Head COACH - STEVE borowski
Steve holds honors in swimming and water polo and holds various leadership positions in the community — most prominently as a coach.
Steve has been involved with water sports for more than 60 years. He started swimming competitively at age 4. By age 14, he was a national record holder in the 100-meter butterfly. In high school and college he was an All-American in swimming and water polo. At Indiana University he was part of the 1st and 2nd ever NCAA Swimming Championship teams.
At 50, Steve was the fastest in the world in his age division, setting several world, national and state records in the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly.
At 55, Steve was again the fastest in the world, setting world, national and state records in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle and the 50-meter and 100-meter butterfly events. At the 2002 National Masters Swimming Championship at the University of Hawaii pool, Borowski competed and coached the Hawaii team of more than 90 masters swimmers to an overall victory.
Steve’s coaching career started at Indiana University as an assistant coach with the legendary Dr. James Counsilman. Since then, Steve has coached, Olympic world record holders, winners of the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, masters swimming champions and more than 50 High School All-Americans.
Steve has coached teams in Hawaii and abroad: Punahou High School, the University of Hawaii Men’s swim team, the United States National Swim Team, the Kealakehe High School Swim Team, Kona Masters Swimming among others. Borowski also founded swim teams in Hawaii: in 1993, the Kona Aquatics — the first age-group team in Kona — Kona Masters Swimming.
Steve led Punahou boys and girls to 13 consecutive State Championships and the Kealakehe High School Swim team to the school’s only state championship.
Swimmers worldwide come to “Coach Steve” for lessons. One of his real strengths is his ability to improve the technique of every athlete that comes to him. He does this out of the pure joy of sharing his knowledge and passion for the water.
As well as founding teams, Steve has established and organized competitions. His positions have included organizer of the 1980 International Swimming Championship Meet for more than 20 countries boycotting the Moscow Summer Olympics, race director for Ironman Championships, and founder and race director of the Kings’ Swim.
- Masters World and American record holder in the 50 and 100 butterfly and the 50 and 100 freestyle.
- Coached Punahou School's boys and girls teams to an unprecedented 13 straight State High School Championships.
- Coached the University of Hawaii Men's swimming team.
- Assistant coach at Indiana University with the legendary Doc Counsilman
- Coached NCAA champions and World Record holders Mark Spitz and Gary Hall, Sr.
- Swam on two NCAA championship teams and was a member of Indiana's 400 Medley Relay Team (Butterflier) that broke the American and NCAA record.
- Coached over 50 high school All Americans, including Chris Woo, the youngest member of the 1976 Olympic Team.
- Coached several national masters' champions and world record holders.
- Former Race Director of the Ironman World Championships.
- Former United States National Swimming team coach.
- All American swimmer and water polo player in both high school and College.
- Inducted into the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame, 2005
- Inducted into the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame, 2013
- In 2015, Steve was tapped by FINA to coach a level 2 coaches clinic held in Saipan, NMI
head COACH : age group program - ERIC rhodes
Eric started swimming competitively on Oahu when he was eleven under the guidance of legendary International Swimming Hall of Fame coach Soichi Sakamoto at Hawaii Swim Club. Six years later, during his senior year in high school, Eric moved from Hawaii Swim Club to Puhanou Aquatics where he began training under the direction of Coach Steve - they’ve remained close friends ever since.
Under Steve’s guidance, Eric went on to anchor Punahou’s 400 Medley Relay to a 2nd place finish at the Junior National Short Course Championships and a top 16 finish in the 100 Butterfly at the Junior National Long Course Championships. He became State champion in the 100 Free, 100 Butterfly, and 200 IM; won the outstanding swimmer award at the State Long Course Swimming Championships and later received a full ride athletic scholarship to the University of Hawaii where he swam for four years under Dr. Jan Prins.
After graduating from the University of Hawaii Eric moved to Tokyo Japan. In Tokyo Eric applied his experience in academics and athletics into the development of a software system for the Japanese health and fitness industry. Between 1986 - 2000, this system would go on to successfully train up to 25,000 users a day in the company’s franchised chain of fitness clubs located through out Japan. As part of the empirical testing of this system, Eric developed the strength, speed and conditioning programs for Japanese Olympic gold, silver & bronze medalists in Judo, Freestyle Wrestling, and Swimming competing in the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics Games. In 1994 Eric led a team of software developers in Los Angeles and Palo Alto to create a derivative version of this health and fitness system for the US corporate fitness market. The company which owned this technology was co-counded by Eric and would later go public in an IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Eric has lived and worked in Tokyo and Los Angeles as a software developer; a strategic branding and investor relations executive in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and San Francisco; and as an award winning photographer in Hawaii. Eric returned home to Hawaii in 2012 and moved to the Big Island two years ago. For the past year and a half Eric has been working under Coach Steve’s direction to help grow and support the KONA Aquatics swimming program and is now extremely excited with his promotion as the club’s new Age Group Head Coach.
Eric currently resides in beautiful Holualoa. He is the new head swimming coach at Kealakehe High School, Founder / Creative Director at METERA Branding, and Owner / Principal Photographer at MUSE Agenci, MUSE Bride, Erick Rhodes Photography and Beach Weddings Hawaii. In his spare time, Eric enjoys swimming with the KONA Aquatics masters program, kitesurfing, and getting lost in foreign countries.
ASSISTANT COACH : AGE GROUP PROGRAM - KRISTEN BENNETT
Kristen is our passionate new Age Group Assistant coach. Kristen began swimming at the tender age of 6 in Washington State (her mother was her first swimming coach) and has never stopped since.
Over the course of her extensive swimming career, Kristen has competed at very high levels in Washington State, Regional and USA National competitions. As an age group swimmer, Kristen was a regular 1st place finisher in the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyle distance events at the 2009, 2010 Western Zones and Senior Sectionals. In 2011 Kristen competed in the USA Swimming Open Water Nationals at Fort Lauderdale. In High School, Kristen was a regular Washington State - Eastern District Champion in the 100 Fly, 500 Free, and 200IM. In 2010 Kristen was named Columbia Basin League Swimmer of the Year.
After her high school swimming career, Kristen was awarded a full ride athletic scholarship at the University of Hawaii Manoa where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology in 2016. Kristen is a new resident of Kona who loves the ocean and can be seen out in the lineup after our morning and afternoon practices. We are all very excited to have Kristen on board and as a new member of our KONA Aquatics family.