround point, while others took a direct line to the buoy.
As they entered back into the bay, Lawson held a comfortable lead and just needed an easy jog up the beach to secure the win.
Lawson, an incoming Hawaii Prep sophomore, also won the Cinco de Mayo Splash — the first leg of the triple crown — but missed the Hapuna Rough Water Swim in June because she was away representing Hawaii at the 11th Oceania Swimming Championships in Suva, Fiji.
The eight-person Hawaii squad finished with six total medals, going head to head with a handful of swimmers who will be in Rio for the Olympics. While Lawson didn’t take home any hardware from Fiji, she did set a Hawaii age group record in the 200 breast stroke (2:39.38) to go with a boatload of experience.