Tsunami Swimming Center Saipan earned top honors in four divisions and posted a couple of CNMI age group marks during last weekend’s Guam Championships 2018 at the Hagatna Swimming Pool.
Maria Batallones, Ashley Dangol, Isaiah Aleksenko, and Juhn Tenorio ruled their respective categories, while sisters Nanaka and Aika Watanabe registered age group records, which await confirmation from Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation.
Batallones won a close fight for the high point award in the girls U7 division after collecting 65 points against the 63 of Manhoben Swim Club’s Mia Lee. Points were given to swimmers based on how they finished in their races. Another Tsunami Saipan swimmer made it to the podium with Fiona Regan placing third after collecting 42 points. Five other swimmers were entered in the division.
In the boys U7, two Tsunami Saipan swimmers also placed in the Top 3 with Aasish Dangol and Kouki Watanabe coming in at second and third, respectively. Aasish scored 66 points, just 2 markers behind champion Luke Leon Guerrero of Tsunami Guam. Kouki tallied 47 markers to tie Tsunami Guam’s Angelo Soriano for third place.
In the 11 to 12 age group, Tsunami Saipan had a sweep with Ashley and Aleksenko topping the girls and boys field. Ashley gained 72 points to beat teammate Nanaka (66) and Tsunami Guam’s Airi Inoue (59). Siblings Asaka and Shoko Litulumar were ranked fourth and fifth after registering 52 and 46 points, respectively.
Aleksenko totaled 70 points to prevail against Tsunami Guam’s Ty Leon Guerrero (61) and Manhoben Swim Club’s Israel Poppe (55). Aleksenko’s teammates Xans Xu (54), Alex Kim (36), and Kean Pajarillaga (34) placed fourth fifth, and seventh.
In the boys 13 to 14, Tenorio edged out Manhoben’s Mark Imazu, 63-60, while Tsunami Guam’s Luis Entera (56) rounded out the Top 3. Tsunami Saipan’ Joseph Zhang had 27 points and was ranked seventh in his debut in the meet.
Meanwhile, Nanaka reset the CNMI age group record (11 to 12) in the 50m breaststroke after clocking in at 38.80 seconds. She owned the previous mark (38.85 seconds) logged on Jan. 20, 2018. Nanaka’s older sister, Aika, also earned an age group record (13 to 14) after submitting 35.07 seconds in the 50m backstroke and eclipsing the 35.10 seconds Angel Marie Tan tallied on Sept. 29, 2012.
In other results, Kim got an AA time in his debut in the meet after posting 31.41 seconds in the 50m freestyle.
Tsunami Saipan coach Hiro Kimura lauded Kim’s performance in the meet along with the times of Shuman Barman and Regan in the 50m freestyle event. Barman clocked in at 38.41 seconds, while Regan recorded 38.79.
In the 200m backstroke, Kimura said Pajarillaga nearly achieved an A time after completing the four-lap race in 3:00.39
“Overall, I’m very satisfied with our results in the meet. Guam Champs is very tough meet, but Tsunami swimmers kept their fighting spirit and showed their Tsunami Saipan pride. I’m so proud of them,” Kimura said.