Lahaina Swim Club places seventh at state meet
LAHAINA – Although competitive swimming is usually viewed as an individual sport, team accomplishments are also high on the list for club organizations such as Lahaina Swim Club.
Thus, the traditional top ten placings of the West Side program at the Hawaii Age Group Short Course Swimming Championships are a constant goal every year.
Last week at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Duke Kahanamoku Pool, the LSC team, led by coaches Tom Popdan, Jen Wiseman and Erika Gaastra, swam to a seventh place finish in the final HSCSC event of the year.
“We really had a quality effort this year that showcased our depth from top to bottom. It is cohesive team from older to younger and vice versa, and the older ones are excellent role models,” said Coach Tom from poolside at the Lahaina Aquatic Center last week.
Those LSC teenagers ignited their team effort against the elite youth swimmers at the state meet in Honolulu. Once again it was Lexi Anderson, Paloma Banto, Jaden Yip, Maison Alexander, Mathew Iverson and Yuna Lee setting the tone for the West Maui team.
“These kids all helped accelerate the performance level of everyone to where they all swam their best times at this competition,” Popdan added.
The shining stars of the younger group included Noah Richard, Halia Caiserman, Noah Caiserman, Emily Gorokhovsky, TJ Hehemann, Tristan Richard, Levi Stoddart, Cruz Storer, Abby Rogers, Juliet De Robles Saxvold, Jake McGill and Kaina Yamada.
“These younger ones are learning how to train at a higher level (from the example set by the older group), and the result is a high finish at states,” added Coach Tom.
He also stated that, along with the entire team swimming their best times of the year, the team finished in seventh place overall.
“This is a big accomplishment for Lahaina Swim Club and our best finish in several years. The relay teams, all 13 of them, did really well, and we had finalists in several events,” he said.
“The future looks really good with all of the depth that we showed, especially in the younger groups. In a way, the little kids led the team with their positive energy, enthusiasm and high performance,” concluded the pleased veteran coach.