Saipan International School’s Moshe Sikkel and Saipan Community School’s Abbie Kim lorded it over the competition in the middle school division of the 2021 PSS/NMA Cross Country Championships last Saturday at the old Saipan Country Club golf course behind Saipan Vegas.
Sikkel, who won all three qualifiers, anchored SIS to a first place finish in the team competition after earning gold in the individual race. He crossed the finish line of the 2.5-kilometer race in a speedy 9.55. He beat Grace Christian Academy’s Michael Miller and Francisco M. Sablan Middle School’s Christian Lucero who came in second and third with times of 11.41 and 10.44, respectively.
Sikkel was ecstatic by finishing the race under 10 minutes. “I was happy with my performance and that I was able to hold off my swim teammate, Michael Miller, to beat him to the finish. I am also proud that my SIS teammates put in really strong performances to help us earn the top spot in the team standings,” he said.
Also helping SIS to the gold medal in the team rankings were Taiga Namai-Scoggins (6th in 11:59.56), Guy Hyeon “Sean” Park (9th in 12.17), Brendar DeRocher (11th in 12.22.65), Dong Hyun Lee (13.08), and Aiden Camacho (13.4).
Kim helped SCS to a second place finish in the team competition after topping the cross country championships for middle school girls in 12.21. She was followed by a pair of SIS runners—Suki Peng (13.19) and Aubrey White (14.1).
Kim, who won the second and third qualifiers, said she’s just glad that she’s been able to improve in running since she began in the sport in kindergarten.
“I started running in K-5 and came in last. This year, in eighth grade, I came in first. I am proud of myself for winning a gold medal for the first time. I thank my coaches for helping me improve,” she said.
The rest of the SIS gold-medal winning team include Julie Chavez (5th in 14.3), Phoenix Gross (6th in 15.56), and Lina Tsukagoshi (11th in 17.55).
Results of the elementary school individual medal race will be published in tomorrow’s issue of Saipan Tribune.
The Public School System partnered with Northern Marianas Athletics, the governing body of athletics in the CNMI, to organize track and field as well as cross country events in the 2021-22 school year.