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Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, September 13, 2000

P R E P _ S P O R T S

By Ronen Zilberman, Star-Bulletin
Ashley Swart, left, and her father Dennis, who is also her coach,
take time to chat during a break in practice at the Cougars' track.

Swart pushes
it to the limit

The multi-sport star at
Kaiser not only swims and
runs, she good at it

By Tim Crouse
Special to the Star-Bulletin

Ashley Swart runs around the Kaiser track even after fatigue sets in, knowing her coach holds high expectations for her.

She pushes herself because she knows her coach won't let her get away with less than her best.

PREP EXTRA The 15-year old multi-sport star doesn't get away with much -- because her coach is also her father.

"I have to do what he tells me because I'm his daughter. I can't slack off like I might if I had a different coach. I have to listen to him," she said, a broad smile on her face. "He's a really good coach."

Dennis Swart, who also coaches track and field at Kaiser, sees the effort Ashley puts forth on a daily basis.

"She doesn't talk about it, but she'll start swimming in the morning, from (5:45) to 7:15," he said. "Then she has cross-country practice from 3-4 and swimming from 4-6. And she doesn't complain."

Swart thinks his daughter's talent in the water will someday land her a college scholarship.

But for now, he's hoping her speed and endurance will help the Cougars successfully defend their Oahu Interscholastic Association cross-country championship.

Ashley won the OIA individual title and then helped Kaiser to third place in the state by finishing fourth.

The Cougars see how they stack up this year at Saturday's Punahou Invitational.

The meet is usually held a little later in the fall; Punahou coach Duncan Macdonald said it was moved up so more schools could compete.

National individual champion Victoria Chang is gone, but Macdonald's daughter Pippa and Lynn Kamimoto are back to help the Buffanblu defend their state championship.

Punahou has won four of the past five state championships.

By Ronen Zilberman, Star-Bulletin
'Swimming is easier for me because
I've been doing it for so long. I get tired
more easily running.'
Ashley Swart
Kaiser cross country team member

The boys, who will be led by Todd Iacovelli, try for their first title since 1996. Kamehameha has won the past three years.

Over the years, the Punahou Invitational has been considered sort of a preview of the state meet.

Besides the Interscholastic League of Honolulu schools and Kaiser, the meet features McKinley, St. Anthony and Waimea. Other runners and teams are also expected to compete.

"We're participating because it's a challenge and these are the people we'll face at states," Kaiser senior captain Sheburra Moore said. "We want to get familiar with running with their speed and their expectations."

Coach Swart said he doesn't feel there is any pressure on his team since it's so early in the season.

"If our kids do well we'll be pleased, but if they don't, we won't be upset," he said. "What we're looking (toward) is two months from now, when we have the OIA championships and the state meet.

"At that point we'll be disappointed if we don't do well," he said.

Swart said the team is still working on conditioning.

"We're trying to get their overall bodies fit so when we start doing harder workouts they'll be prepared for it," he said.

Ashley is so involved in sports year around, she doesn't have a chance to get out of shape.

As soon as cross country ends in November, Swart jumps right into the prep swimming season. And after that, it's time for track and field. She also competes in swimming events throughout the year.

She's highly successful in all three sports, even though she's only been running since her freshman year.

Swart ran a course record at the OIA cross- country championships at Nanakuli by completing the two-mile run in 11:59.

She finished second last May in the 1,500 at the state track meet. A week earlier she broke the OIA record in the same event.

Swart's swimming accomplishments are even more impressive.

She was the only female multiple winner at the state meet in February, taking the 200 and 500 freestyle.

At the East Division meet, Swart broke two 20-year old marks, in the 50 and 500 freestyle.

In June, Swart was the top women's finisher in the Speedo Waikiki Ocean Mile race.

Earlier in the month, she placed fifth in the women's division at the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, against adult competition.

"Swimming is easier for me because I've been doing it for so long," said Swart, who began swimming competitively at age 8.

"I get tired more easily running."

But as her track -- and off-track -- records indicate, those chasing her get tired faster.

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