Richmond, Jefferies Win Gold Medals at State Swimming Championships
By Rodney S. Yap
There was mixed reaction Saturday from the Maui Interscholastic League’s two gold-medal swimmers following their victories at the finals of the Hawaii High School State Swimming & Diving Championships.
“I pushed myself and I really didn’t care what place I came in, but I’m happy with my race,” said Maui Preparatory Academy freshman Danielle Jefferies, after receiving her gold medal for winning the girls 100 yard Butterfly at the Kihei Aquatic Center. “It felt really good, I took it out fast and it was my best time so I’m happy.”
Jefferies defeated another MIL freshman, Seabury Hall’s Sarah Armstrong, with her personal best time of 57.81 seconds. Armstrong touched the wall in 59.32.
“She’s had an amazing year,” said Maui Prep swim coach Michael Ritter. “She’s the first athlete in any sport at Maui Preparatory Academy to win a state medal.”
Seabury Hall junior Renny Richmond broke his own record in the boys 100 Butterfly, lowering the mark of 48.04 he set last year to 47.57.
Despite defending his two state titles, Richmond was admittedly “a little bummed.”
“I was really hoping to get the national record . . . but I had some mistakes,” said Richmond, who also won the 50 free for the second straight year in 20.52 . “On my first turn I was really long and that was probably half a second right there and then my last lap, I was just off I guess. I know I have next year, but I was really hoping for it this year.”
In addition, Richmond swam the first leg on the Spartans’ 4 x 400 Free Relay that finished second to boys team champion Kamehameha Schools Kapalama. The Warriors won in 3 minutes, 12.15 seconds, compared to Seabury’s 3:14.54. Third place Punahou was three seconds behind the Spartans. Joining Richmond on the silver-medal quartet were senior Alex Armstrong, Zack Kreage and Ryan Koss.
Kamehameha Kapalama won it’s second state title in the boys division with 52.5 points. Punahou was second with 33 points, Mililani had 26, Seabury Hall was fourth with 24, followed by Iolani’s17. The Warriors’ last state title came in 2006 on the Big Island.
Punahou won its sixth girls championship in the last seven years and its 14th under head coach Jeff Meister since 1989.
Sophomore double-winner Jasmine Mau helped the Buffanblu girls rack up 47 points, four points better than runner-up Mid-Pacific’s 43. The difference was Punahou’s victory in the meet’s final event — the 400 Free Relay — as both teams were tied at 35. Mau, who defended her titles in the 500 Free (5:02.48) and 200 IM (2:04.38), anchored Punahou’s win in 3:34.5. She was joined by seniors Sara Kahanamoku-Snelling, Courtney Miller and Zoe Namba. The Owls placed second in 3:35.96. Mau defended her titles in the 500 Free (5:02.48) and 200 IM (2:04.38).
“We knew it was going to be tight,” said Mid-Pacific head coach Drew Saranillo of his five-member team. “The girls truly worked hard. They just did an outstanding job. All of our girls worked hard the entire season.”
Sophomore Summer Harrison had the Owls’ only individual victory in the 100 Free (51.39). Three freshmen — Rebecca Walton, Lena Hayakawa and
Gayla McQuaid — teamed up with Harrison to win the meet’s first event, the 200 Medley Relay (1:50.22).
Saranillo, a 1995 Maui High graduate, was thrown into the pool after the final team scores were read. “I’m proud of the girls, they are young and have a lot of potential,” the third-year coach added.
“It was a fantastic meet and everyone swam well,” said Meister. “Mid-Pacific was great, their girls swam great. I am proud of our girls, they swam hard and they had fun and that’s what makes it so much fun. The girls came in really focused on doing what we needed to do. We don’t swim to win, we swim to do out best and that’s what they did.”
Like Richmond, Punahou’s Spencer Madanay broke his own mark in the boys 1-meter diving event with a score of 581.10. The winning mark was almost 100 points better than the state record of 486.10 Madanay set as a junior.
“I’m super stoked about it,” said Madanay of the record number he posted to earn his fourth consecutive gold medal. “My ninth dive was my 3.0 dive and I rode the board well and nailed it. It was probably my best dive ever. But I had to stay focus because I still had two more dives left.”
The Warriors maximized their 10-member team to collect gold medals in the 200 Medley, 200 and 400 Freestyle Relays.
“Winning all three relays were definitely huge,” said Kamehameha Kapalama head coach Kevin Flanagan. “We knew what we were capable of before the meet and I think the guys achieved that and maybe a little bit beyond what they thought was possible. The swam great and I’m happy for them.”
Sophomore Ryan Stack earned the Warriors only individual title, using a final burst in the end of the 100 Free to edge Kalani’s Taiga Hashimoto, 46.65 to 46.96.
“I saw him (Hashimoto) coming up and on that last turn, that last 25, I just gave everything I had left,” said Stack afterwards. “It hurt, but I got it done. I’m stoked. I’m so happy to just be here and swim. It’s been fun.”
Other MIL medalist were:
* Baldwin’s senior Nicholas Wright finished third in the Boys 100 Fly (52.60). Wright also anchored the Bears’ third-place finish in the Boys 4 x 200 Free Relay. Sophomore Jonah Hu, junior Carter Suzuki and Senior Ponia Matsumoto teamed up with Wright.
* Seabury Hall’s Sabrina Altman was second in the 100 Back (58.53).
* Lahainaluna’s Joshua Gaastra placed third in the 200 Free (1:42.79), third in 100 Back (53.14).
* Baldwin’s Sheila Altura, second in the 50 Free (25.15) and fifth in the 500 Free (5:14.37).
* Baldwin’s Maya Sinclair, third in the 100 Free (54.36).
* Baldwin girls, fifth in the 200 Free Relay (1:44.02). Maya Sinclair, Alyssa Waki, Ashlyne Hao, and Sheila Altura.
* Seabury boys, fourth in the 200 Free Relay (1:30.22). Richmond, Kresge, Tristan Loesberg, and Koss.
* Baldwin’s Hu, fifth in 100 Breast (1:00.46).
* Baldwin’s Danae Olaso, third 1-meter diving (356.45).