Triathletes Stuart Smith and Mieko Motoyoshi represented Saipan well in Saturday's 5th XTERRA Saipan Championships and were the first male and female finishers of the local delegation.
Smith finished 11th overall with a time of 3:14:00, which was strong enough to claim first place in the men's 45-49 age group, while Motoyoshi placed 41st overall and was the seventh women to cross the finish line with a time of 3:55:39 to win the women's 25-29 age group.
Also claiming top honors in their age groups were Dawn Hammermeister in the women's 40-44 (4:02:58) and Florian Braig in the men's 55-59 (4:09:05). Hammermeister was 49th overall and the eighth female to finish, while Braig placed 55th overall.
With the performances, the mentioned athletes qualified to compete in the Nissan XTERRA World Championship, which will be held on Oct. 29 in Makena, Maui.
Joining the group are Aaron Fitzpatrick, who placed 21st overall and third in the 30-34 age group with a time of 3:29:40, as well as Susanne Knecht, who finished in 5:59:46 to place second in the women's 30-34 age group.
A total of 18 individuals representing Saipan in the Championship, including Richard Sikkel (3:26:47), who placed 18th overall and fourth in the men's 35-39 age group. Tyce Mister (3:35:50) placed fifth in the division and 26th overall, while Keiren Daly (3:50:29) finished 35th overall and fifth in the men's 45-49 division.
Butch Sublemente (3:51:30) was 36th overall and fifth in the men's 30-34 category, while Nate Hawley (3:52:33) was 39th overall and eighth in the men's 35-39 division. Dirk Sharer (3:55:26) was 40th overall and sixth in the men's 45-49 division, Rob Carruth (4:04:33) was 53rd overall and seventh in the same age group, Ronald Villafria (4:11:38) was 60th overall and eighth in the 30-34 division, Kevin Carey (4:33:42) was 73rd overall and 18th in the 35-39 division, Lewie Tenorio (5:06:24) was 92nd overall and 21st in the 35-39 division, Manny Sitchon (5:09:21) was 93rd overall and 10th in the 45-49 division, and Saipan Tribune's Brad Ruszala (5:12:23) was 94th overall and 12th in the 30-34 division.