On Saturday, tragedy rocked the Hawaiian swimming community when a 17-year-old swimmer passed away during a club meet in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kapolei.
According to Spectrum News, the swimmer, who has not been recognized, was a senior at Moanalua Na Menehune High and competed for Kamehameha Swim Club.
The swimmer lost consciousness and was attended to by emergency services. She was taken to the hospital, where she eventually passed away.
The Kapolei Aquatics Center served as the venue for the contest. The Hawaii High School Athletics Association (HHSAA) did not sponsor the event, but the incident led to the postponement of the girls’ high school state water polo finals because it involved both teams.
The swimmer’s twin brother, also a swimmer, attends Kamehameha High School, one of the teams set to compete in the match.
“It’s just tough emotionally for both Kamehameha players and our players,” Punahou School coach Ken Smith said, according to Spectrum News. “We all had connections from Kamehameha Swimming (Club), because some of our girls swim for them.
“I think in the end everyone just felt it was best to honor the girl who passed away and get everything going on Monday.”
in the time of the occurrence, both teams were present in the aquatics complex.
“They’re doing as well as they can. Anthony Cabrera, the coach of Kamehameha, stated, “It’s a terrible scenario. Many of the females went to school with her. For them, the situation is difficult. Together, they are addressing it as a team.
“A lot of our girls grew up swimming together with (her), so they swam club for a number of years with her, and then her brother attends Kamehameha,” said Cabrera.
The swimmer was in difficulty following a distance race, according to a witness at the pool who wished to remain anonymous, and attempts to revive her failed, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Swim parent Amanda Wilson Wong encouraged all swim parents to get certified in CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator).
A service was scheduled for 7:00 am Monday.