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Lahaina swimmers compete at Hawaii Age Group Short Course Championships

By Staff | Jan 12, 2017

Pictured at a Lahaina Swim Club practice are, from left: front — Slater Fleck, LT Stancil, Lexi Anderson and Hailey Bogar; back row — Coach Tom Popdan, Jared Gaastra, and JD and Susan DeLoria.

LAHAINA – The Lahaina Swim Club once again was the top Maui team finisher by piling up 226 points, placing the West Siders in eighth place at the 2016 Hawaii Age Group Short Course Championships on Dec. 16-19.

The meet, held at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center at Central Oahu Regional Park, drew 27 teams from across the state in the event that culminated the age group swimming competitions for 2016.

Coached by 20-year veteran Tom Popdan and assistants Jen Wiseman and Erica Gaastra, LSC sent 19 competitors to the event in Central Oahu.

The Lahaina contingent was bolstered by the support of the Sophie DeLoria Foundation, which honors the memory of their youthful teammate who passed away five years ago.

Top point performances for LSC were turned in by Slater Fleck in the Boys 13-14 Division, Jared Gaastra (Boys 17-18), Mathew Iverson (Boys 11-12), Lexi Anderson (Girls 13-14), Paloma Banto (Girls 13-14) and Yuna Lee (Girls 11-12).

Also turning in top personal best times and earning valuable points for the West Side club were Maison Alexander, Hailey Bogar, Noah Caiserman, Maxx Cherry, Donna Hernandez Herrera, Coleman Kingwell, Noah Richard, Leland Stancil and Jaden Yip.

Contributing to relay efforts for LSC were Tepua Ho, Makenzie Alexander and Angelina Rakestraw.

“Our goal is to swim best times by 80 percent of the team and to finish in the top ten in the team standings,” explained Coach Tom last week from poolside at the Lahaina Aquatic Center.

“We have to perform at our best to reach those goals because the state meets are always a numbers game with the big clubs to compete against. We had a fantastic meet and swam really well with all of the swimmers posting personal best times. The team is very young, very enthusiastic, happy and close-knit. They are all experiencing improvement and building momentum for success in the future.”