Agape continues cross country streak
Kagman Elementary School was spared by heavy downpour long enough last Saturday for Agape Christian School to dominate the high school and middle school divisions of the second 2022-2023 NMA-PSS All Schools Cross Country qualifier.
The Torchbearers’ high school boys cross country team dominated the field, with the speedy Samuel Zhu clocking in first with 19:37.45. He was followed by Marianas High School’s Pony Tang at 19:40.48 with ACS’ Jireh Wang completing the Top 3 in 21:17.94.
The Torchbearer boys collected 15 points, MHS garnered 32 points, Saipan International School received 63 points, Grace Christian Academy had 71 points, and Kagman High School came in last with 90 points.
The girls high school division was a close one with the 19 points of ACS nipping the 20 points of SIS. Kaithlyn Chavez of SIS came in first with a time of 22:49.52, Tiana Cabrera of SIS came in second with a time of 23:46.73, while three ACS girls—Eunice Xu 23:48.86, Emma Pang (26:04.72), and Mary Zhu (26:38.49)—came in third, fourth, and in fifth place.
In the middle school boys division, ACS came in first with 24 points, SIS second at 42 points, and Dandan Middle School at third with 51 points. Michael Miller of GCA came in first with a time of 10:47.98, Raffy Cai of ACS came in second with a time of 11:21.37, and Landen Taflinger of DMS came in third with a time of 11:36.40.
The ACS middle school girls had a score of 20 points, SIS had 40 points, and SCS had 57 points. Addalee Taflinger came in first for DMS with a time of 12:18.25, Barbara Wang of ACS came in second with a time of 13:22.52, and Sofia Dimafelix of Mount Carmel School came in third with a time of 14:30.18.
In the elementary school divisions, SIS topped both the girls and boys events. In the girls division, SIS had 16 points, Oleai Elementary School had 26 points, and ACS had 65 points. In the boys division, SIS had 13 points, Brilliant Star School had 51 points, and ACS had 59 points.
ACS administrator Kok H. Pang told Saipan Tribune that for the upcoming championships in October, “most of our runners are excited and looking forward to the challenge. Some students are starting to feel the pressure and some just do not know what to expect. Our expectation is for them to do their very best and give 100%. As long as they give their best, improve on their PB (personal best) and learn precious lessons of [hard work], we would be happy.”
After the cross-country meet, Nick Brennfleck, cross country coach of Kagman High School boys and girls team and race director for the second qualifier, said the “turnout of the event was good” and that the “weather kind of kept some people away but overall was a good turnout for our first meet here out in Kagman.”
“The entire community of Kagman has been awesome. When we said we were doing a race, we had community members, all of the principals from all three schools were so supportive of it. They came out and there’s a lot of clearing that needed to be done and they… really wanted to make sure that our kids had a chance to compete,” he said.
A total of 187 runners registered for the event.
The course for the high school cross country wrapped around ChaCha Middle School, Kagman Elementary School, up to Forbidden Island Lookout, and back to the elementary school. The middle school course wrapped around the elementary and middle school campuses twice, while the elementary school course wrapped around once.
The third qualifier will be held at the American Memorial Park this Saturday, Sept. 24, starting at 6am. Northern Marianas Athletics is coordinating the event along with the Public School System Athletics Program.