Dizon leads Saipan charge in ‘Hell’

Saipan’s Nap Dizon, center, makes a turn as he heads toward Bird Island along with two other riders in last Saturday’s 8th Annual Hell of the Marianas century cycle race. (Jon Perez)

Saipan’s Nap Dizon, center, makes a turn as he heads toward Bird Island along with two other riders in last Saturday’s 8th Annual Hell of the Marianas century cycle race. (Jon Perez)

Nap Dizon topped his age division to lead four other Saipan-based winners in the men’s road bike event of last Saturday’s 8th Hell of the Marianas century cycle race.

Dizon was the fastest among the Saipan riders, finishing the grueling around-the-island race in 3:19:10 to barge in the Top 10 overall rankings. He pedaled an average of 18.67 miles per hour for a split time of 1:23:56 to rule the male 35-39 age group.

Fellow Saipan rider Rich Asuncion finished almost an hour later at 4:08:26 to place second in the division, while Guam’s Michael Mattix came in at third (4:36:56).

Tyce Mister, Willie Barbo, Renato Calage, Steve Nutting, and former Saipan resident Lewie Tenorio were the other age group division winners.

Tenorio, who finished 15th overall, clinched the male 45-44 crown with a time of 3:34:53 to relegate Manny Masculino of Guam to second place (3:47:51). XTERRA World Championship veteran Peter Prestley was 18 seconds behind for third place (3:48:09).

Mister, a multi-sport athlete, overcame a flat tire just past the San Vicente area going uphill to Isa Drive to rule the male 45-49 category. He reached the finish line in front of the Mariana Resort & Spa in 3:47:03. Tinian’s Allen Perez was in second (4:12:48), while Young Hak Kwon of South Korea bagged third place honors at 4:16:10.

It was a Saipan sweep in the male 50-54 and 55-59 divisions with Willie Barbo (3:51:15), Roberto Tamondong (3:53:20) and Cesar Fortaleza (4:00:50) making up the Top 3 in the younger age group. Renato Calage (4:03:11), Paul Plunkett (4:08:36), and Manny Sitchon (4:36:44) took the podium finish in the 50-59 division, while Nutting was the sole competitor in the male 60-64 and clocked in at 6:33:39.

Patrick Camacho, who was the fastest among Guam riders after finishing fifth overall against four pros, led a 1-2 finish for the Southern contingent in the male 30-34 category as he timed in at 3:11:31, while compatriot Jeff Philips finished second (3:29:25). Saipan Arjay Noriega placed third (3:55:02).

Guam’s Justin Nieves, who finished eighth overall, ruled the male 14-19 division with former Saipan resident Jake Jones coming in at second (3:14:02) and Jerome Diyco of Saipan finishing third (3:19:11).

Jonathan Martin, the second best Guam overall finisher at seventh, won the male 20-24 division with a time of 3:12:56 or 21 seconds behind Korean pro and sixth overall Kaon Cho (3:12:35).

Saipan’s Kaity Mattos (25-29, 4:34:58); South Korean Ji Hye Kim (5:07:01) and Chinese Taipei’s Shu-Ya Li (5:56:28) in the 30-34; Jonghwan Hwang of South Korea (40-44, 4:16:07); Saipan’s Kanae Quinn (4:29:45) and Margaret Rose (4:35:50) in the 45-49; and Lorie Hutchison (4:31:51) and Susan Marchitti (5:18:11) in the 50-54 were the women’s top finishers in their respective age groups.

Saipan’s Jomer Enriquez led the list of winners in the men’s mountain bike division as he topped the male 20-24 age group with a time of 4:44:52, while Will Schroeder (5:11:17) and Pengfei Song (6:21:26) were 1-2 in the male 25-29.

Charlie Sendin claimed the 30-34 crown (3:48:21); Saipan’s Sunny Loma (5:11:05) beat Rota’s David Bamba (5:19:20) for the male 35-39 title; and Bob Ferrer (3:38:44), Dencio Bautista (3:56:59) and Katsuki Ishimatsu of Japan (4:01:40) were the Top 3 finishers in the male 40-44 division.

Saipan swept the male 45-49, 50-54, and 55-59 divisions with Noel Altamirano (3:55:46), Nestor Abing (4:35:13), and Russ Quinn (5:07:03); George De Guzman (4:10:47), Floro Derexes (5:01:49), and Donaldo Naz (5:10:33); and Romeo Guevarra (4:22:14), Florence Antonio (4:34:35), and Rey Tentia (5:25:49).

Athena Andrews, also from Saipan, bagged the female 30-34 trophy with at time of 4:07:11. (Jon Perez)

Jon Perez Reyes

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