Tragedy struck the Hawaiian swimming community on Saturday as a 17-year-old swimmer died during a club meet in Kapolei, a community in Honolulu.
The swimmer has not been identified but was a female high school senior at Moanalua Na Menehune High and competed for Kamehameha Swim Club, according to Spectrum News.
The swimmer was treated by emergency medical services after becoming unresponsive. She was transported to hospital where she later died.
The competition was held at the Kapolei Aquatics Center. The meet was not hosted by the Hawaii High School Athletics Association (HHSAA), though the incident did cause the postponement of the girls’ high school state water polo championships as both teams were affected by the incident.
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.”
Both teams were in attendance at the aquatics center when the incident occurred.
“They’re as OK as they can be. It’s a difficult situation,” Kamehameha coach Anthony Cabrera said. “A number of the girls grew up with her. It’s a tough situation for them. They’re dealing with it together 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,” Cabrera said.
Someone in attendance at the pool who asked not to be identified said the swimmer was in distress after a distance race and efforts to revive her failed, according to the Star Advertister.
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.