Tsunami Saipan reigns supreme


Tsunami Saipan’s Ashley Dangol competes in the 100m butterfly event during the 2017 Saipan Swim Club International Meet last Friday at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Tsunami Swimming Center Saipan recorded seven first place finishes in 12 age group competitions in last week’s 2017 Saipan Swim Club International Meet held at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool.

Tsunami Saipan swept the girls and boys U8 division, 9 to 10, and 11 to 12 and topped the girls 13 to 14 age group and had a couple of Top 3 finishers in other categories to earn the most points in the three-day (March 23 to 25) tournament. The Hiro Kimura-coached club collected 1,276 points to beat host SSC (924), Palau (552), Manhoben Swim Club (468.5), Manukai Athletic Club (234.5), Pohnpei Swim Club (210), Dolphin Swim Club (138), and Andersen Marlins (39). Teams received points based on how their swimmers finished in their respective races. Swimmers got as high as nine points and as low as one.

Maria Batallones and Aasish Dangol gave Tsunami Saipan 63 points apiece as they ruled the U8 division. The 8-year-old Batallones finished ahead of SSC’s Julie Ann Chavez (49) and Manukai’s Sophie Tarr (39) and Anne Kate O’Donell (39). Tsunami Saipan’s Sakura Hara (30), Pohnpei’s Kaylinn Kihleng (19), Manukai’s Sarah O’Donnell (9), and Tsunami Saipan’s Nagisa Litulimar (2) completed the field.

In the boys U8, Tsunami Saipan had a 1-2 finish with Aasish scoring 63 points and Kouki Watanabe getting 53 to prevail against SSC’s Moshe Sikkel (24), Marlin Chang (23), Michael Miller (16), Yutaka Kadokura (9), and Jorju Sato (2) and teammates Keisuke Asakura (4) and Raven Pascual (2).

Aasish’s sister, Ashley, also won her age group (girls 9 to 10) after collecting 90 points. Ashley’s fellow Tsunami Saipan member Shoko Litulumar (68) and SSC’s Andrei Kaith Lynn Chavez (47) rounded out the Top 3. Other entries in the division were SSC’s Savita Sikkel (44), Aoi Braxton (16) and Sophia Brasuell (9), Manukai’s Lily Jones (31) and Maeve Robbins (16), and Pohnpei’s Karianne Kihleng (31).

In the boys 9 to 10 division, Tsunami Saipan’s Isaiah Aleksenko had a convincing win as his 90 points were way ahead of the 70 of Manhoben’s Israel Poppe. Hans Xu (63), another Tsunami Saipan swimmer, finished third and was followed by Manukai’s William O’Donnell (35), SSC’s Takeru Jim (27), Dino Sato (27), and Tsunami Saipan’s Kean Pajarillaga (12), Miguel Bartolata (6), and Shuman Barman (2).

In the boys 11 to 12 age group, Tsunami Saipan’s Juhn Tenorio won a close fight againts SSC’s Jinnosuke Suzuki with the former getting 86 points against the latter’s 84. Tenorio’s teammate Anthony Camacho-Deleon Guerrero (65) completed the Top 3, while SSC’s Taiyo Akimaru (56) and Akira Kadokura 24), Andersen’s Joe Yang (39), Manhoben’s Carlos Poppe (37.5), Pohpei’s Kyler Kihleng (30), Manukai’s Mac Jones (14), and Tsunami Saipan’s Arman Rechucher (14) competed in the same division.

In the girls 11 to 12, Tsunami Saipan occupied three of the Top 4 spots with Nanaka Watanabe (90) ranked first and Asaka Litulumar (61) and Ayumi Obligacion (51) placing fourth. Palau’s Klei Andreas (70) and Lolmei Uong (49), Manhoben’s Abigail Harver (32), and SSC’s Jinie Thompson (27) rounded out the group.

In the girls 13 to 14, Tsunami Saipan’s Sophia Gauran edged teammate Aika Watanabe, 79-75. SSC’s Jin Ju Thompson placed third with her 69, and was followed by Palau’s Ikelau Misech (64), Pohnpei’s Kestera Kihleng (46), Manukai’s Ella Fedenko (42), and SSC’s Jasmin Frink (21).

Meanwhile, two Palau swimmers made it to the Top 3 in the boys 13 to 14 age group with Noel Keane scoring 83 points to rule the field. His teammate, Malcolm Shae Gaymann (71), was ranked third behind SSC’s Lennosuke Suzuki (78). Tsunami Saipan’s Nelson Batallones (65), Kevin Guerrero (9), and Dan Illahi (7), Manhoben’s Mark Imazu (52) and Christian Harver (33), and SSC’s Taiga Sato (51) also joined the division.

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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