Geckos dominate All Schools softball throw
There’s something in the water in As Lito as students of Saipan International School won three of four categories in last Friday’s debut of the softball throw event in the qualifiers for the 2021 Public School System All Schools Track and Field Championship at the Oleai Track and Field.
In the boys 9U, SIS’ Dean Duenas proved to all and sundry that he has the strongest arm in the division with a throw of 17.9m. He was followed by Agape Christian School’s Benjamin Cai (15.5m) and Brilliant Star School’s Xavier Camacho (15.10m).
The Lady Geckos won both their age groups with Beatrice Gross and Faith Arriola topping the 9U and 12U divisions with throws of 19.8m and 16.7m, respectively. Gross’ throw was so impressive that it beat not only Arriola’s throw but the best in the boys 9U as well. Coming in second and third in the 9U were Gross’ teammates, Yummy Peng (11.10m) and Michelle Im (9.2m). In the 12U, SIS’ Aubrey White (14.95m) and Isla Montessori School’s Georgia Baetge (14.40m) were the runners-up.
BSS’ Aiden Camacho prevented a Geckos sweep in the softball throw by dominating the boys 12U. He obviously woke up on the right side of the bed Friday morning with a mighty throw of 36.7m. SIS’ Landon Pudney was second and Akeen Evalson third with throws of 27.75m and 25.5m, respectively.
The qualifiers for the 2021 Public School System All Schools Track and Field Championship continues tomorrow with Williams S. Reyes Elementary School, Saipan Community School, and Oleai Elementary School on tap. The middle school and high school qualifiers will start on Thursday.
Public School System athletic director Nick Gross, who has been doing a yeoman’s job in coordinating nearly all school-based sports on island, reiterated he’s just glad that elementary, middle school, and high school sports are back after a year lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After missing out on the All Schools Track and Field season last year due to COVID-19, we’re super excited to bring it back online this year! As the CNMI prepares to host the 2022 Pacific Mini Games next year as well as send a delegation to the Micronesian Games in the Marshal Islands in July of 2022, it is imperative that we initiate our athletic programs once again,” he said.
Gross added that elementary, middle school, and high school sports is the epitome of grass roots development, adding they’ve been following the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force’s guidelines during the course of the All Schools.
“This will assist us in bringing back our athletes as well as identifying new recruits. Our qualifying events have been shortened to mitigate exposure to possible COVID-19 and have been screening all participants upon arrival through temperature screenings, as well as having sanitizer available throughout the events and encouraging the use of masks when not competing.”
The Public School System All Schools Track and Field Championship is being held in coordination with Northern Marianas Athletics.