Marianas High School’s Dev Bachani and Saipan International School’s Kaithlyn Chavez were the first to the finish line in the high school division of the Saipan International School’s Gecko 5000 held last Saturday in Marpi.
Bachani took the gold in the 5-kilometer event for boys after crossing the finisher’s arch in Banzai Cliff in 20:41. He said the run was good training for the upcoming cross country season.
“It was really good. It was nice and shady and it was a good environment and the view was great. I just jumped over the rocks. I wasn’t surprised I came first. Me and him (closest pursuer) were close but after the trail I got a little lead,” he said.
Second and third was literally a neck-and-neck battle with Saipan International School’s Rex Pixley (21:10) nosing out MHS’ Cody Shimizu (21:11).
With Bachani and Shimizu leading the way, MHS won the Gecko 5000 high school boys division with 16 points.
Chavez finished first among the high school girls after registering a 22:49 for the 5-km run. She said she won gold despite some small mishaps during the run.
“I twisted my ankle twice but it was a great run,” she said.
When asked what’s next for her after topping the girls 18-and-under division of the Gecko 5000, she said it will be to win the cross country series.
“Maybe try and get a faster run for the cross country run soon. Maybe get first place for the women,” she said.
Chavez’s teammate, Tiana Cabrera, came in second with a time of 24:35, while MHS’ Allyssa Angeles prevented a Lady Geckos sweep after coming in third with a 26:07.
Chavez and Cabrera also towed SIS to victory in the high school girls division with 12 points.
In the girls 9-and-under, SIS finished 1-2-3 with Windsor Gross (8:06) topping the event followed by Neveah Arriola (8:27) and Leilani Ruszala (8:36). With 13 points, SIS also topped the girls division of the age group.
SIS’ Jude Rayphand was first in the boys 9-and-under with a time of 7:06. He was followed by Garapan Elementary School’s Kanoa Owens (7:46) and Brilliant Star School’s Evan Poole (7:59). SIS won the category with a whopping 25 points.
Eliza Culp and Lucy Woo finished first and second in the girls 12-and-under race with times of 8:30 and 8:31, respectively. Saipan Community School’s Alyssa Pailin Brasuell was third in 8:31. SIS topped the division with 17 points.
The boys 12-and-under then saw Finn Altizer of SIS cross the finish line first in 7:00 followed by BSS’ Akeen Edvalson (7:18) and SIS’ JuWon Lee (9:43). SIS again took the plum in age group with 10 points.
In the 2-mile race for middle school girls, SCS’ Morgan Finco won gold with her time of 16:30. SIS’ Suki Peng (16:44) and SCS’ Abbie Kim (17:26) came in second and third, respectively. With 19 points, SIS also took the division.
The middle school boys race saw SIS’ Moshe Sikkel dominate with a time of 14:53. Grace Christian Academy’s Takery Jim was second in 15:54, while SIS’ Sean Park completed the Top 3 in 16:15. GCA took the age group with 17 points.
Named after school’s mascot and the distance of the race of 5,000m, the Gecko 5000 was organized by Saipan International School with help from Northern Marianas Athletics, Run Saipan, and the Public School System. Sponsors of the event include Cafe Hei, MARPAC, Casa de Song, Spicy Thai, Chung A, Smile Marianas, Chalan Pial Supermarket, JP World Corp., Brothers Clinic, Twins Market, JWS, Mango Six, Himawari Restaurant, Eun Song and Bori, Fishing Tackle and Sporting Goods, Ginen Saipan, The Water Company, and The Athletes Foot.