Coming off ILH varsity championships, at which junior standout Austin Hirstein (`13) picked up two individual titles, the IPA swim team will compete this weekend at the OC 16 Swimming and Diving State Championships, February 10-11, at the Kihei Aquatic Center on Maui. With 12 Navigator swimmers competing, it is IPA's largest contingent ever at the state championships.
IPA Navigator swimmers in Maui on February 9 at the workout before the Prelims.
Liz Becherer (`13), Annamarie Licina (`13), and Mary Helen Gustafson (`14) will be making their second consecutive appearances at the championships while sophomores Jenny Fox (`14)and Jessica Merriman (`14) are making their first. Joining Hirstein as he makes his third straight appearance are seniors Christian Burgos (`12), Ketan Patel (`12) (second appearances) and Russel Manalo (`12) (first appearance) and juniors Jay Hart (`13) (second appearance), Jack Uesugi (`13) and Eric Kawatachi (`13) (first appearances).
At the championships, Hirstein will look to improve on last year's performance when he took home second-place finishes in the 200 yard individual medley and the 100 yard backstroke. Hirstein is seeded number one in 100 yard backstroke with a time of 52.07, over one second ahead of the second seed. In the 200 yard individual medley, he is seeded fifth with a time of 2:01.63. Also competing in individual events are Becherer (#16 seed) and Hart (#21 seed) in the 100 yard butterfly and Gustafson (#18 seed) in the 100 yard backstroke.
IPA is well represented in the relay events as the boys' team is in three races and the girls' team is in one. Hart, Hirstein, Burgos, and Patel are automatic qualifiers in the 200 yard medley relay in which they are seeded 11th, and Becherer, Fox, Gustafson, and Licina are seeded 19th in the 400 yard freestyle relay. With teams in the boys' 200 and 400 yard freestyle relays as well, the Navigators are in position to compete in a relay final for the first time in school history.
At the ILH finals on January 28-29, the IPA girls team placed fifth and the boys team placed sixth. The girls 200 yard medley and 400 freestyle relay teams both picked up fifth-place finishes, with the 400 yard freestyle team racing to a state consideration time of 4:14.43. Gustafson was the top female finisher for the Navigators as she placed fifth in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 1:06.12. Becherer had the team's other top ten individual finish as she swam 1:05.06 to place ninth in the 100 yard butterfly.