Dela Cruz, Sapong win century dash

Posted on Jun 24 2021

Cristobal “Leon” Dela Cruz leans in this shot at the finish line in the 100m of last Saturday’s Northern Marianas Athletics’ Track and Field Open Meet at the Oleai track and field. (NMA)

Cristobal “Leon” Dela Cruz and Zarinae Sapong were the fastest afoot in the century dash of Northern Marianas Athletics’ Track and Field Open Meet last Saturday at the Oleai track and field.

Dela Cruz, who ran barefoot, nearly dove to the finish line to win the open division of the 100m race in a time of 12.65, while Sapong, a veteran of many regional and international meets, topped the women’s open in 13.42.

NMA secretary general Robin Sapong said there’s no coincidence that Dela Cruz and Sapong won the men’s and women’s 100m, as the two track stars practically train together.

He added that Dela Cruz is the future of the CNMI’s athletics program and at only 15 years old is already part of NMA’s 18-and-under developmental squad. The Cha Cha Middle School student was also the 100m gold medalist in last season’s Public School System All Schools Track and Field Championship. On Zarinae, Sapong said her daughter is nicely rounding into form. “She ran a season best [last Saturday].”

Orrin Pharmin finished runner-up to Dela Cruz in the men’s open 100m after crossing the finish line in 12.9, while completing the Top 3 was Beouch Ngirchongor who clocked in at 13.08. Simon Necesito also raced and finished in 15.03. Elly Aguon was Sapong’s lone challenger in the women’s open 100m and she cut the tape in 16.99.

In the boys 18-and-under, Joseph Pangelinan came in first with a time of 13.37, followed by Jiahang Wu and Michael Rodgers with runs of 13.69 and 13.94, respectively.

Leanie DLG Acosta, meanwhile, ruled the girls 18-and-under after finishing the 100m in 14.14. Cassandra Cruz came in second in 14.39 with Bernalie Tina Dafrow completing the Top 3 in 17.21.

In the masters category, Rhonda Gross was first in the women’s 40-and-over after completing the 100m in 16.74. Gregory Borja took the plum in the men’s 45-and-over by finishing on 15.05, while Kosuke Sato added to his win in the 1,600m by topping the 50-and-over with a run of 13.94.

Results of the field events of the Track and Field Open Meet—javelin, shotput, and long jump—will be published in tomorrow’s issue of the Saipan Tribune.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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