Boys swimming heading to states


Photo by Aaron Veincent

Sophomore Kobe Lilio takes his mark for the 200 freestyle event. Boys placed third overall in the MIL swim championships, and brought home five second place and one third-place medals.

KĪHEI – Kamehameha Schools Maui’s boys swim team placed third in the Maui Interscholastic League swim championships Saturday and will have athletes competing in both individual and relay events at the K. Mark Takai Swimming and Diving Championships.

“We’ve been tapering for the past week storing energy,” head coach Allyn Kalaiwaʻa said, “so this weekend I hope to see the team give it their all and reach their goals they set at the beginning of the season.”

The preliminary qualifiers for Saturday were held Friday, when both boys and girls teams fought to get into one of the eight positions that qualified them for the MIL finals.

Several boys qualified for individual events, like seniors John Williamson (100 free), myself (100, 50 free), sophomores Justice-Lee Vanatta-Kapoi (100 back), Kobe Lilio (200, 500 free), and freshman Kaʻeo Kaupalolo (200 individual medley, 100 free).

Meanwhile, girls had one individual finalist who was senior Riann Fujihara, qualifying for the 100 free and as the first alternate for the 50 free.

Teams also competed in all three relays (200 medley, 200, 400 free) held only on Saturday.

Finals day began with Lilio receiving the first medal for the team, placing second in the 200 free (1:52.76).

The 200 is only one of Lilio’s several state qualifying events. Individually, he also qualified in the 500 free (5:06.72) in which he also qualified and medaled second later on in the day.

Sophomore Lilio sprints the final 25 of his 500 freestyle race.
Photo by Aaron Veincent
Sophomore Lilio sprints the final 25 of his 500 freestyle race.

Soon after Lilio’s placement, Kaupalolo also qualified and medaled in second for his 200 IM (2:14.20), and third for the 100 free (52.42), bringing the team’s fourth and final individual medal.

After a 20-minute break at halftime, the boys remained strong while swimming in the relays.

As with Lilio and Kaupalolo in the individual events, the boys’ relays had already qualified for state times with swimmers, Kaupalolo, Lilio, Williamson, and myself.

Our main focus for the event was to go for gold after being seeded second behind Baldwin’s A-team.

Going into the swim, Lilio kept the boys focused, inspiring each of them to reach 23- and 52-second swims.

Although it wasn’t gold, we still came home with medals getting second after Baldwin in both events: 200 (1:35.40), 400 (3:32.45).

Seniors Deven Aruda, Riann Fujihara, John Williamson, and myself celebrate our senior day.Photo by Aaron Veincent

None of the girls qualified for the state tournament, but the meet ended on a positive note with the team celebrating their four seniors: myself, Deven Aruda, Riann Fujihara, and John Williamson.

“It’s bittersweet that today was [the girls’] last swim meet, but our boys are strong swimmers,” Aruda said. “I’m excited for them to go to States, especially our underclassman swimmers who are very talented.”

The boys swim team will be sending Kaupalolo, Lilio, Williamson, and myself to the Hawaiʻi High school Athletic Association swim championships along with alternates sophomore Jonah Miller and freshman Keʻawe Mann.

We won’t need to go far since the HHSAA swim championship prelims will be held Feb. 9 on island at the Kīhei Aquatic Center with the finals on Saturday the 10th.

For an overall view of the MIL season here are the individual results for both boys and girls:

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