Summer Junior National Qualifier Mai Kawahata Commits To US Santa Barbara

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Speedo Summer Juniors qualifier Mai Kawahata has announced her verbal commitment to the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) for the fall of 2023. 

I am thrilled to be able to do all I can to help the Gauchos and Coach Rosen continue their rise towards an MPSF Championship, as well as being a part of the outstanding academic tradition at UCSB!!””

Kawahata trains with Highlands Ranch Aquatics, and is completing her fourth and final year at Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Kawahata specializes in IM and breaststroke. She owns a Speedo Summer Juniors cut in the 200 breast, and competed in the 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 IM, and 400 IM at Futures.

Top SCY Times:

  • 100 breast – 1:04.32
  • 200 breast – 2:15.32
  • 200 IM – 2:05.02
  • 400 IM – 4:23.92

Kawahata set a slew of LCM lifetime bests at the College Station Futures this past July. She dropped almost 2 seconds in the 200 IM (2:26.99), a second in the 400 IM (5:13.52), and over a second in the 100 breast (1:16.09). Additionally, she saw a massive improvement in the 200 free across the summer, dropping almost 10 seconds from her 2021 best time, ending up at 2:12.51.

At the CHSAA Girls 5A State Championship, Kawahata competed in the 100 breast, 200 IM, 200 medley relay, and 400 free relay. She placed 9th in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.32) and 15th in the 200 IM (2:07.69). On the 200 medley relay, she split a 29.92 50 breaststroke. Later in the spring at Speedo Sectionals in Austin, Kawahata claimed 7th in the 200 breaststroke, dropping over 4 seconds for a 2:15.32. 

UCSB competes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). The Gaucho women placed 4th out of 9 teams at last year’s conference meet. Kawahata’s best time in the 200 breast would have earned her second place last year, and would have made her UCSB’s fastest performer in the event. UCSB junior Katie Nugent leads the current Gaucho breaststroke group with personal bests of 2:15.96 and 1:02.73.

 Kawahata is joined by fellow breastroker Makena Leacox, California native Eugenie Lanilis, and Illinois native Enya Linson.

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