Senior swimmers strive at MIL finals

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Photo by Maya Nitta

Ulu Shiraishi, mother of senior Riley Shiraishi, takes photos of her daugher and her fellow seniors at the MIL Swim Finals, Feb. 2, 2013, at the Kīhei Aquatic Center.

By Maya Nitta, Features Editor

Seniors Elizabeth Guth, Sarina Kong and Riley Shiraishi finished the Maui Interscholastic League swim season with excitement and accomplishment at the Kīhei Aquatic Center on February 2, 2013.

The MIL championships started on Friday night with a preliminary meet, was the last league meet for the season. Many Kamehameha Maui swimmers qualified qualified for today’s finals, including the three seniors on the team.

Guth qualified for the 100 meter freestyle event. She placed eigth.

Kong qualified for the 50 meter freestyle and 100 meter breaststroke, placing second in both events.

“Throughout the season I had my ups and downs. I had my good meets and my bad meets, ” she said.”I did the best that I could. I gave it my all. The results and times could have been more in my favor, but I left it all in the pool. For that, I am proud of myself.”

Shiraishi qualified for the 50 meter freestyle and the 400 meter freestyle relay. Freshmen Lia Ikeda and Erin Lim and sophomore Mia Czerwinski were also on the 400 meter freestyle relay team.  In the 50 free, Riley Shiraishi placed fourth overall, and in the 400 free relay, she and her team placed fourth as well.

In the 50 free event, Shiraishi beat her previous record with a time of 26.91, meeting the goal that she had set at the beginning of the season.

“I didn’t think that I was going to make it, but with positive attitude and hard work at practice, I made it,” she said.

Both Kong and Shiraishi qualified for the 100 meter medley and 200 meter freestyle relays. Both teams placed second in the final race. Also in the medley relay was Czerwinski and Junior Kela Killam, and Czerwinski and freshman Erin Lim also accompanied the two seniors in the 200 meter freestyle relay.

During the mid-meet break, seniors of all the high schools in Maui were honored with speeches from their coaches and showered with lei, floaties, crowns and balloons.

“It’s going to be difficult without them next season, but it has been a pleasure having them on the team,” Coach Leighton Hao said. “Thanks for the experience of letting me coach them, and it’s been a great time. Hope they have a wonderful experience in college.”

Swimmers with qualifying times will be leaving for the 2013 Hawaiʻi High School Athletic Association state championships, being held  on Oʻahu, February 15-16.

For full results of today’s meet, visit www.swimphone.com. Click here to be taken directly to meet results.