Ayuyus 3-peat as paddling champs

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The men’s Kagman High School Paddling Club poses for a photo after being awarded their third championship in a row following the conclusion of the 2020-2021 Public School System Interscholastic High School Canoe Series last Saturday. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

Kagman High School completed a three-peat in the boys division of the 2020-2021 Public School System Interscholastic High School Canoe Series after earning a perfect overall score throughout the season that concluded last Saturday.

KHS successfully kept its three-year streak intact after routing foes Marianas High School and Saipan Southern High School throughout the entire season. KHS swept first place in all four events of the series to gain a perfect 85 points.

KHS paddling captain Noah Mesa, who has been paddling for the KHS team for the past three years, said it was hard work but it was all worth it.

“This is my last race and I am so proud of my team. I wouldn’t have had it any other way,” he said.

Although it was his final race for KHS, Mesa said he is rooting for KHS to continue defending the title and would love to see them continue to win even without him.

Aside from Mesa, Elbert Pinaula, Christian Achas, Koen Kabriel, Jericho Jones, Jacoby Cabrera, Joedy Pinaula, Andrew Camacho, David Igisiar, Sebastian Muna, Max Cruz, Richard Cepeda, and Oliver Weilbacher also make up the KHS paddling team.

SSHS, who holds No. 2 in overall standings, lagged behind KHS by a margin with just 41 points overall followed by MHS with 27.

The members of the Kagman High School men’s paddling crew complete their final race of the season in the 2020-2021 Public School System Interscholastic High School Canoe Series last Saturday. (Kimblery A. Bautista)

The last leg of the series held last Saturday was a 500m dash and 1,000m race for double the points. KHS won first in both the preliminary and final rounds of both races to earn 40 points.

In the preliminary round of the 500m dash, KHS bested foes with a time of 2:50.19 to gain 10 points.

SSHS came in at a close second, lagging behind the defending champs by just a little under 6 seconds, with a time of 2:56.64 to earn 6 points.

MHS completed the preliminaries of the 500m dash at last place, less than a second behind SSHS, at 2:57.12 to earn 2 points.

In the finals of the 500m dash, KHS sped past its foes to finish the round with a time of 2:55.30 to gain another 10 points.

SSHS submitted a time of 2:59.83 in the finals of the 500m dash to gain 6 points, while MHS came in at 3:02.13 to earn 2 points.

In the prelims of the 1,000m, KHS started off slow but regained momentum at the second go-around to finish with a time of 6:06.69.

SSHS closely tailed KHS in the first go-around but lost momentum in the second and finished 7 second behind at 6:13.69.

MHS finished last by a hair, submitting a time of 6:16.69.

In the finals of the 1,000m, KHS and MHS were neck-and-neck but KHS prevailed after pushing hard in the second turn-around to finish 6:06.89. MHS came in just 3 seconds late at 6:09.70.

SSHS completed the finals of the 1,000m at last place with a time of 6:20.53.

Also defending their championship title was the MHS girls paddling team who has held their title for the last three years. In the co-ed competition, KHS also won.

The Public School System Student Support Services Athletic Program held the canoe series with assistance from Northern Marianas Paddle Sports.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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