Another Saipan Swim Club member will be competing in the FINA World Swimming Championships.
Two years after former SSC bets Keanna Villagomez and Grace Kimball represented the CNMI to the short course (25-meter pool) tournament held in Dubai, it's now Victoria Chentsova's turn to plunge into action in the biennial event that will take place in Istanbul, Turkey this December.
SSC in a press statement said the 14-year-old Chentsova is one of the three swimmers Northern Marianas Swimming Federation selected to carry the Commonwealth's colors in the Dec. 12 to 16 competition. Saipan Tribune is still waiting for the names of the two other swimmers NMSF chose.
Chentsova earned a ticket to the Turkey tournament after her notable performance in the 2011-2012 season. She was part of the lean CNMI Team (with Kimball and Rezne Wong) that joined the 14th FINA World Championships (long course) at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in China, in July last year, and set new personal best times in the 200 and 400 meter freestyle races in Shanghai after clocking in at 2:27.86 and 5:18.67, respectively.
The competition in China was her first international tournament and it was a bliss, as she was able to meet world -class swimmers, including Olympia Ryan Lochte of the United States.
In local events, Chentsova participated in the 2012 SSC International Invitational Meet in April and ruled the girls 13 to 14 age group. She raced in the 200 meter freestyle (2:24.64), 100 meter freestyle (1:07.85), 100 meter backstroke (1:19.16), and 50 meter freestyle (31.03 seconds). The Saipan International School student also swam in the 50 meter backstroke and her 36.62 seconds was recognized as an age group record in the girls 13 to 14 division.
The ninth grader also competed in the 2012 Guam Swimming Championships in May and finished third overall in her age group after topping one event and placing runner-up in four other races. In Guam, she logged three PBTs, including a 1:05:85 in the 100m freestyle event.
From the Hagatna pool in Guam, Chentsova went to the Cocos Island in the southern coast of the host and topped the 11 to 14 age group of the 2.5-mile open water swim. She was the second female swimmer out of the water and No. 8th overall among 178 participants.
Chentsova also joined the SSC Escape from Managaha this year and was the first finisher of the 2.4-kilometer race after clocking in at 38:09.10, which was two minutes faster than her 2011 time.
When she is not competing, Chentsova is joining SSC's practice sessions five to six times a week under the wing of coaches Mieko Carey and Minerva Cabrera. Chentsova also undergoes water polo training with another SSC coach, Jeff El-Hajj and a couple of months ago was part of the club's coaching staff that conducted the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan.