At the recently completed 2018 Saipan International Meet, Team Palau did exceptionally well. Palau Swimming Association’s, “Lionfish” team had some amazing times, dropping time in every event they swam. Highlights include Jamika Oiterong and Elengoi Gibbons dropping 56 and 50 seconds each in the 200 meter IM as well as Jion Hosei hammering out one of the best 200 meter Freestyles a ten-year-old can do with a blazing 3:10. Charlie Gibbons, Jace Borja, and Kazuumi Nestor all did exceptionally well as they dropped time in all of their races, especially the 50 meter and 200 meter Freestyle events.
As for the older kids, the National Team members Osisang Chilton, Jericho Maido, and Shae Gaymann all broke National Records. The first one was Osisang breaking UB Misech’s record in the 400 IM (6:15.42) with a strong 6:09.08. She then turned around and broke her own 400 meter Free record (5:10.54) with a very well split race finishing with a 5:09.62.
Jericho continued his tear becoming the “Fastest man in Palau” by breaking Shawn Dingilius-Wallace’s 50 meter Freestyle record (26.78) with a quick 26.46. He also broke Noel Keane’s 100 meter Backstroke record (1:11.44) with a 1:09.29. And finally, he also smoked both Butterfly records taking down Liam Bornovski’s last long course record in the 200 meter Fly (2:27.28) with a very fast 2:23.21, and Shawn’s 50 Fly record (29.26) with a 28.52. With that he has now solidified himself as Palau’s best Butterflier as he now has the 50m, 100m, and 200m Fly records. Shae continued his dominance in the Breaststroke events, bettering his own 100m Breaststroke record (1:18.30) with a 1:16.15, and breaking the legendary 2000 Sydney Olympian, Anlloyd Samuel’s last standing National Record in the 50 m Breaststroke with a 34.02.
In the Open Water event, Team Palau did well, earning four gold medals, as Charlie won the 600m swim, Coach Billy the 2.6K, Jericho the 4K, and Osisang the 5K. Shae had a big swim getting silver in the 5K, not far behind Saipan’s Kento Akimaru. Kazuumi got third in the 600m, while in the 1K, Elengoi got seventh for the girls, and Jion got third and Jace fourth in the boys’ side. In the 1300m, Jamika tied for fifth, while Klei Andreas just narrowly got third. In the 4K, Lolmei Uong got third on the girls’ side, while in the 5K, Ikelau Misech got fourth.
To highlight the meet a bit more, the awards banquet was held after the Open Water Swim where the “High Point” Awards were announced. These awards are given to the kids who score the most points in their respective age groups. In the 8 and Under boys division, Kazuumi won first place overall, and Charlie got second. Jericho won the overall High Point for the 13-14 boys, and Shae got second in the 15-16 boys. To cap it off, Osisang won the overall for the 17 and Older ladies division.
In total, Team Palau achieved over 90% best times, twelve National Records, four Gold Medals in the Open Water race, and three “High Point” winners in their respective divisions for the swim meet. Next up for the team will be Guam Championships in May, Oceania Championships in June, and Micronesian Games in July. PSA thanks all supporters for their generosity to help the Team do their best in Saipan.