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Lahaina Swim Club swimmers set records at state meet

By Staff | Jan 11, 2018

Coach Tom Popdan congratulates the ten and under team at the swim meet in Kona.

LAHAINA – Lahaina Swim Club is known on Maui and across the state as the little club that can. So it came as no surprise that the West Side organization piled up points in nearly every category at the 2017 Hawaii Age Group Short Course State Championships held Dec. 15-17 at the Kona Aquatic Center on the Big Island to place sixth in the final team standings.

Battling the behemoths such as Hawaii Swim Club, Punahou Aquatics, and Iolani Swim Club, LSC once again showed its mettle in the final age group event of the year. Led by veteran coaches Tom Popdan, Jennifer Wiseman, Erica Gaastra and Kirsten Byers, the Lahaina organization sent 20 competitors – primarily in the younger age groups – to the state championship meet.

The Lahaina contingent broke 21 club records and continued the training tradition set by Coach Tom of constant improvement throughout the season.

Ten and under competitor Amaya Tuala led the assault on the record book, setting the standard in the 50-meter backstroke event, followed up by Yuna Lee in the age 11-12 200 breast stroke, and Paloma Banto in the age 13-14 100 breast stroke race.

Lexi Anderson kept up the record-churning day for LSC with top performances in the 15-16 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly races; LT Stancil added his mark in the 11-12 50 backstroke; Slater Fleck blazed to top times in the 13-14 100 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 400 IM; and Jaden Yip added new standards in the 13-14 200 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke events.

In the relays, the foursome of Lexi Anderson, Hailey Bogar, Olivia Bozich and Irie Gonah broke club records in the Girls 13-14 400 freestyle, 800 freestyle and 200 medley races.

On the boys’ side, Nolan Brown, Slater Fleck, Mathew Iverson and Jaden Yip combined to erase standards in the 13-14 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle, 800 freestyle, 200 medley and 400 medley races.

The LSC coaching staff commended the ten and under group for their strong effort in the meet. That roster included Kai Jeffries, Dylan Riley, Zolten Paulsen, Noah Richards, Noah Caiserman, Amaya Tuala and Ezra Offergeld.

“This is a very close-knit group that put up a great effort throughout the season,” commented Coach Popdan last week. “Tremendous amount of personal bests that led the team to the sixth place finish.”

Wiseman added, “A big mahalo to our board of directors led by Paula Pope, Gina Iverson, JD Sheveland, Kari Alexander and David Wintermeyer for all the organizational tasks and support of the club, especially with the trip to Kona. Thanks also to all the parents and to the Lahaina Aquatic Center staff for keeping the facility in top shape all year long. It’s a beautiful facility – clean water, perfect temperature, good vibes and the rainbow-laden West Maui Mountains for our background.”