Defending champion Agape Christian School lived up to expectations early into this season after earning top honors in the middle school races during the first leg of the 2020-2021 Public School System/Northern Marianas Athletics All Schools Cross Country Series held last Saturday at the CPA Airport Field.
Peter Pang ruled the boys U14 event after completing the 2.1-mile course in 15:30, while his fellow Agape runner Barbara Wang won the girls division after checking in at 16:05.
Agape had a 1-2 finish in the boys race, as Danny Cheng rounded out the two-lap course after Pang, while Saipan International School’s Casey Chambers came in third. Other finishers in last Saturday’s morning race were (fourth to 13th place) were Agape’s Joseph Li, SIS’ Dong Hyun Lee, Christian Newman, Gyu Hyeon Park, and Kyle Kramer, Saipan Community School’s David Ye, Agape’s Boxin Cheng, Hopwood Middle School’s Charles Guiang and Tyrone Manipon, and Francisco M. Sablan’s Cedric Catacutan.
In the girls U14 division, Agape also earned the Top 2 spot with Serena Cheng following Wang to the finish line and beating SIS’ Savita Sikkel. Agape’s Esther Xu, Ruth Zhang, and Jenny Xu were ranked fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively, and were followed by SIS’ Becca Easton, Phoenix Gross, Hoo Wang, and Eva Lizunova, and FMS’ Teneasha Diaz and Nerita Sellem.
Sikkel, Campbell triumph
Meanwhile, Brilliant Star School’s Moshe Sikkel and Agape’s Jessie Campbell won in their respective heats in the co-ed elementary division race held last Friday also at the CPA Airport Field.
Sikkel prevailed on Heat 1 of the 1.1-mile race after timing in at 7:56 and besting 23 other runners. Campbell, on the other hand, clocked in a little over eight minutes to win against 15 other participants on Heat 2. The elementary division was divided into two heats to avoid overcrowding at the start/finish line, as NMA and PSS are implementing safety measures against the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the cross country season.
Joining Sikkel in the Top 3 on Heat 1 were SIS’ Finn Altizer and Faith Arriola. Other runners who raced in the first group were Saipan Community School’s Richard Zhao, Patrick and Joshua McDonald, Andrew Guerrero, Allie Brasuell, and Vivian Chung; SIS’ Jude Ryaphand, Leilani Ruszala, and Gabriel Walsh; BSS’ Aiden Camacho, Nason Weseel, Sophia and Aya Smith, and Pattseera Kasemsri; and William S. Reyes Elementary School’s Jiro Quindoza, Marq Hernandez, Aliyah Villacrusis, Kristen Sierra, Sylbella Taisague, and Edwin Liclican.
On Heat 2, Mt. Carmel’s Stephen Yeom finished second behind Campbell and while Agape’s Reyviel Van Escarlan rounded out the Top 3. Other finishers in the pool were Isla Montessori’s Georgia Baetge, Addison and Oliver Pauling, Jackson Koning, and Cooper Fong; Agape’s Benjamin Cai, Ratul Bhuya, Jason Xia, and Alice Caun; and Kagman Elementary School’s Paige Blanco, Tatum Jones, Justo Quitugua, and Jolene Cabrera.
The co-ed elementary school division will have the second leg of the cross country series this Friday, also at the CPA Airport Field.