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


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/.