Kagman paddlers stand out


Kagman High School paddlers are on their way to a first place finish in the finals of the co-ed 500m event during the opening leg of the 2020-2021 Public School System Interscholastic High School Canoe Series held early this month at Kilili Beach. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Kagman High School topped both the men’s and co-ed division competitions in the second leg of the 2020-2021 Public School System Interscholastic High School Canoe Series last Saturday at Kilili Beach.

The Ayuyus, who ruled the opening leg last Feb. 13, picked up where they left off and this time took the most points at stake in the second set of races for a sizeable lead over Marianas High School and Saipan Southern High School.

In the men’s races, Kagman collected 20 points, as it finished first in the 500m and 1,000m preliminary and finals events. The Ayuyus timed in at 2:45.61 in the 500m prelims, nearly four seconds ahead of the Rays (2:49.12) and more than 16 seconds faster than the Dolphins’ time (3:02.18). In the finals, Kagman had a faster time and wider gap from MHS, as the former recorded 2:41.93 against the latter’s 2:50.81. Saipan Southern slid to third with its 2:54.24.

Kagman High School coach Jason Tarkong greets his paddlers after their victory in the men’s 1,000m race. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

In the 1,000m prelims, Kagman was the lone team to break the six-minute mark after reaching the finish line of the four-lap race in 5:53.06. MHS placed second with its 6:08.30, while Saipan Southern was third after logging 6:18.67. In the finals, the Ayuyus had a slower time (6:04.00), but still it was good enough to beat the Dolphins (6:11.49) and Rays (6:21.75).

Giving Kagman the sweep in the men’s division were Noah Mesa, Elbert and Joedy Pinaula, Christian Achas, Koen Kabiriel, Jericho Jones, Jacoby Cabrera, Andrew Camacho, David Igisai, Sebastian Muna, Max Cruz, Richard Cepeda, and Oliver Weilbacher. Peter Aldan, Jason Tarkong, and Momoko Halstead are the Ayuyus coaches.

Marianas High School’s co-ed team members switch sides during the 500m race. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

In the co-ed races, Kagman timed in at 3:01.12 in the 500m prelims and then improved its mark in the finals (2:53.18) to dominate the event. Saipan Southern was ranked second in both races, posting 3:02.46 in the prelims and a better time in the finals at 3:01.17. MHS had a faster mark in the prelims (3:06.77) than the finals (3:10.23) for third place.

In the 1,000m, Kagman’s co-ed team finished the preliminary race way ahead of Saipan Southern and MHS. The Ayuyus recorded 6:44.94 against the 6:55:04 and 6:58.28 of the Rays and Dolphins, respectively. In the finals, Kagman chopped off more than three seconds from its prelims time after registering 6:41.15, while Saipan Southern logged 6:46.52 and MHS checked in at 7:03.40.

Saipan Southern High School paddlers make a final push to catch up with their opponents in the 500m race. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Kagman men’s paddlers were joined in the co-ed team by Alisa Gatharngeg, Jenisha Dubrall, David Kim, Danika and Clarissa Tagabuel, Megan Barnes, Wallis Bai, Kiara Nekaifes, and Kata Iakopo.

Entering this weekend’s third leg (long-distance race), Kagman enjoys an 8-point lead over Saipan Southern, as the Ayuyus have 20 points in the co-ed division against the Rays’ 12. MHS has only 4 markers.

Points are awarded in every leg (except the first one/warm-up) to determine the overall winners in each division at the end of the season. Excluding this weekend’s long distance race, there will be two more legs in the competition with the penultimate set for March 6 and the last for March 13 where double points are at stake.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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