Defending champion Agape Christian School and opening leg winner Saipan International School may have to brace for tougher competition in the second part of the 2020-2021 Public School System/Northern Marianas Athletics All Schools Cross Country Series as two more teams are fielding complete rosters for tomorrow’s event at the CPA Airport Field.
Marianas High School and Mt. Carmel School have listed a full crew for the second leg of the U18 qualifying races, posing a great challenge to Agape and SIS.
The Geckos swept the top honors in the series opener with Rex Pixley ruling the boys high school race last Saturday and Tiana Cabrera winning the girls division. Agape, on the other hand, had best overall performance in the boys U18 race with six of its runners making it to the Top 10, including the No. 2 to No. 4 spots, which Ray Qi, Eason Tang, and Allen Luo occupied. In the girls division, although Cabrera handed SIS the top finish, Agape runners dominated the overall rankings, getting the second to seventh places in the ladder.
MHS did not field a single runner in the girls U18 race last weekend, but will have a full crew this Saturday with Jerlyn Castillo and Kina Rangamar anchoring the Lady Dolphins. Allyssya Angeles, Leani Acosta, Sedrei Camacho, Marnickka Teigita, and alternate Ria Rengiil complete the squad. In the boys division, opening leg participant Blake Mister, Anthony Bergancia and Jim Maniago will be back and will team up with Brian Lubao, Sildrey Veloria, Daniel Mar Pablo, and alternate John Lloyd Dela Cruz. Some MHS runners missed the opening leg, as they joined a duathlon/trail run event in Marpi held simultaneously with the cross country kick-off.
Mt. Carmel had only one entry to the boys U18 race last weekend with Robin Alvarez ranked No. 15. He will compete anew in the second leg and will be joined by Chris Kim, Skyler Poon, Jihwan Ryu, Seung Woo Lee, and Vince Salvador. The Knights also have a six-runner roster in the girls U18 race with Aleaia Santos, Fiona Bucalig, Kaia Travilla, Erin Frink, Puti’on Camacho, and Amaya Grace Reyes signing up for tomorrow’s event.
After their strong starts in the opening leg, both Agape and SIS made changes in their roster to give other runners a chance to race. Caleb Dai, Abraham Zhu, Peter Yang, Timothy Yu, David Zhao, Peter Hu, and Samuel He will compete for Agape’s boys U18. As for SIS boys U18, Pixley is listed only as alternate, as the Geckos will field Charles McDonald, Jimin Woo, Ivan Li, Matthew Berline, Andrew Sablan, and Yunwoo Nam in tomorrow’s event. In the girls U18, Helen Kim and Rachel Shin will have their season debut and will join returnees Cabrera, Linxi Cai, Puper Liske-Clark, and Jinnie Thompson.
Tomorrow’s high school course will cover a distance of 3.1 miles and runners are required to complete the race in 35 minutes of they will be ushered out of the field and their results will be marked as did not finish.
Runners have to go through at least one qualifying race to earn a slot to the championship round, which is set for Dec. 5. In the finale, only schools with at least four runners will qualify for the division championship, but they are still allowed to field a maximum of six students in each age group. The division winner will be determined by the performance of their Top 4 finishers, as points will be given to each runner (one for first, 2 for second, and so on). The team with the least points wins.
Meanwhile, the elementary (U11) and middle school’s (U14) second leg will also take place this weekend.
The U11 races will be held this afternoon with Brilliant Star School, SIS, Agape, Kagman Elementary School, and Mt. Carmel bringing in new runners, while Isla Montessori School will stick to its opening leg roster for the 1.1-mile run.
The U14 competition will take place this Saturday after the U18 races with Agape, Hopwood, Mt. Carmel, SIS, and Francisco M. Sablan Middle School having a mixed of opening leg participants and new ones for the 2.1-mile event.