Saipan Swim Club's season debut was a family affair, as siblings competed in the Northern Marianas Swimming Federation-led meet last Saturday at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool in Marpi.
Suiting up for SSC in the first tournament of the 2012-2013 season were Taiyo and Kento Akimaru, Michael and Michail Villagomez, Richard and Nieves Villagomez, Conatsu and Coume Kaga, Ichiro and Taka Borja, and Ashley and Robert DeCourtney. Also joining the weekend race were Victoria Chentsova, Sam Ryu, Ki Chang Jeoung, Rinto Takahashi, RJ Pierce, and Lennosuke Suzuki.
“The meet was a great opportunity for new club swimmers to test themselves in competition and current swimmers to re-establish their times for the season's goals,” said SSC president Robert Torres in an email to Saipan Tribune.
Richard and Nieves Villagomez and the DeCourtneys, and Taiyo Akimaru participated in their first competition. Nieves raced in the 25m freestyle (timed in at less than a minute), while Richard joined the 50m backstroke (1:10.67) and 50m freestyle (1:00.81) events. Ashley raced in the 50m breaststroke (1:18.94) and 50m freestyle (59.78), while Robert was entered in the 25m backstroke, and Taiyo logged 1:00.11 in the 50m backstroke
The rest of SSC's bets in last weekend meets are old members and aimed for personal best times.
“Kento Akimaru is ready to get down to work and clocked in at 39:65 in the 50m backstroke and 1:33:00 in the 100m breaststroke. Victoria Chentsova continued her preparation for the World Championships (short course) in Istanbul, Turkey in December with her strong work in the endurance event (800m freestyle/10:35:06). Swimming sisters Conatsu and Coume Kaga continued their technical development with the 100-meter breaststroke event,” Torres said.
“Not to be outdone were brothers Ichiro and Taka Borja and Michael and Michail Villagomez, who responded to the challenge of their coaches to move up in level with their events in the 50m freestyle event. Sam Ryu and Ki Chang Jeoung also shook off the summer fun and got down to business in the 50m backstroke event. Rinto Takahashi and RJ Pierce worked on their form and endurance with the 100m breaststroke, serving notice that they are working on their all-around plan. Lennosuke Suzuki continues his aggressive swimming style, clocking in at 43:84 (50m backstroke) and trying to catch the older and experienced swimmers,” the SSC head added.
To cap SSC's season-opener, coaches Mike Villagomez and Jacoby Winkfield went head-to-head in the 50m freestyle.
“The two SSC alumni took the blocks and exploded into the water, perhaps with more explosion, and barreled down the lanes in their 50-meter swim. At the end of the lung-busting swim, the consensus was that it was close and only appropriate for bragging rights and to inspire the kids,” Torres said. “SSC congratulates all the swimmers for their participation and for doing very well in the first meet.”