Swimming Center Tsunami Saipan swimmers recorded a total of 110 personal bests during an official time trial last week at an undisclosed swimming pool in a private residence on island.
Coach Hiro Kimura said the club’s six top swimmers performed well during the time trial with all of them improving their times in the 50m butterfly, 50m backstroke, 50m breaststroke, and 50m freestyle.
Isaiah Aleksenko dropped times in the 50m butterfly (18.99 from 20.29), 50m backstroke (19.01 from 20.30), 50m breaststroke (24.27 from 25.03), and 50m freestyle (18.06 from 18.89). He said his most happy with his butterfly result because that is his favorite stroke.
“My favorite is the butterfly. That’s because I’ve been doing the butterfly stroke since I was around 8 years old. I like the butterfly more than any other stroke because I see more potential in myself if I do butterfly, and because I got most of my medals and records from the butterfly,” he said.
Jinnosuke Suzuki also recorded personal bests in the 50m butterfly (19.09 from 19.70), 50m backstroke (19.78 from 21.42), 50m breaststroke (23.75 from 24.09), and 50m freestyle (18.31 from 18.53).
“I think I did pretty good in most of my events. The 50m free was my best out of all the events,” he said.
Kimura gave kudos to Suzuki for taking part in the time trial despite the sprint distance being not his cup of tea.
“Jinnosuke is a middle/long distance swimmer. So, this month’s time trial became a disadvantage for him because it’s short-distance event only. However, short sprint ability is also very important for middle/long distance swimmer. I hope Jinnosuke gets sprint power and technique for his main event,” he said.
Just like his teammates, Juhn Tenorio also managed to go 4-for-4 last week. He saw PBs in the 50m butterfly (19.25 from 19.53), 50m backstroke (19.76 from 20.11), 50m breaststroke (24.27 from 25.03), and 50m freestyle (17.32 from 17.83).
Tenorio feels that the backstroke is his best stroke but admits he still needs to work on it.
“My style one or best stroke is backstroke. I have been a back-stroker for a long a long time now. But I still see the weakness in my kick. So everyday in practice I am trying to focus on improving my kick which will help me a lot in a race. My time will be way faster than my old times. I cannot wait to show that,” he said.
Maria Batallones also saw improvement across the board in the 50m butterfly (23.46 from 28.15), 50m backstroke (24.02 from 26.34), 50m breaststroke (27.63 from 29.97), and 50m freestyle (20.90 from 23.38).
She said she’s quite content with her swims in the time trial last week.
“I am very happy for the results from our last time trial. Not just mine but I think everyone did well. I’m very proud of myself for my 50m breast stroke time, especially since I work hard. I did well for my other events as well. Next time trial, I hope to improve and get faster times. In the meantime, I will focus on my skills, to improve, and I will work hard for the next time trial,” she said.
Asaka Litulumar said last week’s time trial was a success because it showed all Tsunami Saipan swimmers the work they need to do. She also marked four PBs in the 50m butterfly (24.57 from 25.75), 50m backstroke (24.66 from 26.12), 50m breaststroke (28.38 from 31.20), and 50m freestyle (21.02 from 21.94).
“Everyone did amazing during the time trial. We all showed great efforts and got amazing results. I got best times, but I hope to improve more in freestyle because it is my best stroke. In the next time trial, I will do my best and get faster times,” she said.
Her sister, Shoko, was not far off and also duplicated the feat by recording personal bests in the 50m butterfly (24.32 from 25.11), 50m backstroke (24.09 from 25.85), 50m breaststroke (29.14 from 29.79), and 50m freestyle (21.81 from 22.87).
Shoko had strong opinions about last week’s time trial, even saying swimming all strokes was very hard.
“Swimming breaststroke is like swimming in hell. Swimming all strokes is hell. But I do my best in all I do because the outcome of my hard work is all I need, and the time trial was the day I swam my hardest to know how far I’ve come. Though we swam all for strokes for the time trial, I wanted to guarantee myself that I get a PBT for breaststroke—my stroke—and I did, but I was not satisfied. The times I get during practice are faster, so I am disappointed. I will soak in this feeling of disappointment and make sure to keep it with me during practice as a reminder to train harder. I hope to get faster times in all strokes next time trial. I am looking forward to it,” she said.
Kimura congratulated all Tsunami Saipan members who dropped their personal best times during last week’s time trial and encouraged those who fell short to try their best next time around. He also clarified Tsunami Saipan’s membership policy.
“Tsunami Saipan always recruits new swimmers. But we can only accept those who are under 6 years old and they should’ve at least American Red Cross Level 2 [swimming] skills. This is because we keep the number of coaches to a minimum in consideration of the current COVID-19 situation. Contact should be avoided as much as possible. In such a situation, including safety management, the above membership conditions will be asked,” he said.