Buccaneer swimmers made a big splash at the Tokyo South vs. Tokyo North Club Championships. 1,238 swimmers from 35 swim clubs competed at the annual event. The meet was held in a prelims / finals format; swimmers compete in the prelims vying for a spot in the top 8 afternoon finals.
The Bucs started out fast and furious in the first event contested; the Individual Medley. The IM is always a crowd pleaser as it combines the four competitive strokes - Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle – into one race. Most swimmers have a stroke that that they are weak so the lead often seesaws back and forth continuing through to the final push in Freestyle. Junichiro Asano, Ryan Fenwick, and Go Nagaoka showed their prowess in all 4 disciplines advancing to the finals. Junichiro took 4th overall in the Boys 13-14 200 IM going 2:13.98. Both Ryan Fenwick and Go Nagaoka were eager to show the team their best and they didn’t disappoint. Ryan finished in 2nd place (2:25.18) and Go in 5th (2:30.77) overall in the 11-12 Boys age group both taking chunks of time off their previous personal bests.
Senior Joshua Brown set a new OPEN + AREA record in the 15 + Over Boys 100 meter Breaststroke with a splendid 1:01.90 for a 4th place finish. Josh’s time was also good enough to qualify for Japan’s Age Group Nationals. University and older swimmers were allowed to compete at this meet so the 15 and Over division was extremely competitive. Natsuki Uchino broke two AREA records and is inching ever so closer to the National “cuts” for the 9-10 age group. Natsuki took 2nd overall in the 50 meter Freestyle blazing a 30.48 just .30 seconds off the JOC Cup standard. Natsuki also had a stellar 33.78 in the 50 meter Butterfly for a 4th place finish. Junior Yutaro Sahara had a great 100 meter Butterfly going 55.56 for 6th place and drawing nearer to the “Nats” standard.
It was great to see the 15-18 girls (Akiko Bareng, Nana Richter, Caitlin Bridges, and Kaitlin Rossman) combine to set two new AREA marks in both the 400 Freestyle Relay (4:10.22) and the 400 Medley Relay (4:42.19). Both girls relays finished in 7th place overall. Not to be outdone SMST’s Boys relays shined; already qualified for the Age Group nationals the guys went a 3:26.75 under the “cut” again in the 400 meter Freestyle relay to finish in the 2nd spot. The quartet of Kazuki Martin, Joshua Brown, Yutaro Sahara, and Takashi Kanazawa teamed up again to take 6th overall in the 400 Medley Relay in 3:35.35.
The Bucs younger relays ramped up the energy in finals with the 11-12 Boys; Ryan Fenwick, Go Nagaoka, Bien Bagui, and Max Wahba taking 4th in the 200 Freestyle Relay (1:58.54) and 7th in the 200 Medley Relay (2:14.50). The 9-10 Boys (Ryota Misaki, Kenji Nomura, Bastien Bagui, and Jo Sendai) came in 11th place in both relays contested.
Other final swims were; Joshua Brown (15 - 18) 50 Free (23.37 - “Nats”) - 5th; Kazuki Martin (15 + Over) 100 Free (51.61) – 6th; Akiko Bareng (15 - 18) 50 Free (27.89) - 7th Nana Richter (15 - 18) 100 Breaststroke (1:15.32) – 6th; Junichiro Asano (13 - 14) 100 Free (55.33) – 2nd; Naoki Martin Khosla (13 – 14) 50 Free (26.02) - 8th; Ian Takahara (13 – 14) 100 Back (1:05.38) – 4th; Ryan Fenwick (11-12) 50 Back (32.30) - 6th; Go Nagaoka (11-12) 50 Breast (35.50) - 7th; Ryota Misaki (9-10) 50 Free (31.82) – 6th + 50 Back (37.60) – 5th; Houei Shimoyachi (8 + U) 50 Free (38.10) - 5th; Olivia Opitz (8 + U) 50 Back (48.94) – 7th.
SMST is itching to race when the new year comes but first it’s back to a training regime that will ensure success at the end of the season.
Happy Holidays and Swim On!