Villacrusis leads Saipan finishers

Christian VIllacrusis heads north after completing a turn in Koblerville during the bike leg of last Saturday’s 2016 Tagaman Triathlon. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Christian VIllacrusis heads north after completing a turn in Koblerville during the bike leg of last Saturday’s 2016 Tagaman Triathlon. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Saipan Swim Club’s Christian Villacrusis had an outstanding debut as a solo participant in the 2016 Tagaman Triathlon after emerging as the top Saipan finisher in the Olympic course of last Saturday’s race.

The 15-year-old athlete completed the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40K bike, and 10K run in 2:37:49 to rule the 19-and-under division and beat six others in his field.  Villacrusis, who had split times of 21:56 , 1:19:22, and 56:31 was No. 4 overall out of the  54 finishers and second in the entire men’s field behind South Korea’s Jeong Hwan Ji (2:37:13). Gyu Ri Kim and Won Jeong Choi, also of South Korea, were the Top 2 finishers in the women’s division and overall after clocking in at 2:19:53 and 2:26:38, respectively.

Villacrusis made it to the finish line at the American Memorial Park ahead of fellow SSC members Taiga Sato (2:38:17), David Roberto (2:48:31), and Kento Akimaru (3:05:22). Other finishers in the 19-and-under division were Enfeng Wang (2:42:50), Su Hyun Kim (2:42:57), and Von Adrian Libayan (2:52:01).

In other results in the men’s division, Saipan’s Nap Dizon and Tyce Mister won the 40 to 44 and 45 to 49 age groups, respectively. Dizon timed in at 2:48:33 and was the lone competitor in his division to break the three-hour barrier. Dennis Bautista submitted 3:11:06 to place second, while Jerry Jaraplasan and Brad Ruszala came in at third and fourth with times of 3:11:51 and 3:40:33.

In the 45 to 49 age group, Mister also completed the course under the three-hour mark with his 2:37:58.  The veteran Saipan triathlete prevailed against John Arceo (2:58:14), Mark Isip (3:00:52), Ricky Castro (3:12:24), Yun Hun Park (3:17:53), Yoshihiko Ito (3:18:01), Jeff Diyco (3:22:59), Fr. Ryan Jimenez (3:27:49), Yasuo Watanabe (3:37:53), and John Dax Moreno (3:54:46).

In the 50 to 54 division, Jack Baducci logged 2:40:24 to finish ahead of Russ Quinn (2:57:48), Scott Warren (2:58:01), Hiroaki Euno (2:59:32), Noel Altamirano (3:07:30), and Derek Chambers (3:178:16), while Saipan’s Manny Sitchon (3:03:59) and Joshua Berger (3:01:57) took the top honors in the 55 to 59 and 60 to 64 age groups, respectively.

Rounding out the solo finishers in the solo course were Will Schroeder (3:02:16) and Donald Stover (3:16:15).

Meanwhile, in the Half Ironman course, Japanese Goshi Sato, Hiromu Shimada, and Reiko Okamoto were the amateur finishers. Sato posted 6:28:04 in the 1.9K swim, 90K bike, and 21.1 K run, while Shimada and Okamoto registered 6:55:27 and 7:35:31, respectively.

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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