Kagman High School dominated the opening leg of the men’s events in the 2020-2021 Public School System Interscholastic High School Canoe Race Series held last Saturday at Kilili Beach.
The Ayuyus paddlers topped both the preliminary and finals of the 1,000m race as well as the 500m event. KHS timed in at 5:43.90 in the 1,000m prelims to finish way ahead of Marianas High School (5:53.67) and Saipan Southern High School (6:13.92). In the 1,000m finals, the Ayuyus also managed to win convincingly over their foes after clocking in at 5:50.45. MHS checked in at 5:59.63, while Saipan Southern recorded 6:25.23.
In the 500m prelims and finals, the Ayuyus registered 2:39.39 and 2:44.02, beating the Manta Rays (2:43.75/2:48.94) and Dolphins (2:55.37/2:50.21) anew.
Kagman, which is the defending champion in the men’s and co-ed divisions, is coached by Peter Aldan, Jason Tarkong, and Momoko Halstead and listed 13 paddlers on its rosters. Competing for the Ayuyus are 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.
The Ayuyus also ruled the co-ed 500m prelims and finals races in the opening leg of the series. Kagman timed in at 3:01.57 and 3:04.49 in the 500m prelims and finals, respectively, to prevail against Saipan Southern (3:03.71/3:06.06) and MHS (4:11.71/3:18.04).
The defending champion was the first place finisher, too, in the co-ed 1,000m prelims after completing the four-lap race in 6:33.82. The Manta Rays were a distant second with its 6:58.07, while the Dolphins logged 6:58.64 for the third sport.
Then in the finals, Saipan Southern foiled Kagman’s bid for a sweep, as the Manta Rays clocked in at 6:34.70 against the Ayuyus’ 6:48.91. MHS placed third anew with its 7:14.96.
Saipan Southern got its second victory in the series kick-off when it ruled the women’s 1,000m finals. The Lady Rays timed in at 7:18.74 against the 7:34.12 of defending champions Lady Dolphins and the Lady Ayuyus’ 7:35.15. Kagman topped the preliminary race after checking in at 7:02.67, while Saipan Southern was ranked second (7:28.40) and MHS got disqualified.
For the other women’s race—the 500m event—Kagman went 2-for-2. The Lady Ayuyus smoked their competitors in the preliminary race after recording 3:07.97 against the 3:13.92 and 3:26.14 of the Lady Dolphins and Lady Rays, respectively. In the finals, Kagman also got a sizeable lead after timing in at 3:18.63, while MHS logged 3:24.33 and Saipan Southern posted 3:29.31.
Last weekend’s races were warm-ups with no points awarded to the participating schools. The point races will begin this Saturday and will have the same sprint events, while the long distance competition is set. for Feb. 27. Another set of sprint races is scheduled for March 6, while the championship round is slated on March 13 with double points at stake. The team with the most points at the completion of the series wins.