Napu youth paddlers deliver


Napu Outrigger Canoe Club’s youth paddlers and officials pose for a photo after completing their races in the Micro Cup 2016 held over the weekend in Koror, Palau. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

All those exhausting training sessions and endless fundraising efforts paid off for Napu Outrigger Canoe Club as the group is bringing home not only one, but nine awards

Napu’s youth paddlers recorded Top 3 finishes in the junior mix 500m, 1,500m, and long-distance course of the Micro Cup 2016 held over the weekend in the waters off Meyuns Seaplane Ramp in Koror, Palau. The club’s youth team is composed of Ryan Aguon, Brandon Cabrera, Kyle Reyes, Sammy Litulumar, Leon Laniyo, Hekido Helgen, Daven Hocog, Raven Igisaiar, Daydra Hocog, Isabel Ito, Julianna Hanson, Rika Diaz, Jewel Cubangbang, Dhalian Salas, Camille Muna, Rachel Tudela, Leisha Guerrero Mendiola, and Mayiah Duenas. Jason Tarkong called the shots for the Napu youth paddlers.

In the 1,500m finals last Saturday, Napu Junior Mix 1 made it to the finish line way ahead of its competitors after clocking in at 8:59.44. The champion team was the lone squad to break the nine-minute barrier in the three-lap race as Napu Junior Mix 2 checked in at 9:16.96. Napu Junior Mix 3 completed the club’s podium sweep after logging 9:33:14. The host’s Belau Kanu Club Waterfall was ranked fourth with its 10:58.32.

In the one-lap 500m sprint, which also took place last Saturday, it was Napu Junior Mix 2’s turn to claim the top spot in the finals after recording 2:39.32. All three Napu youth teams managed to finish the shortest race in the tournament under the three-minute mark with Napu Junior Mix 1 and Napu Junior Mix 3 posting 2:45.81 and 2:53.16, respectively. Belau Kanu Club Waterfall again missed the Top 3 after making it to the finish line way behind Napu’s paddlers after checking in at 3:18.21.

Napu’s three youth squads also swept the 10-kilometer long course held last Sunday, but official times were unavailable at press time.

The winning club is scheduled to return to Saipan this morning after its notable showing in the three-day tournament.

Napu’s youth paddlers and its officials conducted a lot of fundraising events—from coin drive to collecting trash—to fund their trip to Palau. They also courted the private and public sectors to ask for support for their participation in the Micro Cup. While finding funds for their Palau trip, the club’s paddlers also went through grueling training sessions starting early this year, spending several hours in the waters off Kilili Beach and Managaha four times a week.

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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