LIHU‘E — Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics swimmer Brandon Lin, 14, was the sole SKA swimmer to find gold at the Western Zones Championships that wrapped up on Saturday in Boise, Idaho.
Lin and three other SKA swimmers, as well as Coach Curt Colby were selected to represent Team Hawai‘i at the championships that ran from Aug. 2-5. Team Hawai‘i consisted of 23 swimmers and three coaches, Colby said.
Making the trip to Idaho, Brandon was joined by Ryder and Griffin Lin, Kohlton Sanchez of SKA and Colby.
“Most teams had between 40 to 70 swimmers,” Colby said. “The Hawaiian Boys team finished eighth overall out of 14 teams from the western United States.”
Brandon found gold in the 200 meter breaststroke after touching the wall with a swim of 2 minutes, 26.20 seconds, nearly two seconds ahead of second-place finisher Oryan Liu.
“Brandon was also Top 4 in four other events,” Colby said. “Griffin Lin, 8, placed top 5 in four events with his best performance coming on a second place finish in the 10 and under 100 meter breaststroke. This is quite an accomplishment for an 8-year-old swimmer.”
According to the Western Zones score sheet Griffin swam the event at 1:31.79 after being nudged out of the top spot by Samuel Nagy of Arizona by a mere 0.26 second. Griffin was also 0.20 second faster than third place finisher Daniel Corkery.
Colby said Kohlton Sanchez, 14, and Ryder Lin, 11, both posted best times in the 200 individual medley events in their respective age groups, and contributed to Team Hawai‘i by swimming in the relay races.
The SKA coach said this is the sixth time since 2016 that he has been selected to help coach Team Hawai‘i.
“It is always an honor to be involved with this opportunity for these young swimmers to work as a traveling team representing Team Hawai‘i that combines athletes from all the Hawaiian swim teams,” Colby said. “It prepares them to travel on to collegiate, national, and Olympic teams in the future. The athletes travel and live together as a team for the four-day meet, independent from their families. It is a great learning experience.”
“I want to thank Hawaiian Swimming and the Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association for supporting these four Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics swimmers to enable them to compete in this prestigious event,” Colby added.
Source: The Garden Island