Kalani’s Hwang chasing OIA history

Kalani's Dongjin Hwang is going for a fourth straight OIA title in the 500 freestyle. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser
Kalani’s Dongjin Hwang is going for a fourth straight OIA title in the 500 freestyle. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

Kalani swimmer Dongjin Hwang has a state gold medal to defend, but first he has another little bit of history to tackle.

Hwang, the reigning state champion in the 500 freestyle and the only OIA boy to win a state event last year, is expected to jump into the pool for the OIA championships at Central Oahu Regional Park looking to add to his impressive haul.

Hwang has earned eight gold medals in the league championship over the years, grabbing three as a freshman, three as a sophomore and two more last year.

Three of those medals came in the same event, the 500 freestyle. His only other individual medal came in the 200 free as a sophomore.

In site for Hwang is the chance to become the first male swimmer with more than 10 golds since Kevin Frifeldt (11) of Mililani from 2011-14. Hwang currently holds the OIA championships record in the 500 free with a time of 4:37.17 set last year.

Hwang scored 18 points for the Falcons in last week’s Eastern Division meet, matching three Roosevelt swimmers: Joseph Ahia, Jonathan Oba and Jun Yueb Yoon.

Yoon, who holds the meet record in the 100 free with a time of 46.96, has six OIA golds to his credit and Oba has four. Ahia, a junior, has two but will have one year to catch his senior teammates.

Kaiser senior Hannah Heiss is the most decorated swimmer on the girls side with four OIA gold medals in her pocket. Teammate Mari Yasumi has three while fellow Cougars Taylor Bogdahn and Erin Patterson each have two.

Kaiser holds the OIA championships records in the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay. Heiss and Patterson contributed to both of those records last year.

Kapolei sprinter Mailani Wendt will be going for her third victory in the OIA championships after taking the 50 free last year and 100 free the year before.


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