University of Hawaii-Manoa swimmer and 2010 NMASA Athlete of the Year Rezne Wong will represent the CNMI in the 2012 Oceania Swimming Championships in Noumea, New Caledonia.
Wong, who will plunge into action from May 28 to June 2 at Noumea’s Aquatic Centre, last represented the Commonwealth in the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China.
The 5’11” Marianas High School alumnus reset three CNMI records in his Shenzhen tilt.
He broke the islands’ 50m breaststroke mark (31.31), eclipsing his old mark of 31.62 set in the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy.
Wong, who is a Marine Biology junior at UH-Manoa, also shattered CNMI records in the 50m butterfly and 100m breaststroke.
The 26.66 he recorded in the 50m butterfly obliterated the 27.87 Kai Staal set in April 2011, while the 1:07.66 he logged in the 100m breaststroke beat his old mark of 1:08.79 also set in the Rome World Championships.
A familiar face is expected to help Wong in Noumea, as Saipan Swim Club co-founder Bill Sakovich will once again coach his former ward.
“He did fairly well in the conference championships last month on the mainland, helping the University of Hawaii to a second or third place conference finish, and it was the team’s first participation in a tougher league. So I hope he does well. I would hope he would final in a couple of his events, but swimmers from New Zealand and Australia will be tough. Either way, it will be a good competition for Rezne,” said Sakovich in an email to Saipan Tribune.
Sakovich, who now lives in Hilo, Hawaii, mentored Wong in his formative years when was still the head coach of the SSC.
Wong won the 2010 Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association male athlete of the year award after striking gold 12 times in the 2010 Micronesian Games in Palau.
In the past, SSC members Xenavee Pangelinan, the late Audra Winkfield, Jessica Jordan, and David Palacios represented the CNMI in the Oceania Swimming Championships.
The Oceania Swimming Championships are currently held every two years, in even years.
Thee regional championships is organized by the Oceania Swimming Association, and feature teams representing countries and islands from that region. Approximately 16 nations from Oceania will be competing.
The past Championships were held in Noumea (1993), Brisbane, Australia (1997), Christchurch, New Zealand (2000), Noumea (2002), Suva, Fiji (2004), Cairns, Australia (2006), Christchurch (2008), and Apia, Samoa (2010).