More than 100 swimmers fought cold brought by the scattered showers last Saturday morning to participate in Saipan Swim Club 21st All Schools Swimming Championships at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool.
“We had a huge turnout despite the rain and we’re thankful to the students, the school officials, and the volunteers for joining the All Schools meet,” SSC head coach Jacoby Winkfield said.
“This meet is more than competition. It’s about getting students together to represent their schools and develop camaraderie with their fellow students. The meet is also our way of promoting the sport to schools, generating more interest in swimming, and encouraging the kids to come out and get involved in activities that are beneficial to their health,” Winkfield added.
Official results in the elementary, middle school, and high school divisions are still being tabulated and will be reported later this week. Participants competed in individual races and relays and winners in each division will be determined by the rankings of swimmers from the various events.
“If we win again, that’s great. If not, that’s fine. We don’t put much emphasis on winning, we just wanted to get maximum participants from the students and let them have fun in the pool,” said Jeff Race of Whispering Palms, which ruled the elementary division of the annual event for the last nine years.
Whispering Palms fielded the most participants (40) in the weekend meet and was the favorite in the division.
“We participate in the All Schools meet every year to allow our student to have activities after school. Before every competition, we practice at the pool at least four times so they can get the feel of the meet, be comfortable, and gain confidence,” Race added.
Race also said the turnout from Whispering Palms was their biggest in years and he was happy to see more schools sending several representatives to the competition to challenge the Terns.
“It’s nice to see a lot of schools competing and the students cheering for their teammates during the races, whether their swimmer was ahead or behind,” the Whispering Palms mentor said.
Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School, Saipan International School, and William S. Reyes Elementary School were Whispering Palms’ tough foes for the elementary division crown. Eucon International School, Grace Christian Academy, Saipan Community School, Koblerville Elementary School, Seventh Day Adventist and Brilliant Star also fielded swimmers in the weekend.
In the middle school, participants were from Hopwood Junior High School, SIS, SCS, GCA, and Tanapag Middle School, while Marianas High School students led participants in the high school division and battled representatives from Mt. Carmel School, GCA, and SIS.