The 36th Annual Saipan Swim Club Ocean Swim had a huge turnout, as 141 swam in the waters off the Saipan World Resort last Sunday morning.
This year’s number of participants surpassed the 2013 record (119), as the Marshall Islands’ Kwajalein Swim Club, Guam’s Manukai Athletics Club, Manhoben Swim Club, Tsunami Guam, and Andersen Marlins, and three Palau swimmers joined the SSC, Tsunami Saipan, and other local tankers in the weekend race.
As for the results, the host club and Tsunami Guam went on to take the most first place honors (three each) in the youth races.
Taiyo Akimaru led SSC’s 1-2-3 finish in the boys U8 600m swim after timing in at 12:42.
Teammate Jonnusuke Suzuki and Leo Takahashi clocked in at 12:54 and 13:26, respectively. Conatsu Kaga gave SSC its second first place finish in the youth division as her 17:55 in the girls 9 to 10’s 1K race defeated the 17:56 of Tsunami Saipan’s Sophia Gauran and Aika Watanabe’s 18:21. Taiyo’s older brother, Kento swam the longest course—the 2.5K—and bested nine others in the boys 13 to 14 age group after tallying 35:18. Joining Kento in the Top 3 were Manukai’s Alexander Gonzales (35:34) and Tsunami Saipan’s Kaito Yanai (35:38).
Kaito’s younger sibling, Ryuto, prevailed in the boys 9 to 10’s 1K race after completing the one-loop course in 15:05 and topping SSC’s Lennosuke Suzuki (15:07) and Tsunami Guam’s Chucky White (17:37). Tsunami Saipan’s second first place finish was courtesy of Nanaka Watanabe, who ruled the girls U8 600m swim with her 13:21. She outclassed teammate Ashley Dangol (15:02) and SSC’s Jinie Thompson (17:15).
In the 11 to 12’s 1.3K race, Manhoben and Tsunami Guam split top honors. Manhoben’s Mineri Gomez clocked in at 21:17 to finish ahead of Tsunami Guam’s Leivani Koiwa (21:27) and Tsunami Saipan’s Miku Tammy (21:28). In the boys division, Tsunami Guam’s James Hedrix submitted 19:02 to edge Manhoben’s Santiago Poppe (19:14) and teammate Caleb White (19:17).
Tsunami Guam’s two other top finishers came in the longest race of the day, the 2.5K, with Hannah White and Emma Rione winning their respective age group. White recorded 36:30 in the girls 13 to 14 division to triumph over Manhoben’s Amanda Poppe (40:00) and teammate Katelee McCormic (44:34). In the girls 15 to 19 division, Rione timed in at 35:43 to dethrone SSC’s Victoria Chentsova. The SSC bet may have dropped to second place, but her 35:53 was better than her winning time last year (36:10).
Still in the 15 to 19 age group, Manhoben’s Tommy Imazu lorded it over against 11 other swimmers after completing the two-loop race in 35:00. He foiled Tsunami Guam’s bid for first place, winning over Soujyu Usui (35:15) and Keigo Kitadate (35:16).
Meanwhile, 36 adult swimmers completed the 2.5K race with Carol Lynn Pierce and Vener Urena posting the fastest times in the women’s and men’s divisions, respectively. Urena clocked in at 44:42 to win the men’s 40 to 49 age group, while Pierce also made the 50-minute barrier with her 49:44 and topped the 50 to 59 age group.
Other first place finishers in their respective age groups were Kaitlin Mattos (56:02), Shawna Brennfleck (52:19), Brad Ruszala (49:13), Kimiko McKagan (1:03:35), Ron Gonzales (50:02), and Joshua Berger (56:36).
In the adults’ 1.3K race, the top finishers were Aleksandra Doroukskikhi (25:27), Yurie Lorange (29:30), Bruce Lorange (34:42), Colin Thompson (21:30), Kaoru Takahashi (27:19), Mary Cisler (40:41), and Mark Staal (23:58).
Last Sunday’s ocean swim capped SSC’s hosting of a three-day competition. The club had its international swim meet last Friday at Saturday at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool.
“On behalf of Saipan Swim Club, thank you; si yu’us ma’ase; ghillisow; shieh shieh; domo arigato; mesulang, and kommol for your participation, encouragement, and support. We look forward to seeing you all again and hopefully more swimmers and participants next year,” SSC president Robert Torres said in an email to the participating teams.