16-year-old from SPC places fourth in Micro Cup


Sixteen-year-old Tyler Andrew, left, is seen with Saipan Paddling Club teammate Oliver Igisaiar in Palau during the 22nd Micro Cup Canoe Race held from Oct. 21 to 23. Andrew placed fourth in the V1 500m sprint out of eight opponents. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Sixteen-year-old Tyler Andrew from the Saipan Paddling Club placed fourth in the very competitive V1 500m sprint finals of the 22nd Micronesia Cup Canoe Race held from Oct. 21 to 23 in Koror, Palau.

Both SPC’s men’s V6 teams in the 500m and 1,500m also placed fourth in the finals out of seven teams.

The teen from Saipan Southern High School impressively placed first place in his heat and advanced to the finals who then placed fourth out of eight men with a time of 2:45:00.

Saipan Paddling Club’s men’s and women’s teams pose for a photo in Palau during the 22nd Micro Cup Canoe Race held from Oct. 21 to 23. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The men’s V6 500m team came in with a time of 2:21:16 and in the 1,500m came in with a time of 7:59:10.

The 10th grader told Saipan Tribune that going against other older paddlers, he “felt really nervous about it because all those grown men were in the Pacific Mini Games national teams and [some] of them were bigger in size than me,” but he said that he felt “really good about placing fourth, but it happened and I’m really proud of myself. I exceeded my expectations.”

Club president and coach Justin Andrew said about their performance that they “all did well. The SPC men’s team, no one but me has raced in [the] Micro Cup before so they are all rookies, plus the [junior] boys [Tyler] is just 16 and [Jermaine Salas] is 17 [years old]… Both Tyler and Jermaine are [junior] SPC paddlers and raced against adult men who have more experience.”

“And [of] the women’s crew, only two have raced [in the] Micro Cup before but those two plus one more were in the [Pacific Mini Games], so the women’s crew has a good mix of age and experience,” said Justin.

The men’s team includes coach and paddler Justin Andrew, Corey Mendiola, Phillip Aldan, Tyler Andrew, Jermaine Salas, and Joe Weaver.

The women’s team consists of Vinalyn Oronigo, Tianna Aldan, Gerlyn Libunao, Erryne Dasalla, Danica Calvo, Gracie Mendiola.

Out of the 12-person team, Calvo, Libunao, and Orinogo were part of the NMI women’s national Va’a team during the 2022 Pacific Mini Games, and Justin was the NMI national va’a coach.

Members of the SPC team thanked their family and supporters who made their trip to Palau possible.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at leigh_gases@saipantribune.com.

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.