Swimmers lead March awardees


Tsunami Saipan’s Isaiah Aleksenko swims in the 50m backstroke event during last month’s 2017 Saipan Swim Club International Meet at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Swimmers dominated the roster of Northern Marianas Sports Association’s awardees for March.

Tsunami Swimming Center Saipan’s Isaiah Aleksenko and Ashley Dangol took the NMSA/Tan Siu Lin Foundation Student Athletes of the Month plums, while Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation board member Carol Lynn Pierce was named Female Athlete of the Month.

Aleksenko got the March honors after his outstanding performance in the Tokyo Junior Sprint 2017 and in the 2017 Saipan Swim Club International Meet. The 10-year-old swimmer won a gold medal in the 50m freestyle event of the short course tournament in Japan held last March 4 and 5 and also made it to the finals of the 100m individual medley. Aleksenko went on to win the Most Outstanding Swimmer award in his age group in the Tokyo Sprint—a first for the club and a CNMI swimmer.

In the SSC meet, which also featured swimmers from Guam, Palau, and Pohnpei and was held from March 23 to 25, the Tsunami Saipan member also made history by setting eight records in the boys 9 to 10 age group. He earned age group marks in the 50m, 100, and 200m freestyle, 50m, 100m, and 200m butterfly, and 50m and 100m backstroke en route to getting the high-point award in the division.

Aleksenko’s fellow Tsunami Saipan member—Dangol—was in the same tournament in Tokyo and brought home two medals. She finished first in the girls 10’s 50m butterfly and second in the 100m IM.

In the SSC tournament, Dangol was the high-point winner in the 9 to 10 division, but the highlight of her performance in last month’s competition was her records in five events—50m and 100m backstroke and 50m, 100m, and 200m butterfly. The Tsunami Saipan swimmer also also joined the SSC Ocean Swim and ruled her age group.

Meanwhile, Pierce got the Female Athlete of the Month award after logging 104.75 miles in the “Saipan Polar Bear Swim” that concluded last March 21. The series of swims—both pool and open water—was organized by Dolphin Swim Club and is patterned after the program of Dolphin Club San Francisco at the San Francisco Bay.

Completing the March honor roll was bodybuilder Enrico Valdez, who took the Male Athlete of the Month award for topping the 3rd Marianas Muscle Bodybuilding and Physique Competition.

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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