MOC paddlers deliver in opener

Marianas Outrigger Club paddlers pose for a photo with Napu’s Jayson Tarkong, standing left, after competing in the in the Northern Marianas National Paddling Sports Federation’s Long Distance Race Series 1 last Saturday. (Contributed Photo)

Marianas Outrigger Canoe lived up to high expectations after prevailing in the Northern Marianas National Paddling Sports Federation’s Long Distance Race Series 1 held last Saturday.

MOC-A topped the men’s long distance race (10-mile course) that started and ended at Kilili Beach after clocking in at 1:12:16. The winning squad was made up of Bobby Cruz, Jose Quan, Billy Grow, Richard Salas, Angel San Nicholas, and Ketson “Jack” Kabriel.

Cruz and company completed the course more than a minute ahead of Saipan Paddling Club, which checked in at 1:13:57. MOC-B also joined the weekend event and placed third after submitting 1:18:18.

The NMNPSF is holding the series of long distance races to help prepare the various local clubs for the 2017 Micro Cup which will be held in Guam from Oct. 26 to 29.

“Any race we could get here is beneficial. The more races we can do, the better it is for us and the rest of the clubs gearing up for the Micro Cup,” MOC coach Dino Manning said.

“Races here simulate the condition that we are going to go through when we compete in the Micro Cup. We’re looking forward to more warm-up races before the competition in Guam,” Manning added.

The second part of the NMNPSF-sanctioned race will be held on Sept. 16 and MOC paddlers, who ruled the series of short course events this year, are again favored against the representatives of other clubs.

Meanwhile, SPC won the ladies race last weekend after posting 1:20:39. SPC finished way ahead of Marianas Pacific Paddlers, which capped the long course in 1:34:17.

In the junior event, which had participants negotiating a six-mile course, Napu Outrigger Canoe Club’s boys team made it to the finish line in less than an hour after registering 56:46. A team composed of male and female youth paddlers from Napu, SPC, and MPP also broke the one-hour barrier after recording 58:24, while Napu’s female youth squad timed in at 1:02:55.

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Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for 16 years. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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