Moshe Sikkel proved as equally adept in the water as he is in land, while Maria Batallones beat girls much older than her in Saipan Swim Club’s Pau Pau to Tanapag 3K last Saturday.
Sikkel topped the boys 14-and-under division of the 3-kilometer race from Pau Pau Beach to the Tanapag boat ramp with a time of 37:16. He was followed closely by fellow SSC swimmer Michael Miller at 37:17, while Tsunami Saipan Swimming Center’s Kouki Watanabe completed the Top 3 with his 37:44.
After edging Miller in the lung-busting swim, Sikkel had time to appreciate the ocean swim, large swells and the cold water and all.
“It was a close race and the water was really cold.”
As a consolation of sorts, the 12th grader at Saipan International School said he saw a stingray during the swim.
Asked what he loves more swimming or running, Sikkel said he preferred the latter.
“I’d prefer running because it’s not as cold,” he said with a wry smile, as his father, SSC coach Richard, was perhaps within earshot.
It can be recalled that Sikkel won the middle school division of the 2021 PSS/NMA Cross Country Championships last October at the old Saipan Country Club golf course behind Saipan Vegas.
The younger Sikkel then said having your father coach your swim team has its pros and cons, but one thing has always been consistent: “He expects the same for all of us,” he said.
Batallones finished first in the girls 14-and-under but her time of 37:56 was good enough for second best in the open division. Coming in second to the 13-year-old student from Hopwood High school was Kaya Braxton with her time of 43:05, while Nagisa Litulumar capped a Tsunami Saipan sweep by taking third at 43:10.
“It was really fun and I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it with my teammates. The enjoyable part was coming here and having to overcome this and complete this,” said Batallones after the race.
Unlike other who felt the swell at the Saipan lagoon, she said she had a relatively pleasant swim.
“The weather was OK. The water was cold and the current was very light. I saw a starfish and it was really cool.”
Results of the masters divisions of the Pau Pau to Tanapag 3K will be published in tomorrow’s issue of Saipan Tribune.
The Pau Pau to Tanapag 3K was sponsored by the following: Law Office of Janet King, Kerri Bauer Yoga, Aqua Resort Club, Hibiscus Salon, Cha Cafe and Bistro, I Love Saipan Store, Mango Six, Zeno Corp., Aquasmith, Seawind, Sheila Mabutas, and Hardt Eye Clinic.