Agape dominates Cross Country 2nd leg

Agape Christian School runners join other students at the starting line of the second leg of the Northern Marianas Athletics Cross Country Series held last Saturday at the Airport Field. (Jon Perez)

Agape Christian School once again showed its might after its runners fielded in different age divisions clinched podium finishes in last Saturday’s second leg of the Northern Marianas Athletics’ 2017 Cross Country Series at the Airport Field.

ACS had 17 of its runners placing in the Top 3, including a sweep in the boys U18 and girls U15 age groups. Saipan International School had eight podium finishes and also swept the boys U13, while William S. Reyes Elementary School had four, including Top 3 in heat one of the boys U11, and Saipan Community School had five.

Jonathan Xiong and Ella Zhang led ACS’ attack by topping both the boys and girls U18 races that were previously won by the likes of ACS’ Caleb Wang and Yang Sheng Ai, and Saipan Southern High School’s Seiya Eda and Gabrielle Race of Marianas High School.

Xiong finished the three-lap course in 20:29 , followed by fellow ACS students Peter Wang (21:25) and Daiwai Cai (22:24). ACS runners also came in fourth and sixth places respectively, William Chen (22:29) and Shun Bin Yuan (26:04), while SIS’ Je Hyu Jung (23:13) broke the Agape monopoly.

Zhang, in the girls U18, clocked 23:44 to beat SIS’ Tania Tan (24:01), while another ACS runner in Amelia Yu (28:04) came in at third. Tan led most of the way, but Zhang made her move in the final lap then blitzed towards the finish line for a good 17-second lead over the SIS bet.

Paolo Cao (15:04) bested ACS teammate Kobe Fu (17:39) with SIS’ Blake Mister (17:40) coming in at third in the boys U15. It was an ACS sweep in the girls’ side: Vivian Wu (19:18), Jemina Lin (20:52), and Keiziah Garcio (22:30).

Kaden Church won the boys’ U13 division at 14:48 with Dylan Mister (16:40) coming in at second and Patphon Baniniikaran (17:35) completing the SIS sweep. Victoria Torres (18:07, SIS), Soleil Lamar (18:30), and Elizabeth Xu (ACS, 18:52) made up the Top 3 in the girls U13.

Kern Han Cao (8:14) of Mt. Carmel School topped the first heat of the boys U11 division and was followed by John Xu (10:03) and SCS’ Daniel Malus (11:11). WSR’s Zhin Lin (8:51) duplicated the feat in the second heat with Imtiaz Nadum (9:05) and John Paul Delos Reyes (11:32) completing the sweep.

SIS’ Dana Lee (10:00), Lynn Zhao of ACS (10:35), and WSR’s Destine Diana (11:18) were the Top 3 in the girls U13, while the boys’ U9 Top 3 finishers were Alfred Baek of SCS (9:31), and ACS’ Tong Jun (9:49) and Eugene So (10:35).

SCS’ Lola Guerrero (10:05), SIS’ Phoenix Gross (10:57), and ACS’ Yulia Yasuda (11:10) were ranked 1-2-3 in the girls U9, while Landon Springer of SCS (10:00), Reyril Escarlan (11:21) and Yang Li (12:51) of ACS rounded out the Top 3 in the boys U7. ACS’ Angeline Quan (11:18) and Lin Ran Qing (13:41) came in at first and third in the girls U7, sandwiching SCS’ Elita Lee (12:25).

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Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez has been covering local and international sports events for more than 15 years. His sports writing career started when he joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, when he was in college.

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