Agape tops last qualifier for MS boys and HS cross country


The entire Agape Christian School cross country team poses for a photo with their coach Kok H. Pang, far right, in the third cross country qualifier at the American Memorial Park last Sept. 24. (LEIGH GASES)

Agape Christian School Torchbearers topped the high school divisions and the boys middle school division in the fourth and last 2022-2023 NMA-PSS All Schools Cross Country qualifier at the Commonwealth Ports Authority field near the airport last Saturday.

The Torchbearers resumed their streak of winning the girls high school division and retained the top spot in the boys high school division after coming in second during the third qualifier a week prior. They also reclaimed first place in the boys middle school division after coming in sixth in the third qualifier.

In the high school boys division, the Torchbearers smoked the competition with 13 points, Marianas High School came in second with 42 points, and Saipan Southern High School came in third with 63 points.

For the boys high school individual results, just as all the other previous qualifiers, Samuel Zhu of ACS led the way for the high school boys division, coming in first with a time of 19:21. Right behind him was Pony Tang of MHS with a time of 19:36, and Jireh Wang (20:14), Enoch Zhuang (20:15), and Daniel Li (21:13)—all from ACS—made the Top 5.

In the high school girls division, the Torchbearers claimed first place with 20 points, followed by Saipan International School with 30 points, Saipan Southern High School with 48 points, and Mount Carmel School with 58 points.

For the high school girls individual results, Kaithlyn Chavez from SIS continued to come out on top with a time of 21:39. She was followed by Esther Zhuang from ACS at 26:23, and Summer Mandhane from SSHS at 26:27.

In the middle school boys division, the Torchbearers torched the competition as they came in first with 19 points, while Dandan Middle School came in second with 27 points, and Grace Christian Academy came in third with 63 points.

Michael Miller from GCA continued his streak of coming in first for the middle school boys division as he crossed the finish line in 12:47, followed by Landen Taflinger from DMS at 12:56, and Raffy Cai from ACS at 13:07.

ACS administrator Kok H. Pang was asked how the team felt now that the championships loomed closer and he said, “I think most of our student runners don’t really think much about it. Everyone is relaxed as there are two weeks of break.”

Like the third qualifier, this qualifier had a total of 274 runners take part in the event; and as the previous qualifiers, the high school division course was three miles, the middle school division course was two miles, and the elementary school division course was one mile.

The championship is less than two weeks away from now on Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Saipan Country Club. 

The results of the elementary school division and middle school girls division will come out in the next edition of Saipan Tribune.

Northern Marianas Athletics is coordinating the event along with the Public School System Athletic Program.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at

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