Tsunami Saipan Swimming Center honored four of its members for their outstanding performance in the 2011-2012 season.
Ryuto Yanai and Miku Tammy were named co-recipients of the Coach's Award of the Year, while Kensuke Kimura and Heong-Joo Yoo were declared most valuable swimmer and rookie of the year, respectively. The four Tsunami Saipan swimmers received plaques during the club's season-ending recognition day held in June this year at PauPau Beach.
The 12-year-old Yoo was hailed the best newcomer for posting three A times during the Guam Championships in May this year. Yoo submitted 33 seconds in the 50m freestyle in the 50m freestyle, while his two other A marks came from the 50m and 100m breaststroke events.
Yanai and Tammy shared the Coach's Award of the Year for their record-breaking swims in the past season and for representing the CNMI in an off-island tournament in Japan. The 8-year-old Yanai earned five CNMI age group marks this season (boys U8's 50m and 100m and butterfly and 50m, 100, and 200m freestyle), while the 10-year-old Miku had an impressive 11 records (girls 9 to 10's 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, and 800m freestyle, 50m, 100m, and 200m backstroke, and 50m, 100m, and 200m butterfly). Both Yanai and Tammy joined the Tokyo Sprints early this year with the former winning a gold medal in the 50m freestyle and the latter getting a bronze in the 100m individual medley race.
Kimura got the coveted most valuable swimmer award after his numerous accomplishments in the 2011-2012 season. The list includes his five-medal haul in a goodwill meet against Hong Kong on Saipan, a silver-medal finish (100m IM) in the Tokyo Sprints, overall championship in the Saipan International Meet, first place finish in PIC's Duck Race, and his selection to the CNMI Team that will compete in the FINA World Championship later this year.
The 16-year-old Kimura also set two new records in the boys 15 to 16 age group. He timed in at 2:20.25 in the 200m backstroke of a meet held in Dec. 3, 2011, eclipsing the 2:23.01 David Palacios recorded on Aug. 19, 1995. Then in the 800m freestyle race on Jan. 21, 2012, Kimura submitted 9:12.98 to surpass the record of teammate Kai Staal (9:16.36/April 10, 2010).