CNMI Swim Team off to Canada


Angel De Jesus, seen here doing the butterfly stroke of the 200m medley relay race in the NMISF Opening Meet held last month at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool in Marpi, will leave Saipan for Canada to represent the CNMI in the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The CNMI Swim Team will leave this weekend to participate in the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships that will be held in Windsor, Canada.

Swimmers Salofi Welch, Christian Villacrusis, and Angel De Jesus and coach Jacoby Winkfield will depart Saipan this Saturday, while Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation official Carol Lynn Pierce will travel to Canada this Friday to attend the Sports Medicine Conference. The conference, along with three other side events, will be held at the Caesar Windsor Resort and Convention Center from Dec. 3 to 5, while the swimming competitions will run from Dec. 6 to 11 at the Windsor Family Credit Union Centre in Windsor, Ontario.

“The swimming races will be held in 25-meter pools (short course). Times in a short course are usually faster than the long course (50-meter pool). The swimmers will be putting forth their best efforts, however, NMISF does not tally short course times so, unfortunately no chance of smashing records,” Pierce said in an email to Saipan Tribune.

Welch and Villacrusis will have nine events each—the 50m, 100, and 200m freestyle, 50m and 100m breaststroke, 50m and 100m butterfly, and 100m and 200m individual medley. De Jesus will race in eight events—all three distance sin the freestyle and two in the IM, plus the 100m backstroke, 50m breaststroke, and 50m butterfly.

Villacrusis holds the best entry time in the 50m freestyle with his 26.64 seconds, while Welch and De Jesus’ marks read at 27.21 seconds and 29.76 seconds, respectively. In the 100m freestyle, Villacrusis’ entry time is 58.42 seconds, while Welch’s also in the under one-minute mark at 59.25 seconds, and De Jesus’ record is listed as 1:04.90. In the 200m freestyle, Villacrusis, Welch and De Jesus’ entry times are 2:13.11, 2:15.36, and 2:26.15.

In the two breaststroke events, Welch’s entry times in the 50m and 100m are 36.85 seconds and 1:23.29; 36.31 seconds and 1:17.76 for Villacrusis, and 36.96 seconds for De Jesus in the 50m breaststroke. In the 100m backstroke, 50m butterfly, and 100m and 200m IM, De Jesus’ entry times are 1:24.14, 32.75 seconds, 1:16.36, and 2:53.04.

Villacrusis has the fastest entry times in the 100m and 200m IM events with his 1:10.30 and 2:34.70, respectively, while Welch’s marks are 1:12.76 and 2:38.59.

The Commonwealth swimmers are among the more than 1,000 athletes from 176 FINA-member countries that will see action in the world championships, which Canada will be hosting for the first time.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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