Ilia Reyes, Record Breaker!

Local boy out-swims competition in championship event.

Ilia Reyes, son of Fred and Louann Reyes of Ranch Camp, competed in the
2008 Long Course Age Group Swimming Championships held at the Veterans'
Memorial Aquatics Center from June 12-15.  Reyes, swimming for the Kamehameha Swim Club, was on three record-breaking relay teams and earned two individual gold medals during the course of the four-day meet.

On day 1, Reyes swam on the 400 M Freestyle Relay team.  Well-known for his quick starts, Reyes led off the relay and was followed by Brett Gomes, Mitchell Chong, and Kekoa Taparra.  The quartet finished within two seconds of breaking the state record.

The second day of competition for Reyes involved the trials of the 50 M Free and the 200 M Free events.  Reyes earned the top seed for the 50 Meter event and the fifth seed for the 200 Meter event in the morning prelims.  Although he placed fifth in the finals of the 200 M Free, Reyes and Gomes waged a tremendous battle in the 50 M Free and both swimmers were rewarded with a tie for the gold medal.

The day concluded with the 400 M Medley relay.  The Hawaiian record of 4:08.00 went crashing down after Chong, Kila Pickering, Gomes, and Reyes were done with their swims.  With Reyes swimming the anchor leg (freestyle) and splitting a :54.29, the foursome clocked an outstanding 4:05.29 to close the day's swims.

On Saturday, Reyes had only one individual event but it was his specialty, the 100 M Free.  Entering with a seed time of :55.74, Reyes swam a :54.45 in the prelims and earned the top seed for the finals.  In the finals, Reyes blazed to a :53.71 and another gold medal.

As they did the night before, the team of Chong, Pickering, Gomes, and Reyes closed the day's events by bringing down the 200 M Medley Relay Hawaiian record of 1:52.82, lowering the mark to 1:51.70, and adding another gold medal around their necks in the process.

Sunday's events brought the anticipation of the meet concluding with another record.  The final event was the 200 M Free Relay.  Again, Reyes led off and was followed by Pickering, Chong, and Gomes.  The record of 1:39.30 didn't stand up to the performance of the four swimmers as they established a new mark of 1:38.62.

For the meet, the Kamehameha Swim Club totaled 1,952 points and more than doubled the second place team.

Former age group coach Lloyd Yonemura teamed with Dain Kane behind the mics to call the action throughout the entire meet.  Both officials marveled at the performance of Yonemura's former swimmer.  "He's done very well since he left our pool and has faster swimming ahead of him.  Now that he's on the UH-Manoa swim team, he's training harder and longer.  You can see it in his performances and you can feel his confidence rising.  I'm so proud of his accomplishments over the years!"

Congratulations to Ilia and his teammates of the Kamehameha Swim Club!


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