99 Luftballons tops XTERRA relay


Jerome Diyco makes the climb along the Navy Hill road during the bike leg of last Saturday’s XTERRA Saipan. (Jon Perez)

Saipan’s Angel Marie Tan and Jerome Diyco teamed up with Guam’s Elijah Tydingco in ruling the relay race in last Saturday’s 2016 XTERRA Saipan Championship.

Tydingco towed the team dubbed as 99 Luftballons to a first place finish overall and in the mixed division after completing the 12K trail run in 1:13:23—the fastest time in the group. Tan started out for 99 Luftballons and timed in at 18:94 in the 1.5-kilometer swim leg in the waters off Micro Beach, while Diyco was the biker and capped the 30K course in 1:13:23 for their total time of 3:46:06.

99 Luftballons finished the race just 10 seconds ahead of We’re Back’s Jinju Thompson, Wynn Brillo, and Rintaro Miyawaki. Thompson was fifth best out of the water in the relay division and clocked in at 18:06, while Brilllo had a fastest bike split than Diyco, recording 2:12:31. Miyawaki closed out for We’re Back and registered the second fastest time in the division at 1:15:30 to settle for runner-up honors overall and in the mixed relay.

Meanwhile, four other teams joined the relay and they all battled for the men’s division crown. Marianas Wireless, which was composed of swimmer Ernie Moises, biker Bob Ferrer, and runner Roy Ortizo, topped the field after combining for 3:53:22. Moses timed in at 17:51 in the swim leg, while Ferrer and Ortizo logged 2:09:31 and 1:25:58, respectively.

David Boyer, who was the second fastest out of the water with his 17:48, and teammates Russ Quinn and Yosh Gabaldon of Bay Watchers, were ranked third after posting 3:57:13. Quinn completed the bike course in 2:15:58, while Gabaldon finished the run trail in 1:23:17.

Christian Villacrusis was the first finisher in the swim leg in the relay and second overall behind men’s champion Brodie Gardner of Australia after tallying 16:42, but his squad slid to third after his teammates fell behind in the bike and run legs. Sublemente was Villacrusis’ biker and timed in at 2:24:07, while Taiga Sato was the runner and registered 1:17:36.

Saipan Cyclers rounded out the finishers in the relay and was slightly ahead of the five other teams after the bike leg. Nap Dizon was the biker and had the best time in the group with his 2:01:04. However, Dizon’s crew lost the shaky lead after runner Ricky Castro timed in at 1:42:47. Jeff Diyco started things off for Saipan Cyclers, submitting 22:53 in the swim leg.

In other results, American triathlete Bridget Schwenne emerged as the top female finisher in the non-pro division after clocking in at 4:08:48 with split times of 20:16, 2:27:47, and 1:20:45.

Other female finishers were Rina Ishizu (5:32:17), Welly Linaker (4:09:58), Haldre Rogers (5:08:35), Allison Moore (6:36:20), Tara Tydingco (5:41:04), Sonoko Ishizu (6:27:35), Kimiko McKagan (4:38:33), and Michelle Santos (5:33:03),

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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