Three Tsunami Saipan swimmers made notable performances in this month’s virtual meet.
Nanaka Watanabe led the list, as she clocked in at 1:50.72 in the 100m breaststroke event of the fourth virtual meet between Tsunami Saipan and Tsunami Guam. According to Tsunami Saipan coach Hiro Kimura, Watanabe’s time is a personal best mark and even better than the current CNMI record in the 8-and-under age group. Saipan Swim Club’s Amanda Johnson holds the Commonwealth’s age group mark in the 100m breaststroke swim with her 2:00.13 logged on March 31, 2000. Watanabe’s time can’t be considered a record, as she raced in an unofficial meet and event was not sanctioned by the Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation.
“This meet was unofficial, so her time is not certified. However, I am positive she will break CNMI records in the next official meet,” Kimura said.
Also earning a PBT in the 100m breaststroke was Hiro’s son Kensuke, while Kaito Yanai had the same feat in the 50m butterfly event at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool. Both recorded times faster than the CNMI age group marks.
Kensuke submitted 1:12.03 in the 100m breaststroke and was the fastest among eight participants. He defeated six Tsunami Guam swimmers, including Soujyu Usui (1:15.92). Takumi Sugie was the other Tsunami Saipan swimmer in the event and clocked in at 1:25.66.
Yanai, on the other hand, bested five other swimmers in the 50m butterfly after registering a PBT of 29.21 seconds. He was the lone swimmer in the 13 to 14 age group event to complete the race under 30 seconds, as runner-up and brother Hiroto recorded 33.99 seconds, while Tsunami Guam’s Kai Aricayos tallied 34.64 seconds.
Besides the 50m butterfly swim, the virtual meet also featured 50m races in freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke.
In the U8 50m freestyle, Tsunami Saipan and Tsunami Guam split top honors with the former’s Anthony Deleon Guerrero topping the boys field with his 42.69 seconds and Risa Hendrix ruling the girls with her 42.64 seconds.
In the 9 to 10 division, Ryuto Yanai (31.28 seconds) edged younger brother Kenshiro (36.39 seconds), while Tsunami Saipan also had a 1-2 finish in the girls race with Sophia Gauran (35.30 seconds) finishing ahead of Aika Watanabe (40.04 seconds).
Tsunami Guam bounced back in the boys 11 to 12 age group with Caleb White (32.64 seconds) beating teammate Jimi Hedrix (33.03). In the girls division, Tsunami Saipan’s Miku Tammy (31.28 seconds) defeated Guam’s Leilani Koiwa (31.70 seconds) and Samantha Hon (32.23 seconds).
In the 13 to 14 division, Tsunami Saipan swept first place with Kaito Yanai ruling the boys division with his 28.37 seconds and Angel De Jesus recording a field-best time of 30.98 seconds. Tsunami Guam countered in the over 15 age group with Stephen Jagger and Misaki Iijima timing in at 24.62 seconds and 28.60 seconds, respectively.
In the 50m backstroke, the top finishers were U8’s Hans Xu (48.94 seconds) and Nanaka Watanabe (53.62); 9 to 10’s Ryuto Yanai (41.18 seconds) and Sophia Gauran (44.89); 11 to 12’s Hendrix (36.64) and Tammy (36.11); 13 to 14’s Kaito Yanai (33.21) and Angel Tan (35.10), and over 15’s Jagger (29.53) and Iijima (30.48).
In the over 15 50m breaststroke, Kensuke Kimura placed ahead of Jagger after recording 31.74 seconds against the 34.34 seconds of the latter. In the girls division, Iijima won anew with her 38.48 seconds. Other first place finishers in the event were 13 to 14’s Tan (39.06 seconds) and Kaito Yanai (34.08); 11 to 12’s Hon (43.09) and Ji Hedrix (45.10); 9 to 10’s Gauran (50.18) and Ryuto Yanai (45.37); and U8’s Risa Hendrix (53.66) and Anthony Deleon Guerrero (1:02.54).
In the five events set for the virtual meet, Hiro Kimura said Tsunami Saipan swimmers marked 85 percent in PBT.
“It is so amazing to see our swimmers gain several personal best times,” the Tsunami Saipan coach said.