“By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn,” was one of the most applicable phrases used to describe legendary swim coach, Dr. James Counsilman.
Counsilman is considered by many to be the most famous swim coach of the 20th Century and one of his students, Steve Borowski, is a coaching legend in his own right here on the Big Island.
Borowski grew up in Chicago and at the age of four began swimming in a 20 yard pool. “I’ve been involved with swimming for most of my life and was coached by the most famous of all swim coaches at Indiana University,” Borowski said.
In high school Borowski excelled in swimming, and was an All American water polo player. He received a full swimming scholarship from Indiana University.
“Doc Counsilman coached on three Olympic teams and wrote several great books on swimming,” Borowski said. “I started coaching while in college on an age group team and then after getting my masters degree, I was Doc’s assistant when we won the 1972 NCAA Championships, when Mark Spitz was a senior there.”
Borowski was on Indiana’s first and second NCAA Championship teams as well as swimming on the winning American record 400 Medley Relay, swimming the butterfly leg.
So during the late ‘60’s and early 70’s it was Kealakehe coach, Steve Borowski, swimming with the best athletes in the world, before making Hawaii his home.
“I came to Oahu in 1972 because a teammate of mine lived here and told me of a small coaching position that had opened up,” Borowski said.
That “small coaching position” turned out to be at Punahou School and Punahou Aquatics. The age group team grew from about 35 swimmers to well over 100 during Borowski’s tenure which saw the team win several age group State Championships.
In his 13 years at Punahou Borowski lead his boys and girls teams to 13 consecutive Hawaii State High School Championships, a national record at the time.
“Punahou’s success came as a result of a lot of stroke technique, consistency, and a strong belief in me and my program,” he said.
During the 1976 high school season Borowski coached Chris Woo who went onto make the US Olympic Team and swam in the Montreal Olympics where he finished eighth in the 100 breaststroke and competed on the Medley relay that broke the World record.
“Chris (Woo) has been the only swimmer from Hawaii to make the Olympics in over 50 years,” Borowski said.
Borowski also coached the University of Hawaii swim team and led the team to an undefeated dual meet season and a second place finish in the National Independent Conference Championships.
“While at UH, from 1978-1980, I worked intimately with the student athletes to ensure a strong academic performance in addition to a strong athletic performance,” he said.
Borowski’s resume is impressive, having been a US National Team Coach from 1978 to 1986 where he participated in numerous international competitions while coaching in France, the Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, Israel and Monaco along with US meets in Boston and Milwaukee.
After the 1986 swim season Borowski left Punahou and moved to Kona. In 1998, when Kona finally got a swimming pool, Borowski started the Kealakehe High School swimming program and has been coaching the Waveriders for 10 years.
“I grew up in the center of a big city and saw my father wanting to visit a small farm in Wisconsin that we owned, as he loved the country,” Borowski said. “After 14 years in Honolulu I felt the city getting to overcrowded and visited Kona often, as I too loved the country feeling.”
Borowski became the director of the Kona YMCA for several years and also was the race director of the Ironman World Triathlon.
The ‘Rider coach also works with a class for adults called Swimming 101 which is for abilities from the novice to professional swimmer as they primarily focus on stroke technique. And in his free time Borowski will also coach another 60 adult master’s swimmers and triathletes.
Borowski continues to stay in shape by swimming in the ocean, bodysurfing, free diving, doing underwater photography and going to the gym on a regular basis.
“I swim about a mile or more several times a week and on the days I don’t swim I do a varied strength and stretching session,” he said.
As a master’s swimmer, Borowski has set several American and World records in the freestyle and butterfly strokes.
Borowski’s eating habits are simple as he eats several small meals throughout the day. He also does not go to extremes with his nutrition, but eats healthy and smart. And his secret to health success may lie in his desire to maintain his flexibility and strength through regular aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
“To me swimming is simply the medium to help positively affect children and adults lives. Unlike most sports we are together about ten plus months a year, both boys and girls, we are family,” Borowski said.
For the second week in a row Kau’s Jacob Edwards took on the rest of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation and scored big for the Trojans at Julian R. Yates Field on the campus of Konawaena High School.
The one man wrecking crew won the long and triple jumps and scored remarkable times in his signature events, the 110 and 300 hurdles. Edwards went on to finish second in the 200 meter dash and sixth in the 100 dash to single handedly score 49 points for Kau.
The previous week Edwards scored 50 points and his point totals continue to rank the Kau in the top half of the BIIF team standings each week.
Edwards’s times in both hurdles events were personal best for the Kau junior and rank him number one in the state. “Jacob became the first runner in the BIIF ever to break the 15 second barrier in the 110 hurdles,” Kau coach, Bob Martin said.
Edwards clocked 14.94 seconds in the 110 hurdles and in the process eclipsed Kona’s Nick Berry’s time of 15:04 that was set earlier in the decade.
“One of my goals going into the season was to get under 15 seconds in the 110,” Edwards said. “I’ve gotta practice hard and when I run in a meet it’s just me against the clock.”
Edwards later returned to set another personal best in the 300 hurdles with a flawless performance to clock 39.23 seconds, winning the event by more than three seconds over his closest competitor.
To improve Edwards will watch You Tube video’s of various high profile hurdle athletes in an attempt to continue to perfect his technique.
“I You Tube the best triple jumpers and the best 110 hurdles to try to emulate the best,” he said. “My favorite hurdler is the Chinese Olympian, Lui Xiang. I am always learning, always trying to perfect my technique, and always trying to do whatever it takes to get better.”
“If I could come out here and score 60 points during a meet, I would, he said. Edwards’s weak spot on the day came in the 100 meters where he finished in sixth place scoring a single point.
“I wanted to do the 100 for speed to see how I could do. It doesn’t hurt me to do the 100,” Edwards said. “Coach Bob (Martin) is always helping me at Kau and when I get to the meets Coach (Kimo) Weaver (Kamehameha) helps me.
“I can’t claim credit for any of his (Edwards) talent,” Martin said. “He makes the best of what he has and works very hard at practice.”
Kau doesn’t have a track and the athletes work out on a grass surface. “We set up five hurdles to simulate a race,” Martin said. “Jacob has raw talent and we try to harness that energy and steer it in the right direction.”
“Coach (Angela) Miyashiro helps with endurance and fitness training and we add on lots of 200 repeats to Jacob’s workouts.”
Also at Yates Field this past Saturday saw the Kamehameha boys 4×100 relay team break a Warrior school record by clocking in at 44.79 seconds.
“This is the second time in two weeks that these boys broke the all time school record for this event,” Kamehameha second year coach, Troy Souza said.
“After seeing them today it looks like we can go under 44 seconds. They had the best passes we’ve seen, but there is still room for improvement,” Souza said.
The foursome leads off with sophomore Maka McKee followed by freshman, Aukai Akau, senior Pono Grace and anchored with junior Manta Dirks.
“I’ve run the 100 in 12 flat,” McKee said. “I know I need to improve the way I run my curve, I was too straight up and didn’t have enough lean.”
“I’ve run the 100 in 11.4 and today I received a perfect handoff from Maka, he got me the baton right on the arrow,” second leg runner, Akau said
Kamehameha trailed Kealakehe on the second leg, but Akau, who has the fastest 100 on the relay team, made up the difference and passed the baton to Grace with the Warriors in the lead.
“We did good, but we can do better,” team anchor, Manta Dirks said. “I’m the second fastest on the team and the coach either put me into the anchor position because I’m the best looking or because he knows I hate to lose,” Dirks said with a grin.
Waiakea’s Kaitlyn Chock became the first BIIF girl to get an automatic state time in the 800 meter run this season, clocking in at 2:29.41.
“I was trying to run my personal best (2:28.1) but came up a little short,” Chock said. “I’m still pretty satisfied, even though I ran my first lap too fast.”
Chock did the first 400 meters in 67 seconds which separated her early from the rest of the field. “I was trying to run the first lap in 71 or 72 and when I heard the first lap time I got scared,” she said.
“I tightened up with about 200 to go and I felt I was dragging myself in, it was really tough. I think I can get under 2:25 if the conditions are right,” Chock said.
BIIF BEST – RANKED IN TOP 5 of STATE
HPA – Ku’uipo Nakoa #1 triple, #2 in both 100 & 200, #3 long – 4×400 #3
Kona- Kaua Wall #3 400
Keaau – Randi Estrada #4 400 – 4×400 #5
Honokaa – Tialana Greenwell #4 3000
Kamehameha – Aubrey Lea Shaw #2 300 hurdles
Kohala – Julia Naumes #5 shot
Waiakea – Cassie Morigaki three way tie for first with HPA’s Mindy Campbell in High Jump
Hilo’s – Bronson Kahaleua, #2 200, Jordan Loeffler, #5 shot, Thomas Delacruz, #3 300 hurdles, Mark Turner, #4 3000, David King, #1 pole vault, Scott Hunter, #3 pole vault, 4×400 relay #3
Kona – Dakota Smith, #1 800
Kamehameha – Jordan Lerma, #3 800, Caleb Friel, pole vault #2
Keaau – Daniel Brooks, #5 800
Kau – Jacob Edwards, #1 in both 110 & 300 hurdles, #3 triple jump
Waiakea – Ka’imi Scott, #4 400, 4×400 relay #5
Waiakea’s Aryn Meguro became a four time Big Island Interscholastic Federation judo champion this past Saturday at Kealakehe.
Meguro, who was injured after suffering a concussion during the second week of the season, competed in the 98 weight for the first time in her four year career.
“During my freshman year I was bumped up one weight class to win the BIIF championship at 109, then in my sophomore and junior years I played at 103,” Meguro said.
After returning to competition just two weeks ago Meguro decided to drop a weight class to play at the 98 pound weight division. “I needed to lose three pounds in order to play at this division so I started to run more and eat healthier,” Meguro said.
During her junior year Meguro had injured her left elbow during state competition and finished in sixth place. “I’m not that confident playing at 98 pounds because I’ve never played at that weight class and I have never competed against any of the girls at that division,” she said.
“But I felt that I may have the best chance at placing at states by playing at the lighter division.” Meguro beat her BIIF opponent by ippon and she used a left hip throw or seoenage to accomplish her victory.
“I’ve been involved in judo for ten years and I have a brown belt,” Meguro said. “I’m now hoping I can finish my senior year with a good showing at the state championships.”
Kamehameha sisters, Jenna and Megan Aina also came away with BIIF titles. Jenna (122), a junior and three time BIIF champion, needed to beat Kealakehe’s Jodi Ozaki in the finals to claim her title.
The match was a quick one for the elder Aina as she won by Ippon in the first seven seconds using a hip throw. “I used one of my favorite throws, an Ipponseoenage,” she said.
Jenna Aina has been in judo for eight years and holds a black belt, shodan. As a freshman she placed fourth at state and as a sophomore she captured a fifth place finish. “I hoping I can win it all at states this year,” she said.
Megan Aina (103) is just a freshman and as talented as her older sister. The younger Aina used a seoenage, left hip throw, to win her match quickly over Kealakehe’s Mindy Lorance.
“I started judo when I was young and Jenna and I love it,” Megan said. “We have a younger brother in the eighth grade and he’ll be doing judo with us next year at Kamehameha.”
The upset of the day came in the 109 weight division as the top two seeds, Hilo’s Iris Hirayama and Kamehameha’s Kanoe Padaken were the heavy favorites coming into the championships.
Third seed, Kamehameha’s Ariel Young, rose to the occasion and upset both Hirayama and Padaken to claim the BIIF crown.
Young, a senior, had never won a BIIF title and was not expected to reach the finals of her weight class as the two higher seeds, Padaken and Hirayama, had defeated her earlier in the season.
“I really surprised myself today,” Young said after her victories over Padaken and Hirayama. “I never expected to win today and just came out in a go for broke attitude. I did try to strategize during the matches, but I felt I had nothing to lose.”
Young defeated her teammate, Padaken in the first round and in the finals matched up with the Hirayama, the defending champion at that weight class.
“Ariel (Young) put in a lot of effort and practiced harder than most,” Kamehameha coach, Calvin Enoki said. “She relaxed and reacted and managed to pull off a major upset on the day.”
“Ariel’s match against Iris (Hirayama) lasted nearly four minutes and she scored two half points to pull out the win,” Enoki said.
“I just worked harder and stayed after practice. I didn’t go in thinking I was going to win and I just looked at the matches today as another match. I stopped thinking hard about the match and just went in and tried to relax and react,” Young said.
In the boys division it was Waiakea’s Ericksen Kohatsu (132) winning his third BIIF championship. As a sophomore Kohatsu had won the 121 division and had since dominated the 132 weight class.
In the finals Kohatsu faced Hilo’s Michael Yagi and used an ipponseoenage or right hip throw to win by ippon during the first minute of competition.
“I just was trying to do my best because it was my senior year,” Kohatsu said of his BIIF title. “Coach Yonemori (Waiakea’s first year judo coach) has given me confidence and I like that he is strict with us.”
“I have never placed at a state meet before and I am just hoping to go in and do my best and perform at 100 percent,” Kohatsu said.
Warrior teammate, Tyler Yonemori, also came away with a BIIF title while competing at the 145 weight division.
Yonemori, who is coached by his father, Gregg Yonemori, needed to get by Kona’s Joey Phipps in the finals to win his first BIIF title.
Using a left side throw, seoenage, within the first two minutes of the match, Yonemori clinched the coveted crown.
“I had a couple of hard matches today. I’ve been in judo for ten years and carry a black belt, shodan,” Yonemori said.
Last year Yonemori hurt his back during the second week of BIIF competition and was not able to compete in the BIIF championships.
“I will keep training hard and give 100 percent and at states I will go and do my best,” he said. Both Warriors, Kohatsu and Yonemori, had unblemished records during the BIIF season.